Monday, February 27, 2023

In Retrospect: Creed

It wouldn't be a part of the Rocky series if it didn't make at least one tear fall.

I told you it was gonna be unorthodox. I feel I have to apologize though when I first reviewed this movie cause I feel I did it a huge disservice despite the praise I gave it way back when. It truly is more than just a repackaged Rocky 1, it is a goddamn great film in my opinion. If memory serves correct here I believe this was the first movie I ever did see Michael B. Jordan in and boy what a tremendous first experience, he truly does carry the legacy of Creed and I know Carl Weathers gave him some strong love and respect cause he really did earn it. Just the passion of Adonis involved for the sport, to prove he is his own man and not just Apollo's son, the relationship between him and Rocky, I mean it's just compelling even moving storytelling. It's pretty ballsy to make Rocky have cancer in this movie, but it makes every word Sylvester Stallone says that much more important and it is there with purpose. And that's the only real way I could describe this film, it has purpose, a drive, a reason to be. Cause through real world tragedy of Sly loosing his kid Sage, he didn't want to do this in the slightest but it was through the dedication and passion Ryan Coogler had for this series that he accepted, it shows in every aspect. This was no movie made for monetary gain or to give just one more film to the fans for the fun of it. There's a story worth telling, actors who make it come to life, and directed by someone who made it all happen as well as it did. You take as much as it gives, and if you step back and appreciate it all you'll find a lot to love. Just as one example, I was so immersed in it I never noticed just how many long tracking shots there are, the film crew have free reign with this camera and they go a while before they call cut which shows a highly professional film crew and actors who nail it big time. The movie has more emphasis on the training aspect which I love greatly, you could almost argue it's the point of the film, and that's one particular thing I think the Rocky series does better than any other movie. Anybody can have a training montage, but with these movies it is essential to the story and more importantly the character dynamic and progression. It tells the story without a single expository line, you need your Gonna Fly Now, you need your No Easy Way Out, you need Eye Of The Tiger, not for the kickass-ness of the song but for the character arc. It's just super well made and I know I can gush about it even longer than I have but I'll let the numbers speak for themselves. Since that was the dark ages before I adopted a score system, this will put it on record. Of course it gets a full 4 gold stars, I give it an 8.5/10, and next time will be my second viewing of Creed II.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Batman Bad Blood

Not a bad end but I feel it's still fairly open ended.

I feel this whole continuity has ended though, if you look at a complete list of these DC animated films the last one released 3 years ago so I think they are moving on to new horizons and there won't be a continuation. Again the movie takes certain aspects of the comics around that time where Batman apparently dies in an explosion leading Dick to take up the cape and cowl, with the Batfamily expanding to Robin, Batwoman, and Batwing to be the guardians of Gotham. They don't go all the way with Bruce's death but the movie's focus is primarily on those four to varying degrees of success. Obviously we haven't encountered Kate or Luke in any previous movies so this is our introduction to them, and I feel Kate gets the better end of the stick. We learn more about her past, personal life, not so much as to why she dresses in a kick ass red and black batsuit but she's here to help fight crime so good on her. Luke on the other hand really is just kinda there, we know he's Lucius Fox's son, he's had military experience and gets swept up in this criminal plot and dons this mechanoid batsuit to assist in the hunt after Lucius gets attacked, but that's really it. I feel the reason and appeal of adding him in was because of the suit's capabilities in the action scenes, and I gotta say the animation for the fights have only gotten better and better each time, here it's really fluid and at a quick pace but not so fast it's hard to keep up they do it just right showcasing the skills of each fighter. The villain scheme leans back to lavishly ludicrous but I still say the last movie had the superior plot and making all the pieces work. It's competently made and to see this period of history where Dick is now Batman I never thought I would see in any medium outside of the comics, I legit would not mind picking up those issues and reading them until Bruce returned, but the movie has a lot of plates spinning and it could have had some stuff trimmed for it's benefit. I loved seeing Sean Maher get upgrade after upgrade in these movies from being a cameo, to side character, to practically the main character here! Also huge love to Yvonne Strahovski, I would really like to dig into the Batwoman comics and I did get halfway through the first season of the CW show before life stuff happened but I wasn't hating it, so her character has always held interest for me and she did mighty good work here! It's a decent little trilogy, for someone as hardcore a fan as me you'd enjoy it but in all truth and honesty the DC animated movies are pretty much for exclusively the fans, not that anybody can't watch them but I don't know many people who go out of their way to view them despite there being gleaming gems in it's library. So take it for what it's worth, I liked them but they're not my favorites either. Final score I give it 3 stars, 7/10! Next week is a bit unconventional but it's kind of necessary for me considering the new movie coming out, we're going way back into the back catalogue of reviews next time so I'll see you there.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Batman Vs. Robin

Court Of Owls confirmed!

Even better it's a semi-adaptation of the comic storyline that is one of the rare exceptions where I've read it. I'm not fully aware as to why I decided to pick up the hardcover collections of both Court and City Of Owls, but to see this story adapted even very loosely is pretty awesome! Set some months after Son, Damian is approached by a masked assassin telling him to use his lethal instincts and to turn on his father and mentor, with the Court targeting Batman so they can reassert total control on the city once more. You think this would be another Hush situation where any divergence or dropped plotpoint for this adaptation would raise my ire greatly, but considering the title is not the same as the comic already skates free from that. True they take slight inspiration and pick bits and pieces of the comic to utilize but all in all it is an original story. We get more confrontation between Bruce and Damian, and how our Robin still struggles with the no kill rule which helps resolve my slight grievance with that in the last movie. Bruce has to come to better terms that he is a father first and a vigilante mentor second, that's a fairly solid arc that contributes to them having more respect and trust in one another. How they handle the Court is better than Gotham, God bless them they tried and I love that show to bits despite it's maddening quirks, yet the original elements they inject still work perhaps not as a faithful adaptation but as a version in this continuity. Now do I highly recommend and easily say the comic is better? Oh hell fucking yeah! Scott Snyder crafted something rarely seen in the comic runs with making Gotham City a central character itself, and with it being the first story out of the gate for the New 52 series it's a homerun! I haven't read the entire storyline penned by him but I got farther than any other regular comic book series before or since. All voice cast members return from the first and still deliver well. I can't really submit hard evidence of this feeling I got, but the animation style honestly felt very much like an anime show, again there's nothing distinct that would lead to such a conclusion, maybe I noticed more details of the animation and character designs, maybe it was the plot, but I fully 100% expected the Court members to have hair color of every shade of the rainbow and then some in this. It's bizzare, I can't place my finger on why, but there was something to this movie. Yet another uber short entry, 79 minutes with credits this time, say what you will but they are some quick sits. Did I like it better than Son Of Batman? I do feel the plot was more focused and better written, I liked the character dynamics more now that they've been expanded upon, and the adapatation aspect I enjoyed. 3.5 stars, 7.5/10, for real now I have no clue what comes next so it is truly anybody's guess how this trilogy wraps up. One way to find out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Son Of Batman

And to think this movie is nearly a decade old, good God time is fricking wild.

I actually have a disclaimer to issue before the review, I was aware of the fact that Bruce and Talia got a little hey hey and had a son named Damian, however I knew nothing of the actual storyline in the comics beyond that so this is essentially my introduction though I've read this adaptation doesn't follow the comics closely. But I gotta admit I did like it! The story presented is more than just Bruce learning he has a son and has to reign in his more lethal tendencies because he was raised by Talia and Ra's, now that is more or less the focus of the movie but I would admit that would still be a really cool and very fascinating story to see as like a drama superhero film, these two opposing personalities and ideologies clashing, but pretty much from the start it had my interest. This might sound odd but the film crafts this mystery for the viewer but there actually isn't a mystery in the film, you follow me? Because opening scene, friggin' Deathstroke flat out assaults the League of Assassins, I mean Protocol 10 missile strike and kills Ra's, now with my history and knowledge of the character Slade Wilson I know he is a mercenary first but the guy can hold a grudge so it proposed this question of who hired him to take out Ra's al Ghul? Turns out he was acting independently but it doesn't give you that information till a bit later on, and the story that unfolds from there is different and far from what I would have guessed but not bad. I really like this friction that Batman and the soon to be Robin have here, and with a character like Damian who has trained with the League since I'm sure he could walk it really dispenses with a lot of the origin of a new Robin who is very much a novice in all forms of crimefighting, and he actually has incredible combat skills and an intelligent mind staying at the same pace as Batman, even if he is a bratty little shit at times. It's a very welcome shake up of a classic formula. And the movie is really short too, not even an hour and fifteen minutes with credits, so it moves at a good pace but still has moments to breathe with a particular favorite scene of mine being Bruce taking his son to the Batcave, no dialogue, no plot, just the Batmobile driving through a rainy Gotham night. I appreciate that tremendously, it's not always a rush to the next action setpiece or the next argument between father and son. Granted the writing is really good when they do hash things out, but even I'll admit the switch between no qualms about murder to playing by the rules of the Batfamily seemed kinda quick for the kid, but like I said it's a short movie so they have to get that arc in quick somehow. I was a bit taken aback by the voice cast here, this follows the normal continuity of the animated DC movies so Jason O'Mara is still the Batman and he does have a good voice. But the big shocks came from the supporting cast, I took note that both Ra's and Deathstroke had excellent voices but couldn't place them and wonder of wonders, Thomas Gibson voices Deathstroke and goddamn does he have such a great voice for him, and Ra's is voiced by modern bad guy extraordinaire Giancarlo Esposito. That blew my mind, I totally couldn't place those voices! And Talia is voiced by Morena Baccarin, beautiful Leslie Thompkins from Gotham, nice! But may I just take a quick sidestep for a moment and say what the actual hell Talia? She flat out, and this is text and not subtext, drugged Bruce and banged the shit out of him! Like....what??? She was that hard up for the guy to perform literal date rape, I'm kinda stunned. I didn't know THAT part of the story going in! Moving on from that fuckery, the animation style is also in the standard of the mainline animated DC movies, and this is so not a slam against that series but I will fully and adamantly admit that my favorite DC movies like the comic books themselves, are the one offs. I love reading the graphic novels and watching stuff like Superman Red Son or Gotham By Gaslight because of the stand alone continuity. Even though to be candid further, the beauty of DC nowadays is you can pick almost any comic run and read it through to the next reboot and call it a day, each run being a different version on the infinite Earths to look at it one way. But all in all it's a very solid movie, not one of the absolute best but a good entry regardless, and considering now I know precisely zero about what comes next I'm looking forward to the next movie. I give this 3 stars, 7.5/10! I've heard murmurs of the Court Of Owls will appear so fingers crossed for that because it is a fantastic story.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Godzilla Series Ranked

This took some compiling and thought but there you go, full ranking.

29. Godzilla Vs. Hedorah
28. Godzilla Raids Again
27. Ebirah Horror Of The Deep
26. Godzilla Vs. Gigan
25. Godzilla Vs. Megalon
24. All Monster's Attack (Godzilla's Revenge)
23. Son Of Godzilla
22. Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla
21. Destroy All Monsters
20. Terror Of Mechagodzilla
19. Invasion Of Astro-Monster
18. Godzilla Vs. Mothra (1992)
17. Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S.
16. Godzilla Vs. Biollante
15. Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla 2
14. Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus
13. Godzilla Vs. Spacegodzilla
12. Godzilla Vs. DESTOROYAH
11. Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla
10. Ghidrah The Three Headed Monster
9. King Kong Vs. Godzilla
8. Godzilla (1984)
7. Godzilla Final Wars
6. Mothra Vs. Godzilla (1964)
5. Godzilla 2000
4. Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, Giant Monsters All Out Attack (GMK)
3. Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah
2. Shin-Gojira
1. Gojira (1954)

Not terribly surprising I'm sure but one of my favorite series ever regardless. Tune in next time for an animated Batman trilogy that I was not aware existed till now.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Godzilla Final Wars

I feel as overwhelmed and blown away as if I just watched a Sega Genesis commercial.

Where do I begin? I know for a fact I would have sold some fuck's internal organs to see this movie when it came out. 2004, prime 9 year old Godzilla fan, it would have been like seeing Nirvana! The literal paradise not the band, though I still like the band but anyway! Uh, wow this movie was a trip man. To try to put this plot into basic terms, it's essentially a remake of Destroy All Monsters but turned up to 11, with of course an alien race that controls all the kaiju looking to turn humanity into the largest meat factory in the cosmos and when all else fails it is time to call in the big guns. Would you believe me if I said I legitimately forgot Godzilla was in this Godzilla movie because of the constant action explosion being thrown at me? Cause I would not be lying to you. Like this movie only takes brief breaks in action scene after action scene just enough so that your head doesn't explode. It really is blast processing for a Godzilla movie! Now I am an individual who is a huge Godzilla fan, I can respect and indeed love both sides of a story greatly, kaiju action and human story alike, yet I'm actually more split on the reception this movie got upon release. Apparently it's a greatly divisive movie for fans, now on one hand it is an action extravaganza with monster brawls and martial arts fighting people and I can understand why that would be a lot to digest and make even the Michael Bay Transformers movies seem peaceful in comparison, but also Godzilla fans love to see the kaiju throw down and if I had a dollar everytime I heard someone say they just want all fighting I'd have a good retirement fund. But the beauty of this series of films is that there is tons of variety, you want grim and serious allegory of nuclear weapons watch the 1954 movie or Shin Godzilla, you want ample sci-fi with your kaiju there's Invasion Of Astro-Monster and Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah, you want some whacked out bizzare stuff take a hit of Godzilla Vs. Hedorah or All Monsters Attack. There is as much a valid place for total non-stop action here as well as any other tweak to the formula. True the editing is a bit quick and we swap from conflicts in quick succession, but the choreography and effects don't feel shoddy or rushed nor do you have much trouble keeping track of who's who. Now is there clear and definite inspiration from films such as The Matrix movies and Star Wars? Oh hell yeah there is! But it doesn't dilute the movie or the reference, it's just a stylistic choice for the plot. It certainly doesn't turn it's back on the history of the series, the abundance of monsters, returning actors like Akira Takarada, the choice selection of stock footage from previous Toho films, it feels like a big fuck off celebratory bash for the 50th anniversary of the King Of The Monsters. They went out with the biggest bang they could muster, and it really did seem like the true end. It's very odd to think but I was born just one year after the death of Godzilla in the Heisei series and wasn't even a decade old when Toho decided to call it a wrap at least for a good few years. And how fitting that the final Godzilla film I've seen is Final Wars. I'll believe it when I see it if we get a new Godzilla movie from Japan this year. Christ I'm not even sure if I should or even could rank all the movies, that would take some thought! It's just a lot to process man, as a movie and as the end of an era for me. Almost too much to talk about throughout so I'll just highlight some things. The monster designs are much more sleek and look fantastic, with easily the lightest Godzilla suit yet. The main controller alien played by Kazuki Kitamura is having the time of his life going friggin' nuts and over the top, but with the exaggerated nature of the film it never feels out of place or too much. I would like to express my joy to Toho for buying the rights to Zilla and giving an extra special fuck yourself to the 1998 movie, shove it up your ugly ass by the way Emmerich. Also beautiful work presenting a fully accurate potrayal of New York City Toho, gold star for you. And if you honestly can't laugh at someone taking the piss out of America for once, you're not living to the max. God bless these american dubbers though, I mean to be perfectly on the level here dub work is pretty involved and hard work to get right but they tried and did not succeed in these pronunciations, my absolute favorite being they pronounce Minilla (I always said it 'mean-yuh') as Milla as in Milla Jovovich. Greatness. Really neat to actually see a great deal of different cities and nationalities, it does make this seem like a global attack so props to the director for that sense of scale. Don Frye as, to take a note out of Cinemassacre's book, this Sgt. Slaughter looking dude was great, I mean this man has zero shits to give maybe to his detriment in this modern world, when he gently smacks an alien woman on the cheek which knocks her clean out as if she got decked by the Hulk, it's ridiculous and unrealistic but that's why it made me laugh. Everything is over the top, the kaiju body count puts Jason Voorhees to shame, there's mutant soldiers, and Godzilla's power levels jumped over 9000 by taking a nap. This movie's wild. If you want sheer action pornography it's a 9 or a 10/10, but for me as a whole and as a Godzilla movie I give it 4 stars, 8.5/10! And with that my journey is complete, my only wish is that I hope both the Heisei and Millenium series can also get the special treatment here in the States of a Criterion Collection boxset and preferrably before I kick the bucket. For a series turning 70 years old next year, the thunderous steps and triumphant roar of Godzilla hasn't faltered through the decades and I'm sure generation after generation will follow in his destructive wake as loving fans just like me.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S.

Decent continuation I'd say.

Bit different from what I expected though, the story picks up a year later on where we focus not on our lady pilot Akane but with one of the technicians for Mechagodzilla, Chujo who actually shares some lineage with a previous kaiju main character, Shin'ichi from the original Mothra film which was pretty mindblowing to see. And yes we do meet slightly less clothed fairies and a giant colorful moth, a bit unexpected but it's never a bad time with Mothra! Though it really does make me want to seek out both the original 1961 Mothra and the Rebirth Of Mothra trilogy, because almost everytime Mothra appears in a Godzilla film it pretty much goes as follows: Fairies show up and request peace or Mothra will throw a shit fit, Mothra shows up, Mothra gets her ass beat and dies, egg hatches, two larvae continue on fighting, Godzilla gets webbed, FIN. Not much different here I will freely admit. Maybe we can get a solo Mothra movie in the Monsterverse and get something new in the future. I do very much like the concept though of the spirit of the original Godzilla not wanting to fight and be used as a puppet for Japan's safety, that the dead should remain at rest, and that humans cross lines that they need to learn from, you can tell that's some deep rooted belief in Japan. Not one for conflict, immense respect for the departed, recognizing the failures of man and trying to improve the world through it. Regardless of era, iteration, or story, Godzilla movies have positive messages in some form or another. And I think that helps the overall film, the human plot works and isn't a bad one plus I like seeing just a tiny bit of character growth for Akane who's mellowed out a bit, it's slightly better than the first one and it does indeed feel that the story has concluded. If anything I feel the effects get to show off more now that we have 3 kaiju in the mix, from practical to digital, it has that same stamp of quality and I for one actually love that some of the effects aren't as flawless as some CG in american films, it gives it charm and when looked at with the right set of eyes even the silly becomes awesome. Definite improvement I would say, I give 3.5 stars, 7.5/10! Is it the end already? Is it really just one more film? I feel this is more a momentous achievement because of how many years it took, it's not like all the Marvel movies one right after the other in the span of a month. I'm kinda speechless I'm going to be able to say tomorrow that I have seen every Godzilla film ever. And if you want to get real technical, it's taken me about 24 years. All good things to those who wait.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Strange title but no more stranger than Vs. Mechagodzilla 2 that had nothing to do with the first one.

Another fine addition to the franchise from Mr. Tezuka, this is certainly one of the more interesting entries in the Millenium series. Once more all films except the 1954 original have been ignored, with the japanese military undertaking the creation of a bio-mechanoid codenamed Kiryu built around the bones of the original Godzilla to use as a deterrant for the modern Godzilla, why in the hell they couldn't have built a giant robot without a skeletal wireframe is beyond me, but somehow through biology or SCIENCE(!!) memory fragments of the original Godzilla override the protocols and failsafes of Mechagodzilla leading to two kaiju on a rampage as everyone scrambles to reassert control. It's an interesting concept for sure, still have no idea how bones retain memories but hey screw it, it's a giant monster movie not Interstellar. I feel the human plot has basic elements from Megaguirus, again with a female soldier named Akane who holds a grudge against Godzilla because of the deaths of her comrades and is kind of on a suicide quest to take him down with her but beyond that it's new stuff. We get acquainted with the specialist team who created Mechagodzilla in particular a single dad named Tokumitsu and his young daughter Sara, as both have grievances with the creation of such a machine and Tokumitsu shamelessly crushes on Akane. Cutie pie though she is, I say he's doing a good job being a single parent. I advocate for more single dads in fiction, it's a new lense to view stories through and it's just something you don't see much of. I know people may say this feels like a very average kind of Godzilla movie, nothing too much special happens and it ends fairly wrapped up but it has a direct sequel Tokyo S.O.S. so who knows what could happen next. The effects are still rock solid with admittedly less experimentation but the models and the new design for both Godzilla and Kiryu are really cool, and they still have a bag of tricks with all the weaponry utilized. I didn't entirely hate the human story but it didn't grab me as strongly as Megaguirus, but like I said the story continues and that could readily change for me so it'll be interesting. We never get a great deal of reoccuring characters until the Heisei series and that paid off in aces so I'm looking forward to it. It's a good Godzilla movie with a basic format and a little lemon twist of ideas, so let's find out tomorrow how it truly ends. 3 stars, 7/10!

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus

Love means never having to apologize for wrecking Tokyo's shit.

It's time I think. I've been reviewing Godzilla movies since maybe 2016 and these are the final 4 I need to review. I was actually kind of impressed and very pleased with Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus, the movie strangely doesn't follow after Godzilla 2000 despite the same design being used, where the military have designed a literal black hole firing satellite (UN approved no doubt I'm sure) to finally rid the world of Godzilla but births a new monster from a mutated dragonfly. What's neat is that the dragonfly goes through several phases before becoming a kaiju sized one, with a gnarly design and pretty wicked abilities, able to make supersonic sounds to shatter entire city blocks, takes some Orga inspiration by absorbing Godzilla's energy, and is even able to fire it's own photon blast. It may take awhile for the monster goodness to start, but I feel this actually has a very good human story, with Major Tsujimori having a bit of a vendetta against Japan's cultural ambassador and recruits a bit of a self employed inventor named Kudo to help out with the satellite. Albeit I could only get my hands on the dubbed version but the physical performances shine, with Tsujimori being a hard edged but still sympathetic woman who is good at her job for a reason whereas Kudo could not be more of a laidback normal ass dude, he's kind of wisecracking and doesn't take much seriously yet I was enjoying every moment he was on screen. It's really not often Godzilla movies have such a everyman character, in fact the movie does a lot I have never seen before in any Godzilla movie. You can tell this was a very competently directed movie, they knew how to film their kaiju scenes, they even experiment with a lot of visual techniques never seen before and while they don't always work flawlessly I can't hate seeing a bit of innovation and can forgive this special effects team implementing it in the modern day, it never gets dull and once the monster scenes get going they go until almost the end credits. I genuinely didn't expect it to be bad, but considering this is an entry I hear precisely zero people talk about I expected it to be a decent Godzilla film but what I got was a damn good Godzilla film in my estimation. The concept of the story, the effects, the human element, I really can't find much to hate. The only slight I would say about the movie is it kinda jumps between characters and for awhile you're not really sure who the real main character and focus is, but it rectifies that fairly quick. I really hope this movie gets a bit more attention both from the public and the Godzilla fanbase, and let this be a sign of good things to come for this week, fingers crossed. I give it a full 4 stars, 8/10, and part one of a duology comes up tomorrow.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Metalocalypse: Season 4

BETRAYAL!! Adult Swim, what the fuck?!

Again! Agaaaaainnnn?? Boy do I know how to pick the winners. Fucking yet another show that I love that got axed before it could have been completed properly! Okay fine, maybe I should have put more research in but the result would have been the same! I'm fucking pissed off, let's talk about it. All things considered beyond bullshit and demons, this is one last solid season. Again, not really the route I would have expected because the remaining 12 episodes (back to the 11 minute format) are more one off stories but have threads and underlying elements that come into play. More weirdness with the broadcasting dates too, it took over a year for the actual finale to come out, the final episode ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and then quite an ambitious task was taken by making the finale a full fledged 45 minute opera! Yeah no horseshit, musical storytelling nonstop, a bold move to say the friggin' least here. Christ the only other time I personally have witnessed a metal opera was the album Nostradamus from Judas Priest, which I personally enjoyed a good deal, but I'm more accepting of musicals to begin with so I fully appreciate the time and effort into making this 45 minute epic. But good lord there are many loose ends to tie up and yet it also ends on a pretty satisfactory note, you obviously want more but it didn't kick you square in the groin and say, "Fuck you piece of shit, you're not getting any resolution here!" it truthfully ends well with the exception of the cliffhanger obviously for the next season. What blows my mind and makes this strike two if not three for Adult Swim is that Brendon Small the main force behind the voices, music, and production actually was in talks and even raised the funds necessary for a proper final season after the opera special was made but Adult Swim flat out declined it leading him to so far call it a day on Dethklok. Are you taking the fucking piss mate?? It was there! The series was there! The budget was there! No, of course not, fuck you Dude, you're not getting a 5th season! Cocksucking son of a bitch!! Bring back Metalocalypse or I put you in the camel clutch and break your back, and make you hemble, and FACK your ass! Ooh I'm gonna need some death metal so I can actually calm down a notch! And no I am never letting it go, I don't forgive shit in life. Bastard, swine, smartasses! I could utter every savage curse word that there is but it wouldn't be enough, so I'm gonna try my damndest to move on and talk about the show. Runner up episodes first, Diversityklok where the band is accused of being a racism and they take measures to disprove that ending of course with ludicrous deaths. Writersklok that introduces us to Abigail Remeltindrinc as the band's new producer coming in to kick their asses into shape leading to a turbulent vacation for the band. But my absolute favorite is Going Downklok, where the band travel once more to the dark depths of the sea to record and uh...a kind of cabin fever takes hold, won't say anything further but I was rolling laughing. Also, zip on the lip for the plot of the opera of course cause we don't talk too much finale plot around here regardless of show but I did like it, the musical score was excellent and while the lyrics aren't that Broadway level of well written it has some shining moments and tells the story concisely. The show has never dropped in quality severely or felt like filler in any capacity, the characters and scenarios are fun, the music is solid as steel, the animation quality only improves as the series progresses, the writing crafts this world of high satire at first but doesn't feel obligated to constantly point it out, the overarching or more I should say under the surface plot holds intrigue and makes you want to know more. It is a very good show, a surprise to be sure but a welcome one in my life, for anybody with a dark but good sense of humor and who would call themselves a metal fan this is a recommend. It certainly is not for everyone but I enjoyed it and am happy and proud to say I've watched it. I know society still might view metal music and it's fans as problematic or even a threat to one thing or another, but in my brief odyssey to these lands of smoke and lightning, heavy metal thunder, and riffs that will stay in my mind for a long while to come, I see many good folk with good taste in music who I'm thrilled to say unto you, for those about to rock I salute you. 4 stars, 8.5/10, and that hopefully is not the end for this series in the future.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Metalocalypse: Season 3

I gotta tell you, I ain't got a clue where the final season will go.

Bit of a reset to just batshit one off episodes, and I'm not fully against that by a long shot but it does raise many questions for the final finale. Aside from that though, good season! I found this to be kind of a more introspective season for Dethklok, a good chunk of the episodes even if it's not the main subject matter tends to deal with each band members history, grievances, and emotional baggage. Skwisgaar tries to find his real father, Toki seeks a lady woman companion, Pickles goes through rehab and confronts demons of his past, even Murderface is humbled a fair bit to where he just wants to be part of the band and live contently. I'm actually surprised we don't get much on Nathan's point of view, and that sucks just a notch cause if I have a favorite, and I do, it would be Nathan! Hell, this season goes full musical at times with the bandmates staring off into the middle distance and singing their feelings, further compounding that fact. But it's a bit of escapism at the end of the day and the episodes are still just as good.  I know my definite favorite, but here's some runner ups. Tributeklok, where the band goes through that phase of getting back to their roots and realizing it isn't as grand as they remember, love the quickfire jokes and the usual over the top horrid deaths. Dethhealth, this episode is wild with so much nutty weirdness to make the humor even better than it is and the fact that a death metal band gets sensitive around the word dying is gold. But the best is believe it or not a Christmas episode Dethmas, mainly because it just goes against every tradition of a Christmas special and seeing the band seethe at Christmas brought me joy to know I've been recognized. Though I do agree with their more morbid brutal interpretation of Christmas staples, maybe I am too hard on that holiday......nah! I think the show is getting to me though, I was waiting for gory death to descend to this buncha' jackass hip hop jagoffs. So satisfying when it did. Don't be jagoffs kids, be good people. And my voice may be unconciously dropping a few octaves but I chalk that up to my normal grumpiness. Also weird as hell tangent here but up until episode 8, at least on the HBO Max the censoring has been kinda off and on, sometimes it's bleeped sometimes it's not, come episode 8 animated tig ol' bitties for all! It's very random and I have no clue why. Not complaining though (Because I don't mind, not that I oggle 2D calcium cannons you sick little monkies!). I have a theory or two but nothing concrete as to what is to come next time, if anything I'm bummed we're approaching the end for the apocalypse of the metals. But metal never goes quietly into that good night and rages against the dying of the light from the womb to the tomb. 4 stars, 8/10!

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Metalocalypse: Season 2

Okay, wow holy shit we get some more plot!

Talk about a season that starts one place and ends in another! Definite improvements have been made throughout, and I would say the second season is better than the last. So after the attempt on the band's life and the notion of something more to the strange Mr. Salacia, it's business as usual for Dethklok with mayhem, death, and metal music making. But something I appreciate is you can tell the game has changed and that this season is building up to something, with strands from the last season still cropping up, like Edgar Jomfru and the masked assassin out for revenge, the usual board meeting shadow leaders, and a new faction called the Revengencers out for Dethklok too. It's not all serious happenings, but I like how they string the events along to where you never really forget the threat but also where you can't still enjoy the madness of the episode. From fashion designing, to more family matters, Nathan becoming governor of Florida, to attempts at romance, the show still boasts tons of variety throughout and continues it's style of humor. Something that clicked for me is, besides the grisly shock comedy bits most of the laughs come from simple conversation. It really reminds me of Looney Tunes where you can have the slapstick but the true humor shines through interaction and dialogue, with the personalities of the band clashing. They spend more time it seems together, along with how the writers give such unique personalities and it never gets dull. Better budget this time around, with more involved setpieces and greater detail. Voice cast still slays it, and what a shock to see Malcolm McDowell appear as this Rasputin looking motherfucker on the shadow council that's pretty sick! Also shoutout to Charles Foster (not Kane) Ofdensen, what a brilliant move to take this kind of nothing character and make him the coolest one! Favorite episode besides the finale I'd say is Dethfashion, the punches kept on coming and I was busting with laughter right up to the credits. I dare not spoil the finale but even I was kinda surprised how well it was executed where you know no one is going to bite the bullet but there is that tension still, it's almost very akin to the siege on Hogwarts, yet it never felt out of left field or forced to have this dramatic climax. I applaud the creators and animators for the effort they put into it! I'm truthfully not sure if that episode can be topped in terms of season finales but I'll be excitedly awaiting the next one. Great season, the show is growing on me more, and next season is the longest so we'll see what new spore of metal mayhem awaits us. 4 stars, 8.5/10!

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Metalocalypse: Season 1

Nothing gets you in the mood preparing for Valentine's Day like DEATH METAL.

This was a very spur of the moment series I was watching, really just to see what it was all about cause I'll be truthful I have never heard anyone talk about this show or knew anything about it. And this was out around the same time as Robot Chicken, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and Squidbillies, with me maybe seeing a few seconds tops until this year. Another oddity is the show started in 2006 with only 4 seasons to it's name with almost every episode being 11 minutes long, and there was a huge time gap of 3 years between the third and last season before it was cancelled in 2013. Adult Swim man, that is a whole different beast of programme broadcasting! And it is as off the wall as all their other original shows. Centered on the biggest band in the whole world (how I wish it was true here) death metal quintet Dethklok comprised of vocalist Nathan Explosion, guitarists Toki Wartooth and Skwisgaar Skwigelf, bassist William Murderface, and on drums Pickles. The series so far is just a pure hyperbole soaked parody of metal bands, the U.S. government, the entertainment industry, and death. Unless you have a stiff stomach, I fully recommend not eating while viewing this show. It's actually a bit difficult to review, because like I said the episodes are just bite sized pieces, there's no real plot besides a super secret board room trying to eliminate Dethklok, but honestly I think you can say that about every Adult Swim show so consider this more an awareness PSA of this series and all the madness within. Now with me still very much a novice metalhead, with no hard exposure to death metal music, I only got some of the references but I feel this is a series where you don't have to know the music to enjoy it. If you have a sick ass sense of humor, and want something lavishly ludicrous seeped in blood, with head thrashing bits of music, and an art style while basic and not well funded has backgrounds worthy of any metal album cover at times, then this is for you. Not of course to say the animation is bad and bash it, it's detailed in the backgrounds, it's gruesome in it's cartoonish violence, and the animation team knows how to work well with very little. Maybe it's more a stylistic choice than a budget constraint, what do I know. But the writers man, they crafted something very good here. The humor is ludicrous and more often based on visceral death, but the choices made for dialogue, sound effects, the fact the censor noise is a guitar distort noise, they did put thought into all of it. The parody is almost palpable with this Big Brother government wanting people to remain dumb and obese, where every problem imaginable stems from Dethklok, and every episode they bring a new expert to form a plan to break the band. It's not even a veiled flaming fuck yourself to the PMRC three ring circus of horseshit that happened in the 80s, an event that still enrages me that taxpaying citizen's money was wasted and would have been better used to wipe their ass with. Obviously because the show was made in the early 2000s it simultaneously mocks and yet preserves that paparazzi obsessed corner of media that still needs to die brutally in this day and age. And last but not least is the absurd view of death metal bands, metal fans, and the culture at large but the show never degrades it or anything, you can tell the creators were indeed fans of the genre, with some easter eggs thrown in for good measure. It really does revel in the metal while having some fun with it. No small part to this series is the voice cast with Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha together voicing the band which is actually really impressive especially if they kept swapping voices in scenes, with reoccuring voices aplenty from Mark Hamill (Hell yeah.), we of course get some metal performers in there like George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher, Kirk and James from Metallica, and King Diamond himself which is great and really cool they were down to do some voices for a handful of episodes. And while I'm on the subject of sound, again I must state I haven't waded into the waters of death metal and while I know the songs showcased are probably more on the exaggerated side, but I could get into this genre. I really, really liked the music! Props to you Brendon for these brutal songs! I kinda need more angry music in my life for those brief periods of human hating, furniture abusing, cussing galore of a maelstrom until I'm back to normal. Favorite episode? I give it to Dethfam, it had me rolling the whole way through and it sheds some backstory on the bandmates! And I'm pretty stoked to jump right into season 2 I gotta say, I know by no stretch it's for everybody but I very much enjoyed it and wanted to spread the word about. A simple but good start to the show, 4 stars, solid 8/10!

Thursday, February 2, 2023


This really had no damn reason to be as good as it is.

I have not heard anything about this movie at all, and I simply have to ask what in the cinnamon toast fuck is wrong with people? We have ourselves another modern Pixar classic, no doubt in production during the middle of a global pandemic, with a simple yet endearing story and not one single person I know of talked about it??? How do you fuck that up?! Granted yes, even I, when I first heard the premise and saw promotional material I thought it would be okay. Just this neat little story of a young sea monster child named Luca who akin to another sea faring youngster from Disney gains a fascination with the surface world, but no voices or souls need to be sold off here cause when sea monsters touch dry land they become human, and quickly Luca makes friends, learns about the surface more, and enters a race to win a Vespa to travel the world. The first thing I gotta say is, you show off-y bastards Pixar, like when it gets to the point I'm honestly pissed right the hell off how good a movie looks and you continue to barrage me with stunning environments, lavish color, and just unbelievable visuals do you really expect me to just not gush about it?? I adore just the revelry in the culture, language, and architecture of Italy, I'm all for that kind of thing! Even with movies like Encanto, wasn't too wild about the movie but goddamn did I love seeing the culture of a south american/hispanic family. But the big reason I feel the movie works as good as it does is the characters. The writers really and I mean really got the mannerisms and intellect of kids down in this! Luca is good kid at heart, he has daydreams, he has to build up the nerve to do certain things, and he has doubts but an openness to voice his feelings. Alberto is another sea monster who entices Luca to the surface, who has baggage of his own and thinks he knows everything in that teen sort of way, much more extroverted and yet reserved for reasons the movie explains, but undeniable friends to the end. Guilia, little red haired girl who's got some attitude and just a dash of overdramatic, I'm sold! She's class, obviously because she is our human window to our protagonist we spend a lot of time with her, getting to know her family and situation, her goals of winning the race herself, they do mighty good giving these characters emotions and identity. It's very easy to get involved and while I'll say the ending isn't a complete bummer, it does dip into that bittersweetness which if you've been here long enough you know that kind of shit is my jam. The music, good God the music had me before the movie even began, it's easily one of the best soundtracks to a Pixar film and in my estimation the music from them only gets better with each film. And the movie doesn't really go down any trope paths, it flirts with it but skirts clear thank Christ. I really can't complain about anything in this movie except the villain, mainly cause he's just an enormous sack of shit who is so hateable to the point where there was a moment where I was like, if this movie has him get gutted by a harpoon in a back alley I'm giving this movie a 20/10, but it's intentional from the filmmakers so I can't mark against it. Like I am reallllyyy flip flopping between a 9 and a 10 here guys! I'll give it a 9/10, it's not Soul kind of flawless but it's so close it's not even funny. Full 4 stars, could not recommend it greater, for God's sake spread the word about this movie. It's just the movie I needed and it capped off the week quite nicely. See you next week everybody!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Monsters Inc.

A movie like this really makes me appreciate the art of 3D animated films.

Again, for a movie that's over 20 years old it hasn't aged a day. Taking a very neat and original idea of monsters working in a factory setting to supply power through screams, Monsters Inc. is definitely one of the high notes of Pixar in my opinion. John Goodman and Billy Crystal play working partners/roomates Sully and Mike who as their day to day work life proceeds gets vastly interrupted by the appearance of a young girl in the monster world leading them to try to get her home safe. Something I realized is Pixar has this style to their movies where regardless of the world you are introduced to and regardless of plot within that world, you roll with it completely. You really do not need great detail because the picture they paint works and is easily understandable. A monster filled city, screams supply power, they believe children are akin to walking nuclear fallout, they even throw out a tidbit of there being a power supply crisis, but again you don't need reasoning as to why it is the way it is. And the story moves at a great pace for a 90 minute film, with no scene seeming like filler or something that shouldn't be in the final cut. The monster designs are very creative, colorful, and memorable with simple personalities and good performances. I don't need to tell you John Goodman is really good in this movie, he just works so effortlessly and he has that charm about him in every role, and what a remarkable computer engine they had to animate Sully convincingly cause hair is friggin' impossible to animate correctly. Billy Crystal is a good comic foil to John's straight man persona, with fast line reads, jokes thrown in along the way, and yeah you can argue he's a bit of a dick to want to dump this kid anywhere but he's never unlikable or too much to impede your enjoyment. It's great to see Steve Buscemi and John together again in a picture, and what a perfect voice for this slinking evil monster Randall, and again unbelievable praise to the animators for getting a character who can camouflage look flawless. Mary Gibbs as little Boo, God help me this girl is like a terminal overdose of pwecious cuteness, now that being said I would massacre trillions for her and I dare even say it is impossible to not like this character. Plus the fact the filmmakers had to just follow her around with recording equipment to get her unintelligible speech in the movie just cracks me up. Also shoutout to Jennifer Tilly, marvellous as always to see her and a wonderful character design akin to Clash Of The Titans. Talking of which, I'd be a fool not to bring up the restaurant Harryhausen, because I'm me and I'm a nerd for this kind of stuff, watch his special effect riddled movies for God's sake! But yeah, visually the movie is so colorful and inventive and it genuinely does look spot on even today. The comedy works but I also feel again it's not a major part of the movie, it occasionally made me laugh but the story and the characters are why this movie is still as loved today. I surprisingly was quoting a fair bit of it even though I haven't seen the movie in the better part of almost 20 years, so clearly it leaves an impact. I very much enjoyed this film and had a real good time revisiting it. All in all I give it 4 stars, 8/10, and we're jumping ahead to the not too distant past for one more Pixar picture tomorrow.