‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Film Review

Grade: D

Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Dan Fogler, William Nadylam, Alison Sudol, Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Claudia Kim, Zoë Kravitz, Ezra Miller, and Callum Turner in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

If there was ever a reason that ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ did not need a sequel, I would suggest looking no further than ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’, which has intentions to give characters more depth, yet cannot seem to find a comprehensible story to go along with it. It was clear that the real reason this sequel was made with the first film being extremely successful (I mean, fans of ‘Harry Potter’ were not ready to leave J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World), yet with the way ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’ was received, it is easy to see why it did not do as well. Many people blame the fact that Johnny Depp was cast as the titular villain despite his real-life controversies, or there it just was not as good. Yet, I believe that it had to do with the fact that the first ‘Fantastic Beasts’ worked so well as a stand-alone film that nothing could top it.

Continue reading “‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Film Review”

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‘Adam Sandler 100% Fresh’ Stand-up Special Review

Grade: B+

Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh (2018)

I have never done a full review of a stand-up comedy special, but there is something about ‘Adam Sandler 100% Fresh’ that is extremely noteworthy. “Special” is more than a word to describe it. In fact, this may be the best thing Adam Sandler has done comedy-wise in recent years. While he can be a great dramatic actor with films like ‘Punch-Drunk Love’, ‘Reign Over Me’, and ‘Men, Women, and Children’, his comedic efforts as of late have been nothing but juvenile and forced. Despite his brand of risqué toilet humor being portrayed here, it actually works to full effect. Never has something so dirty been so entertaining to watch and listen to.

Continue reading “‘Adam Sandler 100% Fresh’ Stand-up Special Review”

Step Right Up, Folks! Don’t Be Shy. Be Prepared To Witness The Whimsical, The Outlandish, And The First Ever WordPress Anime Awards!

Naturally I couldn’t say no when asked to add a bit of magic to this! Come and see the wonderful work we’ve put into hosting this little event for you all. Vote and make merry in the comments! Don’t wait too long though, the circus will disappear midnight December 31st…

KAWAIIPAPERPANDAS

Come one, come all to the first ever WordPress Anime Awards! 

We’ve got lions and tigers and heroic boys, oh my! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages we have a vast array of voting categories for you to be entertained by. Come join us as we aim to please you from start to finish. Listen to the melodic anime opening and ending songs from 2018, laugh at the funniest moments this year had to offer, be thrilled by the perilous anime films that made their debut amongst the people, marvel at all the great characters that made you smile or cry while watching their journey…Only at the 2018 WordPress Anime Awards!

All of these acts were carefully chosen by a wondrous group of performers. These performers include Cactus Matt, Derek Lyons, Marthaurion, Raistlin, Matt Doyle, Jon Spencer, Karandi,

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BalanCity & Frost Game Reviews – Two Unique Games, Two VERY Different Opinions

Two Reviews in One?!?

I’m doing something a bit different today and reviewing two games instead of one. Normally I’d do a Mini Review for each game here but then I thought, why not combine the two? Especially since both games offer a unique spin on their respective game genres and both are relatively quick plays for the more casual gamer looking to kill smaller chunks of time while bored. We’ll take a look at BalanCity first and then Frost, so let’s get to it! Continue reading “BalanCity & Frost Game Reviews – Two Unique Games, Two VERY Different Opinions”

Neo Yokio Christmas Special – Mini Review

Was it Good?

Image result for neo yokio christmas specialAs you may recall, I wrote a glowing review of Neo Yokio when it first premiered on Netflix in 2017. A lot of folks hated it, but I found it to be an uproariously funny series. When it was announced that a Christmas special would be made, I was stoked! Well I gave it a watch so let’s dive in and see if this was up to par with the original series or if something was lacking.

The general premise of the episode is that Kaz is sick during the holidays so he has Charles tell him a story. Initially it starts off as telling the story of Jesus, but Kaz quickly gets bored of that and some off-color humor about religion is tossed in (I didn’t really mind that, just putting out there because I know some people will care).

That’s when you jump right into the story proper. You tangentially follow Herbert, or as many of the characters refer to him as, “Sales Clerk” and the upcoming Secret Santa for Neo Yokio’s most eligible bachelors. Kaz naturally gets his nemesis Arcangelo and vice versa. In addition to all this, a new character is tossed into the mix, Kaz’s French aunt who is a memoir-ist, that isn’t liked by Aunt Agatha. There is also hints that Kaz’s family may have a dark past and that bigger plots may be at play than anybody realizes. Somehow, this is also a commentary on consumerism and Christmas in general too.

In a way, this has all of the conventional trappings of any other special for any other series. You have the callback to the Toblerone, references to events that transpired back in the main series, and most of it felt about as natural as this sort of thing can.

Image result for neo yokio christmas special

However, it just didn’t quite feel quite like the Neo Yokio I love. The first point of criticism I have is that the characters did too much swearing. Now, I don’t really care when swearing is in a show, but it was so frequent, and often out of place, that it was rather distracting. Furthermore, there is just a LOT going on in this (just over) an hour special.

It felt a bit unfocused. Mind you, this doesn’t mean it was a bad special, but you were a fan of Neo Yokio’s core series, then this may leave you feeling like this wasn’t as good. All that said, there were certainly high points of praise.

For starters I loved Arcangelo’s goofy Christmas song, Kaz’s terrible rap, and the pseudo-philosophical Eva-like sequences related to The Pink. I also liked the direction they took Herbert for the story, even pushing him to the brink of suicide when people refuse to shop at the store due to Arcangelo’s, “Christmas challenge” and is subsequently fired. There’s just something about this absurd series getting super real that elevated it even higher than normal for me.

Image result for neo yokio christmas special

As I mentioned, there are messages about anti-consumerism which contradicts the expectations one may have for a Christmas special. Ultimately, Christmas is just a part of the setting, only acting as a vehicle to deliver the obvious critique and set pieces that propel the narrative.

So was this as good? No, but I still liked it. If you weren’t a fan of Neo Yokio already, then this absolutely won’t change your mind. However, if you loved the series like me, then you’ll probably enjoy this, even if it doesn’t quite measure up.


Are you going to check out Neo Yokio’s Christmas special? If you already did, what are your thoughts? Let me hear your voice in the comments below. If you’d like to support my writing here, please click my donation button below as I really appreciate it. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back here again soon at Jon Spencer Reviews!

The Plant – A Solo Role-Playing Experience

The Plant

Intro:  The Plant is a solo role-playing experience that I have adapted into a short story for your enjoyment. I did this run completely blind with no knowledge of what could occur or any of the game’s contents, so be sure to keep that in mind while reading. Also, no edits (outside of minor spelling, grammar, and tense changes) were made to what I wrote down. This will also act as a review/endorsement of the system, as well as other Bully Pulpit Games. Personally, I highly recommend Fiasco if you have a few friends around, it is a great game! That cost some money, but they have several free games, including this one (an award winner, by the way), on their website. As for what The Plant is, the story setup is this:

Your daughter is in the plant. You are going to find her. Continue reading “The Plant – A Solo Role-Playing Experience”

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale – You Doing Alright, Santa?

Horror-Comedy Christmas Film

Alright, with everybody gearing up for the holiday season, I decided to tackle a more unusual movie:  Rare Exports:  A Christmas Tale. Last year, I had the pleasure of first watching this film with a group of friends and it was a lot better than one might think for a horror-comedy Christmas film set in Finland with very little English in it. All that sure is a mouthful, but join me and see just what makes Rare Exports a hidden cult classic! Continue reading “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale – You Doing Alright, Santa?”

‘They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead’ Film Review

Grade: A+

They'll Love Me When I'm Dead (2018)

The late Orson Welles was truly ahead of his time. He was a perfectionist who loved the arts, but never wanted to make a movie. At least, until the studio heads kept bugging him to make one. That is where ‘Citizen Kane’ came in. It was so known for being “the greatest film of all time” that even with each feature made, Welles could not escape the praise surrounding it. Years later, he set out to make a film that would satirize the culture surrounding not only cinema, but the pressures of making a movie. That film would be known as ‘The Other Side of the Wind’; a film faced with many troubles that Welles never got to finish it. However, it finally did reach completion in recent years, leading to its Netflix release.

Continue reading “‘They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead’ Film Review”

Jacob’s Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2019

It is officially that time of year again where I count down the movies I am looking forward to in the later year. Let me tell you, there are a lot of movies for me to get excited for. Sadly, only ten could make the list! Without further ado, here are the ten movies I am looking forward to come 2019!

Continue reading “Jacob’s Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2019”

The Fuccons – Mini Review

WTF is This, HiDive?

Image result for the fuccons
Left to Right:  James, Mikey, and Barbra Fuccon

Today I’m diving headfirst into the weird as I explore VRV’s recent addition of HiDive to its service, and by extension, The Fuccons. It’s about an American family of mannequins that move to Japan. What else do you need to know, really? Alright, I suppose you do need a bit more than that because The Fuccons is one of those novelty type shows that can really catch you off-guard.

As I’ve mentioned, this series centers primarily around the Fuccon family and their new lives in Japan. There’s the father, James, the mother, Barbra, and son, Mikey. Really though, this is a story about Mikey and the, surprisingly large, number of people he meets while living in Japan.

Some of the memorable characters include:  Teacher Bob and Bob-Mama, Blueberry King, Laura, and of course a lot more! They are not all great, mostly looking at you Time Boy, but the recurring characters that get a lot of screen time are fun to watch. You’ll easily find a few characters you want to see more of.

The best way for me to describe this series is to compare it to a fever dream mixed with old Adult Swim shorts. It’s really funny for a show featuring mannequins and not much else. What really sells it is the voice work, either in Japanese or English, and just how unexpected the story actually is.

If you were to give this a watch right now, you probably wouldn’t think much of it due to a fairly shaky start. I looked back after completing what Sentai has licensed (volumes 1-4) and was surprised by just how awful the first few episodes were. However, if you stick with it, and this is your kind of humor, this will be well worth your time.

Image result for the fuccons
As you can see, the drama really ratchets up!

Each episode is only a few minutes, so the investment is not large, even with as many episodes as there are. You can easily knock The Fuccons out in an afternoon or two on a rainy day. The only unfortunate thing is that the show does not have a proper resolution.

There are more episodes, and even a film, of The Fuccons but they seem to have been largely lost to time. I did a cursory search for the film, and was able to find it available in Japanese only, but that’s about it. Does that resolve everything? I really don’t know since I currently have no way of watching it.

Despite this, the series is at least worth a look if you have access to HiDive, VRV, or know somebody with the (relatively cheap) complete set that Sentai sells on their site. It is definitely one weird show, but I guarantee there is no other experience like this one!


Apparently, HiDive makes this the only show available for streaming when they do maintenance too, which is pretty funny. Have you seen The Fuccons? Let me know your thoughts on it, or if you’ll be checking it out, in the comments below. If you’d like to support my investigations into other unusual programs, then click my donation button below and toss a few bucks my way. I’d really appreciate it. Lastly, thank you so much for reading and hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!