Dragon Ball Super: Broly Review by Eugene Alejandro

Dragon Ball Super: Broly is a 2018 Japanese animated feature film by Toei Animation, and was made into an English Dub by Funimation Films (which is the version I’m reviewing by the way), and was distributed theatrically for an official USA release by 20th Century Fox for the year; 2019 (January 16th, 2019 to be more specific). The movie’s screenplay (or script however you’d like to call it) is also written by the creator of the Dragon Ball franchise; Akira Toriyama (thus making this entire movie canon to the whole franchise).

The primary plot of the film without going into any spoilers is that after Universe 7 won the tournament of power seen in the Dragon Ball Super anime TV series and manga (that’s not a spoiler by the way as even a lot of the official marketing and advertising for the film explained this even before it come out in theaters), Frieza (who participated in the tournament of power, and was brought back to life as a reward), still wants revenge against Goku and Vegeta, so he ends up discovering two lost surviving Saiyans named Paragus, and Broly (who this movie is named after) thanks to some of his own troops finding them on a deserted planet.

With Broly’s immense power, Frieza now decides take advantage of the opportunity to use Broly in order to have him kill both Goku, and Vegeta, but perhaps there is a whole lot more to Broly’s power than anyone else can even realize.

Before I begin explaining my thoughts on the film in great detail, I must also point out that there is also another story that happens in the movie that while it does a very good job at connecting to the rest of the movie (as well as the main franchise’s continuity), I prefer to not to say too much about it for this review as I really do want people to see Dragon Ball Super: Broly without it being ruined, and I will explain why I say such.

I usually like to start with positive aspects, but for this review, I prefer to start it off with some minor nitpicks worth mentioning since I did notice them when seeing this movie in a big screen theater, and they thankfully don’t contain spoilers.

The first is that while the movie does acknowledge the fact it takes place after the Universal Survival Saga, I felt the movie didn’t explain that too well as it mostly came off as a short mention, which isn’t a bad thing, but for those watching the film that have never seen that story arc in Dragon Ball Super, a lot of confusion is bound to occur.

The second nitpick is that since this movie does have a slightly different art style to its animation, while it is indeed good to look at for a theatrically-released film, I wasn’t really too impressed with how the character of Beerus looked since I felt that in some scenes, this face looked like that of a Dog’s as opposed to a cat. But again, it’s only a nitpick as opposed to a major part of the film.

Now on to the positives since there are indeed lots of them I want to talk about for this review. As I already mentioned, the animation and the art style presented in Dragon Ball Super: Broly are great to look at, and truly show the amount of money, effort, and passion that was put into it looking nice (despite my nitpick about Beerus’s new design). One thing to mention about the animation before I forget is that there are small moments where CGI (Computer-Generated-Images) is used for some scenes, and they surprisingly look ever good and never detract from the hand-drawn animation.

The fights scenes were simply epic and really help add to the martial arts feel the series is most well-known for thanks to them being very fast-paced, but never in a way they were hard to follow.

The English Dub provided by Funimation Films was done very well with each voice actor displaying a good voice performance, and each of the voices matching the respective characters very well. At the time of me making this review, I haven’t seen this movie in Japanese with English subtitles yet, so I sadly cannot say if the original Japanese voice acting was also good, nor can I also compare it to the English Dub. But from what I’ve seen, the English Dub is still very good to hear.

The soundtrack provided by Norihito Sumitomo in Dragon Ball Super: Broly is extremely energetic for all the right reasons, and fits a martial arts sci fi action movie such as this very well.

As for the overall story concerning the main plot of the film (and just the whole movie in general), it isn’t anything way too unique for those unfamiliar with Dragon Ball, but the story is indeed a fun joyride to those who are fans of Dragon Ball as it contains all the ingredients necessary to make a fun Dragon Ball movie (there are also a lot of fun little “Easter Eggs” present in the film).

Dragon Ball Super: Broly may only appeal to hardcore Dragon Ball fans in the sense that it does require lots of knowledge about the franchise to fully (and truly) appreciate it, but it is still a very fun and entertaining film that I had the honor to watch in a big screen American cinema, and I can most certainly recommend it to Dragon Ball fans since it is also canon to the franchise.

I give Dragon Ball Super: Broly Two Thumbs Up, and 5/5 Stars.

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Monster Hunt Review by Eugene Alejandro

Disclaimer: I watched the movie on Netflix which only has the Chinese language version with English subtitles. That means that this review will not be of the English Dub.

Directed by Dreamworks animator Raman Hui, Monster Hunt is a live action Chinese major motion picture with the monsters in the movie being CGI (Computer-Generated-Image), and is the second highest grossing Chinese film of all time (the film that currently took the spot of the highest grossing Chinese film of all time is Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid).

The plot of Monster Hunt is about a world in which Humans and Monsters co-existed together until the humans decided to get rid of the Monsters, and banish them into a land separate from the Human land. In the Monster Land, a civil war breaks out because the current king of the Monsters was killed and overthrown. The monster queen of the previous king flees the monster land while being pregnant along with her bodyguards because the new king believes that the child will overthrow him, and unite the humans and monsters again. The queen and her bodyguards escape to the human land, but two humans named Song Tianyin, and Hua Xiaolan end up getting involved in the situation, and now must protect the new future king of the monster race.

The best way that I can describe Monster Hunt is that it’s one of the cutest and weirdest movies I’ve ever seen that is no way horrible, but average at best.

Since this film is notable for its CGI monsters, I want to talk about the designs of the monsters and the quality of the CGI they have. The effects used to make the monsters come to life in this movie are done well as the quality of the CGI makes them look like they exist in the real world thanks to the texturing on them being solid, and the movement animation on them is also great with them running very fast, climbing, jumping, and some of them even doing martial arts techniques. The designs of the monsters however, is a mixed bag to me. To elaborate what I mean by saying that, is that while the designs aren’t horrible (in fact, some of them are very creative) some of the monster’s appearances do look like they were copied and pasted from other monster designs in the film (meaning that some monsters look too similar to others with only a few differences). In general, the special effects in Monster Hunt are decent enough to belong in a theatrically released film.

The directing and writing in Monster Hunt does have its moments of good storytelling, character development, and mixing humor into some serious moments well, but in my opinion, I found the story about the monsters to be superior to that of the humans because while I didn’t hate that the movie focused on the humans, I still preferred if the film was more about the monsters as their storyline was superior in my opinion.

There are three songs in the movie (two play during the film, while one plays at the credits), and I’ll say that I did enjoy listening to them as they are sung very well. While one of them is a random musical number, it’s still entertaining no less.

I mentioned earlier that this movie is weird. I want to clarify that by saying that there only some weird moments in the film that exist for comedy, but for what they are, they do not contradict that film’s overall tone. I also found that for a family film, some of the weird humor is a little bit adult, but not offensive.

The physical acting and voice acting is really good as all the actors give solid performances to their characters, and you can tell that they are having fun with their roles. The English subtitles that are provided by Netflix (which is where I saw the film), are worked into the movie very well, and don’t look cheap and/or rushed.

Since this is a martial arts film, I obviously have to talk about the martial arts in it. The martial arts scenes in Monster Hunt are very creative, and pulled-off well thanks to how the movie’s directed. If you are a fan of martial arts cinema, then you will like this movie as it has a lot of fun martial arts moments in it.

After all that I have said, Monster Hunt is a decent enough Chinese martial arts flick that I can recommend watching out of curiosity as it does have it’s good moments, and was clearly made with love and passion with good special effects and a solid story, but is in my honest opinion, an average movie.

I give Monster Hunt 3/5 Stars.