After storming the box office in its native Japan, “Yo-Kai Watch: The Movie” comes to America in a very limited run for hardcore fans of multimedia series. If you haven’t had enough of the TV series, the video games, and the toy line, fans will get to watch the big screen adventure of hero Nate, and his friends, the Yo-Kai. For those unaware, Yo-Kai are spirits in Japan that can be good or evil. Nate has a magical Yo-Kai watch that allows him to summon, catch, and catalogue the various Yo-Kai. And they’re a massive variety that stem from nature, the city, and literally anywhere else.
DC and Warner beat Marvel to the punch by comprising a superhero team made up of some of the most popular bit players from the DC television-verse, ending in a pretty mixed result. Season one of “Legends of Tomorrow” is a scattered and pretty crazy series of episodes that finds a rag tag group of DC’s heroes and villains coming together to stop the evil Vandal Savage. Along with the confusing time paradoxes, the writers and producers seem to be scrambling to also keep up with their long list of team members, conflicts, sub-plots and the like resulting in only a mediocre start from out of the gate. What happens when people like The Flash and Arrow are busy with their own enemies?
Watching “Josh Kirby” is like watching a lost series from the Action Pack stunt from television in 1995, where you almost expect it to air alongside “Hercules.” in truth, the series of six films unfolds like one short kids television adventure series, and even for a movie aimed at kids, it’s hard to catch up. There’s so much about this universe, that the movie opens with a five minute montage of scenes from the movie that’s somehow meant to keep us up to speed with what we haven’t seen yet. Really, it feels like filler and an odd place to place such a device when it’d be suited more appropriately for the second part of the film series.
It’s mostly known as “Ghost Warrior,” but I think I prefer the alternate title “Swordkill.” While “Ghost Warrior” is given an insightful and meaningful definition during the narrative, “Swordkill” just makes the movie sound cheap and silly. I’d love to know who thought the title “Swordkill” was a proper summary of what is a dramatic fish out of water film. J. Larry Carroll’s “Ghost Warrior” is a surprisingly straight faced tale of a warrior placed out of his time, who finds that living in mid eighties Los Angeles kind of sucks. The movie is admittedly thin on narrative, but works for the most part as a series of unfortunate events Yoshimitsu experiences. Life sure does suck for the master samurai.
Scream Factory continues to deliver for fans of the Empire Pictures and Charles Band era, with a double feature Blu-Ray set featuring two of their most entertaining titles from their heyday. While I’d be hard pressed to call these films masterpieces, they’re nonetheless entertaining and novel genre films that attempt to market on a particular trend. Charles Band was always savvy about aspiring to make films for his company that touched on current cinematic trends and the double feature here from Scream! Factory covers the gamut of pop culture trends quite well.
Yet another iteration of “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” this time around Antony Anderson focuses on what happens when an out of time teen is set to become the king in place of King Arthur. Jason McSkimming gives a tolerable performance as young Zack, a teen who is angry about moving away from his home and longs to be a part of medieval times where honor and evil were easy to tell apart. Or some nonsense like that, I was never sure what he was rambling about. Zack is so anxious to go back in time he wills it thanks to the magic of the evil Morgause.
Brad Bird is certainly a fun storyteller filled with ideas about science fiction that’s a welcome break from the normal grim and grit of the modern era, I just wish “Tomorrowland” were a masterpiece. If not, I wish it were more than mediocre. As it is there’s a great movie somewhere in the script, there’s just too much narrative and disjointed writing to really see it rise to the surface and hit a home run. “Tomorrowland” is one of the more entertaining messes of the year. It’s a film that doesn’t introduce its heroine until thirty minutes in to the movie, and completely cuts her out of the equation in the finale. “Tomorrowland” is not a bad movie by any means, it’s just the writing is so scatterbrain and haphazard, I couldn’t really appreciate the whole shebang, in the end; which is sad, because I certainly wanted to love “Tomorrowland.”
There have been very few good things to come out of the new generation of shows from Cartoon Network. One of them is “Regular Show.” It’s a surreal, trippy, funny, and original series that I’ve been a big fan of since it gained acclaim years ago. “Regular Show: The Movie” is basically for the fans that invest a lot in the relationship between Mordecai and Rigby, our two tight knit slacker park workers that can’t be parted, no matter what the future tells them. “Regular Show: The Movie” pays homage to the eighties and nineties in its typical clever and witty fashion, paying nods to classic pop culture of the decades, while unfolding its own very original time traveling tale.