Alien Resurrection (1997)

Alien Resurrection Movie Review

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Alien Resurrection Movie Review

Alien Resurrection is a 1997 science fiction horror film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder. It is a surprisingly solid flick.

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I thought you were dead. Yeah, I get that a lot

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Alien Resurrection Movie Review

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Now after the mediocrity that was ‘Alien 3’, I expected the same level of incompetence in Alien 4, but what I got is actually a pretty solid film and it caught be my surprise. I was so pleasantly surprised to find out that this fourth installment got back to the series’ roots with more memorable horror and less boredom.

So the plot is pretty solid, not great, but serviceable. I really liked the twist with Call, really well done and it made me like her character even more. The ending was memorable and the inclusion of Newborn creature which is a Xenomorph but with human traits was very interesting. Because it is basically sort of Ripley’s child, her killing it in the end provided an unexpectedly emotionally resonant moment. I also really liked that plot point with all the genetically modified Xenomorphs with humans. Creepy and disturbing, but memorable and visually very intriguing.

Ellen Ripley is as strong as ever here and Sigourney Weaver once again killed it in her signature role, but Winona Ryder is also surprisingly strong in the role of Call. Her performance and her character provided one of the standouts here. But unfortunately all of the other characters are pointless, disposable and so underdeveloped that it was ridiculous that we only got two memorable characters.

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Alien Resurrection Movie Review

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Alien Resurrection is very memorable in a couple of scenes. As I said above, everything with the hybrid creatures was unforgettable, but the action was also surprisingly strong here with a couple of standout action sequences such as that unforgettable water run which I absolutely adored because of a unique concept and a great chase.

The film is well made, but weakly directed and I thought that this French director was not a good fit for this franchise. The score is also lacking, but the effects are excellent. The major problem with this movie is that the first half is so boring, it takes time getting used to and it felt uninspired and basically like a cash grab that the very entertaining second half couldn’t quite save the entire movie for being so dull before.

Alien Resurrection is actually a very solid, surprisingly competent film and a huge improvement over the previous installment. Its first half is very dull, it takes time getting used to and most of the characters are disposable, but Winona Ryder and of course Sigourney Weaver are very good, the film has a couple of excellent, truly memorable action sequences and the addition of hybrid Xenomorphs was a very interesting, creepy idea.

My Rating – 3.5

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Toy Town Hall (1936)

Toy Town Hall ReviewToy Town Hall Review

Toy Town Hall is a 1936 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is an okay short.

So the premise where the baby falls asleep and dreams about an orchestra is such a tired, uninspired concept that I’ve seen a billion times before in animated shorts. This time around we’ve got actors parodied and whether or not their designs were odd, I did not recognize who these actors were which is troublesome. The film is sorely lacking in gags and should have been funny, but isn’t.

The animation is pretty pleasing and with nice colors and the score is so good with the Merrily We Roll Along famous theme being used well in the film itself. I cannot wait for the next Merry Melody as from then on that classic theme will be used in the titles forever.

Toy Town Hall is well scored and animated, but so uninspired and typical in its storyline.

My Rating – 3.4

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 7 (1993)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 7 Review

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 7 Review

The seventh season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is half pretty good and half mediocre leading to a messy season.

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It was about time this show got educational

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 7 Review

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That is because it consists of one main season of fourteen episodes and most are pretty good there, but it also has a sideseason where they travel to European countries and those thirteen episodes are mostly very mediocre.

Tower of Power sees the Turtles visit Paris and it has its moments being one of the better episodes here. But Rust Never Sleeps is a weaker second half of their Paris trip and it isn’t particularly educational for children which these episodes should have been.

A Real Snow Job is in the Alps and unfortunately it doesn’t utilize on its great setting at all leading to a frustratingly dull and forgettable episode. I have recently been to Venice and I was thus immensely disappointed in Venice on the Half-Shell which is incredibly weak and the villains are incompetent once again.

Artless is easily the best of the European Vacation episodes as it features a story which should have been done many seasons ago. The turtles are mistaken for their eponymous painters and the results are stellar and funny. Ring of Fire is probably the most forgettable episode of this bunch as I cannot recall it all that well.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 7 Review

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The Irish Jig Is Up doesn’t use its Irish setting at all and is frankly very annoying in its stupid plot and situations. The worst of these episodes for sure. Shredder’s New Sword is similar to other episodes where he seeks some sort of sword, but at least the inclusion of Merlin spruced things up a bit.

The Lost Queen of Atlantis is well animated, but surprisingly annoying in its use of April and actually very slight when the setting should have provided some great adventure. Turtles on the Orient Express was a good idea, but the execution is mediocre with too much action and frenetic pacing.

April Gets in Dutch is very familiar in its use of April and an overall plot whereas Northern Lights Out is also very disappointing and it doesn’t utilize on the Norwegian setting at all. Elementary, My Dear Turtle should have been fun, but it wasn’t as I disliked their version of Sherlock Holmes and the episode was mostly just a gimmick.

And now to the good stuff which is the main season. Night of the Dark Turtle is a weak start to this season with an annoying superhero story and Donatello. The Starchild is surprisingly strong and stellar in terms of storytelling and especially emotion as that third act was a great twist and it provided a touching conclusion to the story. The Legend of Koji is another exceptionally strong episode where they travel to Ancient Japan and Shredder is very good here.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 7 Review

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Convicts from Dimension X relies too much on Vernon and Irma and I really dislike those two annoying bitches so of course I wasn’t a fan of this episode. White Belt, Black Heart is a very forgettable gangster episode.

Night of the Rogues finds the Turtles having to face Leatherhead, Tempestra, The Rat King and so many more of the iconic TMNT villains and the results are great and a lot of fun. They should have done this type of episode much more often. I disliked Attack of the Neutrinos of course as I hate those brats.

Escape from the Planet of the Turtleoids is fun and solid, but should have been better given the premise and it’s too frenetic in pace. Revenge of the Fly again finds Baxter Stockman getting needlessly horribly punished and I have never understood why they continued to sadistically torture this poor character.

Atlantis Awakes is another episode about Atlantis and it is ridiculous that we got two distinctly different Atlantean episodes and both are not very good. Dirk Savage: Mutant Hunter! features another one of those disposable villains and the episode itself is forgettable.

Invasion of the Krangazoids is a lot of fun! Seeing Krang make an army of Krangs was extremely entertaining and the banter between all of them was so funny but also seeing his true original form for the first time was unforgettable and finally we saw how he looked like and I liked that look.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 7 Review

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Combat Land is another one of those episodes where someone wants to use the Turtles for something and it is repetitive and rehashed. As for the finale, Shredder Triumphant!, it is a very strong, fun episode with has too much action, but that is to be expected from the season finale and I really liked how Shredder and the rest of the villains were competent for a change.

All in all, this TMNT season is hurt by its unfortunate European Vacation sideseason which is dull and not all that educational, but the main season is actually one of the better seasons of this show with a lot of fun action, a great use of its villains and a couple of entertaining, really well crafted episodes.

Worst Episodes: Ring of Fire, the Irish Jig Up and April Gets in Dutch.

Best Episodes: Artless, The Starchild, Night of the Rogues, Invasion of the Krangazoids and Shredder Triumphant!

My Rating – 3.4

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Of Mice and Men (1939)

Of Mice and Men Movie Review

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Of Mice and Men Movie Review

Of Mice and Men is a 1939 drama film directed by Lewis Milestone and starring Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney, Jr. It is a pretty good adaptation.

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I wish somebody’d shoot me when I get old

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Of Mice and Men Movie Review

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It is based on the eponymous book from John Steinbeck and naturally the novel is better, but the film still ended up being pretty good despite its obvious problems. Now I respected how faithful it is to the novel which is very important to me and thankfully they did not change a single important plot point. Everything flows really well and although the film is long and the book is just short being basically a novella, that still provided them a chance to adapt all of the plot points faithfully.

George and Lennie are  great here. Their dynamic was better and more memorable in the book, but they were strong here too. Burgess Meredith did a really good job and Lon Chaney, Jr. in particular excelled at portraying this great character. The casting was top-notch for these two.

Crooks is okay, but Slim, Candy and Curly are all much more forgettable here. However, Curly’s wife is given a name here, Mae, and also a personality and that leads me to the film’s only big change from the novella – there she was a frustratingly stereotypical female character, but here she was actually really well developed.

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Of Mice and Men Movie Review

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She was made much more sympathetic as we see how miserable Curly treats her. We get her and we understand her actions and thus she is not just a catalyst for action, but a human being and I loved that. But still it came at a cost of the overall story and characterization for the other characters as she took a bit too much of the movie’s runtime.

Of Mice and Men has some great scenes, such as the beginning, the ending and really all of the scenes from the book that were great there are also great here and it was wonderful seeing them on the screen. The film is emotional, so well acted and cast and so well directed by Lewis Milestone who really did a good job in the directing chair. And as I said, it is long, but never felt like that as it is pretty engaging for its entire running time.

But the technical aspects are sorely lacking despite its score which is actually terrific, very moving and it accompanied the emotional scenes so wonderfully. But the cinematography is just poor, I have to say. The camera movements felt very amateurish and sometimes the editing also felt rushed and horridly cut. The movie definitely needed to be more cinematic as those natural landscapes and the interiors felt very lacking and not as great and as unforgettable as I pictured them in the novella. I really was disappointed in that and it is the major hurdle the film just never could overcome.

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Of Mice and Men Movie Review

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It was nominated for four Oscars and it unfortunately came out in the best ever year which is 1939 so it cannot compete with the best films from this year, but it is still pretty good and I’d say that it deserved those nominations, especially the nod for score as it is the most accomplished aspect of the film.

The 1939 movie adaptation of Mice and Men is a respectable, though flawed one. It is technically quite weak despite its superb score as the cinematography is very poor and Curly’s wife got too much screen time, but that also led to her better and less stereotypical portrayal. The casting was excellent as Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney, Jr. were perfect for these roles and they excelled at them and the film is so faithful to the book that I really liked it overall.

My Rating – 4

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Porky’s Moving Day (1936)

Porky's Moving Day ReviewPorky’s Moving Day Review

Porky’s Moving Day is a 1936 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a forgettable film.

I honestly do not know who that cow is. She reminded me of Clarabelle Cow, but she cannot be here as she is a Disney character and this is Warner Brothers. The house reminded me of that house from ‘The Gold Rush’ and the setting was so great and a lot of fun, but her constant screams got on my nerves.

But Porky is reliably good and I liked how the action was executed here. But the score was not that great and the animation is solid, but not up to par with other entries from this period. Porky’s Moving Day should have been much better given the premise and it ended up being flawed.

Porky’s Moving Day is interesting in setting and fun, but annoying in its cow character and far from great.

My Rating – 3.5

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Of Mice and Men (1937)

Of Mice and Men Review

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Of Mice and Men Review

Of Mice and Men is a 1937 novella by John Steinbeck. It is a famous novella which is touching and tragic to this day.

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Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other

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Of Mice and Men Review

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It is about two migrant ranch workers who move from place to place in California in search for a job during the Great Depression. It is a classic tale of male friendship and loneliness above everything else and it is very engaging and emotionally rewarding for its very brief length of about 100 pages.

This book is very good, but not as great as it could have been owing to a couple of problems in its plot. I liked the majority of it, but some things I honestly disliked such as the character of Curly’s wife. She is basically a catalyst for tragedy to happen and is just there to infuriate men and nothing else. She was a bit humanized during her speech with Lenny, but still she was too weak of a female character who relied too much on her looks and in that respect the book is dated.

Another problem is the ending which I found overly tragic. It was still unforgettable and heartbreaking, but a bit too heartbreaking and dramatic. I guess I felt too sorry for the guy and thus it felt overly tragic to me which I guess is also a good thing.

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Of Mice and Men Review

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Everything else is excellent in this story. I loved the beginning which was actually very intriguing and I was instantly hooked with its mix of interesting characters, their dynamic and natural imagery. The book works so well as a three-act story as he wanted and did eventually make a theatrical version of it. All three acts are very good and each has a lot to offer while feeling distinct in tone and style.

I found the role of a dog very interesting here and the death of that old dog was certainly a tragic part. Of the characters, Slim is forgettable and as I said above, the woman is notoriously offensive in her portrayal. Curley serves his purpose as well as Candy and of course Crooks is a very interesting black character and admirably inoffensive for its time. His troubles rang true.

But Of Mice and Men is all about George and Lennie naturally. George is great and realistic whereas Lennie is sweet and tragic. Their interactions were wonderful and their relationship gives us one of the best male friendships in literature without a doubt. So strong.

So male friendship is well explored and idealized here whereas loneliness is a very important theme as everybody here is so lonely that they will go out of their way to acquaint and talk with strangers. The foolishness, but tragic foolishness of the American dream is definitely evident here and realistically portrayed for this period in particular. The book is brutally honest while still being poetic and that is a great mix.

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Of Mice and Men Review

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Of course you’ve got the portrayal of human beings as predatory creatures who when they sense their weakness are capable of hurting others so that they can hide their own unhappiness and insecurities. That is an inherent quality of each and every one of us and is honestly described here. And of course that dream about the farm provided us with the most tragic of the passages in the book and the use of animals, especially mice and rabbits, is also superb in exploration of Lennie’s character. Steinbeck wrote this book so well and although sometimes the actions were rushed in explanations, most of the descriptions were good and the dialogue is especially effective and realistic.

Of Mice and Men has its flaws, but it is such a deeply touching, so well written novella which is filled with greatly explored themes of loneliness, the American dream and male friendship while giving us such a memorable main duo, brutal emotion and realism and many memorable images and passages.

My Rating – 4.2

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Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995)

Neon Genesis Evangelion Review

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Neon Genesis Evangelion Review

Neon Genesis Evangelion is a 1995 mecha anime series that is one of the most famous animes ever. It is a pretty solid, but expectedly not great show.

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Mankind’s greatest fear is mankind itself

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Neon Genesis Evangelion Review

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I am usually not a fan of mecha, big robots and everything surrounding that narrative so me liking this anime was a surprise. I did not love it, but still I liked it to a degree. That is mostly because it doesn’t only rely on action, but it also has a strong story and a surprisingly hefty emotional investment.

I still found the second half of the show overly action packed and dull with only the final couple of episodes being standout in their original concept and execution, but the rest are not great. The first half is much better as the first 14 or so episodes are very engaging and a lot of fun.

The show’s humor is exceptionally strong and I loved the more hilarious and fun episodes. That penguin in particular was so funny. So Shinji is such a respectable central character and the rare hero who is at first whiny and not all that strong and heroic. That I loved and it was relatable to me.

Rei and Asuka are also quite well developed and I loved the dynamic between these three. Ritsuko is also memorable and strong, but the rest are forgettable. Neon Genesis Evangelion has a typical approach for anime with an abundance of female characters and not that many male ones which was troublesome and unrealistic. But I did like its sexual humor quite a bit.

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Neon Genesis Evangelion Review

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Neon Genesis Evangelion features a pretty strong animation and its visuals are the strongest aspect here as the series aged really well and looks good even today. The designs of the robots are also very good and diverse. The score is also good, not great, but memorable and it serves its purpose along with good sound effects and the show is overall technically polished. I just wish that the action-filled second half was slower.

In the end, I liked Neon Genesis Evangelion. It has too much action and is sometimes too convoluted and I have to say that it is intellectually not as profound and is overrated, but its characters are well developed and memorable, the show is emotional in approach and I liked its score and animation quite a bit.

Worst Episodes: She said, ‘Don’t Make Others Suffer for Your Personal Hatred, Weaving a Story, Fourth Child and Introjection.

Best Episodes: The Beast, Hedgehog’s Dilemma, The Day Tokyo-3 Stood Still and Take Care of Yourself.

My Rating – 3.7

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Zodiac (2007)

Zodiac Movie Review

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Zodiac Movie Review

Zodiac is a 2007 thriller mystery film directed by David Fincher and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo. It is a pretty good, if not great movie.

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I… I Need to know who he is. I… I need to stand there,

I need to look him in the eye and I need to know that it’s him

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Zodiac Movie Review

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This 70s manhunt for a notorious killer who left clues for the police remains an infamous, never unsolved case and it was always ripe for a movie. And this film proves that and it proves how Fincher was perfect for it as he imbued it with excellent atmosphere, reliably stellar direction and a very well crafted mystery.

So Zodiac is a good movie, sometimes even very good. But it’s not great and it’s far from the director’s best works owing to the one and one thing only which is of course its running time. Two hours and forty minutes was just too much for this story and the film felt very prolonged, it dragged at certain parts and some scenes were unnecessary or dull. This runtime affected the movie a lot unfortunately.

Jake Gyllenhaal is very good as usual in the lead role and it was interesting seeing Marvel’s Ruffalo and Downey both here. The actors did a really good job in their roles and the characters are pretty solid, but they aren’t as great as the script and prolonged runtime demanded.

Now Zodiac is a truly terrifying movie. It doesn’t have enough action scenes, especially in the second half, but the first one featured a couple of truly horrific scenes and actually all of the killings we witnessed were so scary and creepy in how they were filmed and how we never see the killer. Such great choices.

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Zodiac Movie Review

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The cinematography is also pretty stellar. I usually dislike grim looking movies, but here I actually loved it because it complements the story and it sets the mood perfectly. It recreated the 70s decade so well with a great attention to detail, but the score, great atmosphere and especially superb cinematography sold those crucial creepy scenes. The mystery itself also provided a couple of terrific scenes, great twists and turns and I enjoyed its ambiguous ending and how faithfully they recreated this whole case.

Zodiac features good performances from its talented cast, reliably strong direction from Fincher, superb cinematography, a good mystery and a couple of truly terrifying murder sequences, but it needed more action in my opinion and it was ultimately undone by its needlessly prolonged running time. It’s a good film, but far from the director’s greatest works.

My Rating – 4

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When the Cat’s Away (1929)

When the Cat's Away ReviewWhen the Cat’s Away Review

When the Cat’s Away is a 1929 Mickey Mouse cartoon. It is such a dull entry.

This predated even the Silly Symphonies and it is one of the first cartoons to extensively rely on music and soundtrack to tell its story. But again what story? There is literally no plot here as we basically follow Mickey and Minnie dance around in the house and play the piano.

The score is nice and pleasant and the animation is solid. But I disliked that the two were portrayed as real mice instead of anthropomorphic mice. And again there is nothing here in terms of storytelling and even humor as the film is dull, not funny and overall uninspired. I do hope that the series do not start relying on music from now on.

When the Cat’s Away is the weakest Mickey Mouse short thus far with a dull, plotless approach and it relies too much on music.

My Rating – 3.1

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Once Upon a Time Season 6 (2016)

Once Upon a Time Season 6 Review

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Once Upon a Time Season 6 Review

The sixth season of Once Upon a Time is solid with a couple of actually excellent episodes, but it is still a low point for the show along the line with the previous season.

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There’s just one problem. All magic comes with a price

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Once Upon a Time Season 6 Review

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The second arc is better than the first one this time around. The first arc sees the Evil Queen returning and going against Regina and everyone and that was at first great, but it eventually went nowhere and it was boring and unnecessarily convoluted at certain points.

The Agrabah arc was entirely disappointing. It did start off really nicely as both Aladdin and Jasmine are very well fleshed out and complex characters here, but Jafar was disappointing, the inclusion of Ariel was ridiculous and stupid and the entire story ended really weakly and was not worth all of that pay off.

The second arc is better because it posed bigger threats and a better villain. I really liked the Black Fairy. At first she seemed dull, but eventually I really liked how competent she was and I thought her story provided us good answers about Rumple and the source of the Curse to begin with. She was very good, but died off too abruptly and in a frustrating manner.

Snow and Charming got some lovely moments, but this was mostly a rehash of their previously told love story, it was told again for at least fourth time. Belle was forgettable, but Rumple was reliably great and I really liked his eventual, this time final turn to the good side.

I liked Emma and of course Regina was great as was her evil side. However, Zelena was the best of the bunch as I really enjoyed her story. She has always been one of my favorite OUAT characters and she really got a great redemption arc here. Her episode she got was beautiful and touching and so emotionally rewarding.

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Once Upon a Time Season 6 Review

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The finale was disappointing in my opinion, solid but not as great as the show usually makes them. The action was lacking and there should have been much more of it plus the first half was kind of boring.

The musical episode, on the other hand, was quite a success and I did not see it coming. Yes, at first it annoyed me as the songs came as detours, but eventually I came to like them as they represented the style of the characters singing them oh so well from the Charmings’ annoyingly upbeat tune to Evil Queen’s more sinister song to Zelena’s Wicked Always Wins which stole the show how unexpectedly great and catchy it was. It was a showstopper for sure and her character was the best in this entire middling season.

Overall, I liked this sixth season of Once Upon a Time. Both arcs had their great episodes and good stuff to offer, I liked Hook and Emma’s wedding quite a bit and he was wonderful here, Zelena was great and the villain was mostly pretty memorable. The Henry tease at the end was interesting and this was a pretty good finale for all of the characters and their stories and I am glad that they are taking the series to a new direction, but sad to see some of the regular cast members go.

Worst Episodes: The Savior, Heartless and Tougher Than the Rest.

Best Episodes: Street Rats, I’ll Be Your Mirror, Wish You Were Here and Where Bluebirds Fly.

My Rating – 3.6

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