Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Monday, March 29, 2021
I find it so bizzare that the Criterion Collection release has the english dub and not the original japanese release. Cause every other film is in native japanese so it's the black sheep of the set.
However I found out, 45 minutes into the american dub by the by, that it does include the japanese cut. On the bonus disc. And I will state right now I am so happy I watched the japanese version, now obviously I don't have a stigma toward english dubs of Godzilla movies, they practically introduced me to this genre, nor am I a snob and say, "Well the japanese version is obviously better." but I had way more fun and got more enjoyment out of it in the japanese cut. Like I said, I haven't seen most of the Showa era films so I have no nostalgic ties to english dubs, and I mainly want to experience it how audiences in Japan would have. So that's my whole tangent on that, how's the movie? Absurd but highly entertaining, a classic in it's own right, not only the most attended Godzilla film ever but one of the most succesful box office films in japanese cinematic history. The story involves a pharmaceutical company who hear of a specific berry found on an island, and quickly find out the island is home to King Kong. Meanwhile the iceberg that contained Godzilla for 7 years melts away and the king of the monsters does what he does best. Somehow, I don't know or never will know how, they craft a raft for Kong and bring him to the mainland and pretty soon the bets are on to see who wins the fight of the century. There's more to it of course, even a fair amount of satire produced by Ishiro Honda concerning television programmes and their sponsors which is pretty sad to say it still holds up all this time later. I dare you to say television companies wouldn't capitalize on two monsters brawling. But despite it's more outlandish moments like Kong being transported via weather balloon, or the fact that when the, and I want you to pay attention here, pharmaceutical company meets the natives of Kong's island and gives them cigarettes including to a child, or that electricity powers King Kong up and I quote, "Like Popeye with his spinach", it's still a very good and greatly entertaining film. The effects look great, from the octopus attack that literally was done by a real octopus, to the miniatures, this Godzilla suit is my third favorite from the Showa Era, and while Kong looks like ass it still works for me. And I wasn't twiddling my thumbs waiting for the human scenes to end, I thought the human plot was quite good and I do like these characters. It's a hit for sure, but I think maybe even more so than the 70s Godzilla movies, this is the movie where it depends the most on how far you can stretch your suspension of disbelief. If you can't roll with even a smidge of what I disclosed to you here, you're not gonna like it even a bit. If you can, oh boy you gonna have a real grand time good buddy. I loved it, truthfully and fully, I can't wait to see what they do with it in the new one, I'm so happy I own it. 4 stars, 8/10! Rematch, here we come.
Friday, March 26, 2021
And yes I do pronounce it the Cinemassacre way.
Well crap, this is the end. It's such a strange thing to see this series end, I think it has the most definitive ending of all the era's and to think it ended not too long after I was born. It was Godzilla's 40th anniversary and Toho decided to let the king of the monsters end seemingly for good. Needless to say this was a huge deal, even here in the States where we weren't even getting any of these movies until a bit later Godzilla's end made world news. The impact of the film is certainly monumental, but how's the actual movie? Very very good, it's not my absolute favorite of this era probably cause it just puts me in a downer mood but I can't deny the quality. I've heard tale that the production for this movie specifically for the special effects side, which was rushed and had to be completed quite quickly yet I hardly glimpsed any faults. The suits, animatronics, miniatures, all that good jazz looked pretty great. But onto the story, a massive nuclear test has occured making Godzilla become oversaturated with nuclear energy and his body is basically on it's way to meltdown, now you know why the burning Godzilla was such a show stopper in King Of The Monsters, and he only has a few days before he literally Death Stars the entire planet. Meanwhile an organism mutated from the actual oxygen destroyer from the original film starts running amok, now you know why I had to point that out in Biollante, and I find it appropriate that Godzilla has to face a creature born from the weapon that killed the first Godzilla. We get waaaay more than that though to tie it in, Emiko is back for a brief bit once again played by Momoko Koichi who sadly passed away 3 months after the film was released, we see the son of Koichi the boy who was adopted by Professor Yamane and wow what a trip to see a picture of Takashi Shimura in this, they flat out show footage from the 54' movie and spoiler alert it's great. So really this is the book end for the entire Godzilla series, further hammering the point that it truly is the end. And it does strike that hard and true, the ending is amazing and when credits roll it showcases footage from other Godzilla movies, practically pulling an Endgame about 20 years before Endgame. I can't even fathom how much this would affect a Godzilla fan, in Japan, in the year 1995 watching the hero you've seen since you were a wee child end with no possible way to know if it would continue at all. That is the only good thing the 1998 film did, it shit the bed so hard that Toho immediately took back the rights and got a new Godzilla series started up in 1999. Thank God things are better now, not only in terms of american produced Godzilla movies but just the ability to watch these movies. Exactly two Godzilla movies got a theatrical release in my lifetime, Godzilla 2000 and Shin Godzilla. The only way you could see these movies was on TV, either cable or if you were lucky like me satellite, or if by the grace of the cosmos you could find tapes of the various movies only two of which I know of in this series, 1985 and Biollante. Beyond that you were screwed. Granted I had a decent collection of Godzilla movies on both VHS and DVD, but my lord man the fact you can get all the Showa movies on one incredible collection by the Criterion Collection shows how far we've come. And I genuinely have not seen many of the Showa movies so if I have the opportunity and get that collection, we may have a month of Godzilla movies. Christ I should probably get it cause it would include King Kong Vs. Godzilla, which I have to review before the new movie, so be on the lookout. The hero from the land of the rising sun might just be on the horizon. I give this movie 4 stars, another 8/10, great ending to a series and you know what's coming next.
Thursday, March 25, 2021
That was mighty good I must admit.
Yet another entry of the Heisei series I never watched much. However I think this is one of the best of this series, both the monster story and human story are done great, with the military still on a giant robot binge as they craft Mogera a classic kaiju from the 60s in The Mysterians with a great updated look, while somehow Godzilla's cells somehow traveled into space where they mutated into a space monster. Now full truth, Space Godzilla looks super rad! I think he has an awesome design and the way the effects are handled are sometimes jaw dropping. This film showcases Miki the most out of all the Heisei series so far, I mean before she was always a witness to the destruction but after her stand in the climax of the last movie they give her more attention. And I am all for that, I think she's class and I love what she did with her hair. Plus the baby is back, and somehow I don't know how he is 1000% cuter than he was before. I didn't think it was possible for me to love him more but here we are. The poor kid gets kidnapped too which you better believe sent me over the edge, I emmited a very dramatic and moderately loud "Nooooo!!" when he was taken. You do not touch the baby and if you do then I will marshall all the forces of darkness to hound you to an assisted suicide. Not my wee boy. So you bet your ass I was strapped into this plot something fierce when Godzilla and Mogera go to beat Space Godzilla and rescue the baby. And maybe I just never noticed before but when the climax kicks off there's like roughly 45 minutes left of film and the movie is close to 2 hours, so you get a truly spectacular boss battle. I'm telling you the final fights for each subsequent movie from this series has only kept improving each time. The effects they do with the crystal spires, Mogera, the explosions are a feast to the eyes and easily made my jaw drop. I have zero clue how they pulled this off so well. What a great movie. It kind of breaks my heart we only have one left and it no doubt will put me in a mood but it must be done. 4 stars, 8/10, fantastic work by all those involved! See you tomorrow for the end.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Surprisingly the second most succesful film of this series.
Yeah after the fan favorite with King Ghidorah, this and one other later on were the most succesful at the box office of the Heisei series. Which I find kind of surprising, now I've heard one story that the movie going audience of that time was predominantly female hence why there's emphasis on the fairies, the first and only human plot to my knowledge in the whole series to focus on an estranged couple, heck even Mothra was the most popular monster with women. I obviously can't speak for that myself considering I wasn't even a gleam in my mother's eye in 1992, but it does make for one of the more unique plots. When the opening credits rolled I genuinely expected almost a full remake of the 1964 classic with a typhoon uncovering Mothra's egg, and while several elements pop up along the way it is entirely it's own thing. The story involves a divorced husband and wife who discover an ancient civilization on Infant Island where they were told to investigate, where they meet the iconic fairy duo who want to keep Mothra safe while she is still yet to be born, and meanwhile a new monster named Battra appears who takes on a malevolent opposite side of Mothra and starts to wreak destruction on the humans for harming the Earth. Yeah it's one of those environmentally aware movies, which I can appreciate. It's strange because Godzilla while undoubtedly a part of the movie doesn't have much stake plot wise, you still get a few monster fights, good ones too, but he is certainly more on the back burner. You think I would hate that, but I very much enjoy the plot focusing on Mothra. The effects could be argued are even better than King Ghidorah to the point where I have no idea how they accomplished some of it with the larva stage of Mothra, and attempted ambitious effects with the fairies and while some of it is obvious how they pulled it off they were commited to bring their A-game, the miniatures look outstanding, and Battra has such an awesome design. No joke this was the most succesful Godzilla movie until Shin Gojira, that is such an impressive achievement and while it may not be one of my favorites from this series, I have a lot of admiration for it and respect for the effects. The film just looks nice and it has one of the most beautiful pieces of music like ever. I'm so not kidding, words cannot express the beauty of The Birth Of Adult Mothra, it is done to perfection. Really I only could gripe about two things in the entire movie which full disclosure are absolute nitpicks. Battra's roar is straight up Rodan's which was slightly distracting cause I expected constantly he was about to swoop in and change the game. Second is the dub, now I try my hardest to review the japanese cut, I did it for Biollante, but some of the DVD's I own have strictly an english dub done by Tristar. And I swear on my life it was like they had the dub cast for King Ghidorah do both films, I almost dare even say they had half the cast of Ghidorah cause I heard Emi's voice actor at least 4 times throught the movie voicing different characters. It was so damn bizzare. So I apologize for reviewing inconsistent versions but that's just the way my movie collection is, an absolute mixed bag of different languages, countries, and actors. But I digress, this is a fine entry to the Godzilla series and no doubt has it's big fans out there. I give it 3 stars, 7/10, and one more classic adversary will be joining us tomorrow.
Monday, March 22, 2021
That time again, and no doubt will occur again in the future.
Like I said, I'm backing my corner so I will be finishing up the Heisei series of Godzilla films this week before Godzilla Vs. Kong hits theaters. Since I already reviewed Godzilla 1984 and Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah we'll take this in roughly chronological order of the series starting with the underrated and at one point most fan popular Godzilla film ever, Godzilla Vs. Biollante. Now me personally I have nothing against this movie. I think it has a lot of creativity and is one of the most unique Godzilla films to date. Do I consider it underrated? No. Good yes, but not underrated. The film's plot I must say is one of the most involved plots of the Godzilla series, taking place 5 years after 1984 with a scientist who for some inexplicably and no doubt insane reason has combined his deceased daughter's DNA with plant cells which come into making the kaiju of the movie later on, meanwhile a foreign nation is trying to get it's hands on Godzilla cells for their own economic purposes and the Japanese government not only trying to prevent that but mount a defense when Godzilla eventually returns. Now on one hand I could moan about how the plot really isn't Godzilla focused and how he almost seems to take a back seat in terms of plot in his own movie, and yet I don't mind. I was interested in everything going on, I wasn't bored or checking my watch to see when the monsters would pop up, now that might not necessarily be what a new fan of Godzilla wants but I consider this movie more for the seasoned fan. The plot goes off in an entirely new and interesting direction than what you would see during the Showa era, and even I must admit there is still plenty I have not seen during that era. Also considering this movie series has very strong continuity between films when even a direct sequel to the first Mechagodzilla movie was loose at best, you appreciate it much more. It was just not normal to have continuity and recurring characters in any movie series, now sure it's damn near expected and will be criticized if it doesn't, so you have to acknowledge that kind of story telling in that corner of time and place in the world. The effects are much improved over 1984 which already had great production values, Godzilla looks even more amazing, the ingenuity and production of Biollante in all it's forms is incredible I dare even say she is one of the all time best designed monsters in this entire series, the miniatures look grand, the battles though more sparse still entertain, and again I have to give credit to the plot for doing something completely different and in my eyes succeed at. It's a really good entry, it's no masterpiece but I couldn't say it was a waste of time. Now I will point out one thing before we wrap up because this swept my legs clean out and I just wanna know, why the hell was there the oxygen destroyer from the 1954 film sitting in the corner of a side character's room? Either that was some hardcore foreshadowing of this series, or just a nice little nod to the original. You decide. 3.5 stars, 7.5/10, you can go back and read my King Ghidorah review and tomorrow Mothra will be joining the party.
Thursday, March 18, 2021
Do I like it better than X-Men 2? I don't know man!
You know, a lot of people give shit to this movie probably more so of, ooh you didn't adapt the comics right, more than actual shoddy production or acting. I never got it and I still don't. I can see the perspective of some people when they say nothing happened in the second movie, plot wise it was very weak, and while I see it more as a character driven movie than a plot driven movie I can't call it weak myself. But here? So much happens. The government has manufactured a cure for mutants which raises some big questions, Magneto is forming an army, Jean comes back after her Wrath Of Khan death, shit happens in this movie. People die, lines are drawn in the sand, they do the Phoenix story which I hear so much about, it does kinda feel like a true end to the X-Men series. The actors sure treat it like that with Hugh, Patrick, Ian, and even Halle giving it their all for one last bout. I gotta give Halle major credit for this movie, she came off a terrible bomb of a movie and has a very passionate, strong, and take no prisoners attitude with Storm and I for one love it. She really does improve through each movie. It's a shame Alan Cumming didn't return but in his stead we have Kelsey Grammer as Beast. Holy. F***. I am going to be publicly executed by both Marvel and DC fans alike when I say, Kelsey Grammer was better casted as Beast than Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Yes. I said that. This is coming from a man who for all intents and purposes has fallen in love with Hugh Jackman, that massive dork. If you ask me who my favorite X-Man is, it's Beast. You wanna talk cream of the crop? Good lord, that's some good stuff right there, yeah buddy. So story and cast get check marks from me, maybe if I was hardcore into the comics I'd go ballistic over the Phoenix thing but I can roll with it, she has a split personality and literally dusts people a decade well before Thanos. Huh, there's a standoff for you, Jean Grey full destructive Phoenix mode versus Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet. I have no clue who would win that. Any well read and informed fans out there, let me know. Effects have improved once more, they throw the cars, do the wirework, blow stuff up so props once more to the effects department. But the CG looks mostly good, with stand out moments being of course the bridge scene and seeing the metal bones under Logan's skin. Pretty good work I must say and some credit must he given for trying out new technology to de-age Patrick and Ian. Do I feel that was necessary? Nope! It was a decent trilogy, set the bar for future Marvel movies especially for Marvel team movies at that, it genuinely was cool to go back and watch them again to solidify my opinion. For this one, I'd give it 3 stars, 6.5/10, in terms of pure entertainment the second one did it all for me. And we got one more week before the rematch of the century, and I'm backing my corner full force next week.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
I'm not calling it X2, it's never happening.
Hot damn this was really good! I expected the quality to go up just a smidge but son of a gun, this was a really good comic book movie. Every single aspect of production, story, character, and effects have been improved significantly. Great camera work, even better performances, the story worked very well for me, I genuinely think this will be my favorite of the trilogy. So the film picks up not long after the first movie with Logan searching for answers of his past, while a military scientist named Stryker hits the X-Men hard and forces them to retaliate. Good solid story, has easily one of the best openings to any comic book movie like ever, even I'm shocked to say this but when I stack it up to opening scenes for other superhero movies it's pretty grand! It kept my interest from start to finish, never got dull, never made me ask volley after volley of questions, they did it good and they did it right. All the cast does mighty good work in this, and you might be saying well of course they do, the main cast gets to spread their wings and build upon their performances but shit man, even Alan Cumming and Brian Cox are so good in this movie. The script is leaps and bounds better than the first in terms of character interactions and plot. The action while more sparse than the first, got a rise out of me from time to time, it looks really cool whether it be Magneto busting out of prison or the standoff between Logan and Deathstrike which was a great fight and appropriate that the stakes are raised. I have got to shout out to Alan Cumming and Rebecca Romijn, oh my God. Are these actors amazing or what? Alan is effortlessly perfect as Nightcrawler, and I may or may not ship him with Storm. But Rebecca man. I almost want to say she gives the best performance in both these movies. Did she even speak a line in the first movie? She barely speaks in this but I cannot believe how great she is as this character through sheer body animation, expressive eyes, and some good attitude in her tiny bit of dialogue. It's hard to think of anyone else as Mystique besides her and God bless her for putting up with that much makeup and prosthetics. Hugh has gotten more comfortable in the role, Ian is somehow more awesome than before, Famke gets some good stuff to work with, and Brian makes a good villain. Effects were handled just as well, good balance of practical effects and improved CG, the fights may be less than expected but it really didn't bother me at all. They played their cards right, and what an improvement over a 3 year period so they had a lot of time to iron out what they wanted to do and make it proper entertaining and very good. Back when movies took time with sequels, Jesus H. Christ I feel bitter about that to be honest. But jaded perspective aside, I very much liked this movie and it was genuinely truly better than I expected. 3 stars, 7/10! The funny part is this is the least watched of the X-Men movies I've seen, it was always either the first movie on video or the third on FX back then that I watched. If I was being brutally honest, pretty sure I've seen the third the most....and that includes Logan. I apologize for that. But I'm making up for it I swear, so see you tomorrow for The Last Stand.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
This has been coming, and I couldn't think of anything else to do.
It has been probably about...12 years since I have watched any of the X-Men movies and I've only seen the first 3, plus Logan. I don't think my opinion has changed much. And I saw this movie on VHS when I was like 7 years old and had no clue what the f*** was occuring. My expansive knowledge of Marvel included the Hulk, from the TV show and the Ang Lee movie, and the Sam Raimi Spiderman movie. That's it. And you better believe I was playing 20 questions every 30 odd minutes. I was so young I had no concept of the opening scene which Jesus Christ, what a grim way to open your film. F*** me. And I think the worst part is I still have zero idea what to make of the movie. Cause it brings up a lot in it's runtime and I still have questions. The plot isn't too busy though, Logan and Rogue are thrown into this academy led by Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise-D, as they learn more about Xavier, his students, and his frenemy Magneto played by the extraordinary man himself Ian McKellen. And my God the love triangle of Hugh, Patrick, and Ian is the goal of life, they have immeasurable adoration and respect for one another because of this movie series so I can never judge it too harshly. For a movie over 20 years old, and excuse me while I cry in a corner after saying that, it's not a horrible comic book movie. At the time this got a lot of praise, finally they made a live action X-Men show, oh my God I loved the 90s cartoon so this was a dream come true, it did pretty good. Does that still stand? No. But again, they were just starting off, comic book movies were in a massive decline and were oh so slowly clawing their way from the abyss, so I have to give it respect for taking a step towards the bright future where we are today. I think it's a decent adaptation of the source material, though I know little of it but I got the comic references, the actors do fine work and are commited, the effects are hit and miss but the practical usage in this movie I feel was done very well. It's not all flashy CG, you'd be surprised how much they actually do. You can tell there's wirework and breakable sets but I'd rather see that than a green screen. Do I think the sequels will improve in some ways? Oh sure. Hell I'll probably enjoy them more, maybe even give a higher score. But the first X-Men movie isn't horrible, it's a decent albeit average comic book movie that helped pave the way for better things to come. 2.5 stars, 6/10. It was weeeird seeing Hugh Jackman be skinny bollocks in the first movie, the guy has always been in good shape but he filled that role so much in the future (full pun intended), and you lord that casting choice forever over your wife Hugh, because you are too grand.