Bloodivores Series Review

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Overview:

Mi Liu and a group of Bloodivores (probably vampires but after episode 1 it becomes entirely unnecessary to care as this plays no significant role in the show) break into a bank to steal something. Things go awry and they are taken in by the police and charged with the murder of the hostages (though they claim they didn’t do it – the murder not the robbery).  Then the prison transport is attacked and instead of jail they end up somewhere else where we will spend the rest of the series watching them run from one unlikely and unexplained situation to the next. I reviewed this week to week if you wanted to check out my thoughts.

Review:

Wow, it has been awhile since I’ve been quite that sarcastic in an overview. The issue is this show is not well written, or well animated, nor does it have compelling characters, interesting themes or a stunning resolution. What we have here is a concept that probably sounded great in planning and then was executed like a group of children were fighting over the keyboard as they came up with increasingly silly ideas to stuff into a show that was trying so hard to be cool and maybe even edge and failed to even rise above inoffensive nothingness.

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I’m going to start with the animation because I so rarely criticize this aspect of a show. I’m fairly happy to watch still images as long as there’s a good story and compelling voice acting so I’m not overly critical of this. But Bloodivores is not just average, it is bad. Just watch the initial car chase where they are pumping the music at you as they sit in the car and desperately try to make you believe these characters are cool and hip while the only reason you know the car is speeding at all is because they show you the speedometer. Yep. No sense of haste otherwise. This is almost as bad as if a character had just leaned over and said ‘you’re going fast’. You don’t feel any sense of tension or movement and visually it isn’t there. This is a common feature in all of the fight sequences where things look like they are moving very slowly (and no it isn’t a slow-mo effect it is just badly done). Plus character eyes and expressions regularly look wrong, arms move independently of shoulders, and characters move in highly unnatural ways. It is jarring and off-putting and does not help the others mediocre story being told.

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The cast of characters are incredibly dull. We learn all but nothing about them and they have no distinguishing personality traits. Seriously I can kind of only tell them apart because they had different hair colours and each one kind of had a signature outfit for most of the show. Most of these characters don’t do anything. Mi Liu is the most proactive of the bunch and after careful reflection I’ve decided he’s probably one of the most moronic main characters I’ve come across in recent history. He blithely makes assumptions and passes these off as facts or at least theories and his plans are so full of holes you don’t get surprised when things fall apart, you wonder why it took so long. None of the other characters contribute much of anything other than occasional noise, fight or rescue sequences, or give someone for Mi Liu to babble at and they are all pretty forgettable.

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I’m not even going to bother with plot. There is a story but we are still completely in the dark about anything at seasons end and to be honest it isn’t compelling enough to make me want to know what happens. Personally, I hope the monsters eat them all.

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Last point before I end this vaguely ranty review. If you name a show Bloodivores, and make a big deal in episode 1 about how Bloodivores came to be, maybe the characters being Bloodivores should occasionally come up as a significant plot point rather than as an excuse to give them super powers.

Recommendation – avoid. It isn’t as broken as something like Big Order or Taboo Tattoo but it is definitely a time suck most people don’t need.

Die Hard Movie Review

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Die Hard Overview:

It’s the classic action story – Die Hard.

John McClane has been invited to a Christmas party at the company his wife works at. While there, a group of armed terrorists take over the building and take the party goers hostage. Now, John, a cop from New York is trapped in the building and has to face the terrorists to try to free the hostages.

For those who want a Christmas set story that isn’t too sickeningly sweet.

Die Hard Review:

Okay, if you watch action movies you have already seen Die Hard. It is a classic and a staple of the genre. Bruce Willis, when he still had hair, making sarcastic quips on the radio while limping around the building carrying a gun and wearing the signature white singlet (ignore the part in the movie where it obviously changes colour and then returns to being a dirty-white singlet, nobody likes you pointing out too many continuity errors) and the police outside being totally useless.

It is a classic for a reason and while most of what happens is now considered cliché and Die Hard didn’t do it first, it definitely did it well.

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Breaking it down, probably the best thing the movie did was cast Bruce Willis. I am not a massive Bruce Willis fan, I find his movies hit and miss, but Bruce Willis is John McClane. I can’t imagine another actor delivering those lines and giving a performance as believable as Bruce Willis did and to be honest when the terrorists were having hissy fits and his wife pointed out that nobody can drive someone crazy like John I totally believed it.

This casting is so important to everything in this movie as it is the glue that holds all the other parts together.

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As for the remaining cast members, they are a bit hit and miss. More of less anyone could have been the wife and most of the minor terrorists are only there to add to the body count. The cops outside are all kind of cookie-cutter characters with various levels of incompetence and the limo-driver serves pretty much no purpose.

But, Alan Rickman, as Hans and the leader of the terrorists, is perfect. He delivers a great performance as a villain and the play between Hans and John has some great chemistry which just adds to the experience and you genuinely want to see these two face off. The other character of note is Sgt. Powell, one of the only cops outside who seems to have a functioning brain and the one John spends a lot of time on the radio with. Though these characters don’t actually meet until the end, they build a fairly solid relationship over the course of the movie.



As a narrative there are no surprises. You have your hero of the story who goes through a series of trials and set backs on his way to accomplishing a single, established goal.  The only real surprise you will have is the wonder of how John McClane has not died at least six times before we get to the end of the film.

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But, what it gives us in exchange for a very by the numbers plot are some truly memorable set pieces and lines. Yeah, the hero takes out each of the baddies, working his way up to the leader with the stakes getting higher as he runs out of weapons, and blood given how many wounds he accumulates, but what really makes this film memorable is that each scene is crafted to be memorable.

There’s the C4 in the elevator shaft moment, the jumping off the roof with the fire hose moment, the glass shooting scene, the dead man in the elevator in the santa hat, etc, etc.

Each action set up works and is striking in how it plays out so you aren’t getting bored by the same sneak up, shoot and kill over and over, or just guns blazing and shouting every single scene. Too many modern action movies go for repetitive action while changing settings rather than changing up the actual action itself. And, that carries over to all the Die Hard sequels (though some of those are pretty terrible). The action sequences are diverse even if the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

So, if you haven’t yet seen this movie and you were looking for a ‘Christmas’ movie that has a touching resolution but doesn’t get so sweet it makes you roll your eyes, Die Hard is probably a good choice. There’s definitely blood, violence and a little bit of swearing, but by today’s standards it’s a pretty tame movie visually but it is good mindless fun.


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Karandi James