‘The Devil All the Time’ Film Review: What Was the Point of It All?

“It Wasn’t That Bad, Mama”

Have you ever invested your time into something only for you to question the reason you did it in the first place? “The Devil All the Time” is a gruesome and slow-burning film that doesn’t know how to take off.

Overview

A young man tries to protect the ones he loves in a town full of cynical characters.

A Diamond in the Rough

Arvin (Tom Holland) delivers a very solid performance so much so that he’s missed while not on screen. His casting allowed for at least one character for audiences to really root for.

Most other characters are just not great people or just aren’t very interesting.

Falling Flat

None of the “villains” in this film justify their presence. Audiences will struggle to find any antagonists that they even understand. These characters are given no motivation and practically zero backstory. They just commit horrible deeds.

The only sort of exception would be the Rev. Preston Teagardin (Robert Pattinson) and only because of the actor’s performance. Any antagonist introduced is pretty early forgotten. Admittedly most of the characters just aren’t too memorable.

Sticking to its guns

Shortly into the film, you’ll learn that no one sticks around for long. Characters drop by flies throughout the movie so much it just becomes predictable.

The creators of “The Devil All the Time” do stick to their message that evil is everywhere. In the church, the police department and, just your everyday civilians. You’re beat over the head with it so much that it gets tiresome knowing the outcome of a scene as soon as it begins.

We’re waiting…

The pacing and length alone of this film makes it a pretty difficult watch. Over an hour into the picture not many events worth mentioning even occurred.

“The Devil All the Time” spends much of the film jumping around in time. Even if you’re paying attention it wouldn’t be surprising if you end up being confused.

From time to time the narrator will jump in to give exposition and it feels overabundant. A story shouldn’t need a narrator popping in often to explain what’s happening to the viewer. However, without that exposition most would just be lost throughout.

Conclusion

What was the point of it all? That’s the question that comes to mind as I watched the credits roll. From predictable conclusions to forgettable characters this film is a mess.

Even with a superb performance from Tom Holland, not even that can save this picture. The story goes everywhere and really loses the audience. Nothing feels like it happens organically just more events occur so that the plot can continue.

Evil is everywhere and throughout you’ll see that the story was written to emphasize that. Eventually, it feels insulting because of how many times they choose to share the same message.

Finally, the movie just felt too long. The same job could’ve been accomplished in significantly less time. That also would’ve allowed for more exciting moments and maybe a more focused plot.

Verdict 4.5 out of 10 Stars

‘Cobra Kai’ (Season 1) TV Show Review: Always Strike First

“Fear does not exist in this dojo”

This is how you bring back a classic! Cobra Kai is an action-packed, comedic, well-executed drama that succeeds at most levels as a TV show.

This is a love letter to the fans of the original Karate Kid but even if you don’t have a history with this series it’s still incredibly easy to dive right into.

Overview

Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) former All Valley Karate Tournament champion was dethroned in 1984 by Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio). Now 30 years later, Lawrence has been down on his luck since his high school days.

However, that all changes when he notices his neighbor Miguel, getting bullied, and comes to his aid. After, Lawrence decides he needs to stop sulking and is inspired to bring back one of the most infamous dojos ever.

Nothing Is Black and White

This show is filled to the brim with lessons and no one is without error. Generally in a feature its quickly established who the audience should root for. We are given our “hero” and we spend the show generally watching them overcome their adversary.

What I think the story wants to tell its audience is that people can and will change. Lawerence isn’t the same man he was when he went for LaRusso’s weak spot when they were teenagers.

LaRusso isn’t the same person from before either he’s allowed that event in high school to affect the rest of his life. So much so that the audience can see how his wife has begun to be more than annoyed by it.

Invigorating Action!

For years karate has been pretty much absent from the cinema and television. So to bring it back out of nowhere while making it exciting to watch is surprising to say the least.

From time to time I found myself getting out of my seat when someone was hit. Audiences will feel engaged and the cameramen do not shy away from the action.

Why stay silent?

Easily one of the most frustrating things is that certain issues aren’t resolved for episodes at a time because a character won’t speak up. It’s needless drama and it doesn’t feel like it would happen in a real-life situation.

For most, if they are accused of something that isn’t true they’re going to have a rebuttal ready. However, throughout the show’s first season events like this occur quite a few times where someone allows others to believe a lie.

Conclusion

I for one thought the universe of The Karate Kid had been concluded years ago. However, I was wrong and I couldn’t be more happy to say that. In many ways I believe Cobra Kai has surpassed its source material.

Pure heroes and villains are something of fairy tales at the end of the day we are all just people. This is the message that the show tried to shove down your throat and it does it well!

Compliments to the camera work because action films and shows suffer when they don’t capture the battle. The Transformers series for example doesn’t capture most of the action. With so many cuts its confusing to know what exactly is going on.

Throughout the season you’ll see devastating takedowns that’ll make you jump out of your seat. The fighting really is all that you can ask for at the end of the day.

Finally, the biggest issues this show has is concerning its story. Many situations could’ve been solved at an earlier time if people would just communicate. It becomes frustration very early on and doesn’t really get better until the end.

Verdict 8 out of 10 Stars

‘The Legend of Korra’ TV Show Review: Missed Potential

“I Don’t Know What I’m Supposed To Be Doing Half The Time”

To follow up a show like Avatar: The Last Airbender with something equally as good I’d say is a very difficult task. From the characters, music, plot, and world building its simply just an amazing cartoon.

While i don’t believe The Legend of Korra had as much as a solid run as it’s predecessor the show definitely deserves its credit for what it did well.

Overview

The Legend of Korra follows the newest avatar and successor of Aang in her pursuit to bring peace to the world. Korra is a 17-year-old girl from the Southern Water Tribe who from a young age has had the ability to use three of the four elements at will.

While it seems like Avatar Aang did much to make the world a peaceful place new threats arise and its Korra’s job to not allow the planet to be further thrown out of balance.

What it gets right, it really gets right!

Surpassing the original series probably was not most fans expectation for the show. These people were just happy to dive back into the Avatar universe. From the first episode something just felt right about production.

The animation looks amazing and you can really tell during combat. It’s incredible just to see the little details in every scene.

As with the original series the score is elegant. Truly every song that is played will get me engaged even if whats happening on screen isn’t too interesting.

Missed Potential

One of the most frustrating things about this show in general is that it started off great. The first season had a great antagonist and the world building was phenomenal. While it was a bit slow I liked the pace the story chose to take.

Such a strong start also made it hard for The Legend of Korra to follow up the same level of quality throughout the series. However, the beginning doesn’t excuse some of the other seasons for being less than stellar.

One of the best antagonists in the series is followed up by possibly the worst and the show’s quality diminishes with his introduction. I believe that the incredibly high stakes are what makes this show become pretty average in a couple seasons.

Its a bit too predictable and most of the time you’ll be able to guess the outcome.

What Do We Do Now?

The cast does their job at the end of the day. I don’t believe they are the greatest group of characters ever assembled but they serve their purpose… in season one.

It felt like the writers knew what they wanted in the beginning and after that point they lost their way. Some characters are written into a wall and go nowhere for the rest of the show’s run pretty early on in the series.

It’s really unfortunate because one of the best aspects of Avatar: The Last Airbender are the characters. However, in The Legend of Korra I feel that there are many characters who just exist and lose their purpose within a couple seasons.

Conclusion

The Legend of Korra really excels with their fight scenes, music, and animation. These are some of the most important aspects of a show such as this.

I believe the show hit its peak too early and had such a huge falloff that made the series suffer. With subpar villains along with poor character development two of the four season’s quality just felt very off.

There’s so much missed potential throughout the entire show and I believe that the series was only a few steps away from greatness. Just to be clear The Legend of Korra is not a bad show it just could’ve had a better run.

Verdict 6 out of 10 Stars

‘Midsommar’ Film Review: How Long Until the Cows Come Home?

“What if I regret it later and I can’t get her back?”

When I reached the conclusion of this film and the credits rolled for the first time ever I was filled with uncertainty. I had no idea if this movie was great or if it was just your average run of the mill creepy film. What I will say is Midsommar is a movie you should watch for yourself and generate your own opinion.

Overview

A couple at the end of their rope decides to take a trip to Sweden to visit their friend’s hometown for its midsummer festival. However, as the event continues the more the vacation turns into a abhorrent nightmare.

Something Is Off

During the course of this film something just doesn’t sit well. From the opening events you’re kind of prepared for something to happen you don’t know what exactly but you have your guard up. Which is both good and bad.

A big problem that Midsommar has is that it’s a very slow burn for not enough payoff. This is a long film but admittedly I didn’t really want it to end. Even so I never felt like enough was happening to justify the length of the movie.

Something creepy would happen then a half hour would go by and another odd event would occur making me think that the main characters would try and leave.

Instead they’d shrug it off acting like nothing too bad happened. Which made it really difficult to feel bad for anyone knowing that they stayed when they could’ve at least attempted to escape.

Bad Decisions

My biggest annoyance when it comes to horror films is when the main characters make poor choices. It disconnects me from the product because most of the time one of the people who loses their life could have easily prevented it.

Get Out is one of my favorite horror movies and one of the best aspects of the film is that the protagonist wasn’t an idiot. Anyone could’ve gotten caught in the situation he found himself in. Sadly Midsommar‘s characters feel like they are begging for the worst to happen to them most of the time.

Fitting Score & Superb Camera Work

Easily two of the best aspects of this motion picture is the camera work as well as it’s soundtrack. There’s so much foreshadowing present from very early on you could spend hours trying to find everything. Not to mention the shots compliment the film in ways that could’ve been ruined with some shoddy camera work.

Sounds are incredibly important when it comes to making a good horror film and it feels like Midsommar knew exactly what to play throughout the entire course of the film.

Conclusion

I love the setting of this movie naturally its pretty creepy and I felt uneasy from beginning to end. Sadly I don’t feel like enough happened. Watching Midsommar felt like hitting a pinata but no matter how many times I hit it the candy never came out.

Characters making stupid decisions honestly did affect how I thought about the film since they could’ve all left as soon as weird events started happening. Not to mention none of the characters are too likable.

I didn’t care who lived and who died that goes for the entire cast. I believe they’re all great actors/actresses but just the way their characters were written made me not care for them.

From a technical aspect the film is pretty much perfect the camera work is amazing and the score fit incredibly well over the course of the movie.

However, at the end of the day I feel like the film was a little too long and was just not satisfying. Sitting down for a couple hours with not many exciting moments is a lot to ask for audiences and while I liked what they were going for I feel that it could’ve been executed better.

Verdict 6 out of 10 Stars

‘The Last Airbender’ Film Review: More Than a Disappointment

“You stand alone. That has always been your greatest weakness”

Have you ever seen a film that that you had close to no expectations for and you still ended up being disappointed? Avatar not only accomplishes that feat it’s also difficult to find any redeeming qualities throughout this blundering mess of a film.

Overview

The four nations of Air, Water, Earth and Fire lived peacefully until the Fire Nation declared war on the world. Even a century after their reign began, the fighting continues with no end in sight.

The being meant to keep the peace among the land is called the Avatar but he mysteriously vanished when the world needed him most. Now 100 years later a young boy is found encased in ice and learns he must master all four elements to stop the Fire Nation from bringing the world to their knees.

Clearly No One Watched the Show

From the opening moments something just feels off. The show this film is based upon is one of the most beloved cartoons of the 2000’s era and to this day the show is held in high regard.

The Last Airbender genuinely feels like no one knew what the show was about but right before they started filming someone gave them a brief description of all the characters and the plot. The actors/actresses screw up pronunciations of just about every single character in the original show.

If that were the biggest issue I think that most people could get over the mistakes this film makes but none of the characters are the same. The show Avatar: The Last Airbender knows how to balance seriousness and comedy in the best way possible.

While the film is the most serious children’s films I have ever seen. It’s difficult to find out who this movie’s audience truly is. It’s not for the fans clearly and for people who enjoy bad movies I doubt you’d even like this.

Going Through the Motions

About 70% of this film is going through the events in season 1 which most of the time just is not a great idea. That’s an abundant amount of information to cover in a less than two hour film. Many emotional beats are lost because everything feels so rushed.

Even if the film did well enough to get a sequel the movie left out key characters. If you never watched the show I couldn’t imagine how confused you’d be since the film feels like everyone skimmed a book then attempted to give a rousing presentation.

Weird Camera Work

I’ve never seen so many awful shots in a film with a decent sized budget. There are scenes that last over a minute that are just a one-shot that consists two characters just talking. Not only is it boring which is a crime in itself but also it’s such a lazy way of giving exposition.

Conclusion

Saying that The Last Airbender is a bad film is a given the reasons behind it being bad are pretty impressive though. From the terrible acting to the god awful camera work you’ll struggle trying to defend the movie in any way.

The characters both heroes and villains are beloved by fans of the show. However, when it came to the movie adaption they all lost their character.

They are almost unrecognizable. One of the main characters Sokka is known for his sarcasm and being pretty funny both of those are some of his biggest traits. Once he went on the big screen though that part of his character was gone and the same can be said about the rest of the cast.

Effects being awful in comparison to the show goes without saying as well. Bending is one of the best aspects of Avatar: The Last Airbender so of course they have to ruin it in the adaption. At the end of day this just isn’t a quality film it wasn’t worth your money when it was in theaters and its not worth your time now.

Verdict 2 out of 10 Stars

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