Dragon Ball, Bullet Train, Bodies Bodies Bodies. The Triple Feature Review!
National Cinema Day came to my nearest cinema house, and I could watch a few flicks for a discount. Here are the films I watched and my thoughts on each of them:
Dragonball Z: Superhero:
Synopsis: The Red Ribbon Army from Goku’s past has returned with two new androids to challenge him and his friends.
I will start by saying I really enjoyed this movie a lot and Funimation’s beloved long known characters return to the big screen in a well written and well-rounded story that harkens back to older watchers of Dragon Ball and the Red Ribbon army. This film focused on the greatest hits of what worked with the animated series. Goku and Vegeta certainly got their screen time training on and fighting each other. But this film focused the bulk of the story on Piccolo and how he is navigating life of the main plot from the series. The villain is the young prodigal grandson of Dr. Giroux, called Dr. Hedo. Hedo partners with the Red Ribbon army which has re-emerged as Red Ribbon Pharmaceuticals fronting for the Red Ribbon Army because Goku many years ago destroyed the company completely. I enjoyed how this film focused on secondary characters in the series and the writing for them is solid and their mannerisms and personalities on screen are mint because the series has popular for so long.
Anyway, Dr. Hedo teams up with Red Ribbon Army and uses his genius to create two new super powerful androids named Gamma 1 and Gamma 2 who are at first convinced that the Capsule Corp is evil. One thing this film does is squeeze lots of plots into its skinny 100-minute runtime. The Gammas turn on Red Ribbon shortly after fighting Piccolo and most of the screen time is spent on everyone fighting Dr. Hedo’s monstrosity called Cell Max. Goku and Vegeta do not get to the fight in time or even know it is going on leaving secondary characters which are just as loved to fend for themselves.
Fans get to see Krillin show up as a police officer which, as a fan of the abridged series, is hilarious. Funimation highlights how well they can write in the Dragonball universe and really play with the characters since lots of the primary plot for all the characters is completely resolved.
Gohan and Piccolo and the Gammas team up and try to take down Cell Max who was released by the evil boss of the Red Ribbon company. Gohan is completely badass in this film we get to see him transform from a docile academic to a rightly pissed off super Saiyan in a few seconds after realizing that his adorable 3-year-old was kidnapped. Piccolo wishes for his elder power from Shenron and the two fight Cell in familiar Dragonball Z fashion with lots of screaming and punching and powering up. We get to see Gohan become Super Saiyan God and that was fun to watch.
Overall, I was elated with seeing characters from my childhood on the big screen and this movie delivered on the points that made DBZ fun to watch.
Well Written Fan Friendly film | A bit generic but not too bad | 9/10 | Old school fans see this movie!
Bullet Train Review
Synopsis: Five assassins aboard a fast-moving bullet train find out their missions have something in common.
This movie was my second in the triple feature. Brad Pitt stars in a Neo-noir story taking place in and around a bullet train travelling throughout Japan. Five assassins all aboard the same train in hopes that they will kill each other. Each train car becomes like a new level in a video game. Pitt plays an absent-minded therapy addict and carries himself with a silly yet entertaining comedic relief. So, if Pitt is the comedic relief who is the main character? Well, this film juggles a lot of main characters and shakes up the the editing sequences with flashbacks, cutaways, and titles to fill in the backstories of each of the characters. All of which I think the film does well though a film with so many characters must keep a lot of momentum behind it to both progress and the plot and provide an entertaining plot. This film struggles in that department because out of all the characters and their artistically cut backstories in present time they are either sitting or pretending they do not know what is going on. As the train moves closer to the end of the track so does the movie’s main antagonist – The White Death a notorious Yakuza gangster with a devilish mask. Death serves as a McGuffin for each of the characters fighting to survive and escape the train. The White Death has a connection with each of the characters including one being his own daughter. This matters because every assassin is trying to kill The White Death
I felt like much of the movie was spent comparing the characters to each other as they became more fleshed out by forcibly interacting with each other. I think with five assassins all aboard the same train all hell would break loose, and it did, but it did within the last 15 minutes of the film’s runtime. Hollywood pumps out plenty of gory shootem ups with paper thin plotlines and this film is five of those films put together. It is easy to imagine each of the characters in their own respective films because of their strong performances and backstories. I would not be surprised to see a Lemon & Tangerine’s buddy comedy in the coming years.
In conclusion, I want to mention the water bottle scene towards the end. Bravo.
Popcorn Blockbuster Film | Strong Characters and interesting boss | Too many cooks (5 main characters) juggled poorly | Great Entertaining backstories | 7/10
Bodies Bodies Bodies
When a group of rich 20-somethings plan a hurricane party at a remote family mansion, a party game turns deadly in this fresh and funny look at backstabbing, fake friends, and one party gone very, very wrong.
This film gathered all its buzz from the former SNL star Pete Davidson playing a part in this Gen Z sleepover gone wrong whodunit films. This was the third and last film in my triple feature for the night and it was an interesting one. I think “good” is too strong of a word to put on this film. Much of the film takes place in the dark with 5 20 somethings pointing their phone lights at the camera. I got more eye strain than entertainment value from this one because of that. Despite that, Bodies takes a brave look squarely at the new generation and how they revolve entirely around their phones.
The setup of all the characters before the hurricane rolls in is tight and well done. Pete Davidson steals the show in all his scenes and is killed off early. After the five girls start playing a game called “Bodies Bodies Bodies” they all hid in the dark. The night turns into tragedy quickly after Pete gets belligerent and storms out of the room. He appears again outside in the rain with his throat cut. All these points setup a great run through of slowly narrowing down who the real” murderer” is. The five girls pitted against each other, and the dialogue is top notch teenager angst and naivety. Just by speaking in this group of scared twenty somethings they point suspicion at you and the context of Gen Z accusations are thrown out with a witty tongue in cheek self-awareness.” I googled you; you never went to Utah State!” “You’re a liar and therefore a murderer” Cosmic leaps of logic are made, and pettiness grows throughout the night and the plot collapses into a “Lord of The Flies” tribute. This is because as soon as the kids start playing the Bodies game all their phones stop getting service. And the writers put a satisfying number of layers on that point.
The realization right at the end that this film was a satire horror comedy about twenty somethings divulging into murder, anxiety and suspicion without their smartphones was a very exciting and satisfying watch because it’s buried so meticulously under a goofy party and game they are playing.
In conclusion: This is the film that starts the roasting of phone-addicted Gen Z kids, and I am just glad millennials are out of range to get the ire of Hollywood at least for this movie.
Witty & Fun Subtext | Plain one note plot but also self-aware | 8/10