I can’t say I had high expectations for Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I’d call myself a fan of both, but it’s very rare when crossovers succeed beyond achieving a mild level of enjoyment. DC Animated fare is often hit and miss, as well, with every Batman: Under the Red Hood followed by a Son of Batman or The Killing Joke. I was curious about how Nickelodeon’s involvement would change things, and whether it’s because of them or not, I can say the film has a higher production-value and attention to detail than the average DC fare, which is usually aesthetically appealing but has limitations with certain aspects like character movement and often has trouble with how stilted or stiff characters come off. That, and the warm critical reception from critics and audiences alike helped my enthusiasm. I always intended to watch it, but I soon let myself actively become interested. Does Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles provide the cross-over fans deserve, or is it a cash-in with little to say for itself? Here are my thoughts …
Although I’ve written a lot of reviews on N-Jay Today over the span of the last five years, many films fall beneath the cracks and don’t receive my acknowledgment. This isn’t so much about them getting the shaft as it is several different things. Sometimes I watch a lot of films and, because of that, I fail at imparting my opinion before said film falls so deep in the backlog, I couldn’t imagine trying to share my thoughts on it so far after I last watched it. Recently, I’m begun preparation for several novel releases (I intend to publish six novels in 2020, for instance), and that has left a lot of films ignored.
I re-watched House of 1,000 Corpses recently and with the eventual release of “Three From Hell”, I’ve decided it is as right a time as ever to crack my knuckles and share my thoughts. There has always been a lot of naysayers when it comes to Rob Zombie and his work in the film-industry. Personally, I always stood in vague support of Rob Zombie, particularly his film The Devil’s Rejects, and even if they had their issues, I enjoyed a lot of the ideas had in his Halloween reboot series, particularly Halloween II, which I found messily intriguing, a theme for many of Zombie’s films. Does Rob Zombie’s debut directorial effort speak well of the career soon to come? Here are my thoughts …
Avengers: Infinity War checked off a lot of boxes for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Most importantly to Disney, the series’ nineteenth film became the first film in the series to make more than two billion dollars at the worldwide box-office (a feat also accomplished by our topic of discussion – Avengers: Endgame). Although it’s enormous scale may have made it difficult to offer unique, personal storylines for each of our characters, it succeeded where it mattered most – making the series’ first great supervillain. Infinity War made for a “very good” superhero film and my favorite of the Avengers series. Avengers: Endgame served as the final film in the Infinity Saga, a name given to the twenty-two-film series that started with 2008’s Iron Man and had a lot to live up to in-order to send audiences home happy.
As a devout fan of Marvel’s intertwining worlds (this marks the fifteenth film in the series I’ve seen in theaters), I was excited for Avengers 4 in a way I’m rarely excited for blockbusters any more. Does the film make proper use of the goodwill it has attained and bring the Saga to a satisfying end? Here are my thoughts …
M. Night Shyamalan is a polarizing director, oftentimes burdened by his breakout success with The Sixth Sense, a film nominated for six Academy Awards and for grossing well-over half a billion-dollars at the worldwide box office. The director is also infamous for his “twist endings,” which have garnered him scrutiny over the years. Personally, the director’s a mixed-bag in my opinion, which is something I think makes him curious to critics and moviegoers alike. Someone who can make something as competent and efficient as The Sixth Sense, then make a film as awful as The Last Airbender or The Happening, is a unique spectacle. If nothing else, his willingness to go out on a limb, writing and directing his films, many of which are based on his own original concepts, shows a creator who’s willing to reap the benefits of his success and is willing to accept the consequences if a project goes belly-up. The film Unbreakable has the misfortune of following The Sixth Sense and the heightened expectations that came with it. Does the superhero thriller rise to the occasion, or is it an unfortunate “X” on the director’s resume? Here are my thoughts ...
Stephen King is a writer I have a lot of admiration for. As a devout horror fan and horror-writer myself, I have a certain respect for any writer who shares that infatuation. In King’s case, I also respect him for ambition, range, and talent. Certain “academics” might chastise him, comparing him negatively to other mainstream writers, but I am happy to call myself a fan, with The Green Mile (a non-horror, who’d have thought?) serving as my personal favorite. Obviously, with successful books comes the intent for successful movies, and with the IT film grossing over seven-hundred million dollars, I would suspect King adaptations will continue to be all the rage (in-fact, in the time it took me to write this, a Children of the Corn trilogy has been released, they’ve remade Carrie again, and a Sleeping Beauties film has been greenlit). Although I’m sure some anticipated it more, for me, Gerald’s Game came out of nowhere. Arriving on the Netflix streaming service, Gerald’s Game brings director Mike Flanagan back to the platform. He’s a talented genre director. Oculus was decent, Hush was decent, Ouija: Origin of Evil was decent, and … Before I Wake was … well, three is enough. Does Gerald’s Game amount to another solid outing, how does it stack with other King adaptations, does it flounder in my Search for the Best Horror film or does it flourish? Here are my thoughts …
I was excited when the second season of Stranger Things was announced, especially now after the “Very Good” first season showed the quality I should expect. The laws of diminishing often apply to sequels, but I can’t say that I was very worried about The Duffer Brothers’ latest iteration. Instead, my only concern was returning to the likable cast of characters and coming back to where we left off.
The current critical consensus I’ve found from a vocal majority of horror-fans and casual-audiences is that Stranger Things 2 is a fun, but significant declination in quality from its predecessor. However, in my first viewing of the new season, when I discussed it on The Mishmash Podcast, I claimed it to be either superior or on-par with the first season. Before, I hadn’t watched both seasons back-to-back, but now that I can say I’ve done that, does my opinion still hold? Here are my thoughts …
On the aftermath of last season's The Canes Files, The Canes Awakens follows The Life and Crimes of Detective Barker and The Adventures of Vulpecula once more.The Fox Detective's "adventures" have taken an ugly turn since arriving in Urgway, and now, replacing Sanec Barker in the Marybeth Police Department, it's only likely to worsen. His search for stability could very well be what causes his own foundations to collapse. Detective Sanec Barker, on the other-hand, is in search, not of stability, but of power, looking to climb the political ranks of Urgway, and willing to do whatever it takes to do so. In doing so, he will also have to come face-to-face with the extreme prejudice plaguing all of Maharris.A story shared across twelve unique episodes, The Canes Awaken makes for a darker, more in-depth sequel.
In doing my “Search for the Best Animation and Best Animators,” I knew I would have to eventually dabble into the Toy Story franchise. In a weird way, talking about John Lasseter’s directorial debut feels overwhelming to me. I have reviewed over 200 films on Mishmashers and yet I’ve only talked about two Pixar animated films in the five years’ worth of reviews I’ve archived (those being Coco and Incredibles 2). And, as watchable as those films might have been, the amount of deeply embedded nostalgia I have with the Toy Story series is only rivaled by my infatuation with the horror series’ like A Nightmare on Elm Street I was brought up on. The difference between Toy Story and, say, A Nightmare on Elm Street, however, is in my expectations for it. Although I love the Elm Street series, I’ve never been coy about sharing my criticisms with it. I love it, but I know it isn’t without its mistakes, and sometimes there’s even a lot of them. Toy Story, on the other-hand, is simply one of the most beloved film series’ ever, and one that has had ever film receive critical-acclaim. This review commemorates the first time I’ve watched Toy Story from start to finish since the release of Toy Story 3, has the film aged like fine wine or like milk? Here are my thoughts…
Stranger Things is a science-fiction horror series that feels like it came out of scenic nowhere, created, written, and directed by the Duffer Brothers, the first season wowed audiences and the series has become one of the flag-ship programs for the Netflix streaming service. I can still remember when I first discovered the series, as a matter of fact, it was the first series I ever watched with my soon-to-be-wife. Pretty cool. The series went right along with my interests, but, for some reason, it took me much longer to watch it than it should have. The first season brings known names like Winona Ryder and David Harbour, as well as a young-cast that includes Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Natalia Dyer, and many other faces I hadn’t seen before. With everything it has going for it and all of the positive acclaim it has received from audiences and critics alike, the question to ask is whether or not it is really up to snuff or merely a product of us enjoying the nostalgic aesthetics. Here are my thoughts …
Spider-Man has had a very interesting time as far as his strides in the video-game medium are concerned. My journey playing as the web-crawler began with Spider-Man on the Original PlayStation (or on the PC, which is where I played it), a fun action-adventure I hold a lot of fond memories for. Admittedly, I haven’t played Spider-Man “2000” in over a decade, but I always regarded it as a benchmark for superhero video-games released in that time-period. (Mind you, Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, which I’ve played in the current decade was not something I’d recommend.) Not unlike the PlayStation outing, the same could be said about Spider-Man 2, the video-game adaptation of the Sam Raimi film, which I also held in very high-regard. Since then, Spider-Man has had highs and lows, highs like Spider-Man: Web of Shadow and Shattered Dimensions, and lows like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man: Edge of Time. Some of the outings weren’t horrid, so much so as they aren’t up to the standard players are looking for, especially when it has been a decade since Rocksteady set the bar so high with Batman: Arkham Asylum. Marvel’s Spider-Man brings Insomniac Games on-board, a notable and very talented team of developers that have brought us series’ like Spyro the Dragon and Ratchet & Clank. If there was ever a chance for Spider-Man to return to form and even evolve, it was with this game, which begs the question: Does it? Here are my thoughts …
- Perfect (10 outta 10)
- Great (9 outta 10)
- Very Good (8 outta 10)
- Good (7 outta 10)
- Above Average (6 outta 10)
- Decent (5 outta 10)
- Below Average (4 outta 10)
- Bad (3 outta 10)
- Very Bad (2 outta 10)
- Horrible (1 outta 10)
- Godawful (0 outta 10)