Director Eli Craig returns to bring us another horror-comedy with Little Evil. Adam Scott heads the cast as Gary. He is recently married to Samantha and thrown into the stepfather role. There is one major hiccup. His stepson is the literal Antichrist.
Zombieland and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil are both amazing films that enriched the genre. Craig set the bar unbelievably high with his previous works and attempts to recapture the magic. Little Evil is an adequate film that never achieves greatness. Adam Scott plays his typical role, which isn’t a bad thing. He provides a likeable protagonist. However, the real star of the film is Bridget Everett in her role as Al. She is a rough around the edges “stepdad”. She is entertaining to watch. We have all known an “Al” before is entertaining to watch. We have all known an "he magic. Littlescript he was given. ee with little motivation. . Her comedic timing is rather good. She has a few missteps but ultimately steals the show.
Little Evil follows the typical horror formula a little too closely. It is full of tropes; so much so that it almost fails at being a parody and ends up being another entry into the genre it was attempting to spoof.
The film’s biggest failure is that it is rather forgettable. It is not bad enough to make jokes about but not good enough to recommend. If you are in the mood for a fun ride then I would recommend. Just don’t expect anything more
5.0 out of 10
The Death Note anime has its problems but ultimately is a triumph of story telling. It is the go to anime when introducing a newcomer to the genre. For years fans have claimed that it was the perfect show to translate into a western live-action TV show. I was overjoyed when I heard Netflix took up the challenge. I grew more worried when I found out it was going to be a film, but still excited.
I try to judge every film on it’s own merits. The cries of fanboys did not deter me from watching this film. I quickly dismissed them as unfair criticisms and set down afresh to enjoy.
Death Note tells the story of Light Turner, an angsty teen who finds a magical notebook that can kill anyone by simply writing their name and picturing their face. What ensues is a game of cat and mouse between Light and an eccentric detective who goes by L.
Lets start with the good. Unfortunately there isn’t much. William Dafoe is brilliant as the god of death Ryuk. His character design is wonderful and Dafoe’s voice brings the character to life. The character is creepy and yet likable but criminally underused. Ryuk is in a handful of scenes and amounts to nothing more than a prop. This may have been too budget constraints, but I would have settled to hear is voice over work while Ryuk is off screen.
Lakeith Stanfield is also a surprise. Although his portrayal of L is different from the anime it is still one of the best parts of the movie. It is obvious that Lakeith is trying. He just isn’t given the material to work with. His performance is full of emotion in a movie that is devoid of it.
There. I tried. I found some good parts hidden in this abomination of a film. Death Note not only fails at being an anime adaptation, but also fails as a competent film. One of the biggest problems with Death Note is the pacing. The films moves with breakneck ferocity and clumsily stumbles through a plot. The rise of Light to “Lord Kira” happens so quickly that you are left confused. The entire growth of the character happens within a montage. Infact, there is not emotional attachment to any of these characters. I didn’t feel any more or less connected to any of them by the time the closing credits rolled. The entire film was a pointless documentation of emo teenagers on a killing spree with little motivation.
The worst part of the film is Nat Wolff’s portrayal of Light Turner. He is insufferable in every scene. I am unable to tell if it is due to his acting abilities or the poor script he was given. The character is full of clichés. He could easily be replaced with any character from a 90’s teen horror film. The attempt to make the character edgy fails miserably.
Death Note still has potential as a live-action TV show but this movie is not the route to go. Netflix’s version of Death Note is the just like the anime, minus everything that made it great. Unfortunately we are left with another tone-deaf adaptation that completely misses the point.
3.0 out of 10
Wonder Woman has been hailed as the saving grace of the DCEU. As someone who loves Batman V Superman, I was worried the statement was code for “It’s light and jokey like Marvel”. Wonder Woman is a fish out of water story in which we watch Diana Prince navigate through World War One.
Wonder Woman, like most films, has its highs and its lows. The beginning of the film is a bit corny but still enjoyable. The director, Patty Jenkins, does something visually interesting. She makes the island colorful but the “Real World” still fits in with the larger DC universe. The first major action scene is interesting and visually appealing but the first act still struggles. It is obvious that DC is chasing Marvel. The humor may be welcome for most, but it took me out of the film. There is a cringe worthy dick joke early in the film that sets the tone. The film continues to add humor as Diana tries to figure out WW1 era London. I was quickly losing hope in the film.
The second act is where the film picks up and humor is lightened. It is a welcome change that fits better within the DCEU. The second major action scene is wonderful. It made me lean forward and rescued the film. The characters are fleshed out and we finally get to see Wonder Woman rather than Gal Gadot. The second and third act are very similar and does not let up. The end of the film is like ALL comic book films. CGI characters class in a large-scale battle. It is not great but not any worse than any final fight in DC or Marvel.
One of my biggest complaints of the movie are the villains. They remind me of Marvel villains. They are overacted and campy. The cartoon-like characterizations are a bit off. However, Gal Gadot is phenomenal. She is strong while remaining feminine. This was the biggest surprise for me. I am not a fan of the strong woman archetype when the characters are written merely as men with longer hair. Diana Prince feels like a strong woman. She is vulnerable and yet brave. I find this version of a strong female very interesting. I love that it celebrates feminity without making her masculine. The writers get my respect for weaving this story.
Wonder Woman is not the best DCEU film but it is still enjoyable. I already know that the average movie goer will enjoy this more than most of the DCEU. It is lighter and more digestible. I would like to see DC continue with the Snyder tone but I know that DC will most likely lighten. Wonder Woman is a slightly above average comic book movie that is worth your time.