Friday, May 31, 2019

Godzilla King Of The Monsters (2019)

Well I'm just a bubble of emotions right now!

See all I want to do is just write this movie is awesome, and amazing, and you should really go see it but I can't do that! I have to talk about it, but I want to talk about every single little thing and I can't do that either because I firmly believe in no real spoilers until at least a movie is out on video. So what the hell do I write? I'm still riding out that fangasm adrenaline and my mind is blank because it was so awesome! Well I really liked the story, it had some twists here and there, payed loving tribute to Toho's flagship series in many many ways, with lots to keep you not only interested but invested, and even if you weren't a major fan of the 2014 movie you'll probably enjoy and appreciate this one a lot. The new characters have interesting dynamics to the story and are gladly welcomed against the three alumni of the 2014 movie. The kaiju themselves have excellent designs and the fact that they throw some things only fans would notice showed that Toho actually had some weight to the production beyond just licensing Godzilla. Now that I think about it, this is the second Toho movie I've done in the theater, so hey great year for them and me! The action is well shot and gets you all kinds of fired up, with never a dull moment even in the human scenes. I'm not sure how this will segueway into Godzilla Vs. Kong, but I am even more interested and excited for that movie now! It's a really good movie, I personally just loved it, but Godzilla is a very niche market even in Japan. He has his dedicated fans all around the world, and I hope this movie creates more. There was a lot of love in the theater for the other monsters than Godzilla, especially Mothra and that makes me very happy and proud of all these creative minds that came up with such fantastic creature, their look, their personalities and history, and the practical effects that made them become reality for people of every nationality and language to love and enjoy. Despite what people may tell you, Godzilla is for everyone and it just takes an open imagination and a big heart for monsters to make you a die hard fan. 65 years running strong, long live the king.

GMK: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

Well hell's bells, I guess I got so excited for today I forgot to post the damn review yesterday!

Yeah we'll just call it GMK so I don't have to spend 40 years writing this review, because this title is absurd.

You wanna know the whole title? Godzilla, Mothra, And King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack....just rolls off the tongue. It must be a thing in Japan because I remember another title, for a Castlevania game and the full title was Devil's Castle Dracula X Rondo Of Blood. Jesus. But long ass titles aside, I love this movie! I absolutely love this movie from beginning to end and everything in between, this is a fantastic Godzilla movie! It takes such a different approach to the Godzilla series in just about every way and yet it works so well. The story takes a much more mystic quality to it, with the appearance of Godzilla as a malevolent force of the past which they essentially explain as the souls of the dead that were subjugated by Japan during World War 2 so it's basically a ghost or phantom Godzilla. But hey the japanese sure do their ghost stories a little too well so I don't mind it. And pretty soon other monsters appear as guardian forces of Japan who fight Godzilla, and these include the monsters Baragon, Mothra, and...King Ghidorah. Wait, what? Ghidorah is like the ultimate Godzilla villain, it's like if Gotham City had the Joker protecting the city from Batman. Yeah. Weird. But they integrate a new mythology around these monsters so it's not the same world destroying space dragon we know and love, they've been guardian spirits of Japan for millenia and I really dig that! Japan is deeply rooted in religion and more supernatural myths and stories, so it makes sense they would take that approach and hell I'm surprised they haven't done it sooner! So it's three on one for the Big G but he ain't going down without a fight and it gets good I can tell you that much. I could spend all day just praising this movie, so I'll try to keep it brief. The special effects are great, they still use suitmation and models but even the instances of CG are done really well, and with such modern looking sets you could argue it looks better than ever. The designs for the kaiju are excellent, Godzilla has a more stocky hunched over physique with blank white eyes that give such menace to him, Mothra has a sleek and colorful design and is the best Mothra design I've seen yet, Baragon hasn't changed that much from the 60s but he still looks great and even a bit cute, and Ghidorah has also not changed much but all the characters have such a stylized look to them that works incredibly well. The music is a little too good if I'm honest, you know that one brief music piece from Godzilla 2000 that I just loved to death? Well this is that magnified by 1000, this soundtrack is stellar, I love it to the moon and back, you don't even hear the traditional Godzilla theme until the end credits but the new themes work and each one is memorable and awesome! I really love the human story too, though that might slightly be because our main character is a total massive cutie pie yumness! But I digress, all the characters are interesting and fun and just the fact that the story focuses on a young girl and her single father is just so new and different, just....ugh love it!! 10/10! 100/100! Best film! BEST FILM. I haven't been this pumped for a Godzilla movie in a long time and what better way to go out before Godzilla King Of The Monsters! If I have to guess, I would say the new Godzilla movie would be a combination of both Ghidrah The Three Headed Monster and GMK, but we shall see. Until then G-Fans, stay strong.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah

Ah, memories.

Yes the Heisei fan favorite is quite possibly my most watched Godzilla film, way back when I was a kid I had the fortune of having this new thing called satellite cable and I had access to many movie channels beyond HBO and back then Starz and Encore had a fair share of Godzilla movies and this was one I taped along with the Super Mario Bros. Movie and Clue, I still have the tape and it's something I still treasure. This movie along with Godzilla 2000 were the big ones I watched when I was younger. So it's no surprise I really love this movie and it hasn't lost any of it's appeal or entertainment value in the subsequent 15+ years. The story is one of the most unique in the Godzilla series where a UFO sighting leads a group of national government authorities to make contact with not aliens but people from the 23rd century who seek to wipe Godzilla out from existence through time travel. The movie gives an interesting new take on Godzilla's origins where he was originally a dinosaur on one of the islands in the Pacific that were used for the H-bomb testing grounds, and future installments take some of that to heart, even the 2014 movie a little bit. So they reverse the polarity of the neutron flow and travel back to 1944, teleport Godzilla to the then present day of 1992, but shocking twist the humans from the future are bad guys and create King Ghidorah in Godzilla's place which they use to level Japan and our heroes have to find a way to revive Godzilla and deal with the evil doing humans. There's more twists and turns but I want you to see them for yourself. So you have an interesting and original plot, very good characters which we will talk about in a bit, quite frankly awesome special effects, and a bunch of other good things I could spend hours gushing over. I really like the characters in this movie, surprisingly though they range from a writer to government officials to humans from the 23rd century they feel very relatable. And I have to admit upon watching this movie again, I just realized that the guys from the future kinda look like Rick Astley and Donald Trump which kinda makes the movie better strangely, and if you've ever wanted to see either of those guys get their asses kicked you gotta watch this movie! I also have to applaud the continuity, not only do they bring back a few actors from Godzilla Vs. Biollante who stick around for the rest of the Heisei series but they specifically mention Biollante by name and that Godzilla is still resting from that fight. Awesome! The special effects are Heisei quality with great miniatures, fantastic monster designs, but it also doesn't skimp out on the human scenes either especially now that you got time machines and other far out future tech, it's really a great Godzilla movies even for younger kids. Yeah, it's a great movie in my eyes, the special effects are outstanding in all areas (for the most part but eh whatever), good characters, great story, and a must see for any Godzilla fan. And tomorrow we look at one more from the Millenium series before the big day!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Ghidrah The Three-Headed Monster

I love this week.

Ghidrah The Three-Headed Monster set a massive precedent for the series, not only giving us the ultimate villain to Godzilla, not only slowly making Godzilla a hero, but also giving us the monster bash formula. This isn't a verus movie where it's one on one, we have 4 monsters just going at it in awesome and unique ways which I'll get to later. The plot is a more interesting tale than usual, with a Princess of...some nationality, I'm not quite sure what that's about because, Japan is a parliamentary government much like Great Britain and though they do have an Emperor it's more for ceremony, and they keep bringing up that she's japanese, so I have no clue how that works. Then again, I'm trying to bring logic in a movie where men fight in rubber monster suits so maybe I shouldn't think about it too hard. Even more evidence to that fact, the Princess is soon taken over by an alien host I...think, it's kinda hard to tell, who can predict the future and says a world destroying space dragon is soon to arrive in Japan. Some more reporters take notice of this and try to get Mothra to help again to defend the Earth since both Godzilla and Rodan have no real love for humans. Oh it gets weirder! It's a lot of weirdness to digest but I swear to you what I write next is not a joke, with nary a drop of exaggeration or comedic intent, it is the hard truth. Mothra's twin fairies appear on a television talk show and not only do they have the whole audience go on a mental journey unlike Ace Ventura in When Nature Calls but also pals around with our reporters and agrees to call Mothra in to help team Godzilla and Rodan together. This. Is. Amazing. Yet it works, like my biggest hold up was the whole talk show thing like why, how, are they Mothra's managers, what is happening?? But the human story isn't half bad and is original if nothing else! The monster side of things mostly doesn't kick off for awhiles but they spend their time wisely on each monster, Godzilla and Rodan fight for a bit like bickering siblings before Mothra comes in and gets them to play nice. But I like it, it's entertaining and even kinda got me pumped in a few instances! Rodan does a spectacular literal flying body slam and that was the highlight for me. Rodan alone is pretty badass in this movie, floors Ghidrah's ass, takes some atomic breath to the face and doesn't even blink, he's pretty awesome. Mothra is still a larva in this movie so she isn't really a match for Ghidrah on her own, but I surprisingly find her flipping adorable in this movie. I don't know, but just the fact she kinda gets carried up a hill by Godzilla and piggy back rides on Rodan just puts such a huge smile on my face, it's the sappiest most outrageous thing ever but I just love it. Godzilla also plays a mean game of volleyball with Rodan but I'm getting off track here. And Godzilla's design is still very good, riding the edge of hero of Japan and symbol of nuclear destruction, and it works quite well. And then we have our title character Ghidrah who is one of the most impressively designed both in art and execution kaiju ever, and a perfect antagonist to Godzilla for decades to come, golden scaled, massive size, devastating gravity beams, and the noticeable inclusion of three heads make this monster world known. There's also some other things I wanted to point out before we wrap this review up, we actually are given a new song by the fairies and it's an awful nice song and honestly could be covered today in Japan and be played on the radio but that's something I expect from the Ito sisters who were popular singers in Japan during this time and it kinda saddens me how this was their last Godzilla movie. We also have a Toho alumni, inbetween appearances of Kurosawa's movies Takashi Shimura! I was stunned to see him again in a Godzilla movie though he doesn't play the same character in the original and Godzilla Raids Again, I didn't care it was just great to see him again! So yeah Ghidrah is one of the more out there entries but it's hard not to enjoy, it has an interesting story, good characters, and some creative and great monster rumbles. Again I saw this as the original japanese version, I had to get a free weekly trial of Starz to review it and they actually have a very good selection of the Showa era and is only missing 5 out of the first 15 so it's worth it. Next time we jump all the way to 1991 with quite possibly my most watched Godzilla movie of all time.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Godzilla Vs. Mothra (1964)

Ohhhh yeahhhh!!

You knew it was coming, there's a new Godzilla movie out Friday it's time again to dive into the kaiju action! And we start with one of the shining films of the early Showa era, a beloved fan favorite, and it deserves the credit. Godzilla Vs. Mothra is a great movie in the Godzilla series, with excellent production design, a good human story, a pretty good share of both monster and military action, with the return of the winged goddess herself Mothra and one of the best designed Godzilla suits ever made. This does have sentimental value for me cause waaaaay back, before I was even 9 years old I owned this movie and three other Godzilla movies on DVD, so watching it again not only put a smile on my face but brought back good memories. It has a simple story but it's more about execution than really anything in a kaiju movie, a massive monster eggs gets swept away in a typhoon and lands on japanese soil, and a greedy buisnessman takes possesion of the egg even after he's made well aware it's the egg of Mothra. People all over the city wonder what the egg could contain and that's where our main characters come in who are reporters, but soon Godzilla emerges and causes devestation in his wake while our heroes try to get Mothra to fight him. So it's one of the good entries of the series where the humans have a significant stance on the story and it doesn't feel like filler. The monster side of things is exemplary, with better production value after Toho gained major financial results after King Kong Vs. Godzilla, the Godzilla suit itself has one of it's best redesigns already after a great design in the last, and the sets and miniatures are greatly done and most of them are in broad daylight with little to no faults in them. Mothra herself is a formidable opponent for Godzilla and isn't a pushover, with a lovely design and as far to my knowledge the first instance of her theme which is wonderful and only got better in the Heisei series in my opinion. Plus you can't bring up Mothra without mentioning her twin fairies that she guards, and the way they handle the special effects of their mini size must be commended, and I wonder if they will take some shape or form in the new Godzilla movie. It's a fan favorite and highly regarded for a reason, it does everything right in all aspects and entertains everybody regardless of age. You can obtain a copy of the movie easily on Amazon, or you can rent it, or if you know the right places watch it for free and it's worth it. The copy I reviewed was the japanese version, though I had the english dub way back in the day and I think both versions are very good. The next one we talk about however is one even I haven't got to which is surprising because it is the movie that introduced not only Godzilla's archnemesis but also the monster rumble we would see in many other future sequels. Until next time G-fans!

Friday, May 24, 2019

I Despise The Living....

Yeah this has been coming for a while. So I got a new job that pays really well, I had a great place to work with decent hours. I could wake up, go to work, and still have time to either come home or go to the movies and write reviews, so that's why most of the new movie releases had their reviews posted much later in the day. I am always about seeing movies bright and early, not only for price but also seat convenience and other pros. It worked. But something that was out of my power and control went down, and they had to move me. Still have the job, still have the good pay, but now the hours suck. After I wake up I have 2 to 3 hours to watch a movie and write the review, I get to my job just a bit after noon and don't get home until about 11:00 at night. It is a time waster of epic proportions. Now everything in life is a time waster, it's just that some things are actually worth wasting time on specifically stuff you love to do. Read a book, go see a movie, play a game, if it matters to you and you really love it then it's not a time waster. Thankfully I have weekends off but you can see the toll this will take on seeing new movies, the earliest showings for any new movie is about 10:00 in the morning, and that's totally fine if I had reliable transportation. Hopefully I can get a car but I don't have one now, if I did I'd probably be okay but it just sucks. I wanted to see just two movies over the last week, Booksmart and Brightburn. I have no idea when I'll get to them. Cause I need to dedicate the weekend for something special next week! I'm very excited for it and it will take the whole week to do, hopefully I can get Friday off or most of Friday off so I can actually go to the movies. And after that we're back on a decent schedule for reviews but Booksmart and Brightburn will have to wait until mid-June if they're even still out . It's just aggravating that I have no time to do what I need to do here. It's a very special thing because it's not a job, not really, it is but I watch movies for crying out loud. It's pretty awesome so I don't feel like there's this classic work vs. fun dynamic here because it's both. I just feel I'm wasting countless days of my life for absolutely no reason, and if there is one thing I despise in this world it is the wasting of time! And all due to nonsensical humans. To quote one of my favorite cartoons, "I despise the living, curse them all.". Ugh, hopefully it gets better next week with a more open schedule, I just felt it was important to tell everybody because it is something that affects the reviews. Thank the Endless I plan ahead at least one month in advance, so I'm not grabbing at straws every week on what to review. Just bare with me for a tiny bit and we'll get back on track, no matter what it costs me. Thanks for listening to me rant I guess, you know how much I appreciate you, and I can only hope that life gets better for everybody. See you guys next week.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Rilakkuma and Kaoru

Best show. BEST SHOW!

No show has the right to be this good! Rilakkuma And Kaoru takes three great loves of my life and makes something amazing with it, you got stop motion animation, japanese culture, and a unique take on the slice of life genre. It's such a pleasant, nice, even comforting series that you can watch on Netflix and the only bad thing I could ever say about is that it is too short. Literally every episode save the finale is barely over 10 minutes long and there's only 13 episodes, meaning you can watch the whole show in the span of a 2 hour movie. And you know what? I don't think there is a better enjoyment of 2 hours of your life. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this series. The animation is excellent, with at least one incredible atmospheric shot in each episode that's....oh! It's sublime! The characters are all memorable and very lovable, Kaoru is a middle aged woman who works at a company in Tokyo and inexplicably lives with a bear in a big blue apartment, actually two bears and a bird, and they just live their life. The whole season takes place over the course of a full year from the cherry blossom festival in springtime all the way to the winter season and then back again. Kaoru is just your average person, she works at an office most of the day and life kinda gets her down but she finds solace and love in her home with her roomates. Rilakkuma is a big ol' bear with a penchant for sleeping and eating, and I'm going to be real with you, if you ever wanted to know what I am like in my day to day life almost to the letter, it's Rilakkuma in this show. Like 95% of what he does and what he is like is me. In fact it's kinda scary how accurate it is to be really honest. Are you watching me japanese creators? Cause I love what you're doing. Then we have a slightly smaller bear named Korilakkuma who is kinda like the baby of the group and is absurdly adorable. And last but not least we have Kaoru's bird Kiiroitori who has been with Kaoru the longest and is an energetic bird who loves to clean and wander about. All these characters are immediately lovable and held very dear, and none of them act rude or be little brats, they all get along well and live their lives as friends. I also like how it's kind of it's own thing and there are little odd things and peculiar traits but you roll with it anyway. Like how no one bats an eye that a woman is living with two bears, or how she can understand the bears and her bird even though we never really get a translation of what they're saying, or why there's a zipper on the back of Rilakkuma I mean he's a real bear he just has changeable fur suits. Just little things like that do so much for the charm of the show. And that's what the show is, charming. I am so charmed by this show, I love how it balances sort of fantasy and reality because some things happen that happen in real life, like friends moving away, having to find a new home, how work can drain you, how sometimes you need to find work in order to live, but it's not you know crushing reality setting in and the more fantastical elements go away. It's just life, there's good, there's bad, there's outstanding victories and crushing defeats, but if you have more good memories and good days more than the bad then you come out on top when all is said and done. I could think of much much worse things to do with two hours of your life than watch this show. It is sweet, loving, charming, and a very good reminder that life isn't always that bad. It made me cry in the last episode but I assure you that it was tears of bittersweet joy. I am begging that somebody, anybody, everybody not only watches this show but wants more just as much as I do. I will no doubt be watching this show many, many, many times in the future. I give this show a sterling 12/10.

Monday, May 20, 2019


I promise this will be our last action flick for awhile.

Yeah John Wick got me in a mood, and me being me when seeing a Mads Mikkelsen movie on Netflix, yeah I had to watch and I'm incredibly happy I did. Polar is...interesting. It's a good movie without a doubt but booooy is it out there! Color palletes go from cold and grey to bright harboring on neon, the movie has a very bizzare and dark style of humor that won me over quite quickly, the editing is quick yet knows when to hold on an important shot, the action is well done though I will admit it is very sparse, so it deals with characters mostly. And the characters are great, we got Mads Mikkelsen as a retiring assassin who for some reason is being hunted down by the head of their I guess you could call it a guild for monetary reasons. And the fact that the head of the hired killer organization is Matt Lucas immediately lets you know what kind of movie you are in for and I know there are tons of people who don't know who Matt Lucas is but he's essentially a british comic who does funny and cute side characters, it's kinda like if you got Gabriel Iglesias to play a drug lord, just plain weird man. But our dear Mr. Lucas sends a group of killers to hunt him down, and in the meantime we get a quite nice relationship building between Mads character Duncan Visla (Yes like the mandalorian Visla.) and a young woman played by Vanessa Hudgens named Camille who has had a troubled life and is a bit meek but they form a nice bond and it's a pleasure to see. And the movie ends pretty much how I wanted it, maybe even better which always gets you bonus points in my book! Not quite sure why the movie is named Polar it because the subject matter is dark and morbid but the color scheme is bright and full in some scenes? There is some snow in the movie but it ain't blood freezingly cold in the film. Maybe it's character significant with how Duncan is trying to establish a normal day to day life and distance himself from the world travelling assassination buisness, hmm those are polar opposites. Yeah let's go with that. The music was also quite nice done by Deadmau5, who makes some pretty dang good music so all in all it's a very good movie, I'm very happy I saw it and would gladly see it again in the not too distant future. So I'm sure we'll have a return to the shoot em' up genre but next time we go to something more family friendly. Until then my friends!

Friday, May 17, 2019

John Wick: Chapter 3

Well so much for a trilogy.

I have a theory, trilogies are dead. Movie series nowadays are either a one and done, or have contracted severe sequelitis. I read how the director and Keanu Reeves wanted a straight up trilogy so the series wouldn't be bogged down by sequels, and I'm on board for that! When I thought we still had 30 to 40 minutes left of film, the credits started to roll and that really pissed me off man! Do not get me wrong, after a very busy day this was the perfect movie to cap off the day and blow off some steam. The audience reactions and energy levels were part of the fun of the movie, I will also say stuff goes down in this movie here and there but it's just much of the same. I equate the John Wick series with music, music is built around repetition, that steady beat that keeps going from start to finish while being interwoven with melodies and so forth. The action is the beat, the repetition, it has it's own style and formula and while it is great and visually interesting it is still the same thing over and over. The dialogue scenes which again I must give credit to that they actually know when to break off the action and give you time to breathe and relax, are the melody interjected between the ongoing beat. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with formulaic storytelling if it's done right, and it is here, the movie never failed to hold my attention or to have me engaged in the fights. They are expertly crafted fights with real talent and skill at play along with excellent camera work, lighting, and editing! It's great fun to watch! But it's starting to wear down on me, with the first film I loved how the action was done in every aspect, second film gave me even more and I still enjoyed it, here it gets tiring just a bit. So all I have to say is, end it at four movies, have your really cool badass tetralogy, to not only keep your unique style and story interesting and complete without ruining it but to also avoid degrading in quality sequels. If you liked the first movie and the second, go see the movie. If you are a fan of action, go see the movie. If you're in it purely for Keanu Reeves, go see the movie. It's a very good movie that I have no doubts will be enjoyed across the world by many, many people. Have fun with it, and I will see you next time.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

John Wick: Chapter 2

Now I'm very very interested to see where this goes.

Does the sequel surpass the first? Well it's much of the same but with a lot of new stuff in it as well. I feel the driving force of the movie was stronger in the first, you were with John every step of the way, sons of bitches stole his car and killed his dog. You wanted them dead, you wanted their families dead, you wanted their house burned to the ground! But in this one after a bit of time has passed since the first movie, John is contacted by an old peer who has come to collect on a debt, but doing so would flip the criminal organization of the world upside down and John is trying to put his past behind him. But old debts get settled, and our Mr. Wick finds himself on the run. What I enjoyed more in this one than the first, is how much time is given to John trying to just put everything behind him, he's squared away after the last movie and is trying to bury his blood stained past and move on to a better life, but as soon as he's out they pull him back in, and it sucks because you really want him to have a good life. Beyond that though it was nice seeing Ian McShane and Lance Reddick back, I always enjoy seeing them and I really do love their characters, the action is still kept up at a very good pace I mean you're flying through this movie without even realizing it, the story is still simple though I will admit not as good as the first. Don't get me wrong, I still like the movie, it's a solid good movie! But it isn't better than the first, and yet the new additions are nice. More worldbuilding is always a plus, we travel to new locations, some great visuals are sprinkled throughout particularly the final shootout. And for some reason the henchwoman of the villain in this movie, played by Ruby Rose, is infinitely more interesting and cool than our main antagonist, I can't explain it she's just cool, she's like the female Oddjob minus the steel rimmed hat, I like the fact she speaks through sign language and is always on the heels of John, I just greatly enjoyed her in this movie! And there's one scene, I can't really spoil it but it kinda hit me man, it was quiet, slightly sad, and even a bit powerful. It just really grabbed me and reminded me of another instance in the James Bond series, but I'll leave that for you to decipher which. Good movie, I more enjoyed it for what it's setting up in the third movie than the plot of this one, but everything is done just as well and I really did like it and enjoy it. So will the 3rd movie be the best and cap off this well made trilogy? Guess we'll find out soon.

Monday, May 13, 2019

John Wick

I can see why people liked it.

John Wick is good ol' 70s revenge flick done with the modern cinematography of any finely made film. Our man John is a retired hitman and living his life, he sadly loses his wife to an illness and soon owns a little pup. But some jackass russians done f***ed up, trash his place, steal his car, and kill his puppy! That's like rule #4, you can butcher people wholesale and we don't give a shit but you can never kill a pet, because humans suck and pets are awesome. But aside from that, I really liked it but honestly you think people would have you believe this film is the second coming of Christ. I heard not one even slightly average word about this movie, it is a glowingly reviewed movie from audiences and probably even critics and I don't get it. It's a finely made film, it looks excellent, it's got a good budget, good actors, a simple but still effective story, and some pretty great action. I don't deny that I enjoyed it and think it's a good movie but what did other people see to make them go full out, "OH MY GOD THIS IS THE GREATEST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!"? The story in all it's aspects, plot, dialogue, character, and the world they built is really damn good. I think Keanu Reeves did a fine job and acts well, I can tell what he feels from facial expressions and believe every bit of the movie building him up as this absurdly good hitman. I love the world they build, anyone can watch the movie and follow it great, you fully understand who everyone is and where they fit into this story, and with little dialogue there's no need for exposition, they can tell you everything visually and that's just good directing. And yeah the dialogue is small, but it's used effectively and doesn't waste time, you can immediately recognize and understand the relationships between these various characters with no backstory ever required. How many times can you say that about a movie? There's no newbie who's new to this game and has to have everything explained, you roll with it quickly and easily. That's something very strongly appreciated and admired in my book. I'm curious to see what happens next in the sequel before the possibly final chapter hits this Friday so until next time be good people.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Detective Pikachu

You win this round Ryan...

Thankfully Detective Pikachu didn't suck. I could even tell it was going to be a good movie before the title, not only did they have a great japanese calligraphy titles, though still in english but Legendary and my boy Toho worked on this movie! Awwww yeah! And it was good, it's a fun little movie to take your kids too, I was shocked to see a lot of older people there and I ain't talking 2 to 5 years older than me, I mean I saw a couple with no kiddos and they looked in their late 30s. That's friggin' awesome, that is love and dedication! But I also saw the people of my generation bring their kids to see it and I thought that was so cool. They even gave me a pack of Pokemon cards at the theater for being there opening day, can you even get more rad than that?? No. So the movie follows a young man named Tim who is given the unfortunate news of his father's supposed death but is swayed to help a Pikachu who can actually speak english and be understood only by Tim. So they team up and try to discover what happened to his pop, and adventure and hi-jinx ensue! I like our main character, he's a reluctant main character but not annoyingly so, he has a lot of family baggage and is just trying his best to uncover the truth. I didn't hate Ryan Reynolds surprisingly, he wasn't annoying and brought some heart to the role, and was even a teensy bit cute but I blame that on the design. If there was one little bugging me problem, there's this character who's been following the crime of Tim's dad and helps out with the investigation, and....she wasn't that great a character. And I know what they were trying to do, they were trying to do a Misty, a no nonsense, emotionally charged, talkative, and kinda bossy girl that tags along with our main character who has some Ash qualities about him. But it didn't work, there was no firm grip on this character and what they wanted to do with her, and it isn't the actresses fault she plays it well, her character was just all over the place. But what very small grievance I take with that gets washed away with the world building, I love this world! The designs are great, these are real sets, they got great lighting with the bright signs yet still look fully set in the real world. The Pokemon designs are great, they look as if they existed, not so much the graphics but the physicality of them, Pikachu is this ball of fuzz and electricity, Charizard is this scaly lizard that breathes fire, Snorlax looks like the most comfy bed in the existence of ever, and I think the CG is not supposed to look real and that it is supposed to look otherworldly and different, they did such a good job! I also like how they integrate the world of Pokemon into the realism, there's no identical looking Nurse Joy's or over the top beloved Team Rocket plans, people have Pokemon companions and work together, the police force has Growlithe's as police dogs, the firefighters have a squad of Squirttle, just little touches like that help the immersion of this world. I also like how the movie has twists and misdirects, you're not just seeing a longer version of the trailer, that was what I was worried about most. But it was avoided and you get a fun movie for the family to go see and rent or buy in the future, and I swear the ending credits are almost worth the price of admission with glorious music and stylized illustrations. It's just good stuff all around, and I just remembered one more little nitpick I had, they could have had better voices for certain Pokemon. They got the same voice actress who's done Pikachu's boice since the beginning Ikue Otani in the movie, but Psyduck isn't the same and Mewtwo didn't have that deep great voice like in the first movie. Why? It's such a shame we couldn't hear them again but like I said it's a nitpick. Good movie, needs more Snorlax, 7/10!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Ace Attorney

Yeah I probably would have loved this movie as a kid.

I can totally see 9 year old me watching this on Starz or Encore back in the day and it was made in 2012! Remember how in Street Fighter I brought up how there were undoubtedly going to be differences of the translation from game to film? Yeah, this goes above and beyond. Ace Attorney based on one of the most popular visual novel series if not THE most popular, widely loved and acclaimed Nintendo DS series, got a full live action treatment straight from the motherland itself. I think the japanese are better at this than the americans. It's kind of a difficult film to describe, because it's based off of one of the most colorful, fun, endearing, and loved video game series in the world, and yet it juggles the absurd with live action realism. If you look up any character design that is showcased in the movie (with one or two exceptions, looking at you Redd White you Snape looking bastard) there is so very little changed. They make anime styled hair look completely realistic, and keep very true to each character's personalities and traits. The movie even follows individual stories from the games, and I played them but kinda forgot how everything went down so I was invested and didn't see everything coming. It makes you think critically of evidence, and pay attention to testimony, you really play attorney and I love it! And I love the fact they can be absolutely and shamelessly goofy, yet still can tell a serious story and play it mostly straight faced, it's such a thin tightrope to walk but I think they did a great job. Also surprising pick for the director, now if you aren't very familair with foreign films, specifically japanese films the name Takashi Miike doesn't mean much, but if you have a great interest in all genres of film and a love for films outside your own country then you know Takashi Miike makes some pretty screwed up stuff. He makes very unsettling and often horrifying films, like Audition and Ichi The Killer which are considered some hardcore horror even to monster fans of the genre who can stomach anything, so to get a masterpiece director of psychological horror to helm a movie based off a kid's video game series is about as random as say, Walt Disney directing a film like Schindler's List, it just seems bizarre. But it works! It maintains the spirit of the games while still adding it's own unique touches here and there. And I cannot more strongly recomend Suede's review of this movie, it gives you more information and no doubt more entertainment, the guy makes me laugh to beat the band. The only truly bad part of the movie is you can't really own it, if you live in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, or of course Japan then good news you can buy it now! Other than that.....nope, just try to find it online. That's a bit rubbish if you ask me, but it's worth watching if you want to see an example of video game movies done right, or just a fan of the games. I wanted to do a week of video game movies before Detective Pikachu because it's fun to talk about and I never saw either this movie or Street Fighter before so it was something new and fun. Until Friday my friends!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Street Fighter The Movie

Yep we gotta do some video game movies before Detective Pikachu.

I'm gonna be honest I don't know much about Street Fighter. I know a bit, I recognize characters and some of their traits, a handful of moves, and other things I've absorbed from pop culture. So when I decided to sit down and watch this movie I didn't know what to expect but I had a blast guys! This movie, to an absolute newbie to the franchise is really dang good. But why? Well I think a big part of it comes down to not being familiar with the games so I can't go all fanboy rage if something isn't adapted correctly. I know about Mortal Kombat and how the movie isn't a perfect adaptation, so it's a liberty I don't have here. But screw it, I really enjoyed this movie! Granted you don't get non-stop hand to hand combat but you get decent fights, and strangely enough though the movie is close to 2 hours it feels short. By the time the movie begins it feels like 30 minutes of buildup have been dropped and we're right in the preparing phases where our hero Guile is after the villainously brilliant General M. Bison who's taken hostages and put up a $20 billion dollar ransom. And believe me, I have no issue saying the only reason I wanted to see this movie was because of Raul Julia who plays M. Bison, and I think it's very sweet that this was a role he took for his kids and the film is even in memory of him. He gets lots of screentime, great lines, plays it so absurd it's actually genius, and looks like he's enjoying every last bit of it. The reason you watch this movie other than being a hardcore fan is because of Raul Julia. Van Damme on the other hand plays Guile very straightforward and I'm just gonna say it, bland. Also, good thing I watch movies with subtitles all the time, because I know I would be scratching my head at some of his lines! Plus though my knowledge of Street Fighter is lacking, I can tell they threw in a lot of characters, almost too many even because they don't get a lot of time and they have fun and colorful personalities so you want to see more. It's a no win scenario I know, you either have too few characters and people complain about the roster or you have too many with not enough time for them all, it sucks and no format can do it justice besides the video game. But they do fine, they got good fun actors for these crazy parts, the sets are nice, the action though sparse is good, and surprisingly it's really damn funny! I was shocked how much I was laughing at this, they got good funny dialogue, most of it more subdued comedy than actual attempts at jokes, just keep your ears open and you'll hear it. So yeah, Street Fighter is a pretty good movie and I was shocked to see not even a 4/10 star rating on IMDB, I mean it wasn't that bad! I enjoyed it, I'd probably watch it again, I can certainly recommend it for a fun movie night with a group of friends! Yeah, big thumbs up for Street Fighter The Movie from me!

And next time we go straight to Japan for our next adaptation of an acclaimed and beloved video game franchise.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Black Klansman

I had no idea how to properly write the title, I'm sorry.

I'm not gonna lie, I got real choked up at the end. Spike Lee did an exceptionally great job with this movie, though I will freely admit I haven't seen many of his movies and I will continue to see more in the future but it's gonna be hard to top this one. Now I know I say that a lot, and am often proven wrong a lot but is that really a bad thing? I didn't know this was based on Ron Stallworth's actual biography on a case he worked, when I heard a story about a young black man joining the police force in the 1970s and starts an investigation into the KKK, I was pretty much hooked! Then you add some drama, really good comedy, ffffflippin' fantastic actors and an acclaimed director, and there was no doubt in my mind about seeing it. I must say I feel really damn bad not seeing it in theaters, I don't know if I was busy or what but now that it's died down a bit before the big summer rush I decided it was hight time to see this movie. It is amazing. The shots look so good though to my knowledge it's shot on film, could be wrong stay tuned to find out if I'm wrong, I love the editing, I love the film references from Gone With The Wind to Shaft and how they're used, it's just a great movie. And as with all great movies it does have something to say, and it is an admirable thing to say as well. I really wouldn't be surprised if people called this a spiritual succesor to Blazing Saddles with it's mockery of absolutely absurd racism but it does it with a lot more drama, yes the film is funny but it's about the story and characters first. John David Washington is a great lead and I really would love to see more of him, Adam Driver is awesome as always, and Laura Harrier gives an intense but still highly enjoyable performance. It's more details that I love more than anything, there is this undercurrent of humor in scenes especially if someone's on the phone or they do a split screen edit cause the more you listen and think about it, it's absolute perfection. I love how it brings up the fact that with any form of protest or movement, there's going to be more militant and hard pressing individuals but also how others can talk and inspire yet neither is really the tight choice. You need to be diplomatic yet also ready to take action, wise yet powerful, that peace is not weakness and strength is not the solution. When you are both, then you posess the true qualities of a leader. And the fact the movie has no qualms, no quarter, no hesitation to adress the fact that such a thing as horrible as racism must be continued to be fought even to this day, tomorrow, and in the future because it still exists in frightening forms today must be admired. And I for one believe in all power for all people who are good, and kind, and decent, and loving.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Mule

Pretty damn good.

I gotta tell you I'm not usually one for crime movies, or heist movies, or what have you, because all it comes down for at the end for me is do they get caught or do they make it out? Now you might be saying but Dude the story isn't the important thing because there's hardly ever any surprises in a crime movie so it's more about the acting and the characters. And you are absolutely right. You already get a great actor and director to helm the movie then you add talent upon talent and that is what makes the movie interesting. It's such a different light to see Clint Eastwood in a grandpa type role, sure he can be gruff and crack a wiseass joke, but he's actually really nice and incredibly likeable! So story wise, an old man who has spent too much of his life with work and not family, is given the opportunity to be a drug mule for a cartel and he uses the money to help out his friends, family, and other people. On the other end of the spectrum we have Bradley Cooper who is given the assignment to bust the drug cartel, and it's Bradley Cooper he always does fine work. If that sort of movie interests you and you want to see Clint Eastwood in another great role this is definitely a rental or even a buy, he knows how to direct and tell a story and because of the characters we are invested in the story. It's very well shot, has drama, has humor, and a good spirit of altruism! So obviously you got good writing, great actors, a fine director, and it turns out to be a pretty good movie! And I'm interested to see what Clint will do next, the last movie he was in was Trouble With The Curve, another good movie of his which you should check out, and that was six years ago. So I am very curious to see what comes next, and I know this was an odd choice (and short but if the 90s taught me anything it's WYSIWYG) but different ain't always bad, I can tell you that right now and we have another recent movie I've been wanting to check out so until next time!