August 30th, 2021

Only 3 Episodes?!

I just got word that apparently Yoru no Kuni is only going to have three episodes tops, with the next one in September being the last one. WHAT?! Why?! This short anime is great! It deserves way more episodes than just three! I thought it was going to be 11-13 episodes at most! Why three?! Maybe there's behind the scenes stuff that's preventing the creators from doing more? Or a lack of budget? Or maybe this was how they wanted it. It sucks that it's going to only have three episodes, because Yoru no Kuni is honestly one of the best anime to come out in 2021. Eh, complaining won't change much, so I guess I better accept it.

So expect a review of the short series come September.
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Mini Movie Reviews 2

Love Thy Neighbor - 7.5/10. This was fine. I remember watching this years ago, and liked it back then. I still do now, though some subplots it throws in feel really contrived and pointless. Eh, it's nothing special, but it's still better than most old Lifetime movies I've seen.

Boyz n the Hood - 5.5/10. I wanted to like this more than I did. This would have been a great movie if it weren't for the gratuitous sex scenes and the characters constantly dropping F-bombs every two seconds. Plus, I only really liked three characters in this movie, nobody else, as the rest of them acted like complete idiots. Uh, hello?! Does it NOT occur to some people to call 911 when they see somebody get shot?! Eh, at least the soundtrack and commentary on gentrification was good.

United 93 (Film) and Flight 93 (TV movie) - 6/10 and 7/10. I thought I saw the latter, but it turns out I saw the former instead. Both were okay tributes to the people who died in the titular airplane on September 11th, though, ironically, I think the TV movie portrayed the subject better. It made more of an effort to make things feel more personal, and I actually knew who the characters were, whereas the former seemed to focus too much on the technical aspects and the command center scenes.

Cinderella (Disney 1950 animated version) - 7.5/10. This was okay. Not the best Disney movie ever, as the supporting cast hijacks the movie a lot and the prince is given next to no personality or development, but it does its job. Not sure if I prefer it over the 2015 version, as while that one remedied a lot of the issues I mentioned, it also had plenty of problems of its own (Like making Cinderella more passive and stupid even though she's touted as strong and independent when she isn't). Eh, I'd call it average, but it at the very least tries. Still think Ever After is a better Cinderella movie though.

Stranger by the Shore (Umibe no Etranger) - 8/10. Now this was a really cute, wholesome romance anime! Two guys meet and fall in love, but one of them has to deal with their own internalized homophobia as a result of his coming out going horribly. It's beautifully animated, I found the characters' chemistry and conflict to be well done, and it actually avoids a lot of the pitfalls and cliches that most BL/yaoi anime tend to indulge in. I'm also glad they chose not to adapt one scene from the manga that I felt was really unnecessary. Though...knowing how the sequel manga turns out, I can't really recommend it wholeheartedly, but on its own, it's a nice little treat.

***

1, 2, 3, All Eyes On Me - 3/10. Man, this short film was just BAAAD. I would have rated this so much higher if the short didn't seem intent on breaking absolutely every cardinal rule when it came to dealing with a school shooting! Seriously, I've seen Lifetime movies deal with the subject with less idiocy than this did!

Bonnie and Clyde - 6.5/10. Eh, this was okay, but I didn't really connect with it. I didn't find the characters to be all that interesting, but the premise was okay, for the most part. Definitely liked the ending and the soundtrack being nothing but banjo music, even if it made some scenes come across as being really cheesy as a result. Also, Blanche was little more than a screaming harpy who was useless the whole time, and I really don't blame her real life counterpart for not liking her portrayal here.

Fine China - 8.5/10. Now this was one of the better short films I've seen! A low key musical about grief over the loss of a loved one. Definitely like the direction taken here, from the choreography to the fact that the setting is limited to only one location. Everything is done with purpose here, though I'm not quite sure what the deal is with the white face makeup.

The Ransom of Red Chief (1975 version) - 7.5/10. This was a good one. The cast was fairly good, and the premise made for good slapstick comedy. It helped that it was only half an hour long and didn't drag itself out longer than necessary. My only issue was that the video quality wasn't very good, but I can't be too mad at that, since this is an old short film and it probably never got a proper remaster. It's fine for what it is.

Queen Christina - 8.5/10. Also a lot better than I expected. It was surprisingly subdued for a movie of this genre and caliber, and the acting didn't come off as overblown or cheesy like some movies of this era tend to be. I actually felt somewhat invested in Christina and Antonio's relationship, though apparently the movie takes a lot of liberties in regards to historical facts about the actual Queen Christina. But even with that knowledge, I found this to be very enjoyable.

Titanic - 8/10. Kinda surprised I never rated this despite having seen it before. But yeah, I can see why this movie is so revered. I don't think it's the best movie ever, but it does have a lot going for it. I liked the romance between Rose and Jack, the movie made great use of the setting, and despite several artistic liberties, it's pretty clear the producers did a lot of research that went into making the setting feel authentic and lived in. My only complaints about it are that the 1912 dialogue felt too modern at times and that Cal is just another cartoony bad guy. But this is still better than all the animated rip-offs that came after it.

***

The Final - 1/10. Dear lord, this movie was just bad. A nonsensical, overly edgy plot, deplorable characters, idiotic writing decisions all around, and is straight up torture porn. Also, what the hell is Lindsay Seidel doing here?! Was this where she got her start?! It's a good thing she eventually moved on to dubbing anime, because she deserves way better than to be involved with this trash heap!

The Prisoner of Zenda (1952 version) - 8/10. This was pretty good, all things considered. I liked Rassendyl as a character, the story was intriguing, and I appreciate that the movie didn't go for the typical happily ever after ending by not letting the main guy get the girl at the end. But many of the characters were hard to follow and I could barely remember who was who most of the time.

Hotel Rwanda - 6.5/10. This movie was just okay. This feels like Schindler's List if it was about the Rwandan genocide, which isn't a bad thing, and it is based on actual events, namely that of Paul Rusesabagina helping Hutu and Tutsi refugees by safeguarding them in his hotel. I honestly would have rated this movie a lot higher...but after finding out the real life person the MC is based on turned out to actually be a criminal and terrorist who extorted the refugees he helped, among other crimes, I can't rate this high in good faith.