Movie Review: Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog | Sonic | Movie | Video Games | Gaming | Sega | Doublexjump.com

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Movies based on video games tend to… not be that great. I’m sure there are exceptions, but most don’t have a good reputation, despite how popular they seem to be with fans. The Super Mario Bros. movie, for example, is an awful movie, but we love it, haha. Sonic the Hedgehog seems to have surpassed the Super Mario Bros. movie, and I honestly thought it was a fun movie!

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Kris was able to see the movie in theaters with our friend and she raved about it when she got home. The moment we were able to, Kris bought the movie from Amazon and we watched it the first night we could. Overall, Sonic the Hedgehog is a pretty good movie. I think they did a great job with it.

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There were lots of nods to the original video game series, from the setting Green Hills to the sound effects to quips of dialogue from the characters, that I was delighted by. Sonic’s redesign was fantastic and I thought the actors did really well in response to their CGI costar.

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The overall design was fantastic, I agree. The actors were great as well and it’s definitely a movie I can see myself watching again. I will admit, I felt some parts moved a bit fast. For example, Sonic’s relationship with Tom. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I felt as though that could have been paced better. Is that just me?

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It probably could have been paced better if the movie was a touch longer. Still, the idea that both of them helped each other — with Tom helping Sonic not being alone, and Sonic helping Tom fulfill that need to help others — was done well enough for the movie, in my opinion. Despite Jim Carrey being a hit or miss for me with his movies, I really enjoyed him as Dr. Robotnik. And the character Rachel, Maddie’s sister? She was amazing, haha!

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Rachel didn’t have a big part, but I thoroughly enjoyed her character, yes. As for Jim Carrey, he’s a hit-or-miss for me as well. I looked forward to seeing him in the role of Eggman. He did a great job. I’ll be looking forward to the sequel!

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I’m looking forward to the sequel too! There’s so many great characters in the Sonic universe, and I’m eager to see their take on characters like Tails and Knuckles. Overall, it was just a fun movie, and I was pleased to see how faithful the production team was to the history of the Sonic universe.

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Howl’s Moving Castle [Movie Review]

Movie Review: Howl's Moving Castle | Anime | DoublexJump.com

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For some reason, we’re on quite the anime kick. This was another movie we picked up at Comic-Con this past summer and we finally had a moment to sit down and give it a watch. I didn’t bother looking at the movie up or reading the back of the cover. I went into this movie having no idea what it was about.

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I remember watching Howl’s Moving Castle once before years ago, as it had been an assignment for one of my college classes. I watched it in parts on YouTube — which was vastly different from 8 to 9 years ago when I saw it — and remembered a scene here or there and a vague concept of the movie, but not much else. I remembered that it was a good enough movie to pick up a copy of it for ourselves back at Comic-Con, anyway!

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The movie began showing off the protagonist, Sophie. She doesn’t get out much, is shy, and doesn’t seem to have too many friends. She works in a hat shop owned by her mother and father, who is now deceased. As everyone leaves for work, the other employees gather out the window because they can see this big, moving, machine that looks like a monster. They were all amazed and it took a second to realize – oh, it’s “Howl’s moving castle” and totally not a monster.

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Howl is known in the movie, as is the other witches and wizards that are employed by the kingdom. Sorcery and magic are normal enough. While magic is still amazing, it’s common knowledge that it exists. The hat shop women giggle about how Howl only likes beautiful women, and Sophie — despite how plain she believes she is — encounters him when he helps stave off some unwanted men. Due to her encounter with Howl, however, Sophie is cursed by the Witch of the Waste to look like an old hag. The Witch of the Waste has been after Howl’s heart for quite some time.

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The Witch of the Waste, however, is often shown at unflattering angles so we’re to believe she’s ugly and can’t see it herself. I loved Grandma Sophie though because she just embraced her old age and made the perfect old woman. Sophie sets out on a quest to find the Witch of the Waste to change her back as she doesn’t want to be looking that an old woman in front of her customers and family.

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Grandma Sophie instead finds herself at Howl’s Moving Castle as the new cleaning woman (with the help of a scarecrow with a turnip for a head). With her influence, Howl and his apprentice Markl start to appreciate their home a bit more, even as they constantly switch locations to avoid joining the king’s army for the war going on around them all. Howl at one point convinces Grandma Sophie to go see the king and his head sorceress herself to let them know that Howl is too much of a coward to join the war, and Sophie meets up with the Witch of the Waste, who was answering her own summons.

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And… that’s where I’ll stop due to spoilers. I enjoyed all the characters in this movie (even the bad guys). They all had a purpose and contributed something worthwhile to the plot. The setting, especially the house, was great as well. There was a deeper message hidden along the way about beauty and loving yourself as you are, which was nice too.

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Well, as spoilery as we can be with a movie that’s about 15 years old, haha! Everyone does seem to learn self-love and acceptance that is then extended to their family members. The animation was beautiful, and I enjoyed the music of the movie as well. The voice actors were fun to hear, with the English version having plenty of familiar actors to us, such as Christian Bale, Jean Simmons, Lauren Bacall, and Billy Crystal. If you ever get the chance to watch the movie, we recommend it!

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Kiki’s Delivery Service (Movie Review)

Movie Review: Kiki's Delivery Service | Anime | Anime Review | DoublexJump.com

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We spent a day at Fan Expo when it was in town, our first time going to it, and we had a great time! We spent way too much money, mostly on vendors at the Artists Alley, but it was worth it. There was also a booth that had tons of anime and video game-based movies, most notably ones from Studio Ghibli. Considering we’re a bit lacking when it comes to movies from such a beloved studio, we picked up a couple of titles, with one of them being Kiki’s Delivery Service. I believe I had remembered bits and pieces of the movie from eons ago, but it could have simply been memories of a commercial for the movie as well.

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I didn’t know much of this movie. However, I had heard of it and I’m pretty sure I watched it just once with an old friend a long time ago. If I remember correctly, she loved Kiki’s Delivery Service and wanted me to watch it. Well, Kris and I watched it together the other night and I remembered nothing of what happened in the movie. It was a fun watch though and I enjoyed it.

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It was a simple movie, one that had me scratching my head while trying to figure out the plot, so to speak. Granted, the last movie we watched was Marvel’s Endgame with a friend, which is all about the plot of 22 movies put together, so it was interesting to turn to a movie that’s more about enjoying the music and animation. I enjoyed it as well, of course, finding it refreshing and charming.

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The movie, overall, was charming. I too enjoyed the music and thought everything about it was relaxing. For the majority of the movie we figured there wasn’t much of a plot, but then a character swooped in and changed the whole dynamic and meaning of the movie.

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Kiki training as a witch takes her on a journey of self-discovery, trying to figure out her place in the world as a witch and as herself. She had romantic idealisms about her training year and had a rude awakening in the form of uninterested and snobby people, as well as trying to figure out her skills. She met some kind people that urged her to figure out herself, even if she hit rock-bottom before doing so.

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It was a nice message, especially towards the end when she hit rock-bottom and things shortly fell into place afterward. But also, Kiki is only 13-years-old. According to the movie, when a witch turns 13, she can leave at midnight on the full moon and begin her year away training. We often felt bad for her because, well, she’s a baby!

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Yes, the poor child! But she met some wonderful people and it’s a good message for viewers in that it’s okay to get down on yourself but it’s also okay to let others in and help you. One of the characters in the movie was an artist and she compared her painting ability to Kiki’s witch powers, talking about how sometimes you just get burned out and it’s okay to take a break, to recharge your creativity however you can. And, honestly, after the summer we had, the message hit close to home.

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We certainly weren’t expecting such a deep message to come through that movie. Of course, we don’t do it justice just talking about it. However, with us being creatives ourselves, there were definitely a couple of quotes to be typed up, printed, and plastered on the wall in our office.

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Of course, like Ursula the artist telling Kiki, “We each need to find our own inspiration. Sometimes it’s not easy.” The majority of the characters were great, actually. The baker’s husband had maybe two lines, but he showed his support for Kiki by baking a little bread wreath to advertise her delivery service. One of my favorite characters was the servant woman for the older lady called only Madame. The servant totally loved the idea of Kiki being a witch, trying out the broom herself, and was just amusing at her reaction to the blimp causing such a chaotic scene in the town.

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I think that’s really what made the movie was the side characters. I totally agree with that. Kiki is but a child, young and naive, and all these adults or older kids surround her with so many different interpretations of the world – some good, some not. However, most of the adults she crossed paths with – like the bakers and Madame – were like parent-figures to Kiki. It’s definitely a movie that everyone should watch, especially if you have a soft spot for anime and are a creative yourself.

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Detective Pikachu [Movie Review]

Movie Review: Detective Pikachu | Pokemon | Video Games | Gaming | Nintendo | DoublexJump.com

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This past Friday we went and saw Detective Pikachu in the theaters with a good friend of ours. Growing up with the Pokemon games and anime, and being hyped for the new Switch titles later this year, we were optimistic for this movie despite movies based on video games getting bad reputations. Honestly, as fans of the franchise, we were not disappointed.

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I had been looking forward to this movie since it was announced a while ago. The CGI and Pokemon designs were awesome and the movie as a whole was well done.

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We did have some issues with the pacing of the movie — some of it just went too fast — but the overall movie was well done. Considering that the movie was able to cater to both fans and non-fans alike was wonderful. When our friend first saw the trailer, she immediately said, “We’re going to see that,” and she enjoyed it as much as we did. True, she wasn’t able to pick out all the Pokemon in the movie, but there were enough details that she followed the plot just fine.

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The pacing was a bit too fast. The plot still made sense – especially if you’ve played the Detective Pikachu 3DS game – but I wanted more of the characters. There were a few characters that I felt we didn’t get to know as well as we could or should have.

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Still, I enjoyed the characters we did see. The CGI for the Pokemon was fantastic, too, and I absolutely cooed over seeing Bulbasaur and Treecko — two of my favorite starter lines — “live.” Now that we’ve seen this movie, though, we’re totally ready for more movies featuring journeys and longer battles!

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I agree and I would have loved to see more Pokemon battles. I know that’s not the point of Ryme City, but the battles were fabulous. Knowing what they’re capable of, they have no excuse not to come out with more live action Pokemon movies. Bring Ash and his various Pokemon journeys to life! (Especially from the Kalos anime.)

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Pokemon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages [Movie Review]

Movie Review: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages | Pokemon | Pokemon Movie | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming movies | DoublexJump.com

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There are almost two dozen Pokemon movies — including the upcoming live-action Detective Pikachu film — and, despite how much we enjoy the Pokemon franchise, Rachel and I have really only seen a handful of them. When we had a little downtime lately, we decided to stick one that we haven’t seen before on, and this time we chose Pokemon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages.

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It’s on Netflix so it was easy enough for us to watch, despite the few DVDs we have of other Pokemon movies we haven’t seen. I remember when this movie came out and it looked interesting to me, though we never got around to watching. I never knew much about Hoopa before watching this film and Hoopa is a pretty cool Pokemon! The movie itself was pretty good as well.

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I was disappointed by the lack of theme song in the beginning of the movie, since I always enjoyed those, but it was a minor detail. This movie dove right into the action, showing off Hoopa’s Unbound Form a century ago and all its power destroying a town in a bid to show off its strength. Considering Hoopa’s Unbound Form is a genie-like creature, it was captured in a bottle by a guy who had some power of Arceus, the legendary Pokemon that is said to have created the world.

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I honestly didn’t realize there was no theme song until Kris pointed it out. The action began from the first second and I was drawn in anyway. Hoopa is certainly an interesting Pokemon as I didn’t realize he’s a genie-like Pokemon. It was a really cool concept. The movie as a whole was great. It was action-packed and none of the characters were annoying. The brother and sister characters were awesome where I usually find the side characters to get on my nerves.

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It took place in the Kalos region, so Ash had Serena, Clemont, and Bonnie as companions. In all honesty, the companions didn’t do much, aside from Bonnie recruiting a random Hippopotas to help them near the climax of the movie. The movie would have done well with just Ash and the side characters — Meray and Baraz — helping Hoopa against its Unbound form. Speaking of Hoopa, the small form of it was adorable in the movie! The Unbound form was actually kind of creepy.

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Yeah, some of the “main characters” weren’t needed. Honestly, Pikachu didn’t even do much in this movie, which was off. The Unbound form was super creepy! He can teleport through his rings and just poke his head through and his eyes were red and evil and it was nightmare fuel for sure. Small Hoopa was so cute though and could, of course, speak English. What I loved most about this movie was that it was one giant Pokemon battle. They summoned a bunch of legendary Pokemon to help and it just felt epic.

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Lugia, Rayquaza, Latios and Latias, Palkia, Dialga, just to name a few legendary Pokemon that were involved in this battle. They battled all around the city, causing such destruction that Rachel and I weren’t strangers to saying, “Well, the people in that building are now dead.” Honestly, if more battles in the anime were that epic, I probably would continue watching the series.

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I still want to watch the anime anyway… I’ve gotten way too far behind in it. But anyway, the movie overall was great. I teared up once, but it never made it cry. It was actually just good feeling and a wholesome movie. It felt different from the rest of the Pokemon movies and I really liked it.

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Minecraft Story Mode: Episode One [TV Show Review]

Movie Review: Minecraft Story Mode Episode 1 | TV show review | video games | gaming | DoublexJump.com

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While we knew the Story Mode Minecraft games existed, it was fairly recent that we heard about the interactive series of episodes that were available on Netflix. We had no idea what we were going to be in for when we started this up for the hell of it.

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It was certainly something different and neither of us were expecting it to be “good.” It truly was interactive though… which it says it is, but for some reason I wasn’t expecting to use the Xbox controller to make choices for the main character. That was certainly a cool addition.

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You start with the main character entering a building contest with a couple of her friends and, for a while, the only motivation these characters have is to “be cool.” It was a bit cringy, to be honest. The actual plot revealed itself eventually, with a character who had a grudge against some heroes of the world unleashed a Wither monster. It’s up to the main character and friends to find the rest of the heroes to stop the Wither. While there were enough choices throughout the episode to keep the story interactive, there were only a few where the episode actively told you, “Your story is changing,” due to your choice.

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The plot itself isn’t that bad once it’s revealed and it shows some history on the world as well. But yeah, some of the choices were kind of pointless and if you don’t make a choice by the time the timer runs, it makes the choice for you based on whatever your controller is currently on. While I don’t think I’ll watch this again, I’m curious to see what happens if we made different choices that actually changed the course of the story. Some of the choices was also crafting as well, which was a cool touch.

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The crafting choices — like, would you craft a bow or a fishing rod for your current situation — were interesting, yes. Some of the characters weren’t too bad, although we were kind of yelling at some of them often enough. Honestly, some of the situations could have been avoided if a character just, ya know, moved from where they were standing. One of the side characters was called Axel, and he was basically the muscle of the group and was fantastic at being Captain Obvious. He was one of our favorites, haha!

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Axel was good, yeah. While there were some good lines that made us laugh throughout this hour and half long episode, I didn’t care for any of the characters or their voice acting. The tones never seemed to match what was going on in the scene and it didn’t seem like there was much emotion or effort behind it. That definitely got annoying to listen to after a while. The sound effects, however, we great. The Ghasts in the Nether were spot on. Granted, they’re probably ripped from the game but it was nice to hear anyway since the voice acting was lacking.

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Considering it was done in conjunction with the developers of the game, I imagine the sound effects were right from Minecraft. We don’t have any emotional attachment to these characters — although, I’m sure younger kids would — but we were interested enough in the plot to be curious about what happens next or, as Rachel mentioned, what would happen should we chose different responses to the crucial choices of the first episode. We’re not rushing off to watch the next episode, but if we get bored enough later down the road, maybe we’ll stick on another one.

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I would like to at least finish the rest of the season. It was interesting, to say the least. And, honestly, I think we had a pretty good time watching it together. Though, I have to take it in small doses.

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The Legend of Zelda TV Show [Review]

TV Show Review: The Legend of Zelda | movie review | cartoon | Nintendo | gaming | video games | DoublexJump.com

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This is one of the corniest and ridiculous shows that we’ve seen. It’s a product of its era, with the episodes following the similar plot line of Ganon creating a scheme to try to steal the Triforce of Wisdom while Link, Princess Zelda, and their fairy friend Spryte stop him. Each episode is about fifteen minutes long and is full of glorious puns.

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The show didn’t last long at all beginning in September 1989 and ending in December 1989. The voice acting is over the top and the overall show is ridiculous, as Kris said, but… I kind of wish there was more.

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More episodes would have been nice. It’s rather a shame that it didn’t do well enough to go past one season. Considering all the episodes follow a simple formula, it isn’t too surprising. Still, we enjoyed the characters, especially with how sassy Zelda and Link were to each other. Zelda was also just as much as a protagonist as Link was, even if she did need to be rescued many times. I also enjoyed the music and sound effects, which are lifted straight from the original games. They were fun Easter eggs.

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Honestly, the music and sound effects were probably my favorite part of the whole show. That could be because we just played the original game on the NES, but still. It was refreshing to hear over the corny voice acting. There’s a reason Link is a silent protagonist. Neither of their voices is at all what I had expected for them, but they worked well enough anyway. Link and Zelda had a cool relationship with one another. They were friends even though Link’s job is to protect Zelda and the Triforce of Wisdom.

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Yes, they were friends, even though one of the running jokes was Link always trying to get Zelda to kiss him. They flirted throughout the season, but Link never gets his kiss. There was respect between the characters, but familiarity to ensure the audience understood the friendships. Other jokes included the famous line, “Well, ex-CUSE me, Princess!” and a time when Link whistled the Super Mario Bros. theme song.

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This show certainly has its charm. It’s fun to see these beloved characters in a new light. This isn’t the kind of show that I’ll turn on once in a while, but I’m sure I’ll come back to it again to get a good laugh.

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Clue Movie [Review]

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The Clue movie is based off of the board game of the same name, throwing people from all sorts of different backgrounds into a mansion where each of them are suspected of murder. Despite the killings, the movie itself is comedic and it’s a fun film to watch no matter how many times you’ve seen it.

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It’s an older movie, which came out in 1985. Our family enjoys older movies, our parents growing up in times and our older sister just being born in the wrong era. We’ve seen Clue many times and enjoy it each and every time. It’s funny with awesome actors and the mystery is one that’s woven perfectly.

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The actors definitely make this movie. Several we knew from other movies, so it was a treat to recognize them in these ridiculous roles based on a board game. Miss Scarlet had also been Cinderella while Colonel Mustard was the principal on Sabrina the Teenage Witch. And, of course, everyone knows Christopher Lloyd.

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And Tim Curry. He was there too. The movie is meant to be ridiculous and fun. Honestly, you can’t really figure out the mystery either. I mean, I guess if you took notes then maybe you could try, but it’s a tough one. It all makes sense though. It’s hard to figure out and then the butler reveals all and, if you follow closely, it does wrap up nicely. However, there are three different endings and the writers worked it so that each makes sense.

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For the most part they all make sense. There is a question or two on a couple of the endings, but they’re not totally far-fetched. Originally, the cast is meant to discover who killed Mr. Boddy after he attempts to blackmail each of the guests of the house. Together, with the butler and maid, the guests go around to figure out which of them is the killer. Personality quirks, to put it lightly, ensure that the plot is not serious at all.

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Overall, it’s a great movie and a fun experience if you enjoy mysteries and the Clue board game.

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Donkey Kong And The Legend Of The Crystal Coconut [Movie Review]

Double Jump | Donkey Kong | Video Games | Nintendo | Movies | Movie Review

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So about twenty years ago, there was a certain cartoon that was based off of the Donkey Kong video game franchise. It was originally a Canadian/French cartoon that was later released in the United States. It’s amusing to me that this cartoon came out around the same time as the Pokemon franchise and comparing how the two have aged over time.

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I didn’t realize it came out around the same time as Pokemon. Or I, at least, didn’t make that connection. The movie is 3D cartoon, similar to Pixar’s style. It’s based off of Donkey Kong Country with similar music, font styles, and characters. I had completely forgotten about the movie until Kris mentioned it. Even then, while the beginning was vaguely familiar to me, I barely remembered the movie at all.

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The animation is a treat to see, considering it was computer animated with motion capture to try to get it as close to the video game style as possible. The Legend of the Crystal Coconut was one of the many video releases of episodes of the show packaged together. I remember renting this particular “feature-length film” from Blockbuster every once in a while as a kid before I tended to just stick to renting video games.

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It was a musical too. Donkey Kong sang and he actually has the best voice out of all the characters. Seriously, I’d buy DK’s CD if he ever came out with one. The songs and the movie itself was kind of ridiculous, but it had good lines and was pretty funny at times.

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Each episode of the cartoon had at least two songs, I believe. It made us burst into giggles when the first song started up, especially since the animation didn’t exactly allow the smoothest dance moves for the characters. Actually, the pirate villains had the best song and dance combos!

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Oh, right. DK had the best singing voice, but he was certainly the worst dancer. The entire thing was them, King K. Rool, and the pirates all trying to get the Crystal Coconut for themselves. It was an hour and a half of keep-away. It was hilarious though and honestly, I don’t think we ever found out the “legend” of the Crystal Coconut, which was what DK was originally trying to figure out.

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Considering it was just a collection of four episodes of the cartoon series, I imagine more of the Crystal Coconut’s lore was uncovered in the other thirty-six or so episode of the series. Since this was just a collection, the timeline of the four episodes was a bit off — in the third episode, or part, of the movie, there was a flashback to an incident that didn’t happen until the fourth episode on the movie! Nevertheless, we were very amused by this cartoon and we had a great time revisiting it.

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Yes, that’s true. It was a great movie and certainly fun to revisit! I’m sure we’ll sit down to watch it again at some point too.

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Ace Attorney Anime [Episodes 1-4]

Ace Attorney Anime: Episodes 1-4 | Phoenix Wright | Capcom | DoublexJump.com

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Ace Attorney is one of our favorite video game franchises, with the original trilogy being some of the best games. And, while neither Rachel nor I were ever really into anime except for Pokemon, we were both interested in hearing that Ace Attorney got its own anime series.

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It’s been a long time coming, but we finally got a chance to sit down and watch it. Of course, we were going to get Crunchyroll when I noticed the website sells DVDs of Ace Attorney. I checked on Amazon, it was cheaper, and BAM! Impulse buy. We got it just in time too because the season one, volume 2 DVD set comes out in less than a month.

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Anime is definitely more dramatic or over exaggerated, if you will, than the American cartoons that I grew up watching, and Ace Attorney wasn’t an exception. It was great, of course, and we’re really enjoying it so far. We’ve watched the first four episodes which mirror the first two cases from the original game.

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We’ve played through the games a couple of times, so, for the most part, we remember what happens in each case. There are a couple of times we forget something here and there, but watching the anime we knew how everything was going to play out. Since each episode is only about 20-30 minutes long, the cases go by pretty quick. A few hours of gameplay is squished into 2 or 3 parts of 20-minute episodes. But it’s enjoyable all the same.

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Seeing the game scenes and characters come to life is so much fun. Phoenix and Maya tend to act as we always pictured they would, and we’re enjoying all the voice actors so far — the English voice actors, of course. It’ll be interesting to re-watch the episodes in Japanese to hear how the characters sound.

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Yeah, watching it in Japanese is something I want to try. Maya’s voice sounds a little young for her age, but it’s easy to get used to. Detective Gumshoe is more serious than he is in the games, but I enjoy his character all the same. And then there’s Edgeworth… his voice actor and animations are all sexy. I love it.

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I was actually really impressed with Redd White from the Turnabout Sisters case. His voice and mannerisms were spot-on, with his narcissism and arrogance. I do hope that the later episodes will show more of the scenery outside of the courtroom. While the trial portion of the episodes are fun, I would like to see a little more exploration.

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We’re starting to see a little bit more investigation as the episodes go on. That’s how they did it in the games too, which is pretty cool. I’m sure as the cases get longer we’ll start to see more. I love the show, but I would also love to see a movie. I know they do have a movie in Japan, but even if it’s anime, that would be amazing.

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