83 - Review of the Year 2017: Part 2

Review of the Year 2017:
Part 1

Part 2

Films covered in this episode:

The Mummy
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: n/s
Overall score: 55%

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Allen: ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: n/s
Overall score: 30%

Transformers: The Last Knight
Allen: ✰ ½
Calvin: n/s
Sol: n/s
Overall score: 30%

Despicable Me 3
Allen: ✰ ✰
Calvin: n/s
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 50%

Spider-Man: Homecoming
Allen: ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 70%

War for the Planet of the Apes
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 77%

Death Note
Allen: ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: n/s
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 55%

It
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: n/s
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 75%

The LEGO Ninjago Movie
Allen: ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: n/s
Sol: n/s
Overall score: 50%

Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Allen: ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: n/s
Overall score: 34%

Blade Runner 2049
Allen: ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: n/s
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 65%

Cult of Chucky
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: n/s
Overall score: 65%

Jigsaw
Allen: ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: n/s
Sol: n/s
Overall score: 50%

Thor: Ragnarok
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: n/s
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 75%

Justice League
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 57%

The Disaster Artist
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 74%

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 60%

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: n/s
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 70%

We follow up our first Review of the Year 2017 episode with a look back at the last six months of film releases.
This episode contains reviews of:
- The Mummy (2017)
- Transformers: The Last Knight
- Despicable Me 3
- War for the Planet of the Apes
- Death Note (2017)
- It (2017)
- The LEGO Ninjago Movie
- Kingsman: The Golden Circle
- Blade Runner 2049
- Cult of Chucky
- Jigsaw
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Justice League
- The Disaster Artist
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi
and
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Allen also put a quiz together for this episode with questions focusing on each film, which is probably why this has ended up being our longest episode to date. Sorry about that or you're welcome depending on your views on long episodes. We didn't want to cut our Last Jedi argument too short, after all.

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82 - Christmas Special: Love Actually

Films covered in this episode:

Love Actually
Allen: ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 47%

Here's an early Christmas gift: a Diminishing Returns holiday episode. Yes, we're doing Love Actually instead of Die Hard (you'll hear why in the episode, itself). There's also a Christmas movie music quiz in there which is jolly good fun.

Listen on:
iTunes
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Diminishing Returns Christmas Specials:
"It's a Wonderful Life"
"
Love Actually"

81 - Jumanji

Films covered in this episode:

Jumanji
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 74%

Zathura
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: n/s
Sol: ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 55%

The Last Jedi is here. Star Wars season is over. That's it for Star Wars (until the week after next).

In its place, we bring you an episode on 1995 family classic Jumanji. We look back to the Robin Williams-fueled '90s nostalgia-fest in anticipation of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (and we touch on the sort-of-but-not-quite-sequel Zathura, too).

Listen on:
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Android
SoundCloud

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We review Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle in:
"Review of the Year 2017: Part 2"

80 - Star Wars season: The Force Awakens

Star Wars season:
Part 1: "The Prequel Trilogy"
Part 2: "Rogue One"
Part 3: "The Force Awakens"

Films covered in this episode:

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 67%

The final part in the trilogy of the Diminishing Returns Star Wars season.

We've covered The Prequel Trilogy, we've covered Rogue One and, now, we're covering Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. Is it the shot in the arm Star Wars needed or is it a shot-for-shot remake of A New Hope without the charm? We get into it, plus what we're expecting from The Last Jedi, here!

Oh, and, like in our recent On Her Majesty's Secret Service episode, there's a Star Wars music quiz, too. Think you can distinguish between music that's really part of the Star Wars franchise and music that isn't? Then listen and play along at home.

Listen on:
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The Star Wars Music Quiz

If you haven't listened to the episode yet, then don't read ahead as the following is a list of answers for the Star Wars music quiz. If, however, you listened to it, liked the sound of one of those songs and want to go and listen to the full version, here's a reference list to help you out:

1. "Medley: Star Wars - 12" Version" by Meco (from the album Music Inspired by Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk)
2. "Tiki Tiki Babeloo" by The Minions (from the movie Despicable Me 3)
3. "Ewok Celebration and Finale (Nyub Nyub)" by John Williams (from the movie Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi)
4. "Ewoks Theme Tune" from the cartoon series Ewoks
5. "Chewbacca" by Supernova (single)
6. "The Imperial Suite" by Michael Giacchino (from the movie Rogue One)
7. "Lapti Nek" by Joseph Williams (from the movie Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi)
8. "Highly Illogical" by Leonard Nimoy (single)
9. "What Can You Get a Wookie for Christmas?" by Meco (from the album Christmas in the Stars)
10. "Gay Bar (Dagobah Remix)" by Electric Six (from the album Fire)
11. "The Threepenny Opera" by Bea Arthur (from the stage musical The Threepenny Opera)
12. "Goodnight, But Not Goodbye" by Bea Arthur (from The Star Wars Holiday Special)

Episodes in the Star Wars series:
"The Star Wars Trilogy"
"The Prequel Trilogy"
"Rogue One"

"The Force Awakens"

We review Star Wars: The Last Jedi in:
"Review of the Year 2017: Part 2"

79 - Star Wars season: Rogue One

Films covered in this episode:

Rogue One
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 74%

Star Wars season continues in the run up to the release of The Last Jedi. We did the prequel trilogy last week, so now we're following on with the next film in the series' internal chronology: Rogue One. How does it stack up against all the "real" Star Wars movies in the Skywalker saga?

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Episodes in the Star Wars series:
"The Star Wars Trilogy"
"The Prequel Trilogy"

"Rogue One"
"The Force Awakens"

We review Star Wars: The Last Jedi in:
"Review of the Year 2017: Part 2"

78 - Star Wars season: The Prequel Trilogy

Star Wars season:
Part 1: "The Prequel Trilogy"
Part 2: "Rogue One"
Part 3: "The Force Awakens"

Films covered in this episode:

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰
Overall score: 54%

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Allen: ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰
Overall score: 37%

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Allen: ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 57%

That's right, Star Wars season: a trilogy of episodes dedicated to the Star Wars movies we didn't cover in our last episode looking at the original trilogy.

With the upcoming release of The Last Jedi, in the coming weeks, we'll be turning our attention to Rogue One and The Force Awakens. This week, however, we're tackling the infamous prequel trilogy made up of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.

Are they as bad as their reputation or are they even worse than that? We have it out on this episode (featuring some strong, clashing opinions, which is always fun). Then, as always, we end things by pitching our own ideas for Star Wars sequels.

Listen on:
iTunes
Android
SoundCloud

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Episodes in the Star Wars series:
"The Star Wars Trilogy"
"The Prequel Trilogy"
"Rogue One"
"The Force Awakens"

We review Star Wars: The Last Jedi in:
"Review of the Year 2017: Part 2"

77 - The Room

Films covered in this episode:

The Room
Allen: ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: ½
Overall score: 24%

Diminishing Returns takes on "the worst movie of all time", Tommy Wiseau's infamous 2003 disasterpiece, The Room. Is it really that bad? Also, what's the deal with this James Franco movie coming out called The Disaster Artist?

Listen on:
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We review The Disaster Artist in:
"Review of the Year 2017: Part 2"

76 - Wonder Woman

Films covered in this episode:

Wonder Woman
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 74%

Exactly what the world needed: three white men telling the world how to feel about feminism. That's right, Diminishing Returns turns its three heads to Wonder Woman! Gal Gadot and Chris Pine proving that DC movies don't have to be shit!
Why Wonder Woman? Why now? Because Justice League is out soon. Justice League! It's probably going to be rubbish but maybe it won't be! Woohoo! Diminishing Returns!!!

Listen on:
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Episodes in the DC Extended Universe series:
"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"
"Suicide Squad"
"
Wonder Woman"

We review Justice League in:
"Review of the Year 2017: Part 2"

75 - On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Films covered in this episode:

On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Allen: ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 54%

We've covered the original Connery run of Bond movies. Now it's time to look at George Lazenby's short-lived turn in those spy shoes. Is Lazenby any good? Is "Bond" a codename? Is the world ready for a fat James Bond? All these questions and more are answered in this week's edition of Diminishing Returns!

This episode also features The Big Bond Theme Quiz. Will Allen successfully identify the official James Bond music from the spoofs and imitations? Listen to find out!

Listen on:
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SoundCloud

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The James Bond Music Quiz

If you haven't listened to the episode yet, then don't read ahead as the following is a list of answers for the James Bond music quiz. If, however, you listened to it, liked the sound of one of those songs and want to go and listen to the full version, here's a reference list to help you out:

Practice question 1. "Theme from Spy Hard" by 'Weird Al' Yankovich (from the movie Spy Hard)
Practice question 2. "We Have All the Time in the World" by Louis Armstrong (from the movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
Practice question 3. "Suantum of Quolace" by Joe Cornish (from the radio show Adam & Joe)

1. "Operation Kid Brother" by Christy (from the movie Operation Kid Brother)
2. "Cat People"  by Electric Six (from the album Mimicry and Memories)
3. "Good Sign, Bad Sign" by Monty Norman (from the unproduced stage musical A House for Mr. Biswas)
4. "Li Xiang" by Stephen Chow (from the movie From Beijing with Love)
5. "For Your Eyes Only" by Blondie (rejected Bond theme for For Your Eyes Only)
6. "Thunderball" by Johnny Cash (rejected Bond theme for Thunderball)
7. "Goldfinger" by Peter Serafinowicz as Ringo Starr (spoof rejected Bond theme from the TV series The Peter Serafinowicz Show)
8. "Theme from Hot Fuzz" by David Arnold (from the movie Hot Fuzz)
9. "Nobody Does It Better" by Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge (from the TV series I'm Alan Partridge)
10. "Fuckin' in Another Man's Clothes" by Electric Six (from the album Mimicry and Memories)
11. "Millennium" by Robbie Williams (from the album I've Been Expecting You)
12. "An Omen of Things to Come" by Electric Six (from the album Roulette Stars of Metro Detroit)
13. "Supremacy" by Muse (from the album The 2nd Law)
14. "SPECTRE" by Radiohead (rejected Bond theme for SPECTRE)
15. "Beautiful Stranger" by Madonna (from the movie Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me)
16. "Title Theme" from the video game Spy Muppets: License to Croak
17. "Snake Eater" by Cynthia Harrell (from the video game Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)
18. "If You're Gonna" by Natasha Bedingfield (from the video game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent)
19. "Danger! High Voltage" by Electric Six (from the album Fire)
20. "Devil May Care" by SAL (from the audiobook Devil May Care)

Episodes in the James Bond series:
"
Dr. No"
"
From Russia with Love"
"
Goldfinger"
"Thunderball"
"You Only Live Twice"
"On Her Majesty's Secret Service"
"
Diamonds Are Forever"
"
Live and Let Die"
”The Man with the Golden Gun”
”The Spy Who Loved Me”

74 - Podcast of Horror II: The Blair Witch Project

Films covered in this episode:

The Blair Witch Project
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 87%

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
Allen: ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰
Overall score: 34%

Blair Witch
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 74%

 

Special guest: Eduardo Sanchez (director of The Blair Witch Project)

It's the 2nd Diminishing Returns Halloween special!

We've done this two years running, so it's now officially an annual tradition. Celebrate with us by listening as we discuss and review The Blair Witch Project, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and 2016's Blair Witch (the third one with a similar name to the first one).

Not only do we do the usual thing of pitching our own ideas for what the next sequel should be, but we also listen to some audio clips from the DVD commentaries and we take the time to chat to Ed Sanchez (who directed the first film with Daniel Myrick). Ed offers some fantastic insight into how the film was made, what he's been up to since and drops some hints about the possible future of the franchise.

Listen on:
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Diminishing Returns Halloween specials:
2016 - "Halloween"
2017 - "The Blair Witch Project"

73 - Thor

It's another Marvel episode. We've done Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy; this time, it's Thor and Thor: The Dark World. You know the drill.

Listen on:
iTunes
Android
SoundCloud

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Films covered in this episode:

Thor
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 64%

Thor: The Dark World
Allen: ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 50%

Episodes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series:
"Iron Man"

"Guardians of the Galaxy"
"Spider-Man"
"Thor"
"Captain America: The First Avenger"
"The Avengers"

"Ant-Man"

We review Thor: Ragnarok in:
"Review of the Year 2017: Part 2"

72 - Saw

Covered in this episode:

Saw
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰
Overall score: 54%

Saw II
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰
Overall score: 54%

Saw III
Allen: ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ½
Overall score: 50%

Saw IV
Allen: ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: ✰
Overall score: 37%

Saw V
Allen: ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰
Overall score: 40%

Saw VI
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰
Overall score: 57%

Saw 3D
Allen: ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 47%

It's still October, so it's still the run-up to Halloween so we're still indulging in celebrating horror franchises! Hot on the heels of last week's episode covering the 6-part Child's Play series, we're now taking a look at the even larger Saw franchise spanning seven movies from Saw to Saw 3D, all in the run-up to the new film, kickstarting the franchise: Jigsaw.

Listen on:
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71 - Child's Play

In movie circles, October is basically just "horror month". We get our horror month off to a great start with this episode; a restrospective of the Child's Play (aka Chucky) series.
As always, as well as weighing in on the films, we pitch our own ideas for sequels to the long-running series sequels.

Listen on:
iTunes
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Covered in this episode:

Child's Play
Allen: ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 64%

Child's Play 2
Allen: ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 54%

Child's Play 3
Allen: ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 47%

Bride of Chucky
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 67%

Seed of Chucky
Allen: ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 60%

Curse of Chucky
Allen: ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 57%

We review Cult of Chucky in:
"Review of the Year 2017: Part 2"

69 - The Godfather

Covered in this episode:

The Godfather
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 60%

The Godfather: Part II
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 64%

The Godfather: Part III
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 64%

In a bid to do something special for the 69th edition of Diminishing Returns, we bring you an episode covering The Godfather, often regarded as the greatest film ever made. We also cover The Godfather: Part II, also often regarded as the greatest film ever made. Oh, and The Godfather: Part III, extremely rarely regarded as the greatest film ever made.
This may go down as the most controversial episode of the show's run because... let's just say maybe we don't all love the series...

Listen on:
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68 - Kingsman: The Secret Service

This ought to tide the Bond fans over for a little while: an episode covering 2014's Kingsman: The Secret Service and looking forward to Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Given Calvin's tastes, it's safe to assume that James Bond comes up a lot in this episode, alongside Colin Firth, Matthew Vaughn, Samuel L. Jackson and a whole heap of other things.

Listen on:
iTunes
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Covered in this episode:

Kingsman: The Secret Service
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 74%

 

 

 

You might also enjoy our previous James Bond episode:
"You Only Live Twice"

We review Kingsman: The Golden Circle in:
"Review of the Year 2017: Part 2"

67 - The LEGO Batman Movie

Covered in this episode:

The LEGO Batman Movie
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 70%

But we haven't done The LEGO Movie yet!

It's fine. It's fine. We're doing LEGO Batman first. It's more fun. Yes, this week, we're looking at, reviewing and pitching sequels to The LEGO Batman Movie, tying into the upcoming release of the upcoming The LEGO Ninjago Movie.

Listen on:
iTunes
Android
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You may also be interested in our episodes covering the DC Extended Universe series:
"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"
"Suicide Squad"

We review The LEGO Ninjago Movie in:
"Review of the Year 2017: Part 2"

66 - It

Covered in this episode:

It (mini-series)
Allen: ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ½
Sol: ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 45%

In anticipation of the new film adaptation of Stephen King's 1986 novel, It, we take a look at the book, a look at the 1990 mini-series (or TV movie, depending on who you ask) and, of course, the upcoming film that will be swapping Tim Curry for Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise, "the dancing clown".
This episode is absolutely full of Tim Curry and full of clowns.

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65 - Beavis and Butt-Head Do America

Diminishing Returns takes a break from the summer blockbusters to go back two decades and dig out the old VHS tapes of Beavis and Butt-Head. The leap from small to large screen has rarely been handled with greater skill but the young reprobates may not be to everyone's taste.

 

 

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Listen on:
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Covered in this episode:

Beavis and Butt-Head (series)
Allen: n/a
Calvin: n/a
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 80%

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Overall score: 74%

64 - Death Note

Films covered in this episode:

Death Note (series)
Allen: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Calvin: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 80%

Death Note (2006 movie)
Allen: n/a
Calvin: n/a
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 70%

Death Note: The Last Name
Allen: n/a
Calvin: n/a
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 70%

L: Change the World
Allen: n/a
Calvin: n/a
Sol: ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 50%

Death Note: Light Up the New World
Allen: n/a
Calvin: n/a
Sol: ✰ ✰ ✰ ½
Overall score: 70%

With Netflix's upcoming American adaptation of the Death Note manga, we take a look at the four Japanese movies and the TV series before, as always, pitching our own ideas for Death Note sequels.

Listen on:
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SoundCloud

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We review the new Death Note film in:
"Review of the Year 2017: Part 2"