crime, drama, movie, movie review

July 28th, 2017 Movie – The Shadow Of Silk Lennox

the shadow of silk lennox

Ahh, another classic movie from the Legends of Horror box set that is in no way a horror movie but stars an actor well known for being in one. I find it a little funny that yesterday’s movie starred Bela Lugosi and today’s stars Lon Chaney Jr. Too bad tomorrow’s movie doesn’t star Boris Karloff or I would have had the classic monster trifecta going for me. Anyway’s This is yet another movie I never heard of but it sounds pretty interesting from the description. Let’s see what I am getting into with today’s movie, The Shadow Of Silk Lennox.

The plot: John Arthur Lennox is the owner of a nightclub but also serves as the leader of an underworld gang of crooks, who call him Silk due to his constantly saying “things are fine as silk.” Silk plans a bank heist to occur, while securing his gang’s alibi by inviting some cops over to the club and having a recording play to make it seem like the gang is there. After sending the three men off to do the heist, Silk heads downstairs to look over the club until he gets word that the police are on their way. Downstairs, Silk’s new singer, Jimmy Lambert, is telling his dance partner Nola that their number is coming up and when Nola says she doesn’t like what Silk is having Jimmy do, he tells her that they wouldn’t have a job if it wasn’t for Silk so he felt obligated to help him. When the two inspectors arrive, Jimmy calls Silk and plays the recording of his gang members, which Silk puts on the loudspeaker so that the police can hear them. At the same time, Silk’s gang holds up the bank and successfully make their getaway, with Dutch, the man holding the money, switching cars so that the police can’t catch them. The next day, the police are frustrated because they know that Silk’s gang was behind the robbery but nobody will come forward as a witness and the even though they heard the gang speaking over the phone, they can’t prove that they were actually there and a jury would believe the alibi. Back at the club, the rest of the gang arrives but when Dutch doesn’t show up, he has one of his men find and follow Dutch and report back where he is going. When they find him, Silk’s men force him into a bathroom, forcing the attendant and occupant into the nearby stalls. When Silk enters, Dutch protests his innocence but when they don’t find the money on him, Silk has Dutch killed. When the police arrive and try to get into the restroom, Silk shoots into the door to keep the police outside while he and his men slip out the window. As they meet at the club, Silk questions the man who followed Dutch and he tells him that Dutch had gone into the Interstate Express office and that the money was inside the safe there. Silk says the money is safe for now and they will get it later. Meanwhile, Jimmy is upset when he learns about the robbery and questions Silk about it but Silk tells him to keep quiet. Jimmy talks to Nola about it and she says they have the recording and she plans to keep it and threaten to turn it over to the police if anything happens to them. Unknown to them, a mystery person was searching Silk’s office and overheard their conversation over the intercom and sneaks down and takes the record. Silk is picked up by the police and taken down to the station in connection to Dutch’s murder. As he is placed in a line-up, he meets a man named “Fingers” Farley and after they are both released when the witnesses refuse to identify Silk, Silk invites Fingers back to his club. At the club, Silk asks Fingers about being able to crack the safe at the express office and Fingers says he can do it. Some of the gang are concerned about Jimmy spilling the beans but Silk tells them not to worry. After his set, Jimmy hears about Silk harassing and kissing Nola and he heads into Silk’s office and punches him before he is quickly restrained. Nola comes in and pleads for Jimmy’s life so Silk tells Fingers to take Jimmy for a ride, then tells Nola she will get him back when he gets the recording. When Fingers returns, Silk takes Nola with him as they all head out to crack open the safe. Fingers works on opening the safe but when it opens, cops come pouring out and a shootout occurs and Silk ends up being killed. Later at the station, the police thank the feds for their help in handling Silk and their leader says to thank Ferguson, who had been undercover as Fingers. Nola and Jimmy are reunited and thank Ferguson for helping them before leaving, while Ferguson asks about his next assignment.

This was actually a pretty decent movie, story wise at least. Lon Chaney Jr. did a good job playing mob boss Silk Lennox, while several of the other actors did good in their roles as well. The basic plot was pretty good but the story was a little confusing at times. I honestly think the short length of the film actually hurt it some as it could have been a better movie with some more time added to it to pan out some of the minor details. There wasn’t much in the way of special effects outside of some driving scenes that didn’t look that good, while the one real fight scene was the shootout at the office and it looked pretty ridiculous, with some of the deaths being too over dramatic at times. The film quality was pretty bad in the copy used in this set, with a lot of lines running through it at times. Not the worst movie but there was some definite room for improvement.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Standard
crime, drama, movie, movie review, thriller

July 27th, 2017 Movie – Shadow Of Chinatown

shadow of chinatown

Once again, I find myself watching a movie that is made up from a serial film. The difference between this one and some of the others I have watched is that this one has a rather famous actor in it, one Mr. Bela Lugosi. Now, I have to admit that I never heard of this movie and when I first saw the title, I honestly thought I was getting a martial arts movie. While I am a little disappointed that it wasn’t that type of movie, a nice little crime drama could still be fun to watch. So let’s see if this is worth watching as I watch today’s movie, Shadow Of Chinatown.

The plot: In 1930’s San Francisco, manufactured goods from all over the world are arriving at the port and distributed to stores across the city, as well as the rest of the Western US. A Russian businesswoman named Sonya Rokoff receives a letter stating that the sale of goods from Russia has declined sharply due to Chinese imports and that something must be done immediately. She contacts a man named Victor Poten and tells him she needs to see him to discuss the matter. When she arrives at his home, she says she will pay him $10,000 to find a way to shut down the merchants in Chinatown, and he accepts the job. Victor hires some men to disguise themselves, then the men all head into various shops and restaurants in Chinatown and begin using smoke bombs and firing pistols into the air to scare everyone out of the buildings. Joan Whiting, a society beat reporter, heads to the home of Martin Andrews, her boyfriend and novelist, and tells him what happened. Joan tries to get him to go with her to find out what is going on but Martin refuses. When Martin’s butler, Willy Fu, tells her that if the trade in Chinatown goes bad, it will mean profits for their rivals so Martin tells her to run with that story. Joan heads down to try and get more information but the mayor and police chief refuse to speak with her. As she is about to leave, Joan sees a Chinese businessman being grabbed by some men and taken into a building and she quietly follows after them. The businessman is taken into a room and when he backs up into a statue, the statue grabs him and pivots around before dropping him down a trap door. Joan sees this happen and attempts to escape but she ends up falling through another secret door and is captured by Victor’s men. Some time later, Joan’s editor contacts Police Captain Waters and tells him about Joan disappearing in Chinatown and asks that he try to find her. Waters goes to see Martin and accuses him of knowing something about Joan’s disappearance, as the events in Chinatown are similar to the subject of one of his books. Martin claims he is innocent and accompanies Waters to Chinatown to try and look for Joan. Meanwhile, Joan writes on a mirror and tries to use the reflection to send out a message for help. As Waters goes to check with his men, Martin sees the message and climbs a telephone pole and uses the wire to try and make it to the window. When the wire snaps, Martin crashes through a lower window, then ends up fighting with the thug guarding Joan. After knocking him out, they go to escape but hear someone moving outside the door . Martin has Joan open the door and Martin attacks the man but stops when he realizes it is Waters. Waters is angry about being attacked and when he finds the room empty, as the thug had recovered and snuck away, he takes both Joan and Martin to the station to answer some questions. Later, Martin and Joan return to Joan’s editor’s office and Martin tells Joan to stay away from him. Elsewhere, Victor, Sonya, and the rest of Victor’s men escape the building and Victor and Sonya make some new plans to stop the Chinese shops. When Victor leaves, one of his men, Grogan, assaults Sonya but Victor stops him using hypnosis. Some time later, Martin and Joan are both on a ship, as is Victor, who is busy disguising himself. When Martin goes to see the captain about Grogan, who had caused a disturbance on board but as they go to question him, Victor secretly shoots him with a dart to paralyze him. Victor has Grogan’s body taken out of the room and he quickly disguises him, telling Sonya what he had done. Shocked at what happened, Sonya takes Grogan off the ship and takes him back to her apartment. Martin sees them leave and they follow her and when Martin, Joan, Willy, and Waters confront her about what is going on, she admits her part and tells them Grogan is the other room. The four go in to see Grogan, but while they are in the other room, Victor sneaks in and hypnotizes Sonya and her assistant. When Martin and the others head back into the room, they discover Sonya sitting unresponsive and her assistant is missing. Meanwhile, Victor sneaks around and takes control of Gorgan, then hands him a grenade to use in killing the others. When Martin goes in the room, Grogan throws the grenade but Martin catches it and throws it out the window. They then take Grogan and Sonya with them to try and get them some help. When Sonya comes out of her trance, she tells them about how she contacted Victor to help her but his hatred of the Chinese has driven him mad. She tells them that Victor is able to observe the happenings of all of the shops and offers to take them to Victor’s lab. When they get there, they find no sign of Victor but a trap he left causes Joan to faint. Martin takes her out of the room and tends to her, saying he couldn’t live without her and Joan reveals that she is ok and tells Martin she plans on holding him to his word. Waters gives orders to not allow anyone to leave Chinatown and gives passes to Joan and the others so they can leave. Martin asks Sonya for the keys to her apartment, thinking that there might be a clue to Victor’s whereabouts there. Meanwhile, Victor, along with Healy and a still hypnotized Grogan, are in the apartment and when they see Martin and Willy Fu arrive, they sneak out the window but leave Grogan there to attack them. Meanwhile, Joan and Sonya go to the police station, and Sonya gives a description of Victor to their sketch artist, but Joan gets worried and feels like Martin is in trouble so they head off to the apartment. When they get there, they see Martin and Grogan fighting on the roof, as Martin manages to throw Grogan off the roof to the ground below. Heading inside, Joan tends to Martin’s injuries as Waters arrives, and Martin says he has some ideas where Victor might be heading and goes with Waters, while Willy takes Joan and Sonya to Martin’s house. Meanwhile, Victor and Healy are heading to Martin’s house, figuring nobody would be there, but get in a car crash. The injured pair get inside and Victor tends to Healy’s wounds when Joan and the others arrive. Sonya lays down on the couch to rest and Willy goes to make some tea but notices a strange smell and he and Joan proceed to search the house. They are soon captured by Victor and Healy, who then sets a trap for Martin but Sonya wakes up and, noticing the trap, pushes Martin out of the way and is killed instead. Victor escapes, leaving Healy behind and Martin manages to capture him, then tells Joan to call the police while he goes after Victor. Victor avoids a police motorcycle, who chases after him with Martin, and ends up driving off a pier but as everyone looks out into the water, nobody notices Victor moving around underneath the dock. Some time later, Martin is talking with Willy about a new idea when Joan comes in and tells him about her front page article featuring him. Martin grabs her and tells her he got her fired from the newspaper and when she protests, he tells her he didn’t want his wife to be working for the paper, causing Joan to smile and kiss him.

Whenever I watch a movie made from serials, I am usually curious to watch the entire serial but I don’t necessarily feel that way with this one. The movie was pretty decent but nothing too impressive. The acting was ok, with Bela Lugosi doing a great job as Victor, while Luana Walters (Sonya) and Bruce Bennett (Martin) were also good, but Joan Barclay (Joan) just came across as whiny while Maurice Liu (Willy) was just a painfully bad stereotype. The story was pretty interesting but I felt like it could have had a little more depth to it. In all fairness, they material cut from the serials could have added that missing depth. The camera work was ok, with the usual jumpiness that you would expect considering how it was made. It is ok to watch once but not necessarily something to hunt down.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Standard
crime, drama, movie, movie review, mystery, thriller

July 25th, 2017 Movie – Seven

seven

1995 was a time for some fairly memorable movies to come out, and man did I enjoy watching them. Today’s movie was one that I first had the opportunity to watch during a movie night at college, but ended up falling asleep. That was an interesting night as they were showing both today’s movie and 12 Monkeys and I fall asleep after Gluttony body is found and wake up to a bunch of animals running around a city with no clue what had happened. So when this came available to rent, I immediately rented it so I could find out what exactly happened. I always thought it was a good movie but never got around to buying it on DVD. When my brother was getting rid of his DVD’s and offered some of them to me, I saw that he had this one so I immediately decided to grab it. Now let’s see if it is as good as I can remember as I watch today’s movie, Seven.

The plot: At the scene of a murder, retiring detective William Somerset is examining the scene when his new partner, Detective David Mills, arrives and introduces himself. As they leave the scene, Somerset questions Mills as to why he chose to transfer to that particular city before they part ways. On Monday, Somerset and Mills arrive at the scene of an obese man who was found dead in his kitchen. As they examine the scene, they find the man’s hands and feet were bound and a bucket was under the table, collecting the man’s vomit. When Mills keeps talking nonstop, Somerset tells him to go help the officers ask the neighbors if they heard anything, which upsets Mills. At the morgue, the medical examiner tells Somerset and Mills that the man was forced to eat constantly until his stomach ruptured, with bruises on his head indicating a gun was pressed against it to force him into eating. Meeting with the captain, Somerset asks to be reassigned, as he feels like this is only the beginning and he doesn’t want this to be his last case. When he also asks that Mills be reassigned, as he doesn’t want this to be his first case, Mills objects and says he will work the case alone if Somerset doesn’t want to. The captain tells Somerset that he will keep working the dead man’s case, while sending Mills to investigate the death of a defense attorney. Mills arrives at the law firm, ignoring reporters’ questions as he heads up to the scene of the crime, where he finds the word Greed written in blood. Meanwhile, Somerset returns to the dead man’s apartment, after he had been given some pieces of wood that were in the dead man’s stomach. Examining the fridge, Somerset notices scratches in the floor in front of it and moves the fridge to find the word Gluttony written behind the fridge as well as a note. Back at the precinct, Somerset explains to the captain and Mills that the crimes are related and seemed patterned after the seven deadly sins. Somerset then tells them that they can expect 5 more murders before he walks away, saying he can’t be a part of this case. Somerset heads to the library and does some research on the seven sins, leaving a note for Mills to follow up on. The next day, as Mills is getting settled into his new desk (which was Somerset’s old office), his wife Tracy calls and invites Somerset over for dinner. After dinner, Somerset and Mills go over the photos of the attorney’s death and after seeing the picture of the attorney’s wife with blood around her eyes to make a pair of glasses, they decide to go ask her to look through the pictures to see if she sees anything missing or different. When the wife says one of the pictures is upside down, the two men go back to the office to examine the painting and discover fingerprints on the wall that spell out “Help Me.” When they run the prints, they match a known drug dealer and child molester so the SWAT team accompanies Somerset and Mills to his last known address. Breaking into the man’s apartment, they find hundreds of air fresheners hanging from the ceiling and the emaciated body of the man strapped to his bed. Mills finds photos of that the killer took of the man, showing he had been held captive there for a year, when the man suddenly starts breathing and thrashing on the bed and they have him rushed to a hospital. That night, Tracy calls Somerset and asks if they can meet in the morning to talk. Meeting at a diner, Tracy tells him that she is pregnant but she hasn’t told Mills yet as she hates the city and doesn’t want to raise a child there. As Somerset and Mills discuss the case at the precinct, Somerset gets an idea and has Mills accompany him to the library, where he prints a list of all the books that have to deal with the seven deadly sins. They then head to a diner, where Somerset hands the list to a contact at the FBI and he explains to Mills that the FBI would be able to find out who had been checking out some of those books, as well as books about murder and crime scenes in order to come up with some possible suspects. When they get a name, they head to the apartment of a man called John Doe but as they knock on the door, they notice a man approaching at the far end of the hallway. The man suddenly starts firing at them and Mills gives chase throughout the apartment and out into the street but John Doe gets the drop on him and holds a gun to Mills’ head, but lets him live and escapes as Somerset shows up. Heading back to the apartment, Mills wants to go in and look but Somerset tries to talk him out of it, as the way they found him was not technically legal, but Mills kicks the door open anyway, then bribes a woman to lie to the police in order to justify their being there. Heading inside, Mills finds several pictures, including one of him, and realizes that they had seen the killer earlier at the drug dealers’ apartment, posing as a reporter. When they hear a phone ring, Mills answers it and the killer congratulates them on finding him but says he will have to step up his time table. Seeing a picture of a blonde woman, they have some cops try to locate her before it is too late, while they head to an S&M shop, where John Doe had apparently purchased a custom item. When the girl is found, they find that she is dead, as a man was forced to rape her with a bladed codpiece, which ended up traumatizing the man. The next day, 911 receives a call from John Doe and Somerset and Mills arrive to find the fifth victim, a woman whose face had been slashed up and had a phone glued to one hand and a bottle of sleeping pills glued to the other; giving her a choice of living with a disfigured face or ending her own life. When the two return to the precinct, they are surprised to see John Doe arrive and turn himself in, demanding to see his lawyer. As John Doe speaks with his lawyer, Mills and Somerset learn that John Doe had been cutting the skin off of his fingertips for years in order to keep from leaving any prints. The lawyer meets with the detectives, the captain, and the D.A. and tells them John Doe’s demands. He says that he will take Mills and Somerset to the location of the last two bodies and sign a full confession of what he did but if they don’t do exactly what he says, he will plead insanity to everything. Somerset and Mills get in the car with John Doe and he directs them to a field outside of the city, discussing the people he killed along the way as a police helicopter follows them. When they arrive at the field, John Doe has them walk out to the field when Somerset notices a van coming down the road towards them and goes to intercept it. He discovers that it is a delivery van with a package for Mills that John Doe had arranged to send to their location at that time. When Somerset opens the box, he recoils in horror, then tells everyone to stay away before he runs back towards Mills, yelling at him to put his gun down. John Doe starts talking to Mills and telling him how much he envied his life and how he went to his home and tried to imitate it with Tracy but it didn’t take so he killed her and took her head as a trophy. When Somerset reaches them, Mills asks what is in the box while Somerset tries to get him to put his gun down. When John Doe tells Mills that Tracy begged for her life as well as her unborn baby’s life. Mills becomes grief stricken and ends up shooting John Doe, becoming Wrath like John Doe intended. Mills is taken away and the captain tells Somerset that they will do all they can to take care of him, and when he asks where Somerset will be, Somerset tells him he will be around as he walks away.

Seven met with positive results from the critics, holding an 80% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A brutal, relentlessly grimy shocker with taut performances, slick gore effects, and a haunting finale.” While filming the scene of Mills chasing after John Doe, Brad Pitt really did injure himself when he fell and his arm went through a windshield, requiring surgery, and the injury was worked into the movie. Denzel Washington and Sylvester Stallone were offered the role of Mills, while Al Pacino was offered the role of Somerset, but they all declined for various reasons and have sense admitted that they regret turning down the roles. The movie was a big hit at the box office, earning $327.3 million off of a $33 million budget.

If you want a dark and gritty movie, than this is the one for you. This is a fantastic movie to watch. The acting was fantastic, with Morgan Freeman (Somerset), Brad Pitt (Mills), and Kevin Spacey (John Doe) were absolutely incredible in this movie, while Gwyneth Paltrow was pretty much the only bright spot in the movie, somewhat literally with her blonde hair, in her portrayal of Tracy. The story was incredible and did a good job of painting a rather bleak outlook on life. The drama and tension involved in the movie did a great job in drawing the audience in and getting them invested in the outcome. I have to admit that even though I knew it was coming, I still jumped when the drug dealer started moving on the bed. A great movie to watch, especially on a dark, stormy night.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

Standard
crime, movie, movie review, thriller

July 22nd, 2017 Movie – The Sentinel (2006)

the sentinel 2006

I am going to be completely honest with you in regards to this movie. The only reason I watched this movie the first time was because I wanted to see if Kiefer Sutherland would be able to play this role and not slip into “Jack Bauer” mode. After all, this was right at the height of the 24 phenomenon, and Kiefer decides to do a movie playing a Secret Service Agent. It really isn’t that far of a stretch to imagine it happening. Anyways, I enjoyed the movie when I first watched it so while strolling through Blockbuster during their dying days (yes, I did that a lot and my wallet cried every time) I decided to pick up one of their copies as a change of pace from my usual fare. So now I am going to sit back and enjoy today’s movie, The Sentinel (2006).

The plot: After waking from a dream of his helping save President Ronald Reagan, Secret Service Agent Pete Garrison heads to the White House for his shift. Inside the White House, he runs into his friend and fellow agent Charlie Merriweather, who asks to speak with him later. After getting briefed on upcoming assignments, Garrison takes up his position as First Lady Sarah Ballentine and escorts her to the car, where she is going with the President to speak at a local school. As they head to the school, it is revealed that the President and First Lady are having marriage problems, and she tells him she plans on going to the beach house later that day. Meanwhile, Jill Marin arrives at the P.I.D. (Protective Intelligence Division) and reports to David Breckinridge, who chastises her for being late and then asks why she requested being assigned to him. When she tells him that Garrison said he was the best, he shows some displeasure at the mention of Garrison’s name but chooses not to say anything. Elsewhere, Charlie Merriweather is returning home when he is shot and killed by an unknown assailant. When he gets word of what happened, Breckenridge and Marin head to Charlie’s house to check the scene, which the DC police believe is a simple mugging gone bad, but Breckinridge disagrees and believes he was assassinated. At the beach house, Garrison and the rest of the security detail finish checking the house and when Garrison ends up alone with the First Lady, it is revealed that they are having an affair. Garrison is interrupted by someone calling him on the radio and when he heads downstairs, he finds another agent there who tells him about Charlie’s death. Breckinridge is speaking with Charlie’s wife on if he might have told her anything that could have gotten him killed and she tells him he was upset about some gossip about Garrison possibly having an affair with someone from work, which upsets Breckinridge. As Breckinridge leaves, he runs into Garrison and the two start arguing with each other but when Marin asks what the issue is between them, neither tells her. Later, Garrison is told that a former snitch of his, Walter Xavier, wants to talk to him and when he meets with him, Walter tells him that he believes Charlie’s death was linked to a plot to assassinate the president that he overhead. Garrison doesn’t believe it but Walter tells him that there is a mole in the Secret Service, then hands him a folder to prove his point before disappearing. The folder contains code words, call signs, and other info that indicate Walter was correct and steps are taken to increase the protection for the President, including flipping a coin to determine how the President travels to and from the White House. Meanwhile, Garrison receives pictures of him with Sarah just as Breckinridge shows up to ask him about Walter, and Garrison quickly hides the pictures and blackmail note. When he gets a chance, he goes to see Sarah to tell her about the pictures and blackmail, apologizing for putting her in this position. All Secret Service Agents are ordered to take a polygraph test and Garrison takes his before heading out to meet with the blackmailer at a hotel. While waiting outside, Garrison receives a call to head to a coffee shop and he waits there but when nobody shows up, he leaves. Garrison notices he is being followed and quickly evades his tail, only to begin following him but ends up being stopped by the FBI, who thought he was working with the cartel. Garrison accompanies President Ballentine and Sarah to Camp David and on the helicopter flight there, Ballentine asks Garrison if they can talk about the assassination threat and possible mole while at the camp. Walter contacts Garrison and tells him where to meet to deliver his money and tells him to come alone but Garrison’s superior assigns another agent to accompany him, while Breckinridge and Marin leave there office to serve as back up. When he gets to the mall, Garrison heads to his meeting with Walter but Walter sees the other agent and bolts. Meanwhile, the agent warns Garrison of a possible attacker but is shot and killed, ten the attacker tries to shoot Garrison, while taking a hostage to keep Garrison from shooting back. When Breckinridge and Marin arrive, they try to locate the assassin but he changes clothes in a shop and manages to get away. Meanwhile, Marine 1 is shot down by a surface-to-air missile but, due to the coin toss, the President and First Lady were not on board. The assassin meets with the other members of his group as the news about Marine 1 breaks and the group’s leader calls the mole and yells at him for failing to ensure the President would be on the helicopter. Garrison returns home only to have Breckinridge, Marin, and several other agents show up and Breckinridge tells Garrison he is being investigated for treason. Breckinridge tells him the evidence against him but Garrison thinks that his judgement is clouded because he believed that Garrison had an affair with his wife, causing the break-up of his marriage. When Breckinridge steps outside to meet with the director, Garrison manages to escape custody, taking an agent’s radio and gun as he does so. Using the radio, Garrison manages to locate where Sarah is and sneaks by the Secret Service guarding her in order to secretly meet with her and tell her he is being framed. Garrison then works on trying to track down Walter, eventually finding where he is hiding but when he gets there, Walter is already dead. Breckinridge and Marin arrive with some other Secret Service Agents and Garrison is forced to make a run for it, with Breckinridge chasing after him. Breckinridge manages to get the drop on Garrison and shoots him in the vest, but when Garrison tells him to shoot him in the head, he can’t bring himself to do it and allows Garrison to escape. Garrison goes to Charlie’s house to see if he can find anything in Charlie’s files and his widow mentions the car that is watching the house. When the car leaves, Garrison follows it and locates the assassins’ headquarters, killing the assassin that is inside but the other two members overhear it on the phone and head back. Garrison searches the place and finds several passports, weapons, and credentials for the G8 summit and calls Jill to let her know about it but when Breckinridge and the others get there, the body, passports, and credentials are gone. After Garrison calls Sarah and leaves her a goodbye message, she contacts Breckinridge and tells him about the affair and blackmail. Garrison makes his way to Toronto and runs the fingerprints he collected from the dead assassin and sends them to Marin to find out who he is but as he is waiting, Breckinridge appears. Garrison is ready to defend himself but Breckinridge says the First Lady explained everything and he knows he is being framed. As they identify the assassin, they try to figure out who the mole is and realize that Senior Agent William Montrose didn’t take the polygraph. As they head to the G8 Summit, they contact Marin and have her tell the First Lady that Montrose is the mole. When they get there, the Secret Service wont let them in and threaten to shoot Garrison, though Breckinridge tries to convince them he is on their side, when the radios suddenly go out. Breckinridge and Garrison head inside and during the commotion of their entering, Montrose escorts the President off the podium. Sarah gives to code word for the all clear and Garrison leads everyone after Montrose and the President. Meanwhile, the assassins, disguised as members of the RCMP, begin shooting at him and Montrose is conflicted on what to do and eventually decides to get the President to safety, coming clean about his being the mole. Montrose ends up being killed and Garrison is shot but they manage to kill the assassins and begin escorting the President to the waiting cars. As he is being loaded into a car, the leader of the assassins, disguised as a cop, approaches to try and kill him but when the First Lady exits her car, he grabs her as a shield but Garrison manages to shoot and kill him. The President is driven to safety as Sarah goes to check on Garrison, with Marin guarding her while Breckinridge calls for another car to get her out of there. Some time later, Garrison is forced to retire early due to the affair and says goodbye to his friends. As he leaves the White House, Breckinridge and Marin say goodbye and Garrison invites Breckinridge to dinner to repair their friendship but he declines as he is having dinner with his ex-wife to try and renew their marriage. Garrison walks takes one last look at the White House before walking away, unaware that Sarah was watching him leave from her office window.

The Sentinel (2006) met with mostly negative reviews with the critics, holding a 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “The Sentinel starts off well enough but quickly wears thin with too many plot holes and conventional action sequences.” Gerald A. Cavis, a retired Secret Service Agent who served as a consultant on the film, said that Eva Longoria was the best shot among the principal actors when they did there “shooting school” with live ammunition, hitting every target from 30 yards away. The movie was a mild success at the box office, earning $78.1 million off of a $60 million budget.

This won’t win any Academy Awards, but this is a pretty decent political thriller that gives you almost everything you could ask for in a drama. The acting was good, with Michael Douglas (Garrison), Kiefer Sutherland (Breckinridge), Eva Longoria (Marin) and Kim Basinger (Sarah) all doing good jobs in their roles, though I will admit that Kiefer did go a little Jack Bauer on Garrison at his home.  The story was pretty good and felt a lot more realistic than some other movies at the time, though I will say that the ending did feel a little crowded, with a lot going on all within the last 15 minutes. The tension and drama in the movie was great, especially the tension between Garrison and Breckinridge, and how Marin, who respected both of them, found herself caught in the middle of the two men. A good mix of drama and excitement that can make for some fun movie watching.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

Standard
crime, movie, movie review, mystery, thriller

July 17th, 2017 Movie – A Scream In The Night

a scream in the night

A new work week and I start off with a movie from the Legends of Horror box set. Cheap plug here, but if you are a fan of classic movies, I highly recommend buying this set. The one flaw I have with it is that there are not as many actual horror movies in this set as I would have hoped. Anyways, I never heard of this movie before so I am actually excited to watch this movie. The only person I really know in this movie is Lon Chaney Jr., and that is mainly due to his portrayal of The Wolf Man. So let’s see how good he is in today’s movie, A Scream In The Night.

The plot: At a bazaar in the Eastern British Colonies, Joe Bentley is purchasing a famed ruby called the Tear of Buddha from a man, unaware that he is being observed from a hole in the wall. Later, three men (Jack Wilson, Inspector Green, and Wu Ting) are sitting at a table discussing their attempts to catch a criminal named Johnny Fly. As they are talking, Bentley and his niece Edith are seated a few tables from them and when Edith sees Jack, she writes a note and has the waiter give it to him. When Jack receives the note, he excuses himself and happily goes to greet Edith, revealing that they are old friends. As the two friends start to catch up, Bentley excuses himself and heads back to his suite but once inside, he ends up being attacked. When Jack and Edith return to the suite, they find Bentley unconscious and Jack quickly calls for Inspector Green and a doctor. When they get there, Jack tells Inspector Green that it looks like Johnny Fly had robbed Bentley of some diamonds he was carrying but Bentley says he believes that the thief was after the ruby, which he had given to Edith to hold onto. Bentley is worried about the thief making another attempt and Inspector Green tells Jack to stay with the Bentleys for the night. Meanwhile, Johnny Fly, who poses as a waiter at the lounge, is going through the diamonds he collected from the robbery but is disappointed in not finding the ruby. As Wu Ting goes undercover and starts talking to a man named Butch Curtain, one of Johnny Fly’s spies races to tell Johnny about it. Johnny goes to the bar to see for himself, then summons Butch back to his room. Butch asks Johnny for his cut in the robbery but when all Johnny hands him is some cash, Butch asks about the ruby. Johnny says he never saw the ruby but then realizes that Edith probably has it. Johnny then chastises Butch and tells him that Wu Ting, who had been drinking with Butch, was a cop and that he should be dealt with. Later that night, Inspector Green and Jack find Wu Ting murdered and a drawing written in his blood on the ground in front of him. After studying it for a while Jack realizes it is a human eye and says that Wu Ting was identifying his killer. Elsewhere, Edith gets a police escort to accompany her to the market but they get separated and she ends up being kidnapped by Johnny. Johnny is captivated by her beauty and keeps his girlfriend Mora from injuring Edith, then sends Butch to have a money broker they know come buy his place in order to fence the diamonds. When Jack and Inspector Green learn of Edith’s disappearance, they realize that Johnny probably kidnapped her and try to find her. Jack is at the bazaar and sees Butch talking to the fence and has both of them brought to the station. Jack then tries to get information from Butch, all while disguising himself to look like him. Meanwhile, Mora is upset with Edith, thinking she is trying to steal Johnny from her, and as Mora tries to attack her, Johnny steps in and kicks her out of the room, then tells Edith he plans on taking her with him. Jack, now disguised as Butch, heads to the bar that Butch runs and encounters Mora, who complains to Jack/Butch about Johnny’s mistreatment of her when she tried to kill Edith. Jack/Butch heads to Johnny’s hideout and when Johnny asks why it took so long, Jack/Butch tells him the truth about Butch and the fence being picked up by the police. When the fence arrives, Johnny takes him into a room to meet privately and Mora tells Jack/Butch that Johnny plans on double crossing him but if he kills Johnny, then she can be his woman. Johnny enters the room and tells Jack/Butch to kill the fence as he leaves and get the ruby back. Jack waits downstairs but instead of killing the fence, he knocks him out, then grabs the ruby and as the fence regains consciousness, tells him to play dead or Johnny will really kill him. Jack/Butch returns upstairs and Johnny grabs the ruby from him, as well as his knife as he doesn’t trust him. Johnny goes back into the other room to collect all of the money and while there, Mora tells him that the Butch outside is a fake. Meanwhile, Jack/Butch goes into the room with Edith and tells her he is really Jack and they try to escape. Johnny sees them and uses a rope to try and strangle Jack but Edith attacks him, causing his grip to slip. Mora starts fighting Edith while Jack fights with Johnny and as they are fighting, the police show up and kill Johnny’s henchmen that try to kill Jack. As Edith hugs Jack, Inspector Green congratulates Jack and has Johnny and Mora taken away while Jack and Edith share a kiss.

This was a little confusing  but a decent little thriller. Lon Chaney Jr. was pretty good in his dual roles of Jack and Butch, while Manuel Lopez (Johnny), Shelia Terry (Edith), and Zarah Tazil (Mora) were also good in their roles. The story was pretty basic, but it got a little over-complicated at times which made things a little confusing but did do a good job of tying things up at the end. I don’t know if it was the copy used in this set or the way the film was originally shot but even for a black and white movie, the lighting kept going in and out on it being too dark to see at times. A short little movie that might not be what everyone is in the mood for.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

Standard
crime, drama, movie, movie review

July 10th, 2017 Movie – Scarface (1983)

scarface 1983

Every time I see one of those lists, “Movies Every Guy Should Watch”, some movies will be added while others removed but overall, there are a core group of about 25 movies that tend to always be on there. Today’s movie is one of those that always seems to be on those types of lists. Now I have seen today’s movie in it’s entirety, but never all in one sitting. Instead, it was always me channel flipping and catching part of the movie and sitting down to watch it from where I found it. To be honest, I never even thought of buying it until I was wandering around Blockbuster as they were closing up shop and saw it on sale. So let’s see if this movie is worthy of all the hype as I watch Scarface (1983).

The plot: In 1980, Fidel Castro opened the Mariel Harbor in order to allow some of the citizens of Cuba to rejoin their relatives in the US but also sent several thousand prisoners on the boats as well. Antonio “Tony” Montana, his friend Manny Ribera, and their associates Chi-Chi and Angel all come over on the boats and are sent to the refugee camp known as “Freedom Town”. After being there for a while, Manny tells Tony that he has a friend in Miami who has offered them green cards and a way out of there but the price is to kill a former Cuban official who is arriving on the next boat. Tony agrees and during a riot at the camp, Tony stabs the man. Tony and his friends are given their green cards and end up working in the kitchen as dishwashers and cooks but Tony grows resentful and wants to know when Manny’s friend is going to come through for them. After a few days, Tony and Manny meet with Omar Suarez, who works for local drug kingpin Frank Lopez, and Omar offers them a job but when Tony argues about the pay being too low and he deserves a higher paying job, Omar gives them a new assignment; meeting with some Columbians and purchasing some cocaine off of them. Tony, Manny, Angel, and Chi-Chi head to the deal and when they arrive there, Tony tells Manny and Chi-Chi to wait in the car with the money and if he isn’t back in 15 minutes, it means something went wrong. Tony and Angel head inside the apartment for the meeting but it ends up going bad and they are captured by the Columbians. Angel is handcuffed in the shower and the drug dealer begins to dismember him with a chain saw, then prepares to do the same to Tony. Manny and Chi-Chi, having waited 15 minutes, head to the apartment and manage to rescue Tony, though Manny is shot in the process. After killing the main drug dealer and grabbing the drugs, Tony calls Omar to tell him what happened, then he and Manny deliver the drugs to Frank themselves. As Frank thanks them for their service and offers them positions in his organization, then takes them to dinner at a fancy club. As they get ready to eat, Tony is introduced to Frank’s girlfriend Elvira Hancock and he becomes infatuated with her. As time passes, Tony continues to flirt with Elvira, even attempting to buy a new car to impress her. Tony then goes to see his mother and sister Gina, who had come to America years ago, but his mother doesn’t like his illegal activities and throws him out of her house. As Gina says goodbye to Tony, Manny becomes attracted to her but Tony gets angry and warns him to stay away from her. Frank sends Omar and Tony to Bolivia to Alejandro Sosa to work out a deal but when Tony starts brokering a deal without Frank’s approval, Omar gets mad at him and the two start arguing while Sosa is on the phone. When Sosa says that Omar should go speak with Frank and offers to fly him to Miami, but pulls Tony aside to talk to him. He tells Tony that Omar was a police informant who had already put some people away, then hands Tony some binoculars so he can watch a beaten Omar being hung from Sosa’s helicopter. Tony agrees to a deal with Sosa, with Sosa warning him, “Don’t ever fuck me”, but when Tony returns to Miami, Frank is pissed off about Omar’s death and Tony making the deal without approving it with him. Tony decides to go into business for himself and Frank warns him about which type of people survive in their line of work. Tony goes to see Elvira and makes a proposal to her but when she asks about Frank, he tells her that he won’t last long. Tony heads to the dance club and sees Gina dancing there with some guy but Manny tells him to let them dance. The two are approached by Mel Bernstein, a police narcotics officer, who tells Tony that he expects a monthly payoff in order to turn a blind eye to their activities. Tony then sees Elvira and asks if she considered his proposal but before she can say anything, Frank shows up and warns Tony to stay away from her, then they leave. As Manny and Tony talk, with Tony voicing his suspicions that Frank sent Mel after them, Tony notices Gina leaving with the guy and when he grabs her ass, Tony follows them. He finds them in the bathroom, with Gina having done some cocaine, and Tony throws the guy out of there and yells at Gina and ends up slapping her before telling Manny to take her home. As they are driving, Manny tries to explain Tony’s actions as just his looking after his kid sister and wanting someone better for her and Gina asks about him, as she knows Manny is attracted to her. Meanwhile, back at the club, two hitmen try to kill Tony but he manages to survive and kills them. Knowing Frank sent the hitmen, Tony calls Manny and Chi-Chi and they head to Frank’s office and, at gunpoint, force Frank to admit to ordering the hit before Tony has Manny shoot Frank, then he shoots Mel. Tony proceeds to take over Frank’s business, marries Elvira, and moves into a lavish mansion. As time passes, he starts becoming paranoid due to his using his own cocaine and starts pushing Manny and Elvira away. When Tony’s money launderer wants to charge him more money for the job, Tony decides to find another launderer but ends up being busted in a sting operation. His lawyer is able to get him off of the charges but says that the Feds will come back with tax evasion charges, resulting in 3-5 years in prison. Tony goes to see Sosa, who says he can help Tony get out of doing jail time but in exchange, he has to go to New York and kill a journalist who is trying to expose Sosa him. When he gets back to Miami, Tony tells Manny and Elvira that he is going to New York, but then blames Manny for his being arrested while also blaming Elvira’s drug use for her being infertile, causing a massive scene at the restaurant they were in. Tony and two of his men head to New York with Sosa’s man, who plants a bomb under the reporter’s car. The next day, they are preparing to blow up the car but when Tony sees that the reporter has his wife and kids in the car with him, Tony refuses to kill him with his family and ends up killing Sosa’s man when he tries to go ahead with the deal. Tony calls Manny to check on things but learns that Manny isn’t there and that his mother has called saying Gina is missing. When Tony gets back to Miami, he immediately dumps out a mound of cocaine on his desk and snorts it, then talks with his mother and tells her he will stop by later that night. Sosa calls and is upset that the reporter lived but his brother had died and tells Tony he warned him what would happen if he screwed him before hanging up. Tony goes to see his mom and finds out that some man had been hanging around Gina and giving her money and she blames him for leading Gina astray. Tony goes to Manny’s house and he answers the door in a robe but when Tony sees Gina at the top of the stairs putting on a robe, he shoots Manny twice. Gina screams and runs towards Manny and cradles him as he dies, then tells Tony that they were married the day before and wanted to surprise him. Tony’s men grab him and Gina and take them back to Tony’s house but as they enter the gate, a group of Sosa’s assassins head towards the side wall and cut the security feed, then climb the wall onto the grounds. The assassins begin taking out Tony’s guards while inside, Tony starts doing some more cocaine before he is confronted by Gina. Gina says Tony just wanted her for herself and starts shooting at him, hitting him in the knee. As he tries to take cover behind his chair, one of the assassins scales the balcony and starts shooting into the room, killing Gina. Tony kills the assassin and as one of his men sees more assassins on the grounds, he yell to Tony that they have to leave. The assassins kill the rest of Tony’s men, including Chi-Chi, but Tony sees them gathering at the door and, grabbing a modified AR-15 with a grenade launcher attached to it, fires a grenade at the door, killing several of the men and then shooting the survivors. Tony begins attacking the assassins, though he is shot several times in the process and as he taunts the killers, the assassins’ leader, who had climbed up the rope on the balcony, sneaks up behind Tony and fatally shoots him with a shotgun, causing Tony to fall off the stairwell and into a fountain below.

Scarface (1983) met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Director Brian De Palma and star Al Pacino take it to the limit in this stylized, ultra-violent and eminently quotable gangster epic that walks a thin white line between moral drama and celebratory excess.” When director Brian De Palma submitted the film for a rating, the MPAA gave it an X, as well as the two recuts that De Palma submitted. When De Palma refused to make anymore cuts, he arranged a meeting with the MPAA and brought a panel of experts, including real narcotics officers, who said that it was ultimately an anti-drug movie and should be widely seen. The MPAA finally gave the third version an R rating but De Palma released the original version instead and didn’t admit to what he had done until after it was released on video months later. The movie was a mild box office success, earning $65.9 million off of a $25 million budget.

So I will admit that while I do think this is Pacino’s best role, this is not the best movie that he was in. Still, this is a classic movie and one that is worth seeing, though you might not be comfortable with some of the violence. Al Pacino was fantastic as Tony Montana, while Michelle Pfeiffer (Elvira), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Gina), Steven Bauer (Manny), and Robert Loggia (Frank) all turned in good performances as well. The story honestly seemed a little over the top at times but according to the narcotics officer that De Palma had speak about the film, it is a fairly accurate portrayal of what occurs in the drug underworld. That just makes it seem even more ridiculous because, to quote Greg Graffin of Bad Religion, “Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.” The special effects in the movie were pretty graphic, and as over the top as the final scene was, they were fairly realistic. A violent, sometimes offensive, and dark movie but one that everyone should watch at least once.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Standard
animation, crime, drama, movie, movie review, sci-fi

July 7th, 2017 Movie – A Scanner Darkly

a scanner darkly

It’s been a while since I have seen a movie based on a Philip K. Dick story. Given my love for sci-fi, and his prominence as a sci-fi author, I am actually surprised that I only have 2 movies based on his stories. Now today’s movie was one that interested me due to it’s nature, more so than it’s story. The animation technique for this movie intrigued me but unfortunately, I did not get around to seeing this in theaters due to personal reasons so I bought it when it came out on DVD. Now let’s get right into today’s movie, A Scanner Darkly.

The plot: Charles Freck is hallucinating that bugs are crawling all over him and his dog and he can’t get rid of them by showering or spraying insecticide all over himself. Not knowing what else to do, he calls James Barris, who tells him to put some in a jar and tells him where they can meet up. Meanwhile, a meeting is held at the Brown Bear Lodge and the host is discussing the Substance D epidemic, which has 20% of the population addicted to it. He introduces an undercover officer code-named Fred, who is wearing a scramble suit so that nobody there can know what he really looks like. Fred gets up to speak and talks about how the military is attacking countries where the organic component of Substance D, a blue flower, is rumored to grow, hoping to cut off the supply. He ends up rambling for a minute when he forgets his prepared speech and when someone over his suit’s radio tries helping him, he ends up just walking away. Fred heads to an abandoned building and entering a secured room, where he is able to take off the suit and reveals himself to be Robert “Bob” Arctor. After leaving the building, Bob places a call to Donna, a dealer for Substance D, and arranges to buy some D from her. Meanwhile, Freck meets up with Barris at a diner and as they are eating, they discuss New-Path and their rehab centers. The subject then turns to Donna and Barris talks about how Bob talks about sleeping with her but doesn’t really. The subject of her being a coke addict comes up and Barris tells Freck that he knows how to get cocaine for $3, which leads to them heading to a store and buying a spray can, then heading back to the house Barris shares with Bob and Ernie Luckman, where he tells Freck how he will make the cocaine. Freck starts to feel bad about trying to hook up with Donna under Bob’s nose but Barris tells Freck that there are things about Bob he doesn’t know. At the same time, Bob, inside the scramble suit, is talking to his superior agent Hank, who is also wearing a scramble suit. Bob/Fred tells Hank that he is steadily buying more quantities of D from Donna in the hopes she will soon lead him to her supplier. When Hank asks about Barris, Luckman, Freck, and Bob, Bob/Fred says nothing new to report but Hank says they got a tip from an informant about Bob and that they want Fred to step up surveillance on him. Later, Bob goes in for some psychological testing to see how he is doing and if he is becoming addicted to Substance D and Bob think this is because of the speech. After finishing his test, Bob/Fred heads to Hank’s office and is introduced to his informant, which turns out to be Barris. Barris tells them that he believes that Bob is part of a terrorist organization and Hank and Fred say they will keep a close eye on Bob. That night, Barris is attempting to make a homemade silencer and when he tries it out, it ends up waking Bob and causes him to remember his family and wonder how he got there. The next day, Bob, Barris, and Luckman are going to San Diego when their car breaks down and they are forced to pull over. As they get Bob’s car towed back to his house, Luckman gets paranoid that someone did this deliberately and could be stealing their stuff from the house but Barris says he left a device that would record anyone entering the front door. Bob gets upset, as the trip was intended to get everyone out of the house so that Hank could have scanner’s installed, and when he questions Barris more, he can’t figure out of Barris actually did what he said. When they get back to the house, they find evidence that someone had been there recently and Barris and Luckman’s paranoia increases but it turns out to only be Donna, who had fallen asleep while waiting for them. At headquarters, Hank shows Fred the monitoring system and tells him how he can switch out the scanners if need be and he can edit himself out, but tells him not to edit himself out all the time as they will be able to figure out who he really is, as Hank knows he is someone in the house. The next day, Bob starts suffering the effects of Substance D as he sees Barris and Luckman as cockroaches. As Bob watches the video of the house, he sees himself accidentally letting slip that he is a NARC but then pass it off as him being messed up on drugs. He also sees Luckman almost choke to death and Barris doing nothing to help him and when it seems like he is dead, Barris calls 911 but Luckman finally coughs up what he was choking on so Barris hangs up. Elsewhere, Freck decides to commit suicide by taking a bunch of sleeping pills all at once, but his death is merely an alien reading a list of all his sins for eternity. Bob runs into Donna, who takes him back to her place for the D that he asked for. While there, Bob attempts to kiss her but she pushes him away, claiming she doesn’t like being touched after doing coke, and Bob gets upset and leaves, despite Donna’s apologizing to him. Bob ends up hooking up with a girl named Connie but when he wakes up in the morning, he thinks it is Donna at first and freaks out. At headquarters, Bob is made to do some more tests to see if he is suffering the effects of Substance D and he ends up thinking of Fred and Bob as two separate people and worries that they will set up Bob. Later, Bob/Fred goes to Hank’s office, where Barris is there with a supposed tape of Bob and Donna discussing terrorist plots and weapons purchases, but Hank knows the tape is fake and has Barris arrested. Hank then discusses Bob’s addiction to Substance D, and that Hank knows that Fred is really Bob. After Bob leaves, Hank heads into a room to take off his own scramble suit, revealing that he is actually Donna. Donna then takes Bob to a New Path recovery center for help, where Bob sees that Freck is a patient there as well. As Bob goes through his treatment, he is transferred to one of New Path’s farms for his rehab work. When he gets there, he is told that his name is Bruce and he will be staying there for a while and Bob, whose brain is barely functioning, simply repeats back what he is told. Back in the city, Donna meets with her superior, Mike, where they discuss their suspicions that New Path is actually the supplier of the organic component of Substance D and Donna is upset at the fact that they sacrificed Bob by not telling him that his real job was to get so addicted and burnt out on Substance D that New Path would take him to the farm. Back at the farm, Bob is working in some rows of corn when he sees the blue flowers growing in between the corn stalks. When the owner of the farm and the foreman tell Bob to get back to work, Bob starts to remember some aspects of his past life and grabs one of the flowers and hides it in his shoe, planning to give it to the authorities over his Thanksgiving break, though it is unclear if he will remember back then.

A Scanner Darkly met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a 69% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that it is, “A faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel, A Scanner Darkly takes the viewer on a visual and mind-blowing journey into the author’s conception of a drug-addled and politically unstable world.” The film was animated using rotoscoping, which involved animators tracing over the original footage frame by frame, a process which, according to director Richard Linklater, took 18 months though the actual filming only took 23 days. Grossing $7.7 million at the box office, A Scanner Darkly is the highest grossing rotoscoped animated feature but unfortunately, it was also a failure as it didn’t earn back the $8.7 million budget.

This can be a little confusing at times but it is a fantastic movie to watch. The acting was really good, with Keanu Reeves (Bob), Winona Ryder (Donna), and Robert Downey Jr. (Barris) all doing great jobs. Woody Harrelson ((Luckman) and Rory Cochrane (Freck) were also good but felt a little more like they were just there for comedic relief. I honestly have never read the story it was based on but the plot was pretty good. The animation was really good and very life-like, which made sense given the style employed. The only thing that did bother me with the animation is that it did kinda of hurt my eyes a little at times, mainly the times where they were using scramble suits, but other than that, I couldn’t really find any faults. A great movie that honestly has me ready to go to the library to check out the book.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

Standard