Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Godzilla Vs. Kong

Is it a 10/10? No. THE END

Now in all seriousness how was the movie? Well it certainly gets a thumbs up from me and while it may not be my favorite in the Monsterverse, I cannot deny the results were great. So it's been about 3 years in movie time since King Of The Monsters, Kong has been placed in a secure location on Skull Island, Godzilla has been pissed right the hell off and starts blowing shit up, and the humans are more or less trying to find truth to the hollow earth theory that's been cropping up in these movies. Now I know there's probably lots of people who are just like, "I don't care about all this stuff, I came here to see who wins." well genius this is what happens when you enter the fourth movie in a franchise! New shit has come to light man, they're ever expanding this Monsterverse with lots of cool new stuff. Believe you me, there is a lot to appreciate in this film. The sound design, holy fiery balls, is incredible and the fact that we actually hear things from the perspective of this little girl who is deaf really pushed it over the top for me. I dare even say she was my favorite human character in the film, but the other actors do fine work and treat it seriously. I'll have to keep my eye out for Shun Oguri who plays Dr. Serizawa's son, this was his first american film and I was so interested to see him in this. The effects are excellent, this film is not afraid to have color to the point where it's almost comic book-esque, Godzilla and Kong look outstanding and considering the shape of the world now I'm impressed with how they did it all. The fights are brutal, mutilating at times, with tons of moments that probably made my face look like I was having a stroke, and yes there is a winner. It may not seem like it when credits roll, but one Titan did yield and undisputedly lost no matter how you slice it. No one died, I knew that was never the intention, so they're both gonna stick around. The real question now is what comes next? This was kinda sorta the culmination of it all. 2014 Godzilla was a humble beginning to see if they could do it right, Skull Island reintroduced Kong and set the stage for future events such as these, King Of The Monsters still has a part to play but placed Godzilla at the zenith of the kaiju tower, now the dust has settled from the rematch of the century with both monsters still out there. I'm stumped beyond belief as to what happens next, I can't imagine how the creators feel. It didn't disappoint, gave me a lot of what I wanted, and was a highly enjoyable movie. 4 stars, 8/10, but the kaiju action never stops. See you next month.

Monday, March 29, 2021

King Kong Vs. Godzilla

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

Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah

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

Godzilla Vs. Space Godzilla

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.

Anniversary Log: Year 6

It has just been brought to my attention that today marks the 6th year anniversary of my reviews. Holy balls of fire, it nearly swept under the radar for me. I was just gonna review Space Godzilla and call it a day, but today is a happy day and a nice occasion. It's funny I actually was thinking about just how far I've come earlier this week in fact. Really it's a miracle this has went on for so long. So much nonsense and shit has happened since the show's inception and I haven't the foggiest how I've kept it up. It's no shy statement when I say this website, this show, my lifestyle has changed forever because of just writing average, rambling, mostly positive but nonetheless informal reviews. I went on a tangent, like I always do, and flat out said I would be a richer man if I didn't start this show. I think that's crossed a lot of critic's minds, think of the absurd countless hours of watching movies and the uncalculable amounts of money spent on this little pet project. But frankly I don't care. I've seen things you people wouldn't believe...foreign films off the coast of Japan, I watched Hollywood stars glitter in the golden age of cinema, all those moments will be here through time. Like, words in stone. Films I would never have gotten around to seeing if I didn't put it on a calendar and wrote about it. My words of passion and love for certain movies, actors, directors never heard. I have no misgivings about my position, I run this show from my living room couch with a phone in my hand, lolligagging about. And if my calculations are correct, we could hit 1,000 reviews before the 7th year. 1,000 reviews. Can you imagine? What would I even do after that?? It's grown so much, it feels bigger than me despite my crucial input for it. My writing has improved, my sensibilities and opinions have matured, doing this has made me feel better. It's just what I aspire to do and I think grand total I haven't even made a literal dime off it in all this time. It doesn't matter, I do it to do it. I'm gonna try to figure out something for the 800th review, I can't even begin to comprehend or thank anyone who has read even just one review, let alone all of them. I just speak my feelings and hope someone gets a good movie to watch every week. Entertainment from me is second, movie recommendations are first. There's so many talented, genuinely funny, great reviewers out there and I always try to give them some love. I spend so much of my down time watching reviews, it's just great stuff to listen to, to hear other opinions and to see someone's perspective. I disagree with stuff, like anyone, but like with the movies I have seen and talked about, the pros almost overwhelmingly outweigh the cons. And...if someone like me with no budget, a less than stable but still good life, and constant changes to my review schedule can do all of this, boy howdy the things you could do with your passions and careers. I'm still reeling from the reminder about everything, I seriously am just lost for words. But I can tell you I'll keep this up anyway I can for as long as I can, maybe until I die, maybe until I can't remember my own name, but into the forseeable future and for the rest of my life. And remember my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla II

Don't worry about the 2, it's not really a sequel.

Full disclosure, I have never seen this Godzilla movie before, the closest I got was when I was probably 11 or 10 and I happened to catch it on satellite late one night but I was a lightweight then just as much now and fell asleep before I even got 20 minutes in, so that means I had to find a copy so once more we have an english dub. And I find that a shame as I consider this one of the strongest entries for the Heisei series. Sure the plot isn't too involved, the government salvages the head of Mecha-King Ghidorah and uses it as a template to craft Mechagodzilla to protect Japan from the big G, and meanwhile an egg is discovered after a sighting of Rodan which leads to a much needed update for Godzilla's son. And that's pretty much all you need to know, it's so straightforward and yet has enough action and personality to the humans to keep you fully engaged all the way. The effects are pretty spectacular in terms of the miniatures and the creature suit for Godzilla Jr. or as everyone affectionately calls him Baby, and sweet heavenly snow....I want him. The internet has failed me for the last time, you had this precious little one in your midst for decades but little Grogu was the first on your radar. Get off my planet. I love him. I'd destroy worlds for this wee babe, he means more to me than you will ever know. Pretty much all the designs are really really damn good. Rodan looks pretty good, Godzilla looks awesome as usual, and Mechagodzilla while I do like this design it couldn't top the 70s one for me. But that's okay, he gets a lot of action screen time in this, hell it's easily the most action packed entry of the entire series thus far, you really get your money's worth. I have no real idea why it took me so long to finally sit down and watch it but I am thrilled that I did. One of the best finales in the Heisei series, decent human characters, easy yet enjoyable plot, excellent effects, you really can't go wrong with this. One bit I want to throw out before we wrap this up is even though this is an english dub, they pronounce Rodan the japanese way not the american way, they call him Radon and I'm not sure why but I very much like that. It's just not often you get real japanese in international dubs. But moving on, 4 stars, 7.5/10, a very strong entry but we only have two left. And I sense great sadness in the future.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Godzilla Vs. Mothra (1992)

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

Godzilla Vs. Biollante

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

X-Men 3 The Last Stand

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

X-Men 2

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.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Gran Torino

Again, another movie I thought I reviewed. Christ man, we're inching closer to 800 of these suckers, it's a miracle I remember my birthday.

Gran Torino, probably my favorite of Clint Eastwood's films and I got a lot of nice things to say about many of his movies. So veteran Walt has just buried his wife and is dealing with his less than loving family, when a Hmong family moves next door, and slowly but surely he connects more to that family and finds a quantum of solace in his later years. I think that's mainly why I like it so much is because of the dynamic between these characters, and all the actors do genuine great work. I know it's easy to make grumpy old man jokes, but I will refrain from that since I myself am a severely grumpy old man. But even I will admit Clint plays his part to perfection, a rugged, pissed off, unfortunately racist, and lonely man who gets out of his shell and becomes very attached to this family. I know people give shit to the racist remarks and I did too, but I know why it's there. The movie does have a no nonsense, all too real look into the world. There is racism and stereotypes, there are gangs, there are angry and violent people. But it also has people who genuinely care, people who get hurt because of unfair situations, people who think they are helping but make things worse. That's the world, it's bullshit, and a lot of people hate it but you either complain about it or start fixing it any way you can. That's what I got out of it, it's a movie that doesn't beat around the bush and I respect it for that. I mean Clint directs well enough and acts wonderfully, but I gotta give some major love to Ahney Her who plays Sue, sweet mother of sunshine this woman is the best. I love her attitude, her intelligence, the fact she can take shit and throw shit back, and I'll be damned if I don't praise her now. Fan-flippin'-tastic man, best character for me. It's been a minute since last I saw this so I was pleased to know there was more than what I remembered, a gruff wiseass veteran gets a young boy to help out around the place after he tries to steal his car. That is an injustice to the plot and intent of the movie. It's way more and way better. I am the first in line to complain about how movies should be escapism and not be a little too true to the world, but on the other hand I've seen grand films, wonderful films, films that make you go "Ooh" and actually say something important and brings up issues that need to be rectified. This is one of them, don't be a dick, live your life better, don't get pressured into stuff, accept differences. It's good stuff to be reminded of now and then. And it just goes to show how well the movie gets that through in various ways, it got me talking so what could it possibly do for you. Do I like the ending? Yes and no. I know fully why they did it that way, I like they did it that way, it would make the movie useless if they wanted to go all out but did I want a bit more? Sort of but I ain't complaining at all. And for a film 13 years old that still has some measure of impact and is still very true to this world, rubbish that it may be, it's just facts that not many movies have achieved such a thing. I of course say you should see it, full heartedly even, total 4 star movie, give it a solid 8/10. I very much enjoyed seeing it again, and I will tell you I will be goddamned if I did not like hearing Clint sing. Mighty good week for reviews, I'll see if I can throw something good for you next week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Phone Booth

Rest in peace Joel, you gave me some entertainment all through my life.

For a movie damn near 20 years old and in such a severe shifting world, Phone Booth has not lost any of it's suspense or impact. I mean it's such a fascinating concept alone that you could make a short film of it, let alone a feature length movie. And I feel it was made at that right time in the world when cell phones were becoming more common but payphones were still around, although even I must admit I haven't seen a phone booth in person in 25 odd years. The script is excellent, with a PR guy named Stu who takes an anonymous phone call and very quickly finds himself in the center of a hostage situation with a sniper who always is on the line. There's no doubt been many instances in films where elements of this situation takes place, but the way each event flows into the next, mounting the tension and suspense, must be commended. I mean while the film is no doubt very dated in that early 2000s way, with blue tinting to the film because it's digital babyyy, and the weird fast pans and dutch angles, even I can't give shit to Joel because this was how a good portion of films looked until say 2006/2007 when it finally died off. Colin Farrell is a great lead, and you can believe someone as fast talking and bullshit spewing as his character can get in such a situation. This might be sort of strange to say, but I heard more Kevin Spacey over the phone than Keifer Sutherland but really the guy has a great voice, voice acting high quality type of voice that I would be interested to see more of. There were several points I really had to step back and asses the situation which brought moments of laughter from me, though this gets heavy and intense before even the 15 minute mark and the movie is not even 90 minutes but it certainly doesn't waste a second of film. Most of the time I was in suspense because you don't really know when or not the trigger is going to be pulled and I did see the ending coming, but the curve balls it threw at me hit well. This is a great film to while not necessarily think what you would do in that situation, but vicariously try to find a way out of that situation. It's entertaining and gives you a rollercoaster to go on, and I'm truly happy I saw it. 4 stars, 7.5/10, I might even say this is Joel's best directorial efforts more so than The Lost Boys but there's always more to see.

Monday, March 8, 2021


Okay I could have sworn I did this movie at some point.

I would have bet money I already reviewed the film debut of Susan Anton as Olympic trainee Goldine (and no her trainer is not named Misty) for the 1980 Olympics, as a reporter Jack Dryden tries to figure out what makes her the absolute cream of the sports crop. Seamless transition over with, let's talk about the movie. Now I will fully admit this movie came to my attention because of the Cinema Snob in one of his best reviews I'd say, so the movie was on my radar quite a bit before I took on this near 6 year odyssey. I even bought the film, which you can only get on VHS or Laserdisk, the first or second year I was in college when I was already reviewing movies so you can see why I thought I did it already. And just like the Snob I friggin' love Goldengirl. Susan Anton though never acting once in her life in a movie before is surprisingly grand, yeah it can be heavily dramaticized to the point of soap opera moments, but I'll be damned if I said that she and every other actor in this movie was not giving it their all. And for a film about a supposed natzi testing a growth serum on his adopted daughter to win acclaim after she wins the gold at the Olympics, that is saying a lot. You think I would trash the pure absurd quality of this script but the way the film progresses, and the acting quality seen within make it work. Plus any film with James Coburn is a-okay with me man, though the age gap is a bit much I genuinely do like the relationship between Jack and Goldine. The production quality is really nothing to write home about, it's standard and got theatrical as well as TV premieres, but points must go to the musical aspect with composer Bill Conti at work and even Susan can sing not half badly. The appeal of the film is incredibly niche, you have to be in a certain mood to watch it and you might not think much of it afterwards. But for me, I dig it, I totally can roll with this movie, appreciate it, and thoroughly enjoy it. Which is odd considering the fact that well, the film isn't exactly accurate in retrospect. The film was released in 1979 with the idea that Goldine is training for the 1980 Olympics. In Russia. In the Cold War. In the only point in history the U.S. has boycotted the Olympics. Whoops. Will give this movie credit for having major balls, I remind you this was a movie shown on TV and we have, alluded to nazi experiments, lots of strong language with the exception of the F and C words, and uncensored nudity! You see bewbs for quite awhile in one scene! How...the shit did this roll? A theater, fine that's one thing, but I'm shocked they got away with that much for television. They have a better chance showing it now on cable and not having to censor a thing. And that's sort of the kick in the ass about this movie, it's availability is scarce. I might as well have reviewed some obscure foreign film from the early 1930s, like you either find it on some website and good luck on that front or you buy the VHS like my nerdy ass and dust off the old CRT television for the complete immersive experience. Or you can just watch Brad's review and get a lot of laughs like I do, and even that review is easier to find than the movie itself. So why did I review it? Well it's gonna be a rough week in terms of reviews so I wanted to grab anything I could and I really wanted to give this movie some attention and love. I personally give it 4 stars, 7.5/10, it might not have won the gold but it stole my heart, and I would be a fool to not meet Susan Anton at some point. 

Friday, March 5, 2021

James May's Toy Stories

One more for the week.

This was a real blast to watch and a good throwback on top of it, the series was aired in 2009 and once again awfully short, 6 episodes each a little less than an hour. The concept of this show is unique to me, each episode covers a specific toy, some I've heard of and some I have not, as James May tries to achieve something grand and amazing with it. Like he uses Plasticine which is a bit like Play-Doh, to make a garden of flowers and trees. Or he makes an entire house, furniture and all, out of Lego. Sure I've seen shows that cover the history of toys, which this programme also does a bit of, but nothing on this scale. You get super invested in some episodes and all of them are worth watching, there's no skips to be found here. The production is spot on once more, obviously with a lot more help so James doesn't actually have to build a bridge out of Meccanno all by himself. It's a short sweet show, which I suppose can be said about all the programmes I've reviewed this week. It's mighty good stuff, each entertaining in their own right. I mean I got really swept up in the model train episode as he tried to break a world record, I wanted to see him succeed, and all over just these little trains. But that's the power of this show, you want to see this inventive and cool stuff work out. So that's why I fullheartedly say go for, give it a watch, you might enjoy it more than you think. I know there's specials here and there, but I wanted to focus solely on the only season. And good lord I just now realized we entered a new month, so what comes next? Hard to say with all the things going on in life and the world, but don't worry I'll have something good or bad to talk about. In the meantime, 4 stars, 8/10, have a good one everybody!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

James May Oh Cook!

Yes the first proper cooking show I've seen all the way through and can easily say it's the best.

For someone culinary handicapped, this show really proved the adage from Ratatouille as we see fellow cooking novice James May attempt a myriad of dishes from all over the world with world class home economist Nikki Morgan. Now I must state for the record I've seen cooking competition shows, and not cooking programmes with some celebrity busybody who I don't know, and this show casts a very honest even debilitating honesty on the world of a televised cooking show or network. You see the camera crew frequently, the kitchen is a real kitchen no sets or anything of that, James speaks bluntly and realistically about his cooking but even more so the production. They don't handwave prep time and the wait time between dishes, they comically address it yes but it doesn't undercut that cooking takes time and can be as involved as you like. The dishes very much speak of that, you can go full blown and make something gourmet worthy or just make it the way you like and call it a day. I myself have pushed my culinary skills beyond ramen noodles and TV dinners, which is what I made alone for decades. Now at the very least I can cook an egg among other things. I even invested in a cookbook from renaissance man and horror icon Vincent Price (because of course I did). So this show does make me have a bit more confidence to try making more things and it's done so well. It's very much an atypical cooking show but the productions is well done, James and Nikki are a cracking good duo, the food isn't complex and anyone can make it, and it is quite funny on top of that. But not that rubbish attempt at humor to get a laugh out of the back row like on most reality shows. And I genuinely do love the variety, there's nothing necessarily "normal" about the dishes beyond steak and chips but that doesn't nor should it deter people from making it. Each is unique, explained, and presented well. It's worth a watch. There's a grand total of 7 episodes roughly 30 minutes a piece so you could honestly knock this one down quite literally between meals. It's worth it, if only to get a taste of truthful reality along with various food items. 4 stars, 8.5/10, hopefully a second season will be made and apparently all the recipes will be in a James May cookbook so sign me up for that. One more journey with our man James, once again looking at something completely different yet fun.

Monday, March 1, 2021

James May Our Man In Japan

I was going to review The Grand Tour, but television shows are always difficult to review with lack of time, television specials that are not on television but found on Amazon though...oh yes.

How to explain this corner of comedy to those who haven't watched british automotive programme's before? Well you are missing out but bottom line, it's great. Utter class. And this follows somewhat in that same vein but is a great first introduction to national treasure James May as he takes a filming crew from the northern to southern ends of Japan as he really takes in the culture and hilarity ensues. It's two of my favorite countries blending together, and is produced expertly though I suspect the crew was minimal. The special is split into 6 episodes each about an hour long, so really each third of the series takes place in a third of Japan, from the frozen north of Hokkaido, to the megalopolis of Osaka and Tokyo, to the southern island Shikoku with lots inbetween. It's a difficult show to describe but an incredibly easy one to experience and enjoy. It's not outright comedy but because the host is such a hilarious and brilliant man you will be laughing frequently. I was almost in tears at one point, and it was very difficult to breathe. So besides the 2 years of my life stolen by loss of oxygen, there's more to compliment. The footage is beautiful, I don't think I need to really say that, it's Japan, the day I stop calling it beautiful is the day this show ends. I love the variety of things shown and done in this series, so much it's hard to list it all, but it goes beyond just going to Tokyo and lolligagging about. They take snow dogs out for a run, perform archery, paint, write haiku, try lots of different cuisine, go to a comedy show, do a bit of not gambling, they even somehow bust out not one but two mech suits to play about with. It really does take in the full breadth of that country and shows a lot more than you would think. Wink wink, nudge nudge. And on that's an immensely humorous, fun adventure, with a unashamedly candid point of view at this strange wonderful country that I think you'll very much enjoy. 4 stars, I dare give it a 10/10, though I wanted so so many more episodes. Just give the trailer a watch to see if it strikes your fancy, and I will see you and Mr. May next time on a cooking show.