‘Tomb Raider’ Film Review

Grade: B-

Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider (2018)

When it comes to Lara Croft, Alicia Vikander may not be Angelina Jolie, but then again, she does not need to be; this ‘Tomb Raider’ is different in terms of tone, style, and source. The reason I say this is because while Jolie’s portrayal of Croft was taken from the old-school PlayStation games that harbored many a teen crush on a female video game character – leading to action-adventure B-movie fun, Vikander’s turn is from a grittier source. Back in 2013, a mature reboot of the ‘Tomb Raider’ franchise came about; spawning a new generation of fans. While I have never played the new ‘Tomb Raider’, I figured that Hollywood would one day do its thing and make another movie.

Continue reading “‘Tomb Raider’ Film Review”


‘Veronica’ Film Review

Grade: A-

Sandra Escacena in Verónica (2017)

Many articles online claim that Spanish horror film ‘Veronica’ is “one of the scariest movies of all time”. At first glance, that may be hard to believe, since there is always that one report with those eight words plastered on every horror movie cover. Many critics know that the genre is filled with the same old jump scares and bloody/gory imagery to project shock among viewers. ‘Veronica’ has its share of these tropes, but with amazing direction by Paco Plaza, it becomes an intense haunted powerhouse of scares.

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Anime ABC’s N Results


One Tight Race

This round of Anime ABC’s had a lot of weirdness surrounding it. For starters, some long-time voters didn’t participate (I didn’t send it to them, what with everything going on and all) and the front runner changed almost every time somebody voted. In total we had 22 unique voters. At the end of the day though, only one title can reign supreme. Today, a champion emerges and that champion is…

Welcome to the NHK.

Having received a total of 8 votes this is our winner for the N round! Nichijou and No Game No Life were in second and third place respectively. Everything else was reasonably close behind.

I’ll be taking time to re-watch the series and have everything still going on (see this update if you don’t know already) so don’t expect this one to come very quickly. In the meantime I am going to try and schedule a few goodies for you all here-and-there between so I’m not totally dead during my absence. If you want to see me a bit more active, you can find me on Twitter @JS_Reviews.

Not enough for you? Will then be sure to check out the previous ABC article where I discuss Mob Psycho 100 and talk a bit about One Punch Man too. Of course, you can always see every review/discussion piece I ever did by clicking the header for the category on the main page or just clicking here for an alphabetized list.

As always, the full results of the vote are attached below. Did your pick win out or did end up falling short? Let me know your thoughts on this round of Anime ABC’s and the result. Until then, take it easy and I hope I can come back in full swing soon!



Other results:  Noragami, Neo Ranga, Nerawareta Gakuen/Psychic School Wars, Nana, and Naruto

‘Game Night’ Film Review

Grade: D

Michael Corenblith, Jamie Gross, and David Egan in Game Night (2018)

Despite the positive word of mouth ‘Game Night’ has received in recent reports, I found it to be many things; lacking in laugh-out-loud humor, twisted, and atmospherically dark. One half of it fails to muster up a hearty, enjoyable laugh, while the other plays with your expectations; making it a well-done mystery-thriller, but a failed comedy. I expected better from its original premise. Come to think of it, ‘Game Night’ is more or less, a messed-up, unpleasant re-adaptation of the ‘Clue’ board game. While it is not a murder mystery per se, ‘Game Night’ does involve a group of people finding clues in order to win a game. These people are idiotic at best, which is what is supposed to make the comedy work, yet they come off as annoying, while the jokes seem tired. 

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An Unexpected Announcement – Really Important Update Regarding the Fate of Jon Spencer Reviews

Hello Everybody

The other day you may have seen a particular tweet of mine. If not, then here is the tweet in question. Today I will be addressing said tweet and informing you all of exactly what’s going on. Ultimately, based on your responses, Jon Spencer Reviews may cease to be something I personally involve myself in. However, there is still a chance that I don’t just walk away from this so please be sure to read this in full.

The Situation

Let’s start with what the tweet was actually about. I just refer to “bad news” which is really vague. I was specifically referring to the HUGE debt I incurred unknowingly. I have also missed payments on this debt I did not know about and my monthly payment amounts required exceed $1,000 per month. I simply can’t afford that. To make matters worse, my mother sprung this news on me completely out of the blue when I had company over and pretty much went into a blind panic. The loan people didn’t contact me at all, despite their claims to contact me since 2017.

Instead, they sent my mom exactly two emails. One advertising more loans to me for some reason and the other saying I owe a lot of money while additionally having late payments. At first I really thought this was a scam because I had thought I paid off my student loans. Turns out, I had another loan but nobody had bothered to tell me about it.

As it stands, I am $10,000’s in debt and it is only getting worse.

You see, I have an annuity from when my father died that has enough money to pay off all my debts and even provide a living wage to me for a few years. Sounds too good to be true right? Well it kind of is. I have limits on what I can draw and when. Unfortunately, I have the funds to pay off the debt but am not allowed to access them. I used my one-time graduation pull to pay off, what I thought, was all my debt already. So in that sense, I’m out of luck.

This whole problem is the result of a lack of communication from my government, my mother, and how silly my annuity is set up (it’s really more like a trust fund). Largely, I had no real control over this mess. Even now, I can only do so much.

Now I did call the loan people and think that I worked out a semi-solution where I won’t have the penalty for not paying anymore. They also said they would try and adjust my monthly payment amounts. However, I won’t know for certain about this until sometime next week (which is just too long to put off this update). If that happens, then it should become more manageable but I really don’t know.

So here’s the rest of the deal. I’m making $58 bucks, if I’m lucky, a month. That’s it. Money has now become my number one concern. If I’m not making money with something, I need to stop doing it. I can’t waste any time because (right now at least) the problem is looking really bad for me.

Some of you may know that I have a job developer and receive government assistance with finding a job as well. I was maybe going to get a job but seeing as I have yet to hear back about that, it is safe to say I didn’t get it. They needed to fill the position ASAP and it has already been nearly 5 days since I had my surprise interview. In all honesty though, that route has become an unrealistic option for me. I basically have to get a job in my home town because I can’t afford to live on my own AND pay off this debt.

As an alternative, I am trying to get disability-anything but that process is long and I’m not likely to be approved. I’m not missing limbs, in a wheelchair, or incapable of reading/writing so my odds are highly stacked against. I look “normal” and that’s the kind of person who doesn’t usually get government aid for disability in the US. Sucks, but that’s the truth.

How does the site fit into this all exactly?

As I mentioned before, I cannot afford to waste any time. I need money, and I need it now. Additionally, I need it consistently. The site just doesn’t provide me money. I have some Patreon supporters, and I really appreciate you guys, but it just isn’t enough. Unless the community has a solution or is willing to start paying me a living wage for my writing, and I really don’t think I’m good enough (I would have “made it” so-to-speak in writing if I were by now), then here’s what’s going to have to happen.

I’m going to have to stop participating in this site. All of my social media and the site itself would remain activated but I would personally be stepping away. Here’s what wouldn’t change. Jacob would likely still upload and I would update the menus as needed, Anime ABC’s current round would at least be finished out, I would still check in and respond to comments/emails/etc… every once in awhile. That’s it.

This would be permanent unless I found a job and was making enough money for me to be able to have free-time again. I’m cutting everything, not just this, because I can’t just idle and have the problem get worse. No more dance, weekly D&D, nothing. I have to work as much as possible, which I know isn’t healthy, but that is how bad the situation is.

With that I’m sorry to have worried you all, and I really don’t want to just up and drop everything, but that’s what it has come to.

-Jon Spencer

EDIT:  As suggested, I created a Ko-fi thing if you would like to help me out any. Please do not feel obligated to do so though.

Image result for ko fi buy me a coffee button

‘The Post’ Film Review

Grade: A

Like 2015’s ‘Spotlight’, there is no denying that Steven Spielberg’s newest effort, ‘The Post’; a retelling of The Washington Post’s legal battle with Richard Nixon and the hidden accounts of the Vietnam War, was made for the sake of Oscar nominations. You have four Oscar-winners (Spielberg, writer Josh Singer of ‘Spotlight’, Tom Hanks, and Meryl Streep) collaborating on this project, a limited release in December which eventually opened wide in January, and a politically charged story all going for it. Though admittedly, I believe ‘The Post’ is Spielberg’s best Oscar movie since ‘Schindler’s List’.

Continue reading “‘The Post’ Film Review”

Anime ABC’s – N Voting Round

Time Once Again!

We are on the fourteenth Anime ABC’s voting round! How awesome is that?!? Last time the community decided I should watch and review Mob Psycho 100 which ended up being a pretty big surprise for many of you and myself. What’s going to win this time? We’ll just have to wait and find out! For now though, come vote and have your say in what anime I’ll be reviewing next!

Anime ABC’s M Voting Round Link <- Click Me!

Voting will remain open from today until 3/16/18 at 11:59PST.

A big thanks to all who take the time to vote and I’m excited to see what show will win out this time!

Not Sure What Anime ABC’s Is?

Anime ABC’s is a fun community focused event that I run here at Jon Spencer Reviews. Any and all people can participate in this event, even if you know nothing about anime! So how exactly does this all work? It’s simple! Just follow the link above and vote for as many of the listed shows (or provide your own) that seem interesting to you. Each round moves to the next letter in the alphabet, so the current “N” round is the fourteenth anime ABC’s. This is done to keep things interesting and to allow for more variety with each passing round.

The goal of this series is to encourage community input, interaction, as well as to allow me to discover cool new shows, or in some cases, rediscover ones that I previously watched. You can check out my previous ABC reviews for:  Anohana, Bacanno!, Code Geass, The Devil is a Part-Timer, Erased, Flowers of Evil, Gunslinger Girl (S1-2 + OVA’s), Hai to Gensou no Grimgar, I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying, Joker Game, Kimi no Na wa, Little Witch Academiaor Mob Psycho 100. by clicking either of their respective titles for examples of what the end result looks like.

So what are you waiting for? Vote now and be sure to come back next week to see which show ended up winning this round.

[Insert Title Here] – A Discussion on Creative Bankruptcy

We’ve All Been There

You Know the feeling where you don’t know what to write about despite the seemingly infinite amount of things you could be writing about? That’s me right now. Today I’ll be talking about feeling creatively spent, even when you still have plenty of ideas. Sorry for the lack of reviews on my part lately too, I guess I just have a lot of discussion lately. With that, let’s get to it. Continue reading “[Insert Title Here] – A Discussion on Creative Bankruptcy”

Crimson is Hosting the #JonsCreatorShowcase for March (So Let’s Get Those Submissions Rolling!)

It’s time again for the showcase, this time hosted by the fantastic Crimson! Not sure what this is all about? Be sure to read the full article and join in all the fun! 😀

Crimson Blogs

I’m back from the dead!!! Welcome to this little corner of the internet I call my home. If you’re here then chances are you A) were directed here by Auri or Jon, B) Know and/or have participated in this showcase, or C) You follow me? Huh, that doesn’t sound right…

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‘Call Me by Your Name’ Film Review

Grade: B+

Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Thinking about Luca Guadagnino’s Oscar-nominated adaptation of André Aciman’s 2007 novel ‘Call Me by Your Name’, I also reminisce about its beautiful set-pieces and Sufjan Stevens’ Oscar-nominated song ‘Mystery of Love’. I also think of the heartbreak that sneaks through in a place you least expect; haunting you long after the credits roll. ‘Call Me by Your Name’ has still stuck with me this week, and as I anticipate the Oscars coming this Sunday, I still think of its impact. I am not saying that this movie is the best ‘Best Picture’ nominee; there are certain moments that feel graphic in nature. To its credit, it is a sweet portrayal of love and friendship.

Continue reading “‘Call Me by Your Name’ Film Review”