Favorite Movies of All Time Part 8

By Michelle Lynn Tackett

We are getting into the big guns now. I am on part 8 of my favorite movies of all time.

30: Kiki’s Delivery Service is one of Miyazaki’s best movies. Anyone who thinks Anime serializes all women needs to watch this charming classic. The humor is adorable, the characters will charm the pants off of you, and the story will melt your heart.

Rating: 4 Stars.

29: Alien/Aliens. Two of my favorite movies ever. Sigourney Weaver shines as Ellen Ripley, one of the greatest female heroines of all time. I like the second Alien movie better thanks to the heartwarming relationship between Ripley and Newt. One of the best mother/daughter relationships put in a movie.

4 Stars

28: Amelie. Audrey Tautou became a household name after this charmer became a worldwide hit. Amelie has a simple story, relatable characters, and an uplifting message. If you’re in a bad mood, watch Amelie. It will put a smile on your face.

4 Stars.

27: Terminator and Terminator 2. I love James Cameron movies. It was the original Terminator that put him on the map. Unique cinematography, fast-paced action, and great storytelling make both Terminator movies classics. They are often imitated but never duplicated.

Grade: 4 Stars

26: Wolf Children. A timeless Anime that will make you laugh and cry in a matter of seconds. One of the best brother and sister duos you’ll ever see in any movie. You feel their conflict and pain with each other. How protective they get and how much they ultimately care about each other. Give this movie a chance, you will love it.

Grade: 4 Stars

25: Rear Window. Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly own the screen in this Hitchcock classic. Everything from the directing, to the screenplay, is done with care, attention to detail, and crafted to perfection. The last ten minutes are so intense, and the characters are smart. That’s a nice change of pace.

Grade: 4 Stars

24: GoldFinger. My favorite James Bond movie is Goldfinger. Goldfinger is a classic that never ages. Great action that is there to tell a story, not just blow things up for no reason. The humor is witty, and the story is classic Bond. The third entry in the Bond series is still my favorite.

Grade: 4 Stars

23: Hidden Fortress. Akira Kurosawa’s classic that influenced Star Wars still holds up. Kurosawa put so much love in his movies, and it shows. Hidden Fortress is a great movie to start with if you are new to Kurosawa. Hidden Fortress has a simple story and is easy to follow. A classic that hasn’t aged.

Grade: 4 Stars

22: Gravity. An incredible sci-fi marvel. Sandra Bullock is incredible. She makes you feel for her character. The movie avoids cliches by focusing on her inner thoughts. Tight directing and gorgeous cinematography are icing on the cake.

Grade: 4 Stars

21: Frozen 1 and 2. I love Frozen 1 and 2 now. The songs are catchy, the characters are memorable, and the animation is breathtaking. You will fall in love with both movies. I like the second one better myself. I thought it had a better story, and the girl power theme was stronger in the second movie.

Grade: 4 Stars

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5-cvnmtWu4

Wonder Woman 1984 Trailer Review

By Michelle Lynn Tackett

I loved the first Wonder Woman movie, so I was excited to hear about the upcoming WW 1984. The trailer dropped today, so let’s get to it.

Action

Whoa Nelly is there action. Slow motion bullets, check. Wonder Woman flipping a semi truck in the air. Double check. Wonder Woman using the lasso of truth to swing from one lighting bolt to another, che….WHAT? WHOA! That’s insane. This trailer is jam packed full of great action moments.

Editing

The editing is spot on. It is quick, fluid and keeps the action going. It looks better than the first one, which is a great thing. Showing off the great action, plus how good the character interaction is, that shows what kind of love went into this trailer alone.

Acting

The acting looks very good. Gal Gadot is so charming and strong as Diana, and it’s good to see Chris Pine back as Steve. The real scene stealer is Pedro Pascal, who tears every scene alive as Lord Maxwell. Fantastic.

Final Verdict

Great job Warner Bros. This trailer is gonna set up WW 1984 to be one of the biggest blockbusters next summer. If the rest of the movie is as good as the trailer, we are in for a treat.

Grade: An A 96.

Link to Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfM7_JLk-84

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.screengeek.net/2019/12/07/wonder-woman-1984-footage-teaser/

Favorite Movies of All Time Part 7 40-31

By Michelle Lynn Tackett

We are getting up there now. Here come some beloved classics and hidden gems.

40: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Jack Nicholson delivers a performance for the ages as Randle P Murphy, who is living in a mental institution with other colorful characters. The abuse some of the patients take at the hands of nurse Nurse Ratched is painful to watch. One of the best movies ever made.
Rating: 4 Stars, this is a magical experience.

39: A Touch of Evil, Orson Welles was a master filmmaker, and this movie was a perfect example of that. Top-notch performances and great plot twists elevate this movie to another level. Wells’s ability to craft a twisting story with innovation is legendary. Watch this movie, you’ll love it.
Rating: 4 Stars, a must-see cinematic experience.

38: A Nightmare on Elm Street, not the best horror movie I’ve seen, but it’s one of my favorites. Robert Englund steals every scene as the maniacal Freddy Kruger. Wes Craven gives us kids to root for, not kids who we don’t care about. Imaginative special effects and perfect direction make this a classic.
Rating: 4 Stars, one of the best horror movies ever.

37: The Fugitive, the legendary Harrison Ford. He is so underrated. This movie shows why. Ford’s ability to play every person is perfect. We root for him to clear his name and fear for him when he’s in danger. The script is tight, the action scenes are thrilling, and the performances are perfect. A classic that still holds up.
Rating: 4 Stars, a thrill-ride that never gets hold.

36: Roma, Netflix made the best picture of 2018 with this stunner. You know you have a winner when the characters live a boring life, but you’re still fascinated. Each character is fully developed, the story is intriguing, and the directing is stunning. The gorgeous cinematography and glorious music are icing on the cake.
Rating: 4 Stars, you have to see this movie! It’s that good.

35: Wait Until Dark, one of the most influential thrillers of all time. Alan Arkin laid the groundwork for action villains with his performance as Harry Roat Jr. Audrey Hepburn in her last Oscar-nominated performance is priceless. Some may complain about the slow pace but have patience. The last 15 minutes are a rocket.
Rating: 4 Stars, a nail-biting thriller with great acting.

34: A Fantastic Woman, the best movie made about someone being trans. Daniela Vega is electrifying as Marina, who faces prejudice from her lover’s family. The subject is handled with subtle care. Beautiful directing and cinematography give it an otherworldly feel. This is how you do a movie about trans people.
Rating: 4 Stars, a touching masterpiece that will make you think.

33: What About Bob, Bill Murray is a gem. He has comedic gold for timing. What About Bob could’ve been a disaster in the wrong hands, but Murray saves the day. The ending divided people, but I loved it. This is how you do a good comedy.
Rating: 4 Stars, one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.

32: Wall-E, my favorite Disney movie ever made. Nothing comes close. What a magical movie with an adorable robot as the lead, and his adorable love interest Eva. Gorgeous animation, adorable characters, great storytelling, and a timely message make Wall-E a classic.
Rating: 4 Stars, the best movie Disney has ever done.

31: X-Men Days of Future Past, the second-best X-Men movie. The story is engaging, the performances are great, and the action scenes are mind-blowing. Hugh Jackman plays Wolverine to perfection. This is one of the best comic book movies I’ve ever seen.
Grade: 4 Stars, this is a must-see for comic book fans and non-comic book fans alike.

Photo Courtesy of: http://lifefascinations.blogspot.com/2010/11/movies-series-pt1.html

Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening: Review

By Michelle Lynn Tackett

Few things bring a smile to my face like a top/down Zelda game. The art style, enemies and dungeons bring back memories. That’s why I was excited when I saw Link’s Awakening trailer. Is this a legendary remake? Let’s find out.

Graphics
They are gorgeous and adorable. You will hug your Switch the whole time! The textures, lighting, and colors are fantastic. Some people talk about the frame rate dropping, such as when the game changes from one screen to the next, but I didn’t experience that. Grizzo did a great job with the graphics. Just because it looks cute, doesn’t mean it’s not a powerhouse. The animations are fluid. This is the best looking game on the Switch until Luigi’s Mansion 3 comes out.

Gameplay
There is nothing groundbreaking here. It’s a typical top/down Zelda game. That’s fine with me. Link gets the master-sword, Hylian shield, bombs, arrows, and more. Because of the extra buttons on the Switch controller, you don’t have to keep removing items. You can use more than one at a time. This is a major upgrade over the original. There are no major changes to the game-play, so if you’ve played any top/down Zelda games before, you know what to expect. Lots of post-game content including a colored dungeon, and a dungeon maker.

Music
The updated music is a delight to the ears! The remastered orchestras and strings give more power to the music. Plus, Ballad of the Wind Fish has lyrics! They will send chills up your spine.

Story
Without giving away anything for those who haven’t played Link’s Awakening. All I will say is Link wakes up on an island inhabited by strange creatures and likable characters. He tries to find a way off the island. How does he do that? Play the game to find out.

Flaws
There are a few flaws in the game. It’s not BOTW in size, but not every game is. The game does end a little abruptly, so that’s one area I would change. The biggest flaw is the Dungeon creator. It’s not Mario Maker 2.

Verdict: It’s a top/down Zelda Game, that’s all there is to say. The dungeons are great graphics are adorable and the gameplay is top-notch. Is this worth sixty bucks? Absolutely!

Grade: 4 Stars, a must-own adventure that plays wonderfully on the Switch.

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch/The-Legend-of-Zelda-Link-s-Awakening-1514327.html

Astral Chain Review

By Michelle Lynn Tackett

What a great year it’s been for the Nintendo Switch. Link’s Awakening, Fire Emblem and Mario Maker 2 highlight some incredible games, but what about new IPs? That’s where Astral Chain comes in. Like a blaze of fire burning through the sky, it delivers a streak of action and excitement.

Story
Humanity is being invaded by interdenominational creatures who threaten to wipe them out. Only an elite strike force called Neuron can stop them. You play as one of the twins who try to take down the demons. Your character has to stop Jana Anderson, who serves as the main villain in the game. The story has a Bladerunner flair to it. I won’t give away too much. This story needs to be experienced. It is a good story.

Graphics
This game is gorgeous. The blue hues and the art style are amazing. The reflections and lighting bring the world to life. It’s like watching a stylized anime on your Nintendo Switch. The details are amazing from the sparks from the fire to the facial animations of the characters. Everything is lovingly detailed, making the world feel alive. You’ll feel like you’re living in this world.

Combat
This is where Platinum Games shine. The combat sounds complicated on paper, but you’ll figure it out with some practice. You control your character and call your legion out when you need them. The legion attacks by itself, but you can do certain attacks by button presses, or moving the control stick. This gives the game a fresh feel. It does take a while to get the hang of but flows like butter when you get the hang of it. The combat never feels overwhelming. It follows the old easy to learn, but hard to master philosophy that works so well for games like Bayonetta.

Sci-Fi PI
One of my favorite aspects of Astral Chain is the detective work. The Iris helps you see things to help you solve cases. Some cases are simple, while others take a while to complete. There are so many cases to solve, so it will take some time to solve them. Some think they slow down the flow of the game, but I find them refreshing. Solving cases will help your character get new clothing and upgrades.

Music
One of the best soundtracks ever for a video game. The thumping techno, glaring punk rock and soaring rock will stick with you for a long time.

Challenge
This is a challenging game, especially when you turn up the difficulty. There is a casual mode for noobs, but you can take the wheels off for experienced players. The boss fights are epic. The final boss is one of the best boss fights I’ve ever experienced. It takes skill to beat this game, but when you do, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment.

Flaws
The camera is distracting at times. When you’re in a firefight, the camera will get too close or go behind a wall and get stuck. This can be annoying, but it isn’t a deal-breaker. Some of the plot twists were predictable, and some of the moves will take lots of practice to get down. That may turn some newer players off.

Verdict
Astral Chain is one of the best action games you’ll ever play. The gorgeous visuals, engaging plot, colorful character, and rich combat will keep you coming back long after the single-player campaign is over. If you own a Nintendo Switch, get it. If you don’t own a Switch, get one and get this masterwork of an action game from one of the best developers in the industry.

Grade: 4 Stars! Buckle up! You’re in for a wild ride!

Photo Courtesy of: https://xboxplay.games/news/astral-chain-how-to-beat-enceladus-tips-and-tricks-3037

Astral Chain is a GOTY Contender! My Early Impressions

I have been excited for Astral Chain since I first saw it. The style, combat and Platinum Games were enough for me! What else do you need? My expectations were high, so when I got my copy, I was nervous? Will it live up to the hype? Is it is as good as Bayonetta 2 and Nier? I couldn’t wait to play AC and give my impressions.

Combat

The combat is unique and fun. You have two characters to control, you and your legion. Thankfully, the control set up is simple. You use ZL to call your legion, and ZR is your attack button. Your legion attacks on its own while you use the control stick to do different moves (rotating your stick will help chain your enemies up, so you can attack without them counter-attacking). It does take a while to get used to, but once you do, it flows like water. There are lots of layers to the combat, but the game adds it bit by bit instead of pouring it on. This helps the player adjust to the complex moves in the game.

Graphics

Graphics don’t matter to me, but Astral Chain is a looker. Gorgeous colors, shinning textures, great details, and a solid 30fps will have your eyes exploding. The environments are incredible. I’ve never seen anything like them in a game before. The world is huge. It isn’t an open world, but open-ended. I am not a digital foundry, but this game shows what the Switch can do when the right developer gets ahold of it.

Music

One part of this game that doesn’t get enough praise is the music. Holy cow the music is incredible. This is one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard. Thumping techno, rebellious punk, and glaring rock will fill your ears with original sounds and beats. The opening cinematic plays out like an Anime with a wonderful track called Savior. I would buy the soundtrack if it was available.

Investigation

Some people may not like detective work, but I love it. Its a nice break from the action, and gives you a chance to use your IRIS which helps you solve cases and fight enemies. The cases you solve can be pretty simple, but they’re engaging and fun. Sometimes you have to chase down a civilian who broke the law. You never kill anyone, but you can use your legion to catch them and arrest them. This adds variety to the gameplay.

Final thoughts

I thought Fire Emblem Three Houses was game of the year, but along comes Astral Chain. This is one of the best action games I’ve ever played. It is my favorite Platinum Games game, even over Nier and Bayonetta 2. The variety, size, graphics, combat, gameplay, and music are mind-blowing. I cannot get over how good this game is. I will be back in 2 weeks with my final review. I am 15 hours in and I am not finished, so it is a big game, and I am having a blast. Get this game for the Switch. If you don’t own a Switch? What’s wrong with you? Get one, and get this game now!

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/08/feature_from_astral_chain_to_zetman_the_story_of_masakazu_katsura

Astrail Chain First Review: It’s A Hit!

Famitsu Magazine awarded Astral Chain a 37/40 in their magazine. This is exactly what Fire Emblem got. This is a great start to a lot more 9s and 10s I think will becoming it’s way. Any game where you can play with a kitty cat on your head is gotta be a GOTY contender! Good going Platinum Games!

Link: https://mynintendonews.com/2019/08/21/japan-famitsu-awards-astral-chain-37-40/

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.polygon.com/platform/amp/e3/2019/6/11/18661291/astral-chain-release-date-nintendo-switch-trailer-platinumgames-e3-2019

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 Critical and Sales Predictions

I was a little off on Mario Maker 2, but it ended up with an 89 on Opencritic. It also sold great, so I wasn’t far off. Now, I am turning my attention to Nintendo’s next big title, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. I am going to predict how many copies it will sell and how good the critics will like it.

Critical reception

The first Marvel Ultimate Alliance got an 82 while the second one got a 75 on Metacritic. I think this one will get better reception. I am going with an 83-86 on Opencritic. With critics raving about the combat, amount of characters, gorgeous graphics, and the sheer amount of content. I think some will find problems with fighting enemies over and over, while others won’t mind. I also think critics will love the look of MUA 3. The cell-shaded look is getting rave reviews with a lot of fans and critics preferring MUA3 look over the Square Enix Avengers game. I can see a few 7s, but it will get mostly 8s and 9s with a few 10s.

Sales figures prediction

The first MUA was a big hit on both the 360 and PS3 the second one did not do that great, so I am gonna be a little conservative. I am gonna predict a nice 600-800 thousand in the first 3 days. I think by the end of the year MUA 3 will be at 2.4 million and by the end of it’s run it will pass 3.5 million copies, which is great. I think the appeal of Marvel heroes plus the appeal of action RPGs on the go will help this game sell.

The Summer of Switch continues with another big hit for the Switch. MUA 3 will be huge for the Switch and it will move systems as well. Team Ninja did a wonderful job on the game and it is only 11 days away from release. Are you ready? I am.

Photo Courtesy of: https://comicsbeat.com/marvel-ultimate-alliance-3-what-we-know-and-what-to-expect-of-the-upcoming-game/

Part 4 of My Top 100 Movies of All Time

Picks by Michelle Lynn Tackett

Let’s pick up where I left off why don’t we?

70: Wizard of Oz, Some people may think this is low, but it’s not. I just have 69 movies I like better. What else is there to say about this classic? Gorgeous cinematography, lovable characters, charming story, and wonderful music will make you feel like a kid again. If you haven’t watched this movie with your kids, do it now. This is a must-see movie that no cinephile should miss.

Rating: 4 Stars

69: Batman Begins/The Dark Knight, Nolan’s Batman movies are great, (let’s forget about The Dark Knight Rises), and The Dark Knight isn’t this top 10 be all masterpiece, but it is a great example of what comic book movies can be. Batman Begins is one of my favorite Nolan movies period. The dark tone, crisp look, and great acting keep both movies humming along nicely.

Rating: 4 Stars for both.

68: Serenity, from the legend, Joss Whedon is one of my favorite Sci-Fi movies of all time. Firefly was a great show, and this movie was a great follow-up that answered a lot of questions for fans of the series who were left hanging. Nathan Fillion is priceless as the Han Soloish Captain Malcolm Reynolds, who leads his ragtag group of members across the galaxy trying to get by. The special effects are glorious for a 30 million dollar movie, and the dialogue is spot on. Not a false moment for the characters. Whedon is a master of dialogue and storytelling. A must see for any fan of sci-fi.

Rating: 4 Stars

67: Patriot Games, Harrison Ford is STILL Jack Ryan to me. Other actors have tried, but Ford pulls off the role with ease. What a smart political thriller, with great action, intense moments and great characters. This is the best of the Jack Ryan series, with the screenplay focusing on family drama instead of some convoluted plot. This makes the stakes personal, that helps us identify with the characters and their plight.

Rating: 4 Stars

66: Pulse, there are a lot of Asian horror movies on my list. There is a good reason for that. Instead of focusing on cheap jump scares, Asian horror focuses on the atmosphere and the character’s facial expressions to tell a compelling story. It works in this gem of a movie. I don’t want to give too much away, but you will be in for a wild ride. A cheap, American remake tried to capture the greatness of this movie, but it failed. Watch this gem instead. Great build up to some unforgettable moments. Bravo.

Rating: 4 Stars

65: The Fountain, I don’t care what anyone says, this is a classic darn it. The incomparable Hugh Jackman plays 3 parts to perfection in Darrin Aronofsky’s brilliant bravura ode to life, death and the search for immortality. The striking visuals and emotional depth raise this masterwork to another level. I have seen this movie a lot, and it gets better with each viewing. I highly recommend this movie to anyone looking for a deep movie with an ambitious vision.

Rating: 4 Stars

64: The Muppet Movie (2011), I grew up on the Muppets, so it was good to see them come back to the big screen with this adorable, and funny movie. How can it go wrong with Jason Segel and Amy Adams in a movie? Throw in Kermit, Gonzo, Fozzy, and Miss Piggy, what else do you need? This movie was a return to form for the Muppets after a few disappointments. Lots of cute puns, heartfelt moments, and Amy Adams is heavenly in this movie! She is so cute you want to reach through the screen and hug her.

Rating: 4 Stars

63: Pride and Prejudice (2005 version), I usually don’t like remakes or retellings, but I love this movie. Keira Knightley sparkles as Elizabeth Bennett in this classic story. A very gentle, sweet movie with a perfect cast and a delightful tone. Not a cynical or mean bone in this movie. Lush cinematography, wonderful directing and a tight script make this a classic. It is Knightly who shines. She runs through the screen with elegance and charm as few others can.

Rating: 4 Stars

62: North By Northwest, I don’t like Hitchcock as a person, but he was an incredible director. Gary Grant is perfect as the every-man on the run. The tension is palpable, and the scenes are legendary. This is one movie I recommend for anyone who wants to know the difference between a good movie, and a bad movie. Well, this is a great movie, definitely one you should not miss out on.

Rating: 4 Stars

61: Sabrina, Audrey Hepburn is magical in this charming 1954 Billy Wilder comedy. William Holden and Humphrey Bogart are also good, but it is Hepburn who outshines them all. Her smile, stunning outfits, and charm will have you rooting for her. The delightful jokes, charming tone, and gorgeous scenery make this an instant classic, what a wonderful movie experience. I like this movie more, every time I watch it.

Rating: 4 Stars

Next week will be part 5 of my series. Stay tuned.

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4655960-100-all-time-favorite-movies-1915-2000

Some Sony Playstation Fans Are Loosing It

If you’ve seen a fake video claiming that Animal Crossing got delayed, well, it was made by a Sony Playstation fan who hates Nintendo so much, they decided to make a video to troll Animal Crossing fans. Why do this? Why troll fans of a popular game? This is the latest in the ongoing case of Playstation fans cracking up. Why? Here is why.

A lot of it has to do with Sony’s dominance coming to an end. Sony fans have been used to PS brand dominating games. However, the Nintendo Switch is becoming popular among hardcore gamers. Mortal Kombat 11 did great on the Switch! Sonic Racing, Skyrim, Dialbo 3, LA Noire, Doom, Tales of Vesperia, Dragon Quest Builders 2 and Dark Souls. Some of these games have sold as much, or better on the Switch. This scares some Sony fans. They want people to think their version always sells the most. Why does it matter? As long as the PS version sells and you get the game, does it matter?

Nintendo is doing better, especially with 3rd party game sales. Also, the Switch is going to be the best selling system this year. Again, who cares. The PS4 has done incredible, so who cares if the Switch wins this year. I don’t care if the Switch wins 2020 or not. Does it matter? I want the Switch to do well, I won’t lie, but if it doesn’t win, I can’t change that. Hating on the Playstaion won’t change that. Enjoy your system everyone, don’t lose your mind if your system isn’t number one.

This is sad, let me make this clear. This is not all Sony fans, or even the majority. But, there is a growing number who are flipping out. This is giving the PS community a bad name. Call them out, just like Nintendo fans need to call out their radicals and Microsoft as well. Look at some of the links below. Why would anyone get upset at a 9 score for Uncharted 4? No, seriously, why? Easy Sony fans, it’s ok. Not every game you like will get all perfect scores. Adam Sessler got ran off You Tube because he gave Gears of War 2 a 9.5 and Killzone 2 a 9.4. Yes, some people lost their minds because of 1/10 of a point. I wish I was kidding. Enjoy your games people and stop flipping out over anything. Video games are supposed to be fun.

Links: https://www.businessinsider.com/nintendo-switch-earnings-statistics-2018-2#6-super-mario-run-remains-very-popular-with-20-million-people-playing-every-month-6