Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Giant Monster Movie Updates
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Saturday night, Izzy & I finally watched the “Godzilla” remake starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe & Bryan Cranston (for like four minutes). Basically the plot of the movie is that there are these giant monsters throughout the world that the government has been keeping from us in the South Pacific… and when I say giant, I mean absolutely epic in scope… like ABSOLUTELY UNREALISTICLY EPIC IN SCOPE!!! (clears throat) I’m going to warn you now that… I legitimately BOOOOOOOO’d a few times while watching this movie at home… so I have a few issues with it… that being said, I actually enjoyed some parts of it… but more on that later. So there are these giant monsters that the world’s governments have either been tracking or luring to certain areas because… they feed on radiation… whether it’s radiation from a nuclear power plant… or apparently deep in the oceans… don’t question it, just go with it. Well, in 1999, there’s a situation where a nuclear power plant in Japan is destroyed and everybody is evacuated from the city… but it’s not like a tsunami or earthquake… but the government quarantines the area… and a man who lost his wife (Cranston) is on a mission to find out. Fifteen years later, his son (Johnson) is grown up… and he may have some answers… so they break into the zone and… basically all hell breaks loose & the giant monsters are now loose. Enter Japanese scientist (Watanabe) and his poorly-explained assistant… and they talk about another giant monster who may be able to save all of humanity from these other giant monsters… and they call him… GOJIRAAAA!!! Okay, that’s the plot… if you haven’t seen it yet… you’re not going to… and if you like big scale action flicks, then… by all means go see “Pacific Rim”. It’s much better. However, if you liked “Pacific Rim” and need something to hold you over until the sequel comes out… check this movie out. Now… for the good… and the BOOOOOOOOO!!!
What I Liked About Godzilla:
· It’s better than the 1998 version that they did – Granted, it’s hard to do worse… but what I really mean is… the 1997 version was meant to the next big blockbuster for everybody… from the guy who brought you “Independence Day” and such… and so yeah, it had the big epic scale, set in New York, CGI of the time, comic relief, odd love story, all that crap that pops up in those movies regardless of the subject matter. Why was Matthew Broderick the lead? I don’t know… Has the female lead been in anything of note since then? I don’t think so… and honestly, all I knew her from before that was that short-lived TV Sitcom “Partners” that she was in with Tate Donovan & Jon Cryer. Fun fact: According to her IMDb page, she was in “Natural Born Killers” AND “True Romance”… but was so unmemorable that nobody remembers. I’m assuming she was a quick fatality in both movies. Anyway, the 1998 version sucked save for a few songs on the soundtrack (NOT YOURS, DIDDY!!!) and this version keeps to the subject matter a little better… and the tone of the movie is more correct for the subject matter involved. No stupid “That’s a lot of fish!” lines or running gags about how stupid his f**king last name is. Apparently this isn’t really proclaiming the awesomeness of this movie, just saying the other version is a piece of sh*t.
· Cinematography & Tone – Yup, I’m already reaching for this one… but yeah, beautifully shot in San Francisco (because yes, it’s a disaster movie… so they all must come here to start the Armegeddon) and a few other places… though I suspect there was a LOT of CGI involved there too. Izzy & I are still trying to figure out where their “OAKLAND, CA” location was because those trees don’t exist in the Bay Area but still… it’s dark, pretty evenly paced, build to crescendos well, take time for some characters to do their thing but it doesn’t seem to dwell like some of these movies can.
· Keeping to Source Material – Apparently it did a little better as keeping it to the 50’s versions… and they at least tried to explain how these kinds of things could exist other than “sea iguanas + radiation = HOLY SH*T!!!” Oh wait… now that I think about it… maybe this point is a push.
· Bryan Cranston’s Cameo – Let’s face it, that’s all it can really be called. He was only in the movie for a few minutes, but he acted everybody’s asses off during those 2-3 days of shooting. He started as loving husband / typical busy dad with a young kid he doesn’t spend enough time with… had the emotional breakdown scene when his wife died… he played a pretty good “I’M NOT CRAZY” a few scenes later when he popped up… and he was a convincing corpse (spoiler alert) all within about five minutes of screen time. As for everybody else in the movie, I’m just hoping that the goal of the director was to keep everybody as uninteresting as possible to keep the focus on the monsters (or rather the indication of monsters to come) and merely use characters as plot exposition explainers… because that’s basically what happened.
What I Absolutely Despised:
· COCKTEASES!!! – Okay, the number one reason this movie pissed me right the f**k off as opposed to … is they would do such a great job of keeping you interested… through all the ridiculous exposition & scientific mumbo jumbo BS that they cooked up… and have this huge, slow, lengthy, rolling buildup to what you’ve wanted for YEARS… you’ve given yourself to this movie with the promise of an absolutely epic battle between giant monsters… and just as sh*t is about to get REAL… they cut to a scene of a baby watching about three seconds of a grainy ass news report on a TV the size of a toaster like it’s in the background of an opening credit sequence. BOOOOOOO!!! I DEMAND MY EPIC BATTLE!!! This is the first time this happens in this movie… and then about a half hour later… they do it again… build to an epic battle… POV shot of humans being locked into a bunker… and fade-in to the destruction of the city AFTER the battle. It’s almost literally like you’ve been crushing on a girl in high school… after a while you ask her out, take her out, build a relationship… go to the prom… it’s after prom… tonight’s the night… making out… undressing awkwardly… you’re unzipped… pre-fellatio… and then SLAM!!! Somebody shuts a door & you wake up an hour later having not felt a Goddamn thing because your prom date was a ghost & you apparently time traveled. BULLSH*T!!! Sure, the final battle is decent… again “Pacific Rim” was better… but inexcusable.
· Ultimate Suspension of Disbelief – At nearly every juncture of this film, I had to just… go with it. The bullsh*t science involved… the bullsh*t government coverups… the bullsh*t decisions that the bullsh*t characters make… you just kinda have to say “Okay movie… I’m shutting down my brain now… take me away!” and then it just goes along. Towards the end I wouldn’t have been surprised if they tied in the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers in the backstory and Goku taught Godzilla how to KAMEHAMEHAAAAAAA!!! By the way, in the spirit of the movie, I’m pretty sure that’s what happens OFF-SCREEN leading up to the finale.
· SCIENCE!!! – Google that sh*t please. Do you know what happens to living creatures that feed on large amounts of radiation & nuclear waste? NO, YOU DON’T!!! Because they cease to be living creatures… not become giant lizards twice as tall as the Transamerica Building (and ten times as wide) or Starship Trooper bugs that just kinda tip-toe across the Las Vegas Strip avoiding giant hotels… that can also willy-nilly release electromagnetic pulses and/or ZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP out of f**king nowhere. Although, it would explain this badass T-shirt…
· Lead Male – So back to the story elements, the only character that’s even kind of memorable is Bryan Cranston’s… and he’s only there a few minutes early in the movie. Every… single… other… human… in this… movie… is… dull… as… dull… as… dull… as… you get the point. Nobody seems really all that overly concerned about the giant monsters ripping the world apart. Sure, they chase after them in battleships & planes and try to track them (though apparently that’s like tracking a Malaysian Airlines flight & they just lose these moving land masses pretty easily). The son? He’s a douche & doesn’t really show any emotion… even when his father dies… and he just kinda goes along (with the rest of the audience) doing whatever it takes to be in the next shot of the movie whether he’s really invited and/or trained/allowed to be a part of the next military operation. “Who are you kid?” “My name’s Ford, Ford Brody.” “Well that’s just f**king stupid. Obviously your dad named you?” “My dad was crazy Bryan Cranston from a few scenes ago? You arrested me for trespassing & I should be in a cell somewhere but… well… I’m not. I have a wife & kid back in…” “Yeayeayeayea nobody cares… go home to your wife & kid. We’ll get you on the next flight back… couch… Tokyo to San Francisco direct. You’re welcome.” “I’m in the Navy.” “No sh*t. You were in the Navy? Cool, we’re going to jump out of some airplanes… wanna come along?” “No, I’m gonna take that train… but I’m sure we’ll meet up again later & you’ll let me into your super-secret government force without asking too many questions later on…” Yeah, it’s actually even a little dumber than that, but I’m a fan of brevity… and I assume all the real conversations or reasoning happened off-screen. Sad too… cuz I really liked Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the “Kick Ass” movies & “Savages” to a certain extent.
· Human Characters (cont’d) – As I mentioned before… DULL!!! The wife (Elizabeth Olsen) is basically just there so you can see hospital scenes & people going to fallout shelters. The Japanese scientist (Watanabe) is there for exposition… and you kind of expect him to not show a lot of emotion other than absolute awe… but the assistant scientist (played by Sally Hawkins) is just… not explained… I don’t think she speaks more than a few words and… ugh… there’s just nobody to care about or connect with in this movie… and it’s not just that I’m an insensitive prick either. They just do nothing of interest to get a rise out of anybody. By the way, here’s my impression of what everybody’s reaction should be… and would be in real life. “WHAT THE F**K IS THAT? ARE YOU SEEING THIS??? AH!!! HE JUST STOMPED ON THE HYATT RESORT!!! THAT’S THE BIGGEST F**KING THING I’VE EVER… HOLY SH*T, WHAT’S THAT??? IS THAT A GIANT FLYING BUG FROM STARSHIP TROOPER??? HUMANITY IS F**KED!!! F-U-K-T FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKT!!!”
· Fat Godzilla / Tyranitar – Okay, I knew about this one thanks to updates of websites like Dark Horizons… but the design on Godzilla was kinda bad. Now, I originally thought “Oh cool, it’s supposed to be like the clunky guy-in-a-suit kind of twist” and then I thought about it… “No, he’s just f**king fat! Wait, how could something that large be so f**king fat? What does it eat? Bad scripts?” Then after watching the movie, Izzy figured it all out… apparently what we were watching wasn’t a Godzilla movie… it was a Pokemon movie… Tyranitar vs. Palkia!!! The fight scenes could’ve also been broken down to Tyranitar uses Roar… Attack fails… Palkia uses EMP… Lightning power negated… Palkia uses Mean Look… Tyranitar can no longer escape from battle… okay, obviously I’m not big on the Pokemon terminology but… apparently she has it down pretty damn good… and it’s sad how accurate it was…
Anyway, it’s a movie… see it if you want… or go see “Pacific Rim”… at least it’s only a little racist…
Sunday night, we watched “Grizzly” which was apparently the first in MANY animal-villain films following the success of “Jaws” in the mid-70’s. Why did we check it out? Well, it’s apparently the best of those… and it just came up as a recommend somewhere… and why the hell not? What’s not to like about MAN-EATING BEARS??? Okay, so this movie is allegedly a blatant frame-by-frame rip-off of “Jaws” and… I mean… if you’re going to rip-off a movie, at least they made it a good one. Basically the story is about Labor Day weekend in a national forest… all the campers are out… and then a few hot chicks go missing… and long story short, they’re torn asunder by a bear… but not just any bear… a 15-foot, one-ton Grizzly!!! Well, a few other hot chicks get eaten… and then they bring in the big guns to get him… but the story follows a park ranger, a helicopter pilot & a naturalist as they go looking for this man-eating behemoth. Now… for being pretty low budget, I actually really liked this movie… and one thing this has on “Jaws” is that they had to use a real bear (because the robotic one was left out in the rain during shooting). The cinematography was great… dialogue is lacking but it’s the 70’s… it’s kinda your typical slasher flick from back then… Anyway, I say totally check it out if you’ve got nothing better to do… not a bad premise at all I guess… just low budget & rushed to capitalize on Jaws’ success… there’s some good potential there… oh, what’s that IMDb?
THEY’RE REMAKING “GRIZZLY”!!! Holy sh*t… and check out this cast! Thomas Jane from “Punisher” & “The Fog”? James Marsden from the “X-Men” movies? Scott Glenn from “Alien” & “Pumpkinhead”? Piper Perabo from “Coyote Ugly”? Adam Beach from “Windtalkers”? BILLY BOB THORNTON??? From “Inside Your Mama’s Panties (and Angelina’s lest we forget)”??? HOLY CRAP!!! When does this movie come out? I’m gonna… let’s face it, I’ll hafta wait for Netflix or something because there’s no way a movie this awesome will be a worldwide release… limited release only… but HOLY CRAP!!! I WANNA SEE THIS!!!
Anyway, that’ll do it for tonight, just wanted to let you know about a few movies… and I’ve rambled on long enough. Just interviewing new roommates & getting ready for the epic Halloweeen weekend… have a great day everybody!!! BOOOOOOOOO!!!