Thursday, May 31, 2018
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Thursday, March 29, 2018
Sunday, February 4, 2018
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Monday, November 27, 2017
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Monday, September 11, 2017
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Gonna have to wade into spoiler territory here so stop reading now if you haven't seen it, but I don't understand why some are complaining Ridley screwed up the mythology with this one. Uhm, he did that already with Prometheus by saying the Space Jockey was just a stupid suit. The engineers still created the black goo. David simply refines it. Why is that bad? Sure, the gestation period is very short but David has been tinkering with his specimen a ton and I don't think we can assume the eggs in the first Alien film's Derelict Ship came from this same strain. Plus, from a practical point of view, no one these days would put up with Alien's deliberate, labored pace and AvP already jacked up the gestation time. Anyway, I love David playing creator, his great interactions with Walter, and I ended up liking Daniels and Tennessee a lot too. The Neomorph was fantastic. Same with the classic Xenomorph. I guess they painted over the practical FX with CGI, which I hate, but it looked quite good. I don't know why they needed to have practical built then in the first place unless they wanted to help the CG artists by having a real model to build off but I hope they warned the poor practical FX guys they were going to do that. Regardless, I loved it. Sometimes, the characters might make questionable decisions but they're not supposed to be super scientists in this one and they all seem realistic given how the android is meant to be their protector, they're in high stress situations, etc. People seem to be nitpicking the hell out of it and making little things seem all encompassing when they're not. At all. My dad called it, "Boring." What the heck. I was never bored in the slightest. At the beginning, I was still skeptical (listen for the music though... seems quite a few missed that) but it won me over big time. My buddy and I are both huge Aliens fans and we loved it. Now I hope Scott gets to finish this series of films but the poor box office worries me.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Monday, December 19, 2016
Friday, November 25, 2016
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
This Godzilla film doesn't shy away from human casualties like its recent American counterpart. In Gareth Edwards's movie, Godzilla crushes tons of buildings especially in the climatic fight with the MUTOs and you know some people were still inside them but you never see any of that. At the end of the American film, Godzilla strolls back out to sea, but if you think about it, he has to be stomping on some poor bastards on his way out. Shin Godzilla isn't quite as hardcore as the 1954 original when a doctor waves a Geiger counter over a group of children and shakes his head in a haunting display of brutal reality, but it's close. Real close, and I love how Shin Godzilla doesn't gloss over the radiation danger either. Being anywhere near Godzilla would most likely be lethal unless you had a serious radiation suit on (people near him actually wear them in this film and keep them on).
You might have heard Shin Godzilla is basically a metaphor for the recent Fukushima disaster and specifically how poorly handled it was by the authorities. Well, that is abundantly clear in the movie so no spoilers there. Some may knock the dialogue scenes, but they're done very realistically the way you could imagine the government responding to such a crisis, and there is plenty of camera movement with unique angles to keep it speeding along.
What surprised me is how mature this movie is. That probably sounds odd given this is a Godzilla movie and few except the original could warrant such a statement but they really illustrate the complex relationship between the US and Japanese governments. Sure, the Japanese actress playing the US negotiator is a bit tiring at times given how she was supposed to have been born in America to a Japanese grandmother who saw the nuclear bombs we dropped firsthand but the pretty young actress struggles a lot with her English (and her American swagger). It's obvious she isn't a native speaker despite that being what the story calls for although finding a native speaker of both Japanese and English must be difficult (not to mention, she has to be a good actress and the right age as well). No movie is perfect (a reviewer admits this? impossible I know).
Shin Godzilla almost seems like it was made by people outside Japan. Again, maybe a strange sentiment to some but this film isn't afraid to lambaste its own government. Heck, it even criticizes how Japanese interactions are too rigid and formal with hierarchy being too controlling. Characters get pissed because of all the bureaucratic nonsense and how nothing gets done until it's too late. A key plot point is bringing together a group of Japanese who aren't afraid to speak up and challenge authority so they can actually get shit done. The lead guy blatantly tells them to ignore rank and hierarchy. It's refreshing, and the US is criticized too, but you also have agents of the US like the Japanese American girl doing good behind the scenes as well so it's not some silly one-dimensional portrait of our governments. I never expected depth like that in a Godzilla film, and there are times when you think they're just knocking the US, but then they turn it around or show a counterpoint.
You get to see quite a bit of Japanese culture too. Sure, it's all probably extremely obvious to anyone who knows anything about Japan but still it's neat to see those interesting, self-reflective touches in a Godzilla film, and they're not all rosy either. You see how they will work themselves to death (not literally in the movie but in real life, they have a word for death by overworking), fall asleep in their office chairs, bow to authority even if it's clueless and incompetent, etc.
Alright, stop babbling and tell me if it has some good Godzilla action. Yes, absolutely. I won't get specific but Godzilla's atomic breath is fuckin amazing. It makes Legendary's attempt seem quaint and cute in comparison. I should stop giving the American movie such a hard time. I liked it ok (Bryan Cranston should've been in the damn movie more) and it was a colossal improvement over the dreadful, cinematic pain formerly known as Roland Emmerich's 1998 Godzilla abomination. Let's never speak of that travesty again but pretty much anything would look good next to that. Shin Godzilla is far superior in my mind, and it dares to try new things while honoring what came before (like all the best classic Godzilla music in the end credits, which made me so glad to stay to the end, and some in the film too of course).
I just love how dark Shin Godzilla is. They do have a bad misstep with a rock song weirdly inserted at one point but for all its faults (and again, every film has them), this movie delivers. They got so much more right than the few things they missed. The look of the new Godzilla is badass. He's a true monster, but more than that, this is a serious Godzilla film with real weight and consequences. Someone put some real thought behind it, and I'm not that surprised considering how awesome Evangelion is. Hideaki Anno, you rule. I have no clue how they're going to follow this one up. Will there be a direct sequel or semi-reboot? Either way, I'm in. Let's see whether the US or Japanese sequel is better. Dang, we are spoiled now.
Monday, August 22, 2016
here for only $8.99. It's only standard def (not even 720p) but still it's an amazing documentary. I love things like this. I just love practical effects and everything related to them. FX guys, particularly those you never heard of doing the grunt work under famous ones like Stan Winston, are the unsung heroes of the film industry (along with screenwriters who get shit on more than anybody).
Saturday, July 2, 2016
Some complain about too many superhero films but we're still getting great original horror (Starry Eyes, The Babadook, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, Under the Skin), action (The Raid, The Raid 2, sorry nothing else compares to them), sci-fi (The Martian, can't believe we got a good realistic Mars movie... anyone remember Red Planet or Mission to Mars? good grief, those were awful), etc. I can name so many unbelievably good films that have come out recently: Sicario, The Hateful Eight, The Revenant, Creed, Cartel Land, The Invitation, The Gift, etc. And if you don't like modern titles, the classics are in the best shape ever with Blu-rays, streaming, etc. Sure, some are only on DVD and some haven't made the transition yet but with eBay, VHS is easily attainable. You can have such a massive collection now! Past generations could only dream of owning so many movies (heck, no one could really own any until the '80s unless you had insanely expensive film prints). For crying out loud, you can make your own video store in your basement (and with VHS, it'd be cheap!). It's nuts. I think we should all take a step back and appreciate what we have.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Monday, May 30, 2016
Sunday, January 17, 2016
The bingo bits are hilarious, and I like the journey of his character, trying to remain detached but failing. The story on who he is and why ties everything together nicely. It's just a well done film. I'd definitely watch it again. Mr. Rollins really carries the whole picture with ease. Hopefully, he gets some more good roles soon.
Monday, December 28, 2015
Friday, November 6, 2015
Sure, the giant ants are a little hokey at times, but I think they did an amazing job with them considering the limitations. Plus, the way they build up to that first reveal and use the sound of them is brilliant. I'm fond of all the characters too. People then seemed to have more manners and hold themselves to a higher standard although I know there were plenty of hideous problems then as well (the red scare for example, widespread smoking, less civil rights, etc.), but I always find it easy to like the actors in these films. You don't get a ton of moral complexity. Sometimes, it's nice to have obvious good guys and bad guys.
This film is still pretty harsh on occasion too. A good guy trying to rescue some kids get brutally slain by an ant. You also get the hallmark of every good movie: flamethrowers. Seriously, what more do you need?
Friday, October 9, 2015
1) Full of shaky cam and often ON PURPOSE.
2) Excuse for crappy picture quality (out-of-focus, overexposed, random awful angles, missing action, etc.).
3) Constantly trying to justify why they're filming (a flaw inherent in the concept). We don't need lame, pathetic reasons throughout why you're still recording... if we're watching, we already bought into it so stop reminding us that it makes no sense why you have 5 shitty cameras and keep shooting when you're about to get your head chopped off. Tell a good STORY.
4) NOTHING happens for most of the runtime. Entire scenes will literally do nothing to drive the story forward. That's because usually there is NO story. Most of these "films" you could cut out the first 40 min and lose nothing except filler.
5) Hand in hand with the above, you get scene after scene of horrible improv where young people are being dumb and "being themselves" aka almost always drinking, making unfunny jokes, etc. It's not character development just because people talk. They need actual, unique traits that differentiate them, they need to be memorable (actually funny helps too, not just your cast giggling while the audience slips into a coma), we need to root for them, etc. The cast having beers together doesn't do shit, and one character asking another character's name... wow.
6) Never get a good look at the monsters or FX. What was that? Was that something? What the fuck am I looking at? Welcome to found footage. How about a super crappy light on the front of the camera? Check. And you still can't see shit. Like blurry shadows? Here you go.
7) The whole thing just feels thrown together like they didn't have a script. Maybe they had an outline or you know put a couple words together for the title. Way to go guys. Let's insult screenwriting some more. Wait, you actually had a script? Stop lying to yourself. That toilet paper isn't a script. Did you storyboard? Not even stick figures? Oh geez, 3rd graders prepare more than you.
8) They're cheap and easy to make, which is why they look cheap and easy to make. It's also why most of them suck.
9) You often have amateur actors shooting who have no clue what they're doing so you get a lot of first-time, never-used-a-camera-before mistakes (yippie, there's a red lighty thingy blinky winky).
10) Trying to convince us it's all real. No one is falling for that shit anymore. It's fake. It's faker than fake, and stupid text at the beginning isn't going to change that. Stop.
11) More dumb excuses for why there is music, sound effects, etc. You're overthinking it, and it will never make any sense. We don't care. Give us a good movie (not a good one 50 min in) and we won't sit there questioning it.
12) Stop doing fuckin found footage! Do you have any idea how much of that shit is on Netflix right now? It sucks! STOP! Get a nice camera, put some fuckin thought into your camera angles, STORYBOARD (yes, that's a fuckin word!), use a dolly, write a real fuckin script, and quit shitting on the silver screen.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
I love the tagline, "Are you eating it or is it eating you?" I saw the Maniac Cop trilogy that Larry Cohen wrote and of course Phone Booth, but I haven't seen most of his other work like Q or It's Alive so I'll have to check those out. I always remember their posters especially the glorious one for Q, which I'm sure their low-budget can't live up to but still got to watch them.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
I'm going to ruin the ending, which actually doesn't matter and does matter more than anything all at the same time. Again, fair warning: don't read this until you've seen it. Seeing the journey of these two detectives and how they slowly switch places as they desperately try to solve a string of murders gets under your skin especially when you realize the deeper meaning at the end. Never catching this killer would be such an unbelievable hell to endure and coming so close would only make the pain that much worse. It cements the fact I would never ever want to be a detective. You have to admire these people. It's truly a terrible job.
But this film is so well done on so many different levels from cinematography to performances to writing. Absolutely everything is top notch. You get some humor albeit a bit dark at times then you get your gut-wrenching horror. Who knew pulling off a band aid would be such a cataclysmic event? And it really sticks with you particularly that final moment between the former detective and the little girl. Early on, you hate this guy for faking evidence and beating confessions out of people but by the end, you truly understand him. What makes him tick is haunting. That word perfectly describes this film. They don't need any cheap tricks here. Keeping it classy and clean makes it all the more heartbreaking and real. Sure, you get your dead bodies but they don't focus on blood or nudity or anything like that. You've really got to applaud them for making such an incredible movie. It makes you think and feel and sticks with you long after the credits roll.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
The acting was great with Combs definitely stealing the show, and I like how his character is quite flawed. I think the writing is actually very smart with the relationships and how the story unfolds. Gordon does an incredible job the way he shows the monster and doesn't show it. The location is obviously a big character in the film, and they take full advantage of it, roaming down vast corridors, exploring all kinds of different areas, etc. You even get a rooftop confrontation at the end in the rain. It's quite a sight. I really, really loved the ending, which was more emotional than I expected and a real tribute to how well the characters were developed.
Of course, being Gordon, you get a bit of sex then some quite disturbing gore during some potential lovemaking. I think it all works really well, and Stuart Gordon deserves a lot more credit. Sure, it's gruesome at times but the writing, the characters, and the delivery sell everything. This is definitely another horror gem from the '90s right up there with Demon Knight in my opinion.