Benz Eye View: Goosebumps

Goosebumps
Goosebumps

Pros:

There are some pretty creative/old-time monsters in this movie.  For Goosebumps fans, it is nice to see their favorite monsters (if briefly for most).

The villain, Slappy is probably the most interesting character of the entire movie since he kind of reminds me of a somewhat child-friendly version of the Joker (ironically, he is played by Jack Black).

Cons:

This movie is not scary.  You may argue that it is scary for children, well I was in theaters with children, and not one of them is scared.

Jack Black as R.L. Stine?  He seems to be playing a typical anonymous paranoid character.

Yeah, I am not buying it.
Yeah, I am not buying it.

Not the worst I have ever seen, but the dialogue and acting need a little more work.  It may also be the writing that is at fault, but I say the two former ones are worse.

Overall:

Goosebumps is based on a children’s book series of the same name made by the real R.L. Stine (his picture is above), which I never read any of them (but I have seen a few episodes of the Goosebumps show).  When I first saw the trailers, I thought this movie was going to suck.  Now that I watched it, the movie is not that bad.  There are still some problems with it (i.e. pretty forgettable characters, some lame jokes, and poor horror), but I did like some of the few things they had (i.e. Jack Black despite not buying into his R.L. Stine role).  I recommend this to everyone (especially Goosebumps fans I hope) if you have nothing else to watch. If you are looking for a good comedy-horror movie, skip this one as the comedy is a bit weak and the horror is not frightening except with a few lame jump scares.

6/10

Benz Eye View: Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies
Bridge of Spies

Pros:

Fantastic story and writing.  It is amazing how Steven Spielberg manages to get every point on how to create a visual story, and make it interesting and well done.

Speaking of Steven Spielberg, his work is still great, because the directing is amazing in this film.  Of course it is, because this is Steven Spielberg: one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.

There are some very clever cinematography here.  I am not going to give away much about it, but any cinematographers may agree with me that this is one of many things that shine in this film.

Cons:

Many may argue that this film is a bit too long.  Some people may not like that, but to me, it is understandable why they would do that.  A few scenes may not be needed here or there, but that does not detract the film to me.

It feels like that there are two stories that are plugged in this film.  I am not going to spoil what they are, but it is a bit odd that the film has that.  Both stories are really good and have a point, but it should be worth noting.

Overall:

Steven Spielberg still got it, because his next film is amazing.  It also helps that two of the three writers are the Coen Brothers.  Based off the 1960 U-2 Incident, this film is about a lawyer named James B. Donovan on a case with Rudolf Abel, who is accused of being of Soviet spy.  I am not sure about the accuracy of the actual events, but this film is certainly one of the best films I seen this year (next to Inside Out).  If there is anything you want to see this weekend, I highly recommend this film over Goosebumps (which I assume it sucks, but I will save that when I may see it one day).  It is clever, well-directed, intelligent, and carefully done.  It may be a bit slow, but that did not stop me from loving this film.

10/10

Benz Eye View: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

You read it right, folks.  I am going to review a video game!  Yay!

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Pros:

The graphics (particularly, the FOX Engine) are beautiful.  The characters and environments look so life-like, it is amazing.  There are a few cracks here and there, but not enough to detract the gorgeous-looking world of Mother Base, Afghanistan, and Africa.

The gameplay is amazing as well.  There are numerous ways to complete missions like sneaking your way into the base, or fight your way into it.  You have numerous amounts of buddies (characters you like to bring into the field with you), guns, items, etc. to assist in these missions.  I barely use many the options I have, and I still want to experiment how to beat a mission.

Metal Gear Online is awesome.  It may a few maps and modes, but I did enjoy what I have.  Bounty Hunter is a typical team deathmatch, but you can fulton enemy members in order to keep your side’s team tickets increasingly better than your enemy’s.  Cloak and Dagger has one side trying to steal the other side’s data discs (this one is my favorite).  Comm Control has one side trying to download intel while the other side tries to stop them.  They are both fun as long as you have competent teammates (who can ruin the fun if they are not).

Cons:

While there are many great parts, the story feels incomplete.  There are many plot lines that are never resolved, making certain parts of the story confusing, especially when you link them to the rest of the Metal Gear Solid games.  In fact, I heard that one story-heavy mission and a third chapter was not included in the actual game (may end up as DLC, but highly unlikely due to Konami and Hideo Kojima’s current relationship).  In fact, the ending may end giving a very divisive reaction as it has a pretty good twist, but it is also a bit insulting and confusing.

There is so much to do in this game that it is probably too much.  The biggest thing to do is the side ops (or side missions), and there are so many of them.  However, it becomes repetitive when side ops are similar to the others.  Basically, the side ops can be kill a group of soldiers, capture a high-level soldier, save prisoners, destroy tank units, etc.  It gets a bit annoying when you need them to level up your character and Mother Base.

Speaking of Mother Base, it is your home base that you frequently go to for rest and relaxation.  Another function is to keep the soldiers’ morale in check.  However, there is nothing much to do in there.  It feel empty despite a few soldiers patrolling here or there.  You will eventually find another way to keep the soldier’s morale up without visiting Mother Base, so there is really not much point visiting anymore.

Overall:

Metal Gear Solid is my all-time favorite video game series (although, my favorite video game of all time is Star Fox 64).  I started becoming a fan of the series when I played Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes on Nintendo Gamecube when Blockbuster was still popular.  Unable to play the games due to various reasons, I watch MGS2 to MGS4 online in order to follow the story since it is one of the biggest reasons why the series interests me.  It wasn’t until I own a PS3 and when Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection was released did I finally get to play the rest of the series myself (with the exception of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops since I do not own a PSP).  When Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was released, I was excited to play, but I was disappointed on how short it is.  Now, we have Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain; the game that fans have been waiting for in a long time…and it is amazing.  Hideo Kojima and his team (Kojima Productions) deserve all the credit in making this game.  I have spent a month playing this game, and it is one of the best games I have ever played.  The gameplay is great (although, there are a couple of things that do bother me about it), the story is well done (if not exactly my favorite of the Metal Gear franchise), and the graphics are beautiful (though I have seen some things that do need work in my PS4 copy).  I hope Hideo Koijma is proud of his work despite no longer working with Konami.  There are some flaws that are enough to not make this game a 10/10, but with all that it has, it is still remarkable that they managed to do all of this.  I hope Hideo Kojima does well, and I cannot tell you how much I recommend this game to anyone, especially to Metal Gear fans.

9/10

Well, this is fun.  What do you think of this video game review?  If you like it, let me know.  I do have an idea for another video game review.  Keep in mind of one thing, if I am going to do video game reviews, do not expect too much of it like my movie reviews.  I cannot afford many video games at this moment, they take much more time than movies, and I do have things to do in my life right now.  However, I am still willing.  I hope you enjoy my first attempt at reviewing a video game.  Thank you.

Benz Eye View: Pan

Pan
Pan

Pros:

The music is pretty cool, I guess.

All the actors did fine in their roles.  The main child actor, Levi Miller has plenty of potential in acting due to his role as Peter Pan…

Cons:

…Although, this movie is not going to make him look good, because the writing is bad.  Plenty of plot holes, ridiculous moments, and one plot line that I like to see how it ends is a sequel-bait.

The editing is awful.  Many times they make so many cuts that it results in terrible pacing issues alongside the bad writing, and the lack of establishing shots makes it confusing on where the characters are most of the time.

The CG sticks out like a sore thumb.  It feels like the actors are stuck in a video game/3-D cartoon world that they clearly do not belong.

Overall:

Peter Pan is one the most iconic tales of all time.  A boy who refuses to grow up, and seeks adventure in Never Land.  I was a bit interested on how they are going to explore Peter Pan’s origins.  What we got is a mess of a movie.  I cannot buy that this a movie about Peter Pan, although many will argue that this is just the character starting to become Peter Pan.  I would agree, but the poor writing and production do not help me agree with that argument.  I can see this movie having potential, but they unfortunately squander it.  If you want a Peter Pan movie that sticks to its roots, watch Disney’s Peter Pan.  If you want a live action version that has the soul of the Lost Boy, Hook is a good deal despite its flaws.  Watch those movies instead of this one unless you want to get the idea of chopping your hand and feeding it to the crocodile after watching Pan.

3/10