Three, two, one, let’s jam with Cowboy Bebop.

Of all the anime I have heard of, Cowboy Bebop has garnered the most praise.
I have heard people call it one of the best anime of all time so I had to check it out and see if it was worth all the praise.
And I can definitely say, Cowboy Bebop is a fantastic anime.
The series is set in 2071 with four bounty hunters Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine and Ed Wong, (by the way Ed is a girl, I know it is a boy’s name) who chase their bounties across the galaxy, on their ship the Bebop.

The bebop crew
The Bebop Crew from left to right: Jet, Spike, Faye, Ed and their genius Welsh Corgi Ein.

The show is more than just about them hunting bounties though because each of the Bebop crew has a complex past that is often explored in great detail.
Spike and Jet’s pasts were both greatly explored throughout the series and I really got a sense of who they were.
Even characters who seemed one note at first were explored in very complex ways in later episodes.
For example, Faye did not seem to be that complex at first, seeming like a damsel in distress type character and just eye candy for the male audience, however, as the show went on, she was developed just as well as Spike and Jet.
The characters’ backgrounds are explored in some fantastic episodes like Ballad of Fallen Angels, Jupiter Jazz part one and two, Speak Like a Child and the two part finale The Real Folk Blues.
Even episodes that do not focus on the main story or the characters’ pasts, like Sympathy for the Devil and Pierrot le Fou are fantastic.

sympathy for the devil
Sympathy for the Devil is one of the best episodes of the show as it plays out rather unpredictably. 

These episodes are complimented by the incredible music composed by Yoko Kanno, which is now one of my favourite scores in any TV series.
You will find yourself humming along to the jazzy intro every time it comes up.
But, even though there are so many great things about Cowboy Bebop, there are a few flaws.
As I mentioned earlier, the character of Faye initially only seemed to be a damsel in distress character, constantly needing to be saved by Spike and Jet, whose only purpose in the story was to be eye candy.
This made Faye’s character hard for me to get into initially but I will admit when they started getting into her backstory she got a lot more interesting.
Yes, she still got captured a lot but at least she was compelling.
Another thing I had an issue with was the final two episodes.
Even though these were fantastic episodes they happened too quickly>
It felt like instead of being two parts the final episodes should have had three or four parts instead.
Finally, there were a few episodes that just did not work for me.
In my opinion, the worst episode of the show was Toys in the Attic.

toys in the attic
Jet keels over in Toy’s in the Attic, a plot point that is never resolved. 

This episode was basically one big Alien reference and had almost not resolution to one of the main plot threads.
Still, there were so many fantastic episodes that easily overshadowed the weaker ones.
Overall, I can definitely see why Cowboy Bebop is considered one of the best anime of all time.
For me, it just falls a little short of being completely perfect but that does not change the fact that it is still a great watch.
It has compelling characters, episodes and music, which will make you have a whole new appreciation for jazz.

The Heart of The Walking Dead is Gone So What Happens Next?

Contains major spoilers for recent episodes:

I am ashamed to admit it but I have been in denial for a long time when it comes to The Walking Dead.
Just look at my earlier reviews and you will see I have been overpraising the show at times.
I gave the episode The Big Scary U five stars when it was not really worth that.
Looking back, its clear to me the reason I did that was because I was holding The Walking Dead to its own standards.
I was not rating episodes based on how good they were but on how good they were compared to the weaker episodes.
The thing that finally cleared my vision regarding this was the reveal of Carl’s fatal bite in the season 8 mid-season finale, How Its Gotta Be.

Pretty much my reaction to Carl’s death in the show.

Carl was the heart of The Walking Dead.
One of the main themes in both the show and the comic is how a zombie apocalypse would affect the development of a child and the person they would grow up to be because of it.
Now, the show has lost that theme.
To top it all off, Carl was incredibly important in the upcoming Whisperer arc, due to his relationship with Lydia from the comic.
They could still do this storyline in the show but they would have to replace Carl with a minor character, now that he is dead.
In short, I believe that killing off Carl is one of the worst decisions the show has ever made.
They have taken the character who was the representation of the story and killed him off.
That shows how desperate the showrunners are getting.
The mid-season premiere aired on Monday, featuring Carl’s death, and that did not do anything to sway my fears.

carl dies
Carl, played by Chandler Riggs, says goodbye to Rick and Michonne.

Carl’s death was poorly done for two reasons.
Number one, the way he got bit was really idiotic.
Number two, Rick’s reaction to Carl’s death.
Rick acted like he would if Morgan had died, not his own son.
When Lori died in season three, Rick was an emotional wreck and it took him an entire season to recover from it.
However, with Carl, who meant so much more to him than Lori, Rick acts like he lost a friend, instead of his son.
The Walking Dead does not really seem like it knows what it is doing anymore.
However, that being said, it is possible for the show to not only bounce back from this but to come back better than ever.
The first reason it could do this is that The Walking Dead is getting a new showrunner, Angela Kang, who has worked on the show for a while and know how it works.
The second reason it that season nine will deal with The New Beginning story arc.
This arc changed everything in the comic.
The story jumped years ahead and gave us a fresh look at the characters.
It even introduced some of the most frightening villains The Walking Dead has ever given us, with The Whisperers.
So, Carl’s death might not be the end for the show.
The Walking Dead may have lost its heart but it just needs to find it again.
And if it doesn’t… well, at least we still have the comic.

Black Panther makes its fictional country a character in its own right.

4 and a half stars
After Civil War it was expected that Black Panther would eventually get his own movie and now it is finally here.
Black Panther is a superhero I did not know that much about beforehand so I came into the movie not sure what to expect.
Needless to say, this movie blew me away.
It had a great story, set of characters and setting.
Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther is set in the fictional country of Wakanda and this country felt like a character itself.
Seeing African customs alongside this futuristic city is something we have never seen before and made it really exciting and interesting to explore.

The country of Wakanda

The movie picks up after Civil War with T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, mourning the death of his father and about to take up the mantle of both king of Wakanda and the Black Panther.
However, T’Challa faces problems from arms dealer Ulysses Klaue, played by Andy Serkis, and the mysterious Erik Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan.
This story is made all the better by the great cast, who portray really fantastic characters.
Boseman is very likeable as T’Challa and he is a great contrast to Killmonger, the film’s main villain.
Then there is Serkis’ Klaue who you can see Serkis had fun with because of how crazy he seems.
The best minor character in the film is definitely T’Challa’s sister Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, because of how energetic and likeable she is.
Finally, Killmonger almost steals the movie.
Jordan gives a great performance as Killmonger who is one of the best villains the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever had.
It really does seem like the MCU is improving its track record with villains, as you can tell with Vulture from Spiderman: Homecoming and now Killmonger.
Killmonger is a great villain because, even though he is clearly evil, you understand why he is doing these bad things and you sympathize with him because of these reasons.

Killmonger and T'Challa
T’Challa (right) and Killmonger (left) face off.

As I mentioned earlier, there is a great contrast between Killmonger and T’Challa that really helps to emphasize the movie’s themes, which centers around the moral ambiguity of running a country that is deliberately cut off from the rest of the world.
But this movie is not perfect, there are a couple of flaws.
For one, the CGI just did not work at times.
During the final fight between T’Challa and Killmonger it was hard to get into because of how the CGI was implemented.
My final problem with the movie is Daniel Kaluuya’s character, W’Kabi.
Kaluuya gives a great performance, like everyone else, but his character is very inconsistent.
Halfway through the movie W’Kabi does a complete turn around out of nowhere.
If you compare his character from the first half to the second half of the movie he is completely different, even though he has experienced no character growth.
Overall though, Black Panther was a great film, despite its minor problems.
It has an investing story and great characters, one of which, you could even say, was Wakanda.

Shadow of The Colossus: not a masterpiece but a really fun game.

4 stars
I first heard of Shadow of The Colossus about a year ago on a top 10 list.
I had never heard of this game before then and I had no idea people considered it to be a masterpiece.
So, when I heard about it, I was disappointed that I had never played it and probably never would, due to me getting get rid of my PlayStation 3.
Imagine my excitement then when I heard that Shadow of The Colossus was being remade for the PlayStation 4.
So, I made sure to buy it when it came out to see if it was the masterpiece everyone said it was and, I have got to say, Shadow of The Colossus is a really good game.
It starts off with the playable character Wander traveling to the forbidden land, on his horse Agro, to try and bring the woman called Mono back to life.
Wander speaks with the entity known as Dormin, who promises to bring Mono back to life if Wander kills all the 16 Colossi that roam the Forbidden Land and so our journey begins.

Wander travels the forbidden land on his trusty (if somewhat annoying) horse Agro.

Shadow of The Colossus is pretty simple from that point forward, with you having to go and slay all the Colossi one at a time.
Other than the Colossi there are no other enemies in the game but each one of them makes up for the lack of enemies.
Fighting these giants almost never stops being epic as you take on opponents 100 times your size.
What also makes the Colossi so fun to fight is that every one of them has a gimmick to defeating them so you will need to change tactics for every Colossi.
Because of this the game always feels fresh.
On top of that, some of the Colossus fights are the best boss fights in gaming.
Colossi like Avion, Dirge and Phalanx were incredibly fun to fight, especially Avion, which was such an interactive boss fight.

Avion, the fifth Colossus, is my favourite boss fight of the game.

The game also looks beautiful.
Looking at how the game looked previously on YouTube really shows how well they have improved the graphics.
However, even though this game had many fantastic bosses, along with a good story, does that make Shadow of The Colossus the masterpiece everyone says it is?
Honestly, I do not think so.
I certainly enjoyed Shadow of The Colossus but, for me, there are too many technical issues to call this game a masterpiece.
For one, the camera used in this game is one of the worst I have seen.
I was constantly fighting the camera so I could see what was happening and this resulted in me falling off many of the Colossi.
Then there is Agro, who was very annoying to control at times, stopping when coming across a small rock or not doing what I told him to.
Finally, there are the Colossi themselves.
While many are fantastic, some are overly frustrating and downright unfair.
The perfect examples of this are Celosia and Cenobia, two of the worst Colossi in the entire game.
Both are small for Colossi and have pretty unoriginal designs so fighting them is not as interesting as other Colossi, but that is not the problem.
The problem is how unfair they are as bosses, with their charge attack.
If you are hit head on with this attack then you are screwed because both Celosia and Cenobia will give you no time to get back up and constantly ram you until you are dead.
If you are hit once by this, it is almost impossible to dodge their oncoming attacks, making the fight overly frustrating and just not fun.

Celosia, the eleventh Colossus and one of the worst due to its unfair charge attack.

But (even though Colossi like Celosia and Cenobia were not fun to fight because of how unfair they were) there were still more fun Colossi than not.
So, while I think Shadow of The Colossus may not be the masterpiece a lot of people claim it to be, it is still a lot of fun and you should definitely check it out.

The Greatest Showman portrays a despicable person in a positive light.

two stars
Coming out of The Greatest Showman I had mixed feelings.
I definitely had fun watching it but I felt like something was missing and a fact I would later learn, about the history the movie is based on, ruined the movie for me.
Directed by Michael Gracy, The Greatest Showman stars Hugh Jackman, as P.T Barnum, a man who sets out to create a circus by hiring very unique and different people to attract an audience.
The film is a musical and all of its songs are really good.
The musical numbers are definitely the most enjoyable parts of the movie and are well sung and choreographed.
Another really good thing about the movie is the acting.
Everyone brings their all for this movie, including Jackman and there was not one performance or voice that did not work.
However, even though this made the film enjoyable, The Greatest Showman does suffer from some very misplaced direction.
First of all, the movie is focused mostly on Barnum and Zac Efron’s character, Phillip Carlyle, instead of the people who are used as attractions.
The characters of Lettie Lutz (Keala Settle), Charles Stratton (Sam Humphrey) and others were all very interesting but did not get much focus.

Keala Settle as Lettie Lutz is one of the most interesting characters in The Greatest Showman but does not get much depth.

One of the main themes of the movie is accepting and being proud of yourself and this applies to these characters.
However the story is more focused on Barnum and Carlyle, the “normal” people, who are less interesting than Lutz and Stratton.
It felt like the movie should have been more focused on them rather than Barnum and would have had a more interesting story if it did.
However, even with this problem the movie was still good… or at least it was until I did some research.
You see, when watching this movie, I became suspicious when watching how Barnum was developed as a character and how much of it was true.
In the film, it is established that one of the reasons he created his circus was to try and bring a voice to different people in order to promote equality.
This makes Barnum look like a good person, when in reality the real Barnum was anything but.
Barnum started his career in show business by buying an 80-year-old paralyzed slave named Joice Heth and passing her off as the 160-year-old nurse of president George Washington.
After Heth died, Barnum degraded her further by having a live autopsy on her body for people to see.

Joice Heth
A poster that advertises Joice Heth to the public.

This is only one of the many bad things Barnum did.
Barnum was someone who took part in slavery and treated a fellow human being terribly and yet the movie portrays him as a likeable person.
I find it weird that a scandal has not broke out about this yet and, for once, its a scandal I would actually get behind.
Portraying someone like Barnum as a good person, when he was a slave owner, is just unacceptable.
This fact, ruins the movie for me.
I will not be able to look at it the same way knowing it is portraying a despicable person in a positive light.
The Greatest Showman may be an enjoyable film but when you look at how it sweeps dirty facts under the rug, it ruins the whole thing.


The Commonwealth is run like a modern day government in Issue 176 of The Walking Dead… but that’s not a good thing.

4 stars
In Issue 176 of The Walking Dead, New World Order Part 2, we got to see how the Commonwealth operates when Eugene and the others are taken to meet its leader Pamela Milton.
The issue picks up immediately after the shocking reveal of the previous one that Michonne’s daughter Elodie is alive and looking for her.
Michonne’s reaction to this was well done, with her wanting to see Elodie immediately, even going so far as to threaten Lance to see her but he wants them to meet Milton first.
Over the next few pages we get to see how The Commonwealth operates.
We finally get to meet Stephanie, who tries to talk to Eugene but is reprimanded by Lance, rather severely in fact.
After this, we meet Maxwell Hawkins and the leader of The Commonwealth, Governor Pamela Milton (I am sure it is not a coincidence that Kirkman decided to bring another Governor into the story).
It is through these two characters that we see how The Commonwealth is actually run like a modern day government… but that is not a good thing.
It seems that Milton and Hawkins only see people who were of elite status before the apocalypse as important to The Commonwealth.
This can be seen when Hawkins decides to have Michonne talk to Milton instead of Eugene (even though Eugene was the one who lead them there and is one of the most important people from his community) just because he was a science teacher while Michonne was a lawyer.
It only gets worse when Michonne meets Milton.
Milton views herself as bringing back civilization, even though Rick’s group has been doing this as well and wants Michonne to thank her for what she has done when she has not done anything to help Michonne yet.
She also seems to view people below her status as weaker because of how she refers to the soldiers guarding her as “brutes”.

These factors combine to show that The Commonwealth is run by elites and people who were not important before the apocalypse but are now, like Eugene, are of no importance to them, apart from doing grunt work.
This has pretty bad implications when you think about it.
Milton views her soldiers as “brutes” and soldiers are technically more regarded than police officers.
Rick was a police officer before the apocalypse so Milton might view him as lower than her own soldiers and therefore see him as an unfit leader.
Since Milton views herself as bringing back civilization, she will probably try to take over Rick’s communities.
I do not believe she and The Commonwealth are villains because they do have the best intentions but they will most likely be a problem for Rick’s communities rather than allies.
It has some very interesting implications for the future of The Walking Dead, which I like.
Then we get the final scene of Michonne reuniting with her daughter Elodie.
I was very surprised by this because I thought it would be at least a couple more issues before the two reunited but I am very glad it happened sooner.
It was a very touching moment and I cannot wait to see how their relationship evolves, considering the two have spent years apart thinking each other were dead.
Overall Issue 176 of The Walking Dead was a pretty good one.
We got to see how The Commonwealth is run, opening up some interesting story points for the future and got to see the heart warming reunion between Michonne and Elodie.

Top 10 Attack on Titan Characters, as of Season Two.

Attack on Titan is a really great show.
It draws a lot of emotions out of me from excitement, to sadness, to horror.
The feelings of horror I get when watching it come from how brutal the show can be.
A lot of characters die and not in very nice ways.
But, in order to really feel this horror whenever these characters meet their fate, I need to care for them.
If the characters were bad or unlikable then Attack on Titan would fall flat on its face.
Thankfully, for the most part, the characters are all fantastic.
I care for almost each and every one of them, making the show more gripping when they are in danger.
The characters are so good I have decided to do a top 10 list on my favourite characters from Attack on Titan.
However, keep in mind, even though I have read the manga, I have only read up to where season two ends because I want to experience the story on television before I read it.
So do not expect to see any characters who appear after season two on this list and some characters may be lower on the list than you expect because they have not been given enough time to shine yet.
These characters will probably appear on my list when I re-do it after watching season three, which will air this year.
Before I begin, I want to give out some quick honorable mentions.
These go to Dot Pixis, Annie Leonhart, Krista Lenz/Historia Reiss and Conny Springer.
I considered putting all of these characters on the list but the others were just better.
So now let’s go into my top 10 favourite characters from Attack on Titan

10. Eren Jaegar

Eren Jaeger
Okay, so it is no secret that I did not like Eren in season one.
I thought he was a terrible main character.
He was an arrogant, hypocritical jerk with no character development until the back half of the season.
So, imagine my surprise, when I read the season one part of the manga and found that Eren was actually likeable there.
He did not judge people for not wanting to fight the Titans and he did not go on his repetitive spiel about how he was going to kill all the Titans as much.
The anime really screwed Eren up in the first season.
Thankfully though, Eren’s likability in the manga was transferred into season two and I was finally able to relate to him.
Eren was incredibly sympathetic in season two, especially when learning of Reiner and Bertholdt’s betrayal and during his emotional breakdown when Hannes died.
This likability in season two and his admittedly cool moments in season one, when he transformed into a Titan, was just enough to put in the number ten spot.
As the series goes on Eren will hopefully remain as likeable as he was in the second season because, if he does, he is sure to go higher on my list of favourite characters.

9. Hange Zoe

Hange Zoe
Interesting fact: in the manga Hange’s gender is actually kept ambiguous.
It is up to the reader if Hange is male or female.
Unfortunately, they were not able to keep this up in anime as Hange is confirmed to be female.
While it would have been nice for it to be kept ambiguous like in the manga, it does not change the fact that Hange is still a great character.
She is also a unique one because she is one of the only characters who does not hate the Titans.
She is basically obsessed with learning about them and even becomes attached to the ones she uses for experiments.
Hange is also shown to be slightly crazy with her efforts to catch and learn about Titans.
My favourite scene of her would have to be in the season one finale, when she is laying a trap for the Female Titan, Annie.
She is shown to be giggling like a mad woman at the prospect of catching her, leading her assistant Moblit to say she is, “getting that look in her eyes, again.”
Hange is just fun to watch because you never know what crazy thing she is going to do next.

8. Sasha Braus 

Sasha Braus
In season one Sasha was just a basic comic relief character.
She was like a female Goku because of the fact that she was always eating and yet never gaining any weight.
Still, despite only being comic relief in the first season, she was so likeable that she quickly became one of my favourites.
Her personality was just so endearing and she only got better in the second season, where she had her own episode.
In the second episode, I’m Home, we learn a lot about Sasha’s past and also get to see her have some really cool moments like when she saves a little girl.
I’m Home made her so much more than just comic relief.
I am so glad that the Manga’s writer, Hajime Isayama, backed out of killing Sasha during her storyline because she is such a likeable character.
I can see more development and food jokes in Sasha’s future on Attack on Titan.

7. Levi

Please, don’t hate me.
I know Levi is a fan favourite character and I can certainly see why.
He was one of my favourite characters in the second half of season one because he was a well layered character, with more than a few awesome moments.
The problem is that in the first half of season one and in season two Levi does almost nothing.
Since I have not read past season two in the manga I do not know if Levi does more then but because so many people like him I have to hope so.
In fact, I believe that Levi coming in at number seven, despite having far less screen time than the previous three characters on my list is a testament to how great of a character he is.
Levi is considered to be humanities strongest fighter but, even so, he has his own quirks, like his obsession with cleaning.
In the episodes Crushing Blow and The Defeated we really get a sense of who Levi is.
We can see that he has been hit hard by the death of his squad and later having to leave their corpses to be eaten by the Titans but he buries this pain to focus on his mission.
Levi is the kind of guy who keeps his grief inside and never allows himself to show weakness.
It makes a very interesting character and I hope we get more of him in season three.

6. Reiner Braun 

Reiner Braun
In season one Reiner was a good character and he certainly did have his moments like in the episode Female Titan, however he was not one of my favourites because I did not find him to be a particularly deep character.
This all changed in season two though because right from the beginning it was clear there was something off about Reiner.
Finally, in my favourite episode of Attack on Titan, Warrior, Reiner was shockingly revealed to be the Armoured Titan.
However, although shocking, this did not make much sense because Reiner had done so much to help those he was fighting against.
This issue was later cleared up in the best way.
It is revealed in the episode Opening that Reiner is suffering from a severe case of PTSD, due to the atrocities he has committed and two personalities have emerged because of this.
There is his warrior personality, where he works to destroy the walls and his soldier personality, where he works to preserve them.
This makes Reiner one of the most complex characters in the show and it will be very interesting to see how his split personality will have an impact on the show going forward.

5. Erwin Smith

Erwin Smith
A lot of people say Levi is the most awesome character in Attack on Titan.
Well, to them I say, “have you even seen Commander Erwin?”
Erwin is the kind of commander who anyone would follow into battle.
He is courageous, smart and willing to sacrifice anything, including his own life, for the survival of humanity.
To say that Erwin has his awesome moments would be an understatement.
There are so many times when he just steals the show.
From him shouting, “fire”, during Bite, to him glaring at Nile during the ending moments of Mercy.
But, by far his best moment has to be in the episode Charge.
In this episode, Erwin has his arm ripped off by a Titan and not only shouts at his soldiers to keep going but even continues fighting and saves Eren’s life… all of this with only one arm.
Erwin is just a really awesome character who has seemingly an endless amount of cool moments.


4. Ymir

If you had told me, after I watched season one, that Ymir would be my favourite character of season two, I would have probably laughed at you.
Ymir was one of the most forgettable characters of the first season and yet, somehow, in the second she is the best character.
I loved Ymir’s story in season two and what we learned about the world, through her.
Ymir’s backstory alone solidified her as my favourite character of the second season and the flashback itself is one of my favourite moments of Attack on Titan.
Ymir’s reveal as a Titan was expertly done and her motives were kept pretty ambiguous up until her flashback, which made her all the more interesting.
Also, her relationship with Krista/Historia is now my favourite relationship in Attack on Titan because of how well developed it is.
Their bond is certainly stronger than Eren and Mikasa’s.
Ymir’s story just ties perfectly into what is happening and I know there will be some reveals in season three to further explain how her backstory fits into everything.
Overall, Ymir was just a fantastic character in the second season but what stops her from being higher on the list is how forgettable she was in the first season.

3. Jean Kirstein

Jean Kirstein
Jean was my favourite character of season one.
His character arc was just fantastic.
He started off as a cowardly guy, trying to join the Military Police just so he could live in the interior, safely away from the Titans.
However, after the death of his friend Marco, Jean was faced with either doing what was right or would keep him safe.
Marco’s death inspired him to join the Scouting Regiment and take the fight to the Titans.
Since then he has worked hard to achieve that goal, even putting aside his dislike of Eren to do the right thing.
He developed so much in the first season that he wonders what he was thinking when he wanted to join the Military Police when he sees how they act.
Jean was just a really great character but the reason he is at number three and not in the top two is because of how little he featured in season two.
He only takes part in the battle during the final two episodes and while he does do some important stuff in these episodes, like confront Bertholdt and save Mikasa’s life, he still does not do much throughout the season and receives almost no development.
This is disappointing, considering how great he was in season one and stops him from being higher on the list.

2. Mikasa Ackerman

Mikasa Ackerman
Mikasa is definitely one of the coolest characters in Attack on Titan.
She has just as many amazing moments as Levi and Erwin and is actually pretty scary at times.
She is the last person you would want to cross.
the scene where she glares at Bertholdt in the episode Charge was thrilling and a highlight of the episode.
Mikasa’s one goal in life is to protect Eren at all costs.
This came from him saving her life from a group of sex traffickers, after they murdered her parents.
This changed Mikasa from a sweet, ordinary girl to a cold hearted individual, who only allows herself to care for a select few people, like Eren and Armin.
She is also humanity’s best fighter, next to Levi, and this is clearly seen through her level of skill.
She is a character who has so many memorable moments throughout the first and second season, one of which is when she delivers the best quote in Attack on Titan during the episode Mercy, “we live in a cruel world.”
While, she does not get as much development as other characters she does have some moments of it, like when she realizes she held back on Reiner and Bertholdt when she attacked them because she subconsciously did not want to kill them.
Still, it is the lack of Mikasa’s development across the first two seasons that held her back from taking the top spot.
Mikasa is a still an awesome character though, who will hopefully grow more as a character in the next season.

1. Armin Arlert

Armin Arlet
I think a lot of people do not give Armin enough credit, which is really unfair.
Yes, he is not good at physical confrontations (I do not think he has even killed a Titan yet), but Armin has still done some very important things and saved a lot of lives by using his head.
He came up with the plan for Eren to use his Titan ability to bloke the hole in the wall, he stalled the Female Titan, saving Jean’s life, and later deduced her identity, and he stalled Bertholdt by lying to him about torturing Annie, giving Erwin enough time to come in and rescue Eren.
These are some of the many important things Armin has done throughout the series.
And to think some people do not like Armin?
The reason Armin is also my favourite character as of season two is because of how much I relate to him.
When we first meet Armin, he is very unsure of himself and considers himself a burden to his friends.
Growing up I was rather insecure and unsure of myself, like Armin.
So, to see him rise above this, recognize how useful he can be and use the skills he has to get things done, was pretty inspiring.
With the number of important things Armin has done in the series and how much I related to his character arc, I consider Armin to be the best character in Attack on Titan, as of season two.

Attack on Titan is a show with great characters.
They are almost all relatable and you fear for their lives when they are in danger.
After season three ends I plan to re-do my list of my top 10 favourite characters to see if that season has changed my opinion.
I will just have to wait until July to see if the next Attack on Titan season can put some other characters on my list, or move the ones on it higher.

Top 10 Attack On Titan Episodes

Warning: Contains spoilers for some episodes.

Let’s talk about a show called Attack on Titan.
Attack on Titan is an anime based off the manga of the same name by Hajime Isayama.
It takes place in an alternate universe where naked giants known as Titans have appeared and driven humanity to the brink of extinction.
The remaining humans managed to survive by taking refuge behind three huge walls Maria, Rose and Sina.
However, 100 years after the walls construction, two Titans called the Colossal and Armoured Titans appeared and broke through Wall Maria, forcing humanity to take refuge behind the next wall.
During this time our protagonist, Eren Yeager, witnesses the death of his mother.
Years later, Eren and his friends Mikasa, Armin and others join the military to take the fight to the Titans.
Attack on Titan is a great show with a well-thought-out story and characters.
This is complemented by how many gripping episodes this show has.
Over the course of two seasons and 37 episodes there have been a lot of great episodes, with great moments so I decided to do a list on my top 10 favourite episodes from the show.
However, this proved difficult because of how many amazing episodes there were so I decided instead to do a top 20 but only to go into detail with the top 10.
So, here are numbers 20-11 of my favourite Attack on Titan episodes.

20. The Night of the Closing Ceremony: Humanity’s Comeback Part 2 – season one, episode four.
19. The World The Girl Saw: The Struggle for Trost Part 2 – season one, episode six.
18. Beast Titan – season one, episode one.
17. I Can Hear His Heartbeat: The Struggle for Trost Part 4 – season one, episode eight. 
16. I’m Home – season two, episode two.
15. Primal Desire: The Struggle for Trost Part 9 – season one, episode 13.
14. Bite: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission Part 3 – season one, episode 19
13. Wall: Assault on Stohess Part 3 – season one, episode 25
12. Close Combat – season two, episode seven.
11. Soldier – season two, episode four. 

Those were numbers 20-11 of my favourite Attack on Titan episodes. Now here are my top 10, only with more detail into why I think these episodes are the best of the best.


10. Scream – season two, episode 12.

The season two finale Scream was a great way to end the season, with more than a few shocking moments.
This episode probably has the most important revelation of the series so far, with Eren’s Titan controlling abilities being revealed.
This comes after a very powerful scene where Eren suffers an emotional breakdown, due to Hannes’ death at the hands of the same Titan who killed Eren’s mother.
Watching Eren laugh, cry and scream in hysteria was gut wrenching to watch and I teared up, the second time I did so when watching Attack on Titan.
In this episode we also got conformation on what a lot of us had suspected at this point, that humans were being turned into Titans.
The reactions of Conny, Levi and Erwin to this revelation were all great and fit their character, especially Erwin.
Finally there was the cliffhanger, which showed the man controlling the Beast Titan declaring, “not yet,” whatever that means.
I guess we will have to find out next season.
Scream was an episode full of both emotional moments and pay offs to things set up in previous episodes and is definitely the better of the two season finales.

9. The Defeated: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 6 – season one, episode 22.

the defeated
After the emotionally gripping episode 21, The Defeated picks up with the Scouting Regiment recovering from their devastating defeat at the hands of the Female Titan and with Levi and Mikasa, as they try to stop Eren being taken by her.
This episode really showed me why people love Levi so much.
He not only does really cool things in his battle with the Female Titan but he is also shown caring for others in his own way.
Levi consoling a fellow soldier by giving him a patch from one of his dead comrades and telling the man it belonged to his dead friend when really it belonged to Levi’s, really showed what kind of a character he is.
Levi does care about the soldiers he leads, he just buries it deep.
Then there was the really disturbing scene where the Scout Regiment had to dump the bodies of the dead for the Titans to eat just so they could escape.
Seeing that Petra was among these bodies was another harsh blow.
It really shows the deeps of depravity that these characters will have to go through in order to survive.
Finally, we get another punch in the gut when we see the families of the dead Levi Squad preparing for their arrival, not knowing that their loved ones are dead.
Petra’s father talking to Levi was especially sad to watch because it seems to hint that Petra was in love with him.
The Defeated is one of Attack on Titan’s darkest episodes as it deals with death in a really sobering manner, which really hits the viewer where it hurts.

8. To You, in 2000 Years: The Fall of Shiganshina Part 1 – season one, episode one.

to you in 2000 years
The first episode of the entire series, To You, in 2000 Years makes for a gripping first episode that really draws the viewer into the world of Attack on Titan.
We get introduced to our main characters Eren, Mikasa and Armin and get a sense of who all three of them are.
It serves as a good introduction.
The opening scene alone still gives me goosebumps when I watch it, due to the lack of sound and chilling music.
The first episode also brings the first major character death, that of Eren’s mother Carla.
Carla’s death was not that much of a surprise, since something had to motivate Eren to fight the Titans, but the manner in which she died was certainly surpising.
Her death really showed the viewers what they were in for with this series.
We also got a good look at what the show’s action would be liked when we see the Survey Corp take down a Titan in the opening scene.
This is also the first episode where we hear the amazing opening intro of the first season Guren No Yumiya, by Linked Horizon.
To You, in 2000 Years was the big introduction to Attack on Titan and really gave the viewers an idea of what to expect going forward.

7. Children – season two, episode ten.

On its own, Children is just a good episode.
There are a lot of good moments in this episode like when Ymir reveals she is over 60 years old, despite looking to be in her late teens, and when she temporarily eats Historia.
However, this does not make the episode good enough to be on this list, let alone at number seven.
So why is it here?
Because of the flashback that reveals Ymir’s backstory.
This is, in my opinion, the greatest use of flashback I have ever seen.
Every time I watch Attack on Titan, I find myself coming back to this scene and watching it over and over just to figure out what it all means.
The flashback makes this episode.
Not only does it finally bring clarity to Ymir’s motives, which were pretty ambiguous before now, but it also has so many hints as to what is going on.
I do not know what will happen in the future of Attack on Titan but I know, just by watching Ymir’s flashback, that her backstory is integral to finding out how the Titans came to be.
On top of all this, the flashback is incredibly emotional.
Ymir’s reaction upon first realizing she can turn back into a human had me tearing up, the first time I had done so when watching Attack on Titan.
It was this flashback that made Ymir my favourite character of season two.
Children might for most of the episode be just good but the flashback elevates it to another level and puts it at number seven on my list.

 6. First Battle: The Struggle for Trost, Part 1 – season one, episode five.

first battle
This was the episode that got me hooked on Attack on Titan.
First Battle was an incredibly shocking episode when I first saw it and, even though it is not as shocking now due to what happens in future episodes, it is still a great episode.
After the intense cliffhanger from episode four, Eren takes on the Colossal Titan leading to one of the best fights of season one.
After that we get various scenes of characters like Armin and Jean reacting to their upcoming battle with the Titans that are invading Trost in what, for all they know, could be their final moments.
Finally we get to the most shocking moment of the episode when Eren’s entire squad, except Armin, are killed by the Titans in a matter of seconds.
These are characters Eren and Armin had got to know over their years of military training and they are gone in the blink of an eye.
It really illustrates to the viewer the danger that the Titans pose.
And then it happens… Eren is eaten and supposedly killed by a Titan.
Even though I did not like Eren at this point, it was still shocking to see the main character die in the first five episodes.
Yes, it is later revealed that he survived because of his ability to turn into a Titan but at the time this blew my mind.
First Battle was the episode that got me hooked on Attack on Titan because of its great action sequences and shocking moments.

5. Historia – season two, episode five.

After the big surprise of Ymir being a Titan Shifter in the previous episode, Historia starts unexpectedly by cutting to a flashback when Ymir and Krista were in cadet training.
Ordinarily, this would kill the mood of what had been set up last episode but it does not because what is revealed in this flashback is so engaging.
In this flashback, everything we thought we knew about Krista is flipped entirely on its head.
She is a completely different person to who we thought she was in season one and the way Ymir deduces this and uses psychology on her is great to watch.
On top of that, the animation during this sequence is just fantastic.
I think it is the best animation the series has had.
The level of detail in Krista’s eyes just leaps off the screen and it is obvious a lot of work went into it.
After this flashback, we get the payoff from episode four, as Ymir fights in her Titan form.
An intense action sequence follows during which, there are some very subtle hints to the upcoming events of episode six.
Finally the episode ends with a very emotional moment as Krista reveals her name is actually Historia to Ymir before she falls unconscious.
When I saw this I was really sad because I thought Ymir was dead and I was really starting to like her character.
Thankfully she survived and went on to become my favourite character of the second season.
Historia is full of brilliant animation, foreshadowing and character development.
Combine that with the great ending action sequence and it puts it at number five on my list.

 4. Charge – season two, episode 11.

This episode is absolutely insane.
So much happens in this episode that I do not know where to begin.
I like to think of this episode as the Mad Max: Fury Road of Attack on Titan because so much of it is just pure adrenaline fuel.
From Mikasa’s death glare at Bertholdt, to Erwin getting his arm ripped off only to keep fighting, to the shocking return of the Titan that killed Eren’s mother at the end of the episode, Charge is full of exciting and shocking scenes.
However, it also has its down to earth moments as well.
Watching the members of the 104th Cadet Corps confront Bertholdt about his deceit and his very sympathetic reaction to this confrontation was emotional and helped to further develop Bertholdt.
We also got more of a sense of Historia and Ymir as people and the lengths they will go to just to protect one another.
It is Erwin who completely steals the show however as, even when his arm is being ripped off, he urges his men to keep fighting.
Then, when Armin is distracting Bertholdt, Erwin manages to save Eren, despite only having one arm and probably suffering from severe blood loss.
I have no idea how Erwin survived and I do not care because he is so awesome.
Charge was just insane moment after insane moment and my jaw was left constantly on the floor.
It really got you pumped for the season finale Scream.

3. Crushing Blow: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission Part 5 – season one, episode 21.

Crushing Blow
Before episode 21, there had been a few major deaths in Attack on Titan like that of Eren’s mother and Marco.
However, none of the deaths had really shocked me or left me feeling emotionally drained.
That was until the deaths of the remaining Levi Squad Eld, Petra and Oruo in the episode Crushing Blow.
Watching these three characters, who we had come to know and care about over the course of seven episodes, get slaughtered one after the other was gut wrenching.
Even though I was attached to Petra and Oruo more than I was to Eld or Gunther (who died in episode 20), their deaths still hit me hard.
What followed was the first fight between Eren’s Titan and the Female Titan, which was noting short of thrilling to watch.
The scene where Eren is eaten by the Female Titan is just creepy to watch because we see her mouth split open.
Another thing I really liked about this episode was we got more of a sense of who Levi is through his reaction to his squad’s death.
Their deaths do hit him hard but he has to bury his pain and continue on with the mission.
Crushing Blow was certainly a crushing episode, full of sadness that prepared you for what would be the darkest episode with The Defeated.

 2. Mercy – Assault on Stohess Part 2 – season one, episode 24.

I think that Mercy is a very overlooked episode when people talk about Attack on Titan, which I do not think is fair since it is one of my favourites.
This episode is build up to the fight between Eren and the Female Titan, who was revealed to be Annie in the previous episode.
Yet, despite the episode being build up, it is still a fantastic episode that has some of the best moments in all of Attack on Titan.
First of all, this episode has what I believe to be the best quote of the show, when Mikasa says, “we live in a cruel world.”
The context of the situation and the way she says it makes it the perfect quote.
Then there is the ending scene when Eren transforms into a Titan to fight Annie, which I think is the most epic scene in the entire series so far.
Everything just combines to make this a fantastic scene.
The animation, the music, the phenomenal voice acting from the Japanese cast, it all just comes together to make a great build up to the season finale.
Charge may have got you pumped for the season two finale but Mercy had you waiting on the edge of your seat for it.

1. Warrior – season two, episode six.

This list was very difficult to make.
I changed it and switched episodes with other ones more times than I could count but one thing always stayed the same.
This was Warrior as my number one choice for the best episode of Attack on Titan.
This episode completely floored me the first time I saw it.
It is in this episode that we learn the identities of the Colossal and Armoured Titans.
They are revealed to be Reiner and Bertholdt in a twist that is delivered so casually and nonchalant that is actually brilliant.
We had been given hints over the last few episodes, like in Historia, that Reiner and Bertholdt were not who they seemed and what a way to reveal it.
I actually had to go back and make sure I had not misheard what Reiner said.
The way the characters react to this revelation was done excellently, as well.
In season one I was hardly ever invested in Eren but in this episode I felt his pain when he realised two people he trusted with his life had been lying to him all this time and were actually the ones responsible for his mother’s death.
It was the first time the show had ever really made me care for Eren.
The final five minutes of this episode left me speechless for a while after watching it.
Once again, everything just combines to make one of the most brilliant scenes in Attack on Titan.
The music especially gives me chills each time because it is a spin on the music that was played when Eren’s mother was eaten in the very first episode.
The perfect music to use for the perfect revelation.
Warrior took all my expectations for an Attack on Titan episode and completely blew me away.
I immediately knew this was my favourite episode of the series and how hard it would be to top it.
Hopefully, when season three arrives this year, an episode can be better because then that would truly be something to see.


Attack on Titan is a great anime series.
Its episodes bring all kinds of emotions out of me from, shock, to horror, to amazement.
After these phenomenal episodes, I cannot wait for season three to see what amazing episodes they could bring to the table.
When season three is over, I will probably re-do my list with the episodes from season three I think are deserving to be on there.
Until then though, I will gladly find myself re-watching these episodes time and time again.


My Top 10 Movies of 2017

2017 was quite a year for movies.
Many of the films that year were not just good, they were fantastic and are films I will find myself re-watching for years to come.
So, I thought it would be best if I did a top 10 list of my favourite films of the year.
However, keep in mind that some movies like Ladybird will not be on this list because I have not seen them.
As for other critically praised movies like The Shape of Water, I live in New Zealand and that came out in January here, instead of in December of last year, so I do not count it as a 2017 movie.
Also, this is my own personal opinion and if you do not like the movies I mention or disagree with my placings that is fine.
Be sure to let me know what your favourite films of 2017 were.
Now enough chit chat and let’s start with number 10.

10. Wind River

wind river
Wind River was written by Taylor Sheridan, the person who wrote Sicario and this clearly shows as you can see Sheridan’s personal input and feel in the movie.
Wind River is about U.S Fish and Wildlife Service agent Cory Lambert, played by Jeremy Renner, who discovers the dead body of a teenage girl.
FBI agent Jane Banner, Elizabeth Olsen, is called in to assist on the murder investigation and the two work together to track down the killer.
Wind River has a dramatic sense of realism to it, making it all the more disturbing since things like this actually happen.
Renner gives the best performance I have seen him give as Lambert, who is struggling with his own past as he suffered a tragedy similar to the one of the murdered girl.
The other actors also give solid performances in a movie that really gets you thinking about the injustices in the world.
Wind River is the most realistic and disturbing murder investigation movie I have seen in a while.

9. The Big Sick

The Big Sick
Romantic comedies are not my cup of tea so imagine my surprise when I found myself enjoying The Big Sick.
The movie is directed by Michael Showalter and stars Kumail Nanjiani as himself.
It is based on the story of how Nanjiani met his wife Emily, played by Zoe Kazan and the struggles they faced due to Nanjiani’s fear of his disappointing his family and a strange sickness that begins to affect Emily.
First of all, this movie is very funny.
There are many laugh out loud moments, like when Nanjiani suffers an emotional breakdown at a fast food drive-in.
Another highlight is Ray Romano who plays Emily’s dad, Terry Gardener.
Romano is just as funny as Nanjiani and the two share some great scenes together.
Above all else though, the movie is heartwarming and left me feeling good by the end of it.
The Big Sick is a really funny film that made me appreciate romantic comedies a little more.

8. The Disaster Artist

the disaster artist.jpg
Directed by and starring James Franco as Tommy Weisau, The Disaster Artist centers around the true story of the making of the greatest worst movie ever made, The Room.
Franco plays the mysterious Tommy (a person so larger than life you could swear he was made up just for this film) as he sets off with his friend Greg Sestero, played by David Franco, to make a movie and become famous.
I have grown to respect The Disaster Artist the more I think about it because, even though it is about the making of a terrible film, it is still oddly inspiring.
Franco is fantastic as Wiseau and it actually feels like you are watching the man himself when you see his performance.
This movie just gets more fascinating and funny as it goes along, due to the various outrageous things that are shown to have happened on set.
And just like The Big Sick, only more so, the ending of The Disaster Artist left me grinning from ear to ear.
It is a movie that any fan of The Room needs to see.

7. Dunkirk

Dunkirk is considered by many to be one the best films of 2017.
The reason it is not higher on my list is because I found it kind of hard to get into during the first half because of the lack of character growth or personality and the timeline of the movie was confusing.
However, despite this, Dunkirk is still a very well made and investing film.
Directed by Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk is about the true story of the evacuation of soldiers from Dunkirk during World War Two.
This film is artfully directed, with war scenes playing out like scenes from a thriller.
The visuals and the music are also stunning.
Hans Zimmer’s score for this film is the best one all year.
Dunkirk only gets better and better as it goes along, until it all ends in a climactic and thrilling finale that had me on the edge of my seat.
If I had not had a problem with Dunkirk’s characters or timeline then this would have easily been in the top five best movies of the year.

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

the last jedi
This movie left a lot of people divided on whether it was good or not and, I will admit, I do like it less than when I first saw it and can understand why some people hate it.
However, that being said, I still think The Last Jedi is a great film that continued on from The Force Awakens’ success.
Directed by Rian Johnson the film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Adam Driver, among others.
It follows directly after The Force Awakens with Rey (Ridley) meeting Luke Skywalker (Hamill), only to learn he is not exactly the man she thought he was.
What follows is a film full of great and memorable moments that get an unexpected level of hate from some fans.
I can understand why a fan of Star Wars might find the choices in this movie to be stupid or underwhelming but I just do not see it that way.
I love the choices this movie made and it all works perfectly with the theme of letting the past die for a new generation.
If you did not like The Last Jedi then that is fine but I personally loved this movie and I cannot wait to see the next installment.

5. IT

As a fan on the novel by Stephen King, I think that It is one of the best adaptations we have had in years.
Directed by Andy Muschietti and based off King’s book, It is about a shape shifting entity known as It, which preys on children in the town of Derry, Maine.
It’s favourite form is that of the killer clown Pennywise, played brilliantly by Bill Skasgard.
After a boy named Georgie is taken by It, his brother Bill, played by Jaeden Lieberher, leads his friends of The Losers’ Club to take down It and save his brother.
It is an absolutely terrifying film, filled with killer clowns, creepy adults and stellar acting from its mostly child cast.
There are many memorable scares and so many subtle ones as well, making it the second best horror movie of the year, we will get to the best horror movie later.
Hopefully It Chapter 2 will be just as good, when it comes out in 2019.

4. Blade Runner 2049

blade runner 2049
I am among the small minority who do not think the first Blade Runner is a masterpiece but the new one definitely is (every movie from this point forward could be considered a masterpiece in my opinion).
Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 stars Ryan Gosling, as replicant police officer K and Ana De Armas, as his simulated girlfriend Joi.
After a shocking discovering, K hunts for the truth surrounding his past, which could spark a civil war between replicants and humans and seeks answers from Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard.
Blade Runner 2049 is visually spectacular, with many stunning shots that are enhanced by the sci-fi music.
Not only that, but the story is engrossing with its unraveling mystery and well developed characters.
Coming in at around two hours and forty five minutes, some may find this movie a bit hard to get through, due to its slow pace but I think the movie definitely earns that slow pace.
It really is a shame that Blade Runner 2049 was one of 2017’s biggest box office bombs because it is a really good film that should not be overlooked.

3. War for the Planet of the Apes

Directed by Matt Reeves and the final part of the new Planet of The Apes trilogy, War was a fantastic way to end Caesar’s story.
Taking place years after the second movie Dawn, War follows Caesar, played by Andy Serkis, on a journey to get revenge on an insane Colonel, played by Woody Harrelson.
Both Serkis and Harrelson give fantastic performances, especially Serkis, who sadly may never be recognized for it because of the use of motion capture.
Oddly enough, there is barely any war in this film, despite the title but this does not change the fact that War is an intense ride from start to finish.
There are various haunting scenes that will leave you shocked and tearing up at what you saw.
War is the first film in the trilogy to have a primarily ape perspective and it works brilliantly.
This is enhanced by the fantastic motion capture CGI that makes the apes look incredibly lifelike.
Gripping and haunting, War for the Planet of the Apes is a real emotional ride.

2. Get Out

Get Out
Get Out is the first film Jordan Peele directed but you would not know that watching it because of how great it is.
Get Out is a very confronting film about the nature of racism in America and how it did not change post Barak Obama, only it has various horror elements in it.
What puts this movie at number two though is how it only gets better every time I watch it.
There is so much excellent use of subtly and foreshadowing throughout the movie that hint at what is really going on and it is great how, even after watching it three times, I am still noticing new hints.
Then there are the characters, which are the best in a horror movie for a while.
First there is Chris, played by Daniel Kaluuya, who is a very smart protagonist and easy to root for.
Then there is his friend Rod, played by Lil Rey Howery, who literally feels like a member of the film’s audience stumbled into the movie’s story.
Rod picks on and calls out things that usual movie goers do when watching horror movies and it is incredibly funny to watch him constantly wonder why Chris is staying in this creepy house.
Get Out has a good mix of both horror and comedy and an intriguing story that left me guessing what was going on right until the climax.
It is the best horror movie of the year and the second best movie on 2017.

1. Logan

Honestly, what else was it going to be?
If you read my Logan review then you would know how much I adore this movie.
It is my favourite super hero movie, I even think it is better than The Dark Knight (unpopular opinion, I know).
Hugh Jackman stars for the final time as Logan, the battered down former hero who is caring for a very sick Charles Xavier, played by Patrick Stewart.
Logan’s plan for the two just dying changes however, when a young girl named Laura, played by Dafne Keen, crosses their path and the two have to escort her to a safe place known as Eden.
Logan is not only a fantastic super hero movie but a fantastic western as well.
In fact, it is more western than super hero movie because the themes do feel more in line with a western.
Jackman, Stewart and Keen all give fantastic performances in this film and they are not alone.
Boyd Holbrook is very charismatic as the film’s villain Donald Pierce and Stephen Merchant is sympathetic as Caliban.
The fact that these characters are all so great makes it all the more gut wrenching when bad things happen to them.
I still tear up when I watch this movie because it really does get to me.
But, even though I know this movie will hit me hard emotionally, I still find myself watching it.
Logan is a brutal, gut wrenching film that takes a close look at family, death and change.
It is without a doubt, in my mind, the best movie of 2017.


So those are my top 10 favourite films of 2017. Do you agree with me or not? What would you have chosen? Please let me know because I would be interested to see if people share my opinions or what movies they consider to be better.

Jumaji: Welcome to the Jungle is an enjoyable comedy… just don’t watch the trailers.

3 and a half stars
Jumaji: Welcome to the Jungle was a film I was looking forward to seeing since I first saw the trailers.
Directed by Jake Kasdan, The film looked funny and inventive and I wanted to see how good it was.
However, because of how busy I have been over the Holidays, I did not go to see it until very recently.
Still, were my expectations meet?
Yes… I just wish I had not watched the trailers.
If you want to watch Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, please, do not watch the trailers because 90% of the jokes from the first half of the movie are in those trailers.
I knew what I was watching was funny but it was certainly much less enjoyable because I knew the jokes were coming.
My viewing experience would have been so much better if I had not watched them.
But, aside from that, the film is pretty enjoyable.
The plot of the film is that, 20 years after the first movie, four teenagers stumble across Jumanji, which has transformed into a video game.
They start playing but are sent into the game into the bodies of the characters they were playing as, Dr Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), Shelly Oberon, (Jack Black) Franklin Finbar (Kevin Hart) and Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan).
They must then complete the game if they want to escape Jumanji, without losing all three lives or it is game over.
The film definitely has fun with its concept, with so many inside jokes for video gamers, but it the funniest parts of the movie are the characters themselves.
Watching a teenage nerd inside the body of Dwayne Johnson is very funny.

Dwayne Johnson is funny as a teenage boy stuck in a heroic adventurer’s body.

Best of all though is Bethany in the body of Jack Black’s Shelly Oberon.
Watching a beautiful, popular girl in an “overweight middle aged man’s” body led to some very funny scenarios.
The ending of the film, for me, was a highlight because of how the characters had grown through the story and the results of that.
It is not all good though because the film does have its problems.
There were some interesting areas of conflict that the film did not really go in depth with when they could have.
Also, up until the characters are transported into Jumanji, the film was not very funny and the jokes fell flat.
Then there is the villain.
He is one dimensional, boring and, since we know he is just a video game character and not a real person, he does not hold much investment.
This could be an inside joke about how one dimensional a lot of video game villains are but if it is, once again, they do not go all the way with this idea.

Bobby Cannavale as Russel Van Pelt, the villain of the movie.

Honestly, I do not think the film needed a villain.
They could have just had the characters be attacked by random animals and bad guys and it would have played out pretty much the same.
But, even with these problems, the film is still enjoyable.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a fun time that will leave you laughing… if you have not watched the trailers.