Kong: Skull Island Review

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It’s time to take a look at the new King Kong film. I’m not a King Kong fan nor will I ever be at this rate, but this film got a lot of hype since it’s in the same continuity as Godzilla. Maybe the latter’s quality would rub off on King Kong and elevate the series to new heights. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. It’s still the same old King Kong with a fresh layer of paint. It makes the same mistakes although at least it doesn’t force any random romance plots into the film. Still, you can’t help but wish that the film had chosen a very different path.

The film is about two scientists convincing the government that they should head to Kaiju island to see what’s there. They are escorted by Preston and his team of commandos along with James, a skilled mercenary. They decide to bomb the island to scare everyone into submission, but this wakes up the mighty King Kong. The majority of the “heroes” are destroyed in the initial confrontation and the survivors have to find a way off the island. That’ll be tough since there are many monsters aside from King Kong. Preston also wants revenge on the big gorilla and he has some guns at the ready. Can he win this round?

One thing about King Kong is that a lot of people don’t find him to be all that scary. Why would they when falling off of a building is enough to destroy him? This version is a little bigger than most of the old film versions so that helps his case a little, but he is still injured by bullets here. A well placed fire blast does a lot of damage as well so I’m going to feel bad for him if he ever has to fight Godzilla. If ordinary fire can do that, imagine what ATOMIC breath will do to him. The poor guy would be incinerated in an instant. The only sad part is that King Kong is the heavy under dog in the fight so I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins as a result. Anyone remember Batman V Superman? The Godzilla angle is the main reason why you guys are watching this film so you should start to consider this angle. I am hyped for the big crossover even if it isn’t happening for quite a while. It’ll certainly be worth the wait. There is an after credits scene in this film so stick around.

Now, why am I disliking this film so much? There are a few reasons, but lets start with the obvious one. The animal violence is a problem here. We get a whole scene where we see Preston blow up a bird’s head. He’s the villain here so it’s to show us how mean he is, but it’s not helping the film’s case at all. There is a very thin line between monsters and animals and this film opted to have them be closer to animals than monsters. Bad move because the violence is a lot worse this way. It’s also sad when you consider that the humans are picking this fight. The monsters were just fine on their own until their island started to get blown up. They were simply defending themselves even if the film tries to get you to root for the humans. Not me, I was on the creatures side from day 1. It doesn’t help that all of the humans are just annoying the whole time. They weren’t all bad though, just not likable enough to be excused.

Preston was certainly not likable at all. The film gave him a ton of hype though so that was amusing. He is so out classed here so I couldn’t take that angle seriously. James is another hype character, but he never gets to do all that much. He has his big scene at the beginning, but he seems to panic just as much as the others and didn’t seem as tough and gritty as you’d expect. His “confrontation” with Mason on the bottom of the ship wasn’t as hype as the film thought it would be. They both talk tough and call each other’s bluff, but neither one actually gets anywhere. They were essentially fueling each other’s ego. James essentially never got any real character and the scene where he grabs a sword was just incredibly random. It also wasn’t a good scene since he was slashing a bunch of bats. Mason wasn’t a bad character either, but she really had no character either. At least she tried to help one of the monsters which was nice. She beats her counterpart from the earlier films. The rest of the cast were basically comic relief and didn’t do anything. A common trend here is that most of the characters weren’t bad, they just weren’t that interesting or likable either.

King Kong’s fight against the Skullcrawler was pretty good. The mini ones were pretty outmatched so they went down quickly, but I’ll definitely take that over the usual T Rex fight. These guys certainly had a better design after all and then the big one made for a nice villain as well. I was actually expecting a plot twist about these guys being the original Godzillas and the final one would return after the credits in his new Godzilla form. Maybe it’s for the best that it didn’t happen, but that would have been interesting. The King Kong vs human scenes are what you’d expect as they just get stomped the whole time. Preston puts up a fight of course, but once the gimmicks are gone, he doesn’t last all that long.

The film had some nice cuts like the spider claw stabbing a poor guy and King Kong rising up above the Sun. Those were probably the highlight as far as the visuals are concerned. I would still take Godzilla 2014 over this though with the awesome energy blasts and the fight against Muto was a lot more fun. What King Kong needs is his own energy blast or an opponent who has one. Of course, then King Kong would probably lose if it’s the latter so maybe he can get his own special attack in the sequel. This film probably took its special effects a little to seriously in some scenes as you’d see the characters load their guns rapid style. A Scooby Doo film used the same trick a while back and I actually don’t care for it. The sounds are distracting if anything and the visuals weren’t cool to look at. Maybe do it for something with a little more pop like a cool lightning blast or something. King Kong doesn’t have much options for that though so the technique is just wasted here.

None of the themes really stood out to me. It’s your standard action film stuff, but without the one stand out theme that is usually around. The end credits really pressed the point as they were eerily silent the whole time. The tune they picked for it really did not work. I’ll give the film some props for having the characters on the island the whole time. The film did start rather quickly and the action never stopped once they were on board. This was a double edged sword with all of the animal violence of course, but in theory it was a good move. I doubt the film would have been much better without the island anyway, maybe it could have scored a 6, but it would have been rather uneventful. You’d be taking the Skull Island out of Kong: Skull Island. New York City is a far superior backdrop, but I guess we can’t have every film take place there. Hopefully the crossover does though as that will really help with the visuals and intensity of the film.

The writing for this film wasn’t terrible. There isn’t constant panic with expletives this time around although they do artificially force the worst word in once just to get the crowd going. With the review just about done, lets briefly talk about what could be cool to see in a sequel. To make the sequel better, we need to have King Kong come to NYC. That’s step 1. Next would be to give King Kong a cool robot suit or a transformation where he grows wings and does battle with a true Kaiju. Next, ensure that the main humans are all red shirts so they can all die in the crossfire without any humans getting too much hype. We don’t want another fire damages King Kong scene after all. Throw in a cool techno theme and we’ll have the makings of a great movie.

Overall, Kong: Skull Island didn’t do it for me, but the odds of me liking the film were never great. You can’t take place on a retro island like this one that’s filled with animals and expect to be good. The odds of animal violence are simply too high and King Kong doesn’t have a great track record either. Also, it’s not like the film was subtle with the animal violence…a bird’s head was blown up…I’m not getting over that one. I don’t care much for apes and monkeys either so it would be very hard for me to really like Kong as a character. He did a good job of protecting his turf of course so I can respect that, but he’s still not all that “cool.” I’m excited for seeing where the cinematic universe goes from here though. We should be getting a lot of hype battles in the near future. Still, you don’t need to see this film to understand that though so I’d recommend checking out Pacific Rim or Godzilla (2014) instead. Both of those films do a better job of tackling the giant monster concept and have far better scenery and backdrops to grab your attention when the monsters aren’t around.

Overall 4/10

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Godzilla: Complete Rulers of Earth Volume 1 Review

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The library finally pulled through and ordered a bunch of copies of this comic. I got to read Godzilla in Hell a while back, but have otherwise been lacking in Godzilla comic knowledge. Well, that is the case no longer as I have heard it from a very reputable source that this is the best Godzilla comic series to date. I can certainly believe that as this is a considerable improvement to the last trade. G in Hell was pretty fun, but this feels more like a big Godzilla adventure and the plot makes the whole thing all the more engaging. Who doesn’t like a war between multiple groups of aliens?

The humans don’t realize this, but there are two different alien factions who want control of the Earth. There are the space invaders and the ones who come from the ground. One is aquatic and the other is more like your typical Xenomorph, except more humanoid and capable of humans speech and shape shifting. Both of them have an army of Kaiju at their disposal, with the aquatic group having titans like Ebirah and the other water Kaiju while the other group has all of the heavy hitters. Earth is a very easy target for them except for one key obstacle..Godzilla!

This series takes place after a few of the other titles I believe so the Earth is finally starting to get used to fighting these giant monsters. Godzilla is still too much for them to handle, but they finally have the equipment needed to take on the small fry like Ebirah. I don’t want to put the lobster on the spot here, but he definitely didn’t look all that strong throughout the comic. He was treated as a D lister and I suppose he is for now. It’s unknown exactly what Godzilla’s plan is, but the king definitely has something up his sleeve. He continues to challenge all of the Kaiju who show up and doesn’t back down even when he’s outnumbered. To an extent you do feel bad for Godzilla though.

He’s tough and can hold his own, but being constantly outnumbered and not having a lot of backup can be pretty annoying. Some members of the government like Steven Woods realize that attacking Godzilla is not in their best interests at the moment, but others just decide to blast all of the monsters indiscriminately. Not their wisest move I’d say. The only allies Godzilla can count on are Jet Jaguar and Mothra. Together, those three can take on just about any opponent.

Godzilla fans will be pleased at how good he looks here. He takes a lot of injuries during the adventure, but keeps on going. He is well known for his stamina and this comic definitely had that in mind. Seeing him use his nuclear blast or barrier of sorts was also good to take on the numerous mini Destoroyahs that were on him. As this comic is basically a big battle with all of the Kaiju throughout the Godzilla universe, there were a lot of opponents for him. One that naturally stood out was the return of Zilla. His fight with Godzilla in Final Wars is still legendary to this day and a rematch is something that his fans have always wanted. I can’t say that he did much better this time around, but at least he lasted longer than 7-13 seconds or whatever the official time for the film was.

Other fan favorites like Space Godzilla, Rodan, and Destoroyah show up to deal in the damage. They all look very good and while it can be a little sad to see them all being manipulated and controlled by the Aliens, it’s just how they were introduced in this series. I didn’t read any of the original titles so I have to assume as a reader here that the villains either created the monsters or trapped them with some kind of high tech hypnosis. I’d assume that it wouldn’t last for very long though and Gigan’s urge to fight could not be suppressed in the end. A fight will always bring out the tough nature of the Kaiju.

A surprise highlight was Jet Jaguar. I’ve always been a fan of this guy, but he was even more awesome than I remembered. He basically just shows up and takes names. Jet Jaguar proves that he can hold his own with Godzilla’s strongest foes and even with the king himself. His size changing abilities are incredibly handy along with his flight and laser blasts. While he may not be able to speak yet, you can easily tell that he is one of the good guys. Jet Jaguar has apparently been hunting the aliens for quite a while now and it is the first time that you ever see the villains look nervous. Besides Godzilla, Jet Jaguar is the biggest threat on the planet now and he actually was winning his brief bout with Godzilla. The villains can’t afford to ignore this new player, but it might not matter. Jet Jaguar already has their number.

Besides all of the Kaiju showing up and duking it out, the comic had time for two main human characters. Lucy is a reporter who likes to go to dangerous areas for a good scoop. She’s been around for quite a while and isn’t afraid of the Kaiju that get in her way. She seems like a reasonably tough character and is smart enough to realize the difference between Godzilla and his opponents. She encourages the army to make smart moves even if they don’t always listen. I’d say that she’s doing pretty well so far. The other character is Steven Woods. He’s a tough army member and he saves Lucy during one of the early scenes. This guy seems like a capable soldier and someone who gets the job done, but it’s a very tricky situation for him at the moment. For starters, he is now dealing with shape shifting aliens who don’t exactly play by the rules. You can be the strongest hand to hand fighter there is, but it won’t help if you don’t know who to aim your fists at. If he figures out what is happening, I’ll give him some major credibility points. I don’t blame him for not realizing the threat yet, but it is sad to see the humans just being messed around with the whole time.

As I mentioned earlier, the plot is really engaging. I always did like the sort of Secret Invasion plots that come up with shape-shifters. On one hand, it can be annoying to see them get away with everything since nobody even has a reason to suspect foul play, but it also makes everything intriguing as well. What will the aliens do with these abilities and how can they be stopped? It’s clear that the humans are losing and quite badly at the moment, but they do have Kiryu and the other mechs that they’ve acquired over the years. I like to think that Jet Jaguar would have a way of detecting them as well so that could be pivotal in helping the main characters by the end.

I also liked the fact that this took place at a time where humans already knew about Kaiju. This meant that we could skip the panic phase and go right into the plans and discussions about how to handle this. It’s not exactly just another day in the park for the heroes, but it isn’t anything too drastic either. They handle the situation quickly and efficiently.

Another thing that really makes the comic stand out is how good the artwork is. Some issues in particular looked incredibly sharp like Jet Jaguar and Godzilla vs Gigan or Mecha Godzilla vs Destoroyah. The whole series has been at a high level though and it’s certainly better than I would have even expected. The artwork can hold its own against any other comic no questions asked. Every character is portrayed perfectly and every attack comes across very smoothly. If there is any chink in the art’s armor, it’s that the humans can look a little off at times. Luckily, we’re reading for the Kaiju, aliens, and fights here. If the humans were specifically drawn with less effort so the rest of the comic could look amazing, then there will definitely be no complaints from me.

Overall, This is definitely the definitive Godzilla comic and it’s hard to picture another series overcoming this one. The cover definitely seems like click bait though since you would assume that a Complete Collection would bring all of the issues right? Apparently, it is volume one of the complete version so I have to wait for the library to get volume 2 to end the saga. It just came out today so hopefully the library notices and orders the copy as soon as possible. I’m definitely expecting a pretty intense ending. The series has already used almost all of Godzilla’s iconic monsters though so I’m wondering how they’re going to end the series. We haven’t really seen King Ghidorah yet so I’m expecting him to play a big role. As long as Jet Jaguar is also there, then I’m set. If you haven’t read this comic yet, I highly recommend changing that. If you think that it’s just going to be a comic where monsters fight each other, (Still sounds good to me) think again. The plot is sound and with a 3 way war going on along with Godzilla just fending off all attackers, there is a lot to think about as you read through it. It’s a very complete story and one that likely will not be rushed given how many issues there are.

Overall 8/10

Godzilla Resurgence Review

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Godzilla is a series that I had always wanted to check out, but it took me quite a while to do so. Finally, about 2-3 years ago I went back and checked out every movie in chronological order. To this date, it is probably one of my biggest achievements. This film would be my first Japanese Godzilla film in theaters so I was ready for a blast and a half. It’s definitely a very solid film and Godzilla certainly does appear more than he did in the American film, at least it felt that way to me. While it definitely loses to a lot of the classic Godzilla films as I enjoy the Mega Monster brawls, this will certainly be remembered as a classic.

The plot is fairly standard for a G film. Godzilla has arisen and now the Government must try to find a way to suppress him before the whole planet is put at risk. Japan will have to do this while also keeping the foreign governments happy. America is willing to use their nuclear options and wipe Tokyo off the map if necessary. The old guard is at the end of their ropes so it is time for the next generation-led by Yaguchi, to save the day. The real question is..can they defeat the King of the Monsters?

Controversially, this film was confirmed to not have any antagonist for Godzilla from early on. That was a shame in my opinion because the monster fights are the main reason why I love the Godzilla films so much. There are many films that only have a single monster like the Beast from 20,000 Fathoms or King Kong, but the battles are what separates Godzilla from the pack. Not to mention that in my very controversial opinion, the films where Godzilla has no antagonist are typically the weaker ones. One day I want to come up with my personal list of where I would rank each Godzilla film. It’ll be difficult though since there are so many and you can make a great case for most of them. Sometimes I can barely put Final Wars as my favorite because GMK and the classic Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster are so good.

Lets launch into the positives. I was expecting this Godzilla film to be really serious and over the top dark based on the title. “Shin” usually means that something is going to be dark and dreary. The film is serious, but Resurgence has a lot of light hearted moments. I got to see this in a fairly packed theater with an energetic crowd and people were laughing constantly. The film feels just as comedic as the original Showa films at some point. It may not always be intentional, but I think it definitely was for at least 80-90% of the scenes. It’s good to be able to mix these tone shifts and the film does it quite well.

The humans never come across as annoying. Yaguchi is a good lead. He may panic from time to time, but he also comes up with a lot of good ideas and never gives up. The American representative Kayoko is also pretty likable. I always like having an American character step into the fray and she feels American right from the start. She is very direct and quippy as opposed to the other serious characters. I also appreciated the film’s restraint with not pushing for a very unrealistic and sudden romance and keeping things professional instead. Friendship isn’t dead quite yet and people can get along without having to take the next step. The Prime Minister was also fun as he was clearly out of his depths, but tried to keep on a tough face. Watching him and the group switch from room to room was definitely entertaining.

The film showed how having a lot of bureaucracy can be a very bad thing. It’s hard to act on a situation when you have to jump through so many hoops. The film portrays America in a very good light as a result as the country does whatever it wants whenever it wants too. America promotes young people who have fresh ideas and it has led to them becoming a global power. America was also portrayed with the might that is appropriate for them as their missiles are the first thing to actually injure Godzilla. They dealt quite a lot of damage and while I don’t think a nuclear missile would have finished Godzilla off, they are one of the only placed to have such an arsenal up their sleeve. I was definitely very satisfied.

Naturally, seeing Godzilla was also a blast. Shooting Atomic Breath out of his spikes and out of his tail was awesome and the whole crowd cheered quite a bit during this moment. It’s a little morbid since he basically took out an entire city, but who wasn’t rooting for Godzilla? I was definitely on Team Kaiju from the start. Godzilla keeps the army at bay for quite a while and he looks fairly tough as you would expect. However, I wasn’t completely thrilled with his portrayal as I had some negatives.

My first gripe is that they went with CGI for Godzilla instead of a suit. CGI can work decently well at times I suppose, but this wasn’t one of them. This is easily the worst Godzilla design of all time aside from the 1998 film which barely counts. People chuckled when Godzilla first appeared in his Rooster form and I was fairly shocked. Luckily, it was just something to throw us off, but I don’t think that Godzilla’s first stage should look like that. Even once he turned into his final form, Godzilla felt fairly off. I’m not crazy about the fact that it always looks like he is bleeding when he walks and that he has to shoot out blood in his first form.

While I don’t mind the narrow stream of Atomic Breath, it certainly looks more impressive when it is a wide blast. Also, I don’t like the way his face has to completely open up in order to shoot the blast. It looks a little gross and disturbing like the Predator’s true face in the classic horror series. It almost makes it seem like a weakness as he will be very vulnerable during that time. The back rays are still cool as they can react in time to stop high speed missiles, but Godzilla shouldn’t run out of energy so quickly. I always have to mention moments that I deem as “plot hax” in these films and Resurgence is no exception. The humans obviously have to come up with some kind of plan at the end, but I would have been more content with Godzilla just walking away like in the 2014 movie. Without going into detail, the plan should not have worked. Godzilla seemed to lose all of his smarts as he walked into every trap and expended energy when he did not need too. It should have been game over for the humans right from the get go and even knocking him down was a bit of a stretch. Either this Godzilla is less durable than some of the others or he just underestimated them. If the film was trying to portray the latter, I didn’t quite buy into it.

The soundtrack for the film is definitely pretty good. There were one or two themes that were memorable like the opera esque tune. Seeing the original Godzilla theme return with a new remix was definitely a lot of fun as well. I was actually expecting more homages to the original films, but I suppose you don’t really need them since the film holds up so well on its own. I really would have liked a good cliffhanger to end the film though. I suppose you could count a certain scene as a possible cliffhanger, but I wanted another monster to roar or something. This film seems like it isn’t really leading up to a sequel so maybe we’ll the next live action film will be another take on the classic franchise.

While listing all of the films in order is tough, in order to celebrate Godzilla’s latest film I thought I’d give it my best shot in this review. Tentatively here’s how I rank them and each row is in order. Keep in mind that these ranks are comparatively so just because a Godzilla film is in D rank doesn’t mean that I consider it to be remotely as bad as films like Pixels and I Know What You Did Last Summer. I’m doing this list off of my head so I’m not looking at my older reviews or blog posts for reference. As a result, the list may look a little different than it would if we went purely by the scores that I gave. It’s been a while since I saw these films so I may remember them differently, but I also didn’t have time to look at all of my posts so this was a little simpler.

S Rank Godzilla Final Wars, GMK, Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster, Godzilla vs Hedorah, Godzilla vs Mecha Godzilla II, Godzilla (2000), Terror of Mecha Godzilla

A Rank Godzilla vs King Kong, Godzilla vs Mecha Godzilla, Godzilla Against Mecha Godzilla, Godzilla Tokyo SOS, Invasion of the Astro Monster, Godzilla vs Destoroyah, Mothra vs Godzilla

B Rank Godzilla vs Space Godzilla, Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, Godzilla vs Ebirah, Godzilla’s Revenge, Godzilla vs Gigan, Godzilla vs Mothra, Godzilla vs Megalon

C Rank Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla (2014) Son of Godzilla, Godzilla Resurgence

D Rank Godzilla Raids Again, Gojira (1954), Godzilla vs Biollante, Godzilla (1998), The Return of Godzilla, Godzilla vs Megaguirus

It’s definitely tough to list them all and my feelings on the films can be really contradictory. Take Godzilla (2014) and Godzilla Resurgence as they are the two latest films. On one hand, I feel like Godzilla was easily the more intense film. The action scenes were great and the Muto made for a really good villain. The mythos around the film are more interesting and the ending was much better. On the other hand, the human characters in Resurgence were far superior as well as the writing and the pacing. Resurgence never drags on or has any real filler scenes. It captures the impact of Godzilla’s first appearance a lot better and the comedic tones work really well. So…should Godzilla really beat Resurgence? Both films are just so close that it is really hard to stick with one over the other for long, but alas decisions must be made at some point.

Overall, Godzilla Resurgence is definitely a fun film. The humans are easily some of the most interesting and least annoying ones that I have seen in a very long time. I also haven’t seen a Japanese live action film in a very long time so it is interesting to see how they film the movie as opposed to the ones that I’m used too. There are a lot more close ups on the characters, which worked well for comedic effect, but I don’t think I would want that to happen too often. The only real weak point of the movie is the fact that there are no other monsters and that Godzilla’s design isn’t all that good. Still, I definitely recommend it to all Godzilla fans and to anyone that likes a good creature feature. The pacing is very quick so the film never drags on. I look forward to seeing the new Godzilla animated film or the American one coming up. Either way, I will be awaiting them at the theater.

Overall 7/10

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman Review

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It’s time for a retro film that is actually quite well known. I’ve certainly heard of this one over the years as it has become quite the meme. It was certainly a novel idea at the time, but unfortunately, the execution simply isn’t on point. While it’s supposed to be a very fun popcorn film that you just enjoy and laugh with…it wasn’t that fun. Whenever I talk to someone about this film, I get the classic response that the film is a blast, but I just didn’t get that vibe. Maybe I need to get used to retro humor a little more.

It has been a rough year for Nancy. Her husband finally came back to her as he wanted to get rich quick, but he still openly cheats on her. Nancy doesn’t know what to do about this since she should clearly just make him leave again, but she can’t get past her emotions. In the meantime, Harry keeps insulting her butler and bribing the cops. Harry plans to get her back into an asylum, but he’s not sure how to quickly accomplish this. His worries come to an end when Nancy claims that she saw an alien ship. Harry makes sure to insult and belittle her as much as possible while also slightly encouraging her at times to turn her emotions to jelly before breaking her mind. Nancy is at her breaking point when the alien shows up again and defeats her. Harry runs away and tries to cover this all up, but Nancy turns up the next day. She is unconscious and doesn’t know what happened. Harry is the main suspect so he quickly tries to destroy her, but this plan doesn’t work either. His only chance is to leave town, but can he outrun a 50 foot giant?

I realize that I just said pretty much the whole plot, but it’s hard not too. The whole point of this film is that Nancy turns into a 50 foot giant, but this doesn’t happen until the very end of the film. It’s not a spoiler since it is in the title and promotion so my plot summary has to make it at least that far. There’s just not much more to guess by that point. You’ll probably know the rest of the ending.

All right, lets talk about why I did not like the movie. For starters…it is not fun. I have to address this right off the bat. Nancy is in a very sad predicament and the fact that she is being completely used the whole time and does nothing about it makes the whole film rather sad and underwhelming instead of fun and up beat. Nancy realizes that Harry just wants her money and is being a terrible guy the whole time. She mentions as much, but the problem is that she suffers from quite a few mood swings, which virtually make her forget about these incidents as soon as they happen. Harry tries to sabotage her at every turn and she is not able to do anything about it. If she was a better main lead, then the film could have been more fun. If she was trying to humiliate Harry and take him down for the count, it would have been a lot more even. I would have been able to get behind that. As it is, the whole thing is simply too one sided.

Nancy doesn’t even get to have her revenge since as soon as she turns giant, the power of electricity shows up. It’s just not really a fun resolution so I just don’t see where the fun factor comes in. I suppose that the film is certainly campy, but at the same time, the main plot is seriously sad. That sort of negates the whatever humor the film was going for. Harry’s just such a bad antagonist. Since Nancy won’t fight back, it is just annoying to see him show up.

The butler was a nice character, but it’s a shame that he wasn’t able to beat Harry. I’ll give him some props for actually trying and not just backing off as soon as he showed up. Calling the cops was the right move though so it was good to see the police respond in time. Charlie was a rather suspect deputy as he got bribed by Harry for a while, but at least he stood up to him when the going got tough. Harry’s not bad, but he certainly goofs off a little too much. If I was the sheriff, I’d be looking for a replacement as soon as possible. After all, the sheriff was at the top of his game right from the start. Nancy nearly ran him over, but the guy had good reaction times.

Honey was the other villain who helped advise Harry on how to put Nancy in a bad spot. She was always ready to go the extra mile as she recommended permanent solutions to their predicament. Of course, the joke is also on Harry as the film heavily implies that she doesn’t mind cheating on him either. She’s also just in it for the money so the cycle continues and continues. In the end, they will all likely get a bad ending as a result.

The main highlight of the film is probably the fact that aliens show up. The alien in question doesn’t have the greatest design and he’s just a super large guy, but I’ll take it. Adding aliens always makes for a whole new dynamic in the film. I would have liked to have seen him do more or show up at the end to gloat, but I suppose the mystery is part of his charm. Maybe he’d show up more if the film had gotten a proper sequel. I can’t say that the premise has much potential when it comes to a modern film remaking this, but it could be good if handled right. Lets face it, Nancy would be changed quite a lot for a modern film and I think that’s a good thing. I don’t see her being quite so indecisive in a remake and Harry probably wouldn’t get the first and last laughs. It’s debatable if he got the last laugh here, but he certainly got to have a lot more fun than Nancy so it wasn’t much of a win.

Overall, The film just wasn’t that fun. I suppose you are not supposed to take the main plot all that seriously, but I personally just found it tragic which hurt everything else as a result. Watching Harry just mooch off of Nancy’s riches the whole time was terrible and she never did a thing about it. It’s the kind of plot that you would only see in an older film and it’s one that I certainly don’t miss from the modern times. Nancy didn’t even get to turn giant for very long so you’ll be waiting a while for the actual title to come into play and then the payoff is very small. This film just didn’t work for me and I certainly don’t recommend it. I’m not saying that it’s terrible, or at least not as terrible as some of the other films that I’ve reviewed lately. I would say that it is a bad one though and I’d recommend checking out Godzilla instead.

Overall 2/10

Curucu Beast of the Amazon Review

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This film makes you feel pretty sad after watching it. There’s simply not much that this film was able to accomplish except leaving you with an empty void. The title wasn’t all that promising anyway, but I like to think that any film with the subtitle “Beast of the Amazon” has got to be pretty hype. It makes you think of Godzilla or some other giant monster. Curucu doesn’t sound all that intimidating though so that might have been a bit of a mistake if we’re being honest here. While it’s certainly not as bad as Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark, it’s on that level.

Rock is your average explorer guy who goes around trying to have fun. He hears that a giant monster has been scaring away Indians and now they are considering a return to their old way of life. They’ll move back to their old homes and they will stop adapting to the modern world. Rock can’t have that since he wants to be rich and famous so he agrees to go over there and beat up the monster. Andrea beats him to the punch though so he ends up being her assistant and a friendly Indian by the name of Tumpanico comes along as well in the form of a guide. The three characters prepare themselves for this tricky journey.

So, where to start on how this film turned into a train wreck? Well, there is one aspect that stands out above the rest. The random animal violence doomed this film to mediocrity at best. There are quite a few scenes where we will randomly see an animal destroy another one and the scenes have no rhyme or reason to them. The director was likely trying to buy some time since the film doesn’t have much of a plot, but that’s one of the worst ways that you can pass the time. It is simply not worth it. I think the film could have managed to grab a 3 or maybe a 4 if it was super lucky, but that certainly wasn’t going to happen now. The 4 was a long shot anyway.

The writing is also pretty bad as it tries to bring us all of the really outdated Indian stereotypes that we have grown out of. They all act very barbaric and unintelligent. One of them gropes the main heroine for no reason which was definitely a terrible scene. We also get a pair of scenes where Rock walks up to the Indians and starts punching one of them. The guy was trying to encourage the Indians to run away and Rock couldn’t have that. The Indian doesn’t put up much of a fight and then the story starts to move again. There was no point to either one of these scuffles.

There is another issue with the film that ultimately haunts it just about as much as these other problems. This one’s a spoiler so I recommend skipping this paragraph unless you want to know about it. Are you ready? Prepare yourself! The monster isn’t real. It is just Tumpanico putting on a costume and murdering his fellow Indians to convince them to run away. It explains why it took him so many tries to destroy a lady even when he had the element of surprise and she had her hands full carrying a pot of water. It’s a pretty cheap twist though and you have to ask yourself why he would even wear the costume? It seems like this is a rather terrible way to achieve his vision and not the most effective method either. The monster suit looked decently cool, but we came here to watch a monster, not a guy playing dress up.

As the main character, Rock isn’t any good either. He’s the kind of guy who flirts with everyone and will then flirt with another character while the heroine is still around. Unfortunately, she falls for him anyway, which is quite sad. We even get some scenes with the two of them eating really gross meals including insects, dirt, and “anything that moves” according to the Rock. It makes for some really tragic scenes and Rock doesn’t do anything to show that he could be even a slightly cool character. As it stands, he just brings the rest of the film down with him. He sets the bar low and the film responds by lowering it further. There’s not much to say about Andrea. She allows herself to simply be the trophy for Rock by the end and she negates all of her tough talk by constantly panicking and fainting. I’m waiting for her to actually get tough in the sequel, but luckily we never got another movie to continue this.

The film isn’t long by any means and that is a good thing. It never actually drags on, but the whole thing is just very pointless, which is just as bad. The characters always act scared of the Indians, but play along anyway. It’s clear that Rock only sees them as brutes, but the film only serves to strengthen the notion that he is right, rather than clearing it up. We are even told that the main villain is a Christian although he may have just been humoring the pastor who was there. The pastor didn’t seem all that nice though and it wasn’t a very flattering representation of the religion by this guy. Of course, some people’s definition of Christianity was quite warped back in the day. There were certainly a lot of fakes and posers back then.

The film’s best chance would have been to have stayed in the city instead of going to the jungle. Seeing the other businessmen talk a good game along with the Rock would have been a more entertaining film. Just watching all of the bluster and posturing could have made for a decently good game of mental chess. It wouldn’t have gone anywhere since you need actual writing to have a good strategic match of wits, but it would be a start and still beats the alternative. Better yet, have an actual Kaiju show up with a chessboard. It would definitely be original!

Overall, The only saving grace of the film is the fact that it is barely an hour. You can watch it while eating supper and then quickly try to forget about it. Of course, the most effective course of action is to simply not watch it in the first place. If you want to watch a monster film, just watch one that actually has a monster. Godzilla, Gamera, Beast From 20000 Fathoms, or something like that. Those films stay classy and provide you with a good story. This one just reminds you that a bad plot twist can only make a bad film even worse. Double negatives don’t suddenly turn into positives when it comes to films. The animal violence still boggles my mind though. Why would the film do such a thing? Whyyyyyyyyyyy!

Overall 1/10

Godzilla in Hell Review

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This comic review is a pretty big landmark for me because it is the first Godzilla comic book that I have ever read. That is probably a little surprising to hear since I’m such a big Godzilla fan, but my library simply doesn’t order the comics very often. I’m a comic reader, but not necessarily a collector. It’s the opposite with video games. When I saw that the library had picked this trade paperback up, I grabbed it instantly. I heard that this comic was quite different from the average Godzilla adventure and that is certainly true, but I suppose that it’s as good a way to enter the Godzilla comic part of the franchise as any other. It is a good comic although I feel like it could have gone a lot farther with this ambitious concept.

On the back of the book they have a quote from legendary comic reviewer Daniel Alvarez of Unleash The Fanboy about how this is the most unique Godzilla tale of them all. It is a little…sketchy how they completely took the quote out of context although I certainly agree with it and would argue that the reviewer would as well. This is the most unique Godzilla tale of them all and there will likely never be another one quite like it. That doesn’t mean that it is the best Godzilla tale of all time. Certainly not, but it’s a good one and that’s why I feel this mini series should have ran for a little longer. Another 5-6 issues would have given it time to really explore Godzilla’s time in hell. Who knows, if this sells well enough then maybe we will get a sequel.

As the title outright states, this series is about Godzilla being in Hell. (Or is he really there?) It works as a bit of an anthology as each issue has a different team behind it and Godzilla faces a new threat each time. The stories are still held together by the loose plot of Godzilla trying to get out and most anthologies have some kind of string holding the plot together, but for all intents and purposes, the comics are all separate. As such, I’ll review this in the style of an anthology with a paragraph for each individual issue rather than talking about it as a whole until the end.

The first issue sees Godzilla literally fall into Hell where he fights off a Dark version of himself who turns into a very deformed version of Biollante and threatens to eat him whole. Godzilla fends off his attack and makes his way into the next layer of Hell. It is a solid start to the collection and I dare say that it is the most compelling issue of the bunch. It doesn’t have as much action as some of the issues coming up, but it handled the concept better than the others. The big sign saying to abandon hope is something that you would expect to find in Hell, at least conceptually. Once you are in Hell, there is no hope at all. Simply put, the race is over and you made the wrong choice. Of course, Godzilla is not dead yet so he is not truly out of time. Plus, let’s face it, Godzilla doesn’t feel fear. The art for this issue was solid. It did a good job of showing the facial expressions for Godzilla and the fight was well done. This is really what a comic version of Godzilla should strive to look like and I definitely liked the design of the made up villain.

Following that strong start was the worst comic in the collection. The series tried to go for a live action look and it didn’t work. As far as I’m concerned, if DC’s Kingdom Come event couldn’t pull it off, nothing ever will. The fight scenes are very choppy and it’s a shame since this issue could have had the most action. This level of hell has demons transform into lookalikes from Godzilla’s past. Fake Rodan, Anguirus, Varan, and Ghidorah all attack the hero. Godzilla fends them all off and it should have been a really good issue. The art just takes you out of the adventure. I do like the use of the word bubbles here as they add more context and hint at what is actually going on here. Godzilla passes this trial with flying colors as he proves that he is more than a match for any demon. Of course, the trials will get stronger from here.

The third issue was the most colorful and went for more of a cartoony feel than the other two. This made for a great fight between Godzilla and Space Godzilla, but the facial expressions could be a little odd at times. It was uncharacteristic for Godzilla, but the fight scenes were worth it. Space Godzilla is definitely a worthy opponent for the King of the Monsters. This was also the strangest issue in the collection. So, this trial is essentially that Godzilla must defeat Space Godzilla without resorting to the temptations from both sides. Half of Hell wants him to become their god and rule while the others want him to work for Hell. You are led to believe at first that half of them worship God and want Godzilla to join, but they quickly switch to believers of Godzilla and also don’t seem trust worthy. Regardless, Godzilla eats them all and crushes the rest, but neither side seemed to have a clue as to what they were doing.

They were yelling about submitting to peace the entire time. Godzilla just kept on blasting them which is probably a safe bet. Why would angels be in Hell anyway unless they were fallen ones? I guess some Earthlings tried to come here as well since we saw that Moguera was toasted. It was an odd comic, but it also helps support the argument that this is all real and not simply a dream the most in my opinion. I don’t have a lot of concrete arguments to support that, but this issue felt like it could be real. More on that at the end.

Issue 4 also had some pretty nice art. It was a little more realistic, but still pretty vibrant which is good because the whole issue is a big fight with King Ghidorah and Destoroyah. Godzilla has to use his wits to defeat these two since their combined might is far greater than his. It is cool to see him actually using strategy like dividing the opponents and taking them out on at a time. He loses though and the second half of the issue sees him die over and over again. The problem is that since he is in Hell, he cannot die for good. He has been cursed with immortality and it is a somber thought. At the end he breaks out of this part of hell and makes his way to the final challenges. This was my favorite story. As a big action fan, it was fun to see some fights here and Godzilla being portrayed as more than a mindless monster is always good.

Finally, the collection ended with Godzilla facing off against the elements and the actual demons from Hell. In their true forms, they were finally playing for keeps here. Unfortunately, they got a little too overconfident and after destroying Godzilla, they reanimated him with fire, which was enough to jump start his body and allow him to regenerate. They should have quit while they were ahead. It ends with Godzilla rising out of the water and you have to ask, did this all really happen or was it in his head? The answer will come in a moment. Meanwhile, the art here was not as good as the last few issues. The final shot with Godzilla rising it great and it’s better than the live action issue, but it is too gray-scale for me. Comics don’t always have to be vibrant, but it just didn’t look that good and everything was just too faded. Still a good issue, but it’s always sad to see Godzilla lose due to sheer numbers. It is part of why I don’t like the Megaguirus film.

In the end, my answer is that this was all a dream. The final issue does state that winning against yourself is greater than a thousand victories. It said that such a win can never be taken away and those lines of dialogue really support the fact that this was in Godzilla’s head. It is still a little iffy as Godzilla is not the type to ever doubt himself and I don’t think he would need to conquer his inner demons. Still, I suppose that even Kaiju have things that they need to think about so it is not totally unreasonable to believe that Godzilla has to come to terms with himself now and again. I’ve never been all that opposed to reading a series that ended with the plot twist of it all being a dream so it is not all that bad. It is open to interpretation so feel free to choose another theory to follow, but this is definitely the one that I follow.

Overall, I think this series definitely could have benefited from being longer. Of course, it could have had the opposite effect as it really depends on an issue to issue basis. If the writers started to run out of ideas, then it is always best to quit while you are ahead. I definitely recommend this to any Godzilla fan. The concept is simply too priceless to pass up. I think the average comic reader should be able to enjoy it as well. There is very little dialogue here so it is more of a visual experience than anything else. That’s something that everyone can ultimately appreciate in a comic as long as there is some kind of interesting plot/good characters to go alongside it. I’ve finally entered the world of Godzilla comics, hopefully I am able to read another one someday!

Overall 7/10

Digimon Adventure The Movie Review


It had certainly been quite a while since I had seen this film. I’ve seen it a few times in the past and recently I finally saw the subbed version. It’s definitely interesting to compare and contrast the two versions. I grew up on the dub and I’m always very partial to that format so it certainly wins for me, but both of them are certainly solid. The film is very short and is essentially an episode, but we still get a nice fight at the end and that’s what counts. It’s a nice way to start off your Digimon anime experience and Godzilla fans will definitely appreciate it.

Tai and his sister Kari were having an ordinary day at home when an egg shows up and a monster jumps out of it. The monster is nice and pretty small at first, but things start to get a little worrisome when it evolves into Agumon and breaks the roof of their house. It jumps away with Kari so now Tai must find this monster and rescue his sister. Tai will have to hurry with this as well since another monster is about to come through the gates and this one’s not an ally! Can Tai really keep it together under such duress? Well…this is Tai that we’re talking about!

The original version takes itself a little more seriously than its English counterpart. The music is very subdued and soft. Unfortunately, this does mean that we don’t get any real battle/action themes in the film so the fight is more of a visual experience. No crude humor jokes at least and the film has some extra scenes that weren’t in the dub. I can see why the beak getting smashed was cut out although the fire blast to the wing wasn’t that bad and could have easily been kept. It’s definitely more of a thriller in the original cut as the whole thing is pretty mysterious and a little out of nowhere for the main characters so it’s really a trial by storm. I’d probably give this version a 6/10, but the dub helps the overall score jump by a star as it wasn’t too far away from that anyway.

In the Dub version, it’s more of a comedy action. We even get some narration that I could probably do without, but most of the dub’s other qualities are good. For starters, the music is a drastic improvement even if it doesn’t feel very Digimon esque at times. The battle theme is much more fitting for the climax and the Dub just has an epic feel to it at the end. There are also more burns and epic one liners in the dub like a truck driver scene that I had completely forgotten involving two truck drivers and one who fell asleep at the wheel. (The wiki is pretty handy for times like this) Tai jokes about how large the egg is and he’s never speechless when it comes to these strange occurrences. An overload of jokes can be bad if they’re poorly written like in Pixels, but for something like Digimon that has quality control, it works out pretty well. Another good part on the dub is that it cuts out a random scene where we find out that Tai’s father is a drunk. Yeah, we didn’t need to know that! The dub’s high intensity and one liners help to alleviate my slight weakness with the film that will come up in a second. Regardless of what version you watch, the animation for the fight scene at the end is very good and this film certainly succeeds on a technical level.

If the film has a main weakness, it’s that the happy days scenes can drag a little. As you may or may not be aware, I’m not a big fan of kids and babies in films and other media. Kids are usually exempt in anime though (I can elaborate on that if necessary in the comments) and I actually thought that Tai was a pretty good character. Kari…not so much, but at least we know that she gets a lot better in the actual anime. I actually didn’t care for Koromon. He is cool as Agumon and Greymon, but the chasing each other around the room and the odd face hug parts were moments that could have been dramatically shortened. That’s really it though and while the scenes can get a little dull, it’s not something that will really hurt the experience for you. It’s already a short film after all so how much can it really drag out right?

What I think would have made the film a little better would have been for a larger cast or at least one more character to be with Tai. It would help to give us some more dialogue and if we were lucky, maybe even some banter. Alternately, the easier and possibly even more effective strategy would just be to make Tai a little older. Of course in that case, the film would need to have made it a different cast since that may not have made a whole lot of sense for the TV show and we don’t want logic holes right from the get go right? As just mentioned, Tai is already a good character in this film. He takes charge and isn’t afraid of anything. Once Kari is taken away, he quickly goes outside on his own and confronts the Digimon. It’s easy to see why he became the leader of the group. Kari can’t really talk all that much at this point in the film so it would essentially be impossible for her to be a likable character. If she couldn’t talk, but was old enough to still have a personality, then it could be a different story. The other main characters of the TV show make cameo appearances so that’s neat for their fans I suppose.

It almost goes without saying that Parrotmon makes for a great villain. He has a nice projectile and in terms of pure power, Parrotmon is actually able to hold his own against Greymon. That’s pretty impressive when you really think about it since Parrotmon is typically a zoner when it comes to combat. Greymon is a great homage to Godzilla as well and their battle was done so well. A clash of anime Kaiju is something that you don’t see every day and sometimes not even in a full year. You will also be able to recognize some of the famous Godzilla roars if you pay close enough attention to the details.

Overall, Digimon Adventure starts out right with this quick film. It was probably fun for the people who ended up seeing this day 1 and becoming a fan of the franchise. It’s certainly lasted quite a while and may be the 2nd most popular mon show at this point. It’s probably solidified its standing there as well so nothing will be passing it anytime soon. I’ve seen this film many times in the past and it’s an enjoyable film for fans and people who haven’t seen Digimon yet. If you’re looking for a film with a nice fight scene at the end as a foreshadowing of things to come, then you should check this film out. It’s a little light on action of course, but no worries, the TV show has fight scenes in bulk! Naturally, this review also comes at a good time as the new Digimon film series is finally here. Yes, this site is just That good!

Overall 7/10

Godzilla Review

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It has been a very long time since I have reviewed a book. It may have even been over a year at this point. What better way to get back into the industry than with Godzilla right? The film was fun even though it certainly could have been better to say the least. I know that many people weren’t crazy about Ford Brody in the film and I always thought that he was a bit of a non factor. After reading the book though, I can safely say that the character isn’t very good.

The book follows the plot of the film. Essentially, a creature destroys Ford’s mother along with many other people simply by waking up. Over a decade later, the monster has woken up along with a second one. They are known as the MUTO creatures and their abilities are unparalleled. With the EMP bursts that they can generate, the army is essentially out of their depth here. Their only course of action is to allow the Super Kaiju known as Godzilla to step in and save the day. The question is…did the government have a choice in the first place and can Godzilla really win the 2 on 1 fight? Pondering these questions is what makes the book fun.

I had a hard time getting past the beginning of the book because it starts off a little slowly. To the book’s defense, that is typically the case for just about every book that I read. It’s simply hard to start off with an interesting beginning that will keep you ready for action. Another problem is that the book adds some unnecessary details. See, Godzilla ended up attacking the island in 1954 because some animals were being tested on and it was defying nature. The government nuked Godzilla and the animals were hit as collateral. It makes the humans look terrible once again and you can see why a lot of people just end up rooting for Godzilla here. The Kaiju is the hero here and the humans need to get their act together if they want to win.

I wasn’t particularly crazy about the writing either. As I mentioned earlier, Ford wasn’t necessarily a negative for me in the movie, but I didn’t like him in the book. Not only is he incredibly generic, but he’s simply an unlikable character. He panics a whole lot and is almost always on the verge of tears. He constantly has to “tear himself away” from his son and family because he has a world to save, but he’s always so overly dramatic about it. Towards the end of the book, he even gets annoyed when people come to save him from the nukes. Sure, he’s tired and fatigued, but he should be grateful. It’s hard to simply spell out, but Ford just wasn’t my kind of character. I much preferred his father in the book. That plot was typically a lot more interesting than Ford’s.

Of course, the Godzilla scenes are the reason why you will buy the book. As with the movie, he doesn’t get a huge role and misses most of the first 75% of the book, but then he gets a solid fight in the end. The author definitely seemed to like the MUTOs as they were crushing Godzilla in the initial fight. In the film they temporarily started to overwhelm him as well, but here…they flat out beat him. Ford has to (accidentally) save Godzilla’s life by distracting one of the creatures. Once the MUTO is gone, Godzilla is able to take out the other one. Then he manages to defeat the second and proves that he is the strongest Kaiju out there, but I would have liked more G domination.

I also have to question the fact that the MUTO’s were able to short out his Atomic Breath. It’s not exactly standard electricity so I don’t think that an EMP would knock it out. If it could, then that means that the Government could essentially use the same tactic against him. Godzilla is also able to use it at the very end so I guess that the normal EMPs that the MUTO creatures generate is weak enough for Godzilla to overpower it. I’m glad about that at least. The Godzilla scenes are certainly the highlight as its fun to see the Kaiju in action although he could have looked a little stronger.

Back to the negatives, the writing goes to horror film mode at times as Ford loves to swear when he’s in danger along with just about every other character. It’s something that I always bring up because you wouldn’t have seen it back in the 70’s or earlier. Dr. Serizawa is a character that I didn’t like in any version and I still don’t care for him here. At one point, the government is out of options and they ask the doctor if Godzilla can defeat MUTO. Serizawa essentially shrugs and says his “iconic nature controls arrogant men” (Completely reworded and out of context, but you’ll likely know the line if you’ve scene the trailer. before he says to just let the monsters fight. Cmon Serizawa, the government is looking for a serious answer at this point.

Of course, the government doesn’t look too good when they decide to send a Nuke after Godzilla and the creatures. The climax has them essentially admit that MUTO and Godzilla could easily tank the missile. The plan seemed to be pretty bad from the start and reeked of desperation. While they like to think that there wouldn’t be too many casualties by dumping it in the river, many people would still die through the fish and the radiation that the wind carries. Nukes are never a great measure.

Also, they were hardly necessary. Maybe against the MUTO creatures, but against Godzilla, the airplanes were actually doing well. The book implies that they could have ultimately defeated Godzilla had some more planes come on board as they were dealing a lot of damage to the King. Long time Godzilla fans won’t like that of course, but it’s nice for the government to get in some wins once in a while. It’s like the old saying, “It’s why I’m here.”

I didn’t like the format that the book was in although I suppose that this will vary if there are any other versions. The type is simply too small. It’s part of the style as it allows the book to be small as well, but it’s not worth it. I like the classic hardcover style so much more as the print is nearly double the size of the Godzilla book and it makes the reading so much easier. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve had the book since sometime in February or earlier. I’ve renewed it 10 times from NYPL until I finally read it now. (And just in time too!)

Overall, the book got better once I was past the beginning, but I’m still not crazy about the writing. The characters just felt unlikable for the most part and the animals part in the beginning was really not needed. Godzilla also should have looked more impressive like how he was portrayed in the film. The book had its negatives to be sure and the format also made it a little tougher to read through. If you’re a big Godzilla fan, this is still a book to check out. If you aren’t looking forward to the Kaiju fights then you should probably take a pass on this book. After all, the fights were the climactic parts. If you don’t care for those, then it’s Game Over time!

Overall 6/10

Godzilla The Art of Destruction Review

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It’s time to review an art book that I got a while back. It’s fairly short, but I wanted to take my time with such a Legendary (Get it?) piece. It’s definitely very detailed and it’s always fun to see the behind the scenes action. There were quite a few ideas that were ultimately left out of the film and many of the Godzilla designs are fun to look at. I haven’t read many art books, but this is definitely one of the better ones.

Now, keep in mind that the book use the power of friendship angle quite a bit. The staff constantly talk about how each other was perfect for the role and how they’re the best at what they do. It can be a bit much when you hear someone say that for every film, but they probably feel obligated to say such things. Others are probably genuine about it though as you really get to see the actors become the characters and you really can’t think of anyone else doing a better job. Genuine or not, it can just get a little repetitive, but it’s hard to avoid such a thing here.

The more interesting parts of the book are when they discuss the landscape and the unused ideas. For example, they almost had Muto evolve into a new form, but they thought that it would be a little much. There was also going to be a dogfight between Muto and some of the Airplanes, but the EMP ability forced them to take this out. There are quite a few scenes that didn’t make the cut and it’s fun to hear about what the film could have been lie. Likewise, Godzilla went through quite a few design changes as the film went on. They played around with a possible fish design and there are also a panda faced one that was intriguing. Some of them definitely looked intense and I really liked the T Rex version. They felt that it looked like too much of a T Rex though so unfortunately, it was not meant to be.

To this day, I’m not crazy about Godzilla’s face in the film, but the rest of the design is pretty spot on. It’s also interesting to hear how much of a role CG-I plays in film making nowadays as they basically animated all of the scenes before they actually filmed them. In theory, that means that they could practically release a rough version of the film just using the CG. It wouldn’t have as many details and some of the human elements would be interesting, but it would be cool to see the CG-I go at it.

The book is about 165 pages, but you have to keep in mind that it is a lot shorter than it looks. All of the pages contain an image of some sort and many times this leaves little room for text. Sometimes you’ll have two pages in a row that are covered by a giant splash page. They always look pretty glorious, but this will speed up your completion of the book. If you were to just take the text, I’m confident that the size of the book would probably be cut in half or maybe even less than that. It’s possible that this would be condensed into around 40-50 pages. The book is divided into 3 parts, I forget the titles, but it goes chronologically.

First off it the pre production and then the book takes you through the complete process until Comic Con arrives and the book basically ends. One thing that is puzzling is the sudden end of the book. There is no after word or farewell to the readers until next time. There’s simply no closing statement of anytime and it just abruptly ends as the book is talking about the halo jump scene. It feels like the book must have been rushed out at the last minute or something like that. Ah well, it happens I suppose.

Overall, This art book is very informative and it makes for a good read. Making a film definitely sounds like a tough job and you’ve got to have a very strong support group if you want it to ultimately be a success. There will always be alternate roads that the film could have gone, but they felt like the right scenes were included. I disagree with the decision to have Godzilla’s first battle happen off screen, but I’ve always been a big action fan. I definitely recommend checking this out at some point if you really enjoyed the film or are a hardcore Godzilla fan. Even if you’re just interested about the film making process, this book will make for a fun read. Now, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the art book for the next Godzilla film!

Overall 7/10

King Kong Review

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It’s time to look at one of the oldest films that I have ever seen. This came out in 1933 so even I had not been born yet. This was also before Godzilla’s debut yet so we didn’t know what a true Kaiju was like at the time. A giant Ape is still pretty creative I suppose…and he makes for an intriguing beast. The film definitely suffers from too much animal violence, but it made for a starting point to the monster era.

A film producer is looking for a heroine to star in his new action film. He’s going on a very dangerous quest to the filming location and he won’t even tell the crew where they are headed. Naturally, most people want nothing to do with him, but he eventually finds a lady who was attempting to rob a merchant. She agrees to go with him and they set off for Skull Island. An all power being is located there by the name of Kong…King Kong! The crew will have to subdue him if they’re going to get this movie underway so the fight of their lives begins!

It’s an old film so the writing is expected to be pretty strong, but I wasn’t as crazy about it as I usually am. It’s probably the fact that the main characters aren’t all that interesting. The main guy who becomes the love interest for the heroine is pretty rude the whole time so it’s a bit of a stretch when he finally decides to play the hero. I can’t forget all of the insults so easily and he’s the kind of sexist character that we try to forget from those days. The producer of the film isn’t bad and he’s definitely pretty confident. That being said, the movie is more important to him than Kong’s health so he definitely takes a shot to his character there. We get glimpses of how the film would be without King Kong during the cilmax when everyone arrives for the show. Ironically, it would probably get a higher score since it has potential as a stage thriller, but it wasn’t in the cards. The main heroine is decent, but she’s not great either as she falls into the romance trap with someone who had been insulting her mere minutes earlier. He does try to save her life on several occasions, but she should have placed him in the friend zone. Considering that the director saved her, it makes sense that she would be willing to be in such a dangerous movie, but she shouldn’t have stayed next to the edge while on the boat. Ah well, she was not as fun as the director, but she was better than the main guy.

King Kong is naturally the big character in this production. He’s featured as the antagonist, but he’s mostly just your average animal. He does what he can to survive, but he doesn’t have much of a concept on good or evil. He destroys his enemies and does what he wants with his life. He naturally starts to like the main heroine and he’s famous for that at this point. You’ll feel bad for him when the army is blasting away at him and you’ll feel bad for the humans and animals that he destroys. I definitely don’t like King Kong and I never had. He’s simply not one of the better monsters out there and monkeys happen to be one of my least favorite animals. It would have been hard for this film to have changed that anyway, but I’m glad that he gave it his all. It is also good that he escaped the chains at the end since being a prisoner would have been a cruel fate.

The main thing that really hurts the film is the excessive animal violence. You simply cannot get away from this negative and it comes back to bite you every time. A dinosaur gets violently defeated and likewise with a cool Rodan monster. The snake is also injured and you’ll even feel bad for King Kong when he’s defeated. This guarenteed that the film would certainly get a negative score and while I’ll still give it a higher one than a 2 (Which would be slightly excessive) it was not going to get up to a 5 or a 4. Animal Violence is something that we have to avoid at any cost and King Kong simply couldn’t get past that.

It’s why the sequels don’t have a lot of hope either. The T Rex scene is famous and I’m confident that it is in both of the upcoming films. With updated graphics, the fights could be even worse. This film is about 2 hours, but it’ll definitely feel pretty long as you enter the second half. It only drags on at some points though as the battle in the Jungle is pretty fun and I do like the climax. It’s more towards the beginning of the middle where it drags for a while. That’s forgivable though since the film is expected to have some slow moments. (Get ready for the 3 and a half hour remake…)

The human scenes aren’t bad, but they aren’t extremely entertaining either. The captain of the ship was nice enough and he did a good job of guarding against the enemies. I don’t really care for the extremely rushed romance between the main heroine and the sailor though as it is another case of love at first sight, which I don’t buy into. The humans definitely look pretty corrupt as they are actually proud of the fact that they turned King Kong from a king into a captive. It’s something that you would hope the heroes didn’t take pride in. Apparently, money is what’s important to them so they don’t care about Kong’s well being. Likewise with all of the people in the audience of course.

The film is just pretty tragic and that’s one of the main reasons why it couldn’t be as great as Godzilla or the other big monster films. Take away the animal violence and this film would instantly be a whole lot better. King Kong being a captive was sad, but he did break free so that was good. He got to get his hits in before they finally mowed him down. At least he would end up returning in Godzilla vs King Kong about 20 years later.

Overall, King Kong is one of those classics that isn’t truly great. Without our nostalgia glasses I don’t think that it holds weight, but we know that we cannot get rid of the glasses. They are why I still see the original TMNT game for Gamecube as an exceptional title of epic proportions and why Super Smash Bros Melee will always have my fondest memories for any video game. I saw Godzilla first and I have a feeling that it will always outrank King Kong. Kong’s just at a disadvantage since he’s a real animal and he’s not even close to Godzilla’s size. He is also not immune to bullets so that should end the debate against Godzilla right there. Fans of the old monster films may enjoy this one, but definitely not if you don’t like animal violence. I’d recommend the original Godzilla film instead as it is much better.

Overall 3/10