30 November 2012

The Guyver: Dark Hero (1994)

          Essential plot rundown:  After hearing about a "werewolf" attack, the Guyver hitchhikes to Utah to investigate.  So, let's talk about the sequel.

          This is a little better than the first.  This one is not campy and takes itself seriously.  The acting is a little better.  (Probably because they scratched all of the old actors and got new ones for the returning roles).  But, probably the biggest improvement was in the monster effects.  Here, they are a lot more articulate.  In the first one, the mouths barely moved, if at all.  But in Dark Hero, the mouths move quite a bit and were actually synchronized enough as to not be distracting; so that was cool.  And I don't know who is designing the monsters, but they are a hit or miss.  The monsters seem to either look really cool or really dumb.  And one of them reminded me of this guy:

          However, the movie was not very well paced.  It opens with a fight scene, then goes an whole hour til the next one.  Then the very last half hour is a great big long fight scene.  I was bored the first hour because nothing really interesting was happening.  And I was bored during the last half hour because the fight was too long.

          But I really like this world.  I wish Hollywood, or somebody, would revisit this material and reboot it.  I think it has a lot of potential.  There are three different anime series about the Guyver.  I guess I'll just have to watch those.

          Overall, this was a fun movie.  Better than the first, but still not without flaws.

     But that's just my opinion...

27 November 2012

The Guyver (1991)

          Essential plot rundown:  A kid stumbles upon space amor and must fight people who turn into monsters.  I watched this once a long time ago, and for some reason, I had an urge to re-watch it.  I believe it is based on either an anime or manga, but who knows?

          This movie was...entertaining.  It wasn't that great of a movie.  It felt like a weird version of Power Rangers.  The idea is pretty cool (kudos to the source material) but everything else pretty much sucks.  The acting is pretty bad.  It's only saving grace is Luke Skywalker's mustache.  It is very campy with weird sound FX and music.  It didn't seem to know whether to take itself seriously or not.  The villain has some henchmen whose outfits don't make any sense.  Also, if you are making an awesome suit of armor, why include a weakness?  And why put it in a very accessible place?  And I guess the best time to make out with the girl you like is right after she tells you her father was murdered.  (I'll keep that in mind next time).  Overall, this movie is all over the place and not very well made.

          But, to the movie's credit, it was refreshing to see actual practical effects instead of CGI.  It was cool seeing actual monster costumes.  It gave the movie a sense of realism; though, most of them were kind of dumb looking.  The Guyver looked pretty cool.  And he reminded me a little of Spawn.

          However, by far the best parts of the movie were the Robocop references.  One of the characters is played by Willard E. Pugh, who played the mayor in Robocop 2.  Also, the logo for the company Cronos Corporation looks very similar to the OCP logo.  (Though, I tried to find a picture, but could not.  You'll just have to watch them both to see).  But, the best part was this.

          So, overall this was a fun movie.  Probably more dumb than fun.  In fact, it got a little boring in parts.  But, I hear the sequel is better.  And I plan on checking out the source material.

Oh, spoiler.  Mark Hamill is not the Guyver.

     But that's just my opinion...

25 November 2012

God Bless America (2011)

          Essential plot rundown:  A man decides to go on a killing spree after getting fed up with society.  When I first heard about this film, I was super excited to see it.  I thought it looked really good because I also get tired of people and constantly want to punch them in the face.  So, I just had to see it.  And while it was good, I was a little disappointed.

          My biggest complaint was Frank's female sidekick, Roxy.  She is really annoying.  While Frank has a rhyme and reason to the people he wants to kill, Roxy just wants to kill anyone she doesn't like.  I actually thought she embodied everything that Frank was against and was surprised that he didn't kill her.

          I also thought the movie was heavy handed.  It was trying to make a point, teach a lesson, but it was not subtle about it at all.  At the beginning of the film, Frank tells his coworker about everything that is wrong with our society.  He then makes the same speech again at the end of the film.  I think it would have been better just to show him killing the people he doesn't think deserve to live:  show the people doing whatever it is that's wrong and then him killing them.  We don't need him to spell it out for us, we can figure it out.  So, I thought the whole theme of the film was handled a little clumsily.  And oddly enough, the movie wasn't as graphic as I was expecting.

          But other than that, it's a decent movie.  A little inconsistent at times, but entertaining.  The acting was good and you could totally understand (and fell sorry for) Frank.  Worth checking out if you like black comedies, though a lot of people on the internet were complaining about the politics.  But, whatever.

     But that's just my opinion...

Flight (2012)

          Essential plot rundown:  After a miraculous crash landing, the pilot falls under suspicions of being under the influence.  So, I was trying to decide whether I should see this, Argo, or Cloud Atlas when I had a dream where a fellow film student told me to see this.  So I did.

          I could not decide how much I liked this film.  I thought the beginning and the ending were both really good, but I felt the whole middle part was weak.  Flight starts off with the plan crash.  And it as amazing.  After watching it, I felt a little scared of flying again; it was terrifying.  I felt it was a powerful scene.  I also thought the ending was powerful.  Seeing Washington's character (Whitaker) in court, his decisions and their consequences were moving.  I'll admit it, I did tear up during the climax.  However, everything else was not so good.

          The whole middle part of the movie is basically Whitaker talking to his lawyers and getting ready for the hearing.  But, I never felt like there was any forward movement.  There was no character arch; I felt that he was the same character at the end was he was in the beginning.  The only thing that changed at the end was that he reached his "breaking point", for lack of a better word; but he was still the same person.  And he meets a drug addict, Nicole, and forms a relationship with her.  But her character seemed useless.  I thought that she was going to help Whitaker overcome his problems and develop as a character; but she didn't.  She's just kind of there.  Actually, she does do one thing.  Whitaker does drugs and kind of makes them look cool.  However, when Nicole is seen doing drugs, it looks nasty and not at all appealing.  So, she kind of shows the flip side to using drugs.  But thats about it.  Her character could have been removed and it probably would have played out the same.

          So, overall it was a good movie.  A strong opening and closing make up for a weak middle.  I thought the acting was good.  I always like Denzel Washington.  And I learned a little bit about mixing cocaine and alcohol; so that's always useful.

     But that's just my opinion...

18 November 2012

The Host (trailer)

          At the beginning of the year a teaser trailer came out for this and I wrote about how bad it looked.  And that trailer did make the movie look stupid.  But now, a real trailer is out and it looks considerably better.

     HERE is the new trailer.

          After watching this new trailer, I actually think this looks pretty good.  I think part of the reason is it reminds me of Animorphs, which I really like.  Animorphs is a story about parasitic aliens that take over human bodies and use them as host.  I heard somebody nay saying on this, saying it looked too much like Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  But I disagree.  With IotBS, the people are completely replaced with aliens, but in The Host, the human mind is taken over by an alien.  Completely different.  At one point somebody, referring to our protagonist, says "if her will has survived, along with her memories, she may resist from within".  And that totally sounds like something from Animorphs; there are times when the alien has difficulty controlling the revolting host.  Basically I'm saying I'm interested in this film because it reminds me of Animorphs.

          So, I have high hopes for this; I hope it doesn't suck.  It looks interesting and seems like it could touch on some interesting themes.  But, we will have to wait til March.

     But that's just my opinion...

Warm Bodies (trailer)

          I guess I should have seen this coming.  With the success of Twilight and the current interest in zombies, I should have realized that they were going to make a zombie romance movie.

     Click HERE to watch some zombie loving.

          I have mixed feelings about this trailer.  On one hand, it looks pretty dumb.  A zombie being cured and becoming human because it fell in love?  Seems like a stupid idea. How would that have any affect on a zombified body?  And I feel the zombie talks too much at the beginning.  If he can construct perfectly correct sentences, why can't he remember his name?  I think his mind should be a little more zombie.

          And on the other hand, I feel it is something different.  Sure, it is the same human-falls-in-love-with-a-paranormal-creature story; but that's about it.  Maybe it is the fact that is a comedy, or the creature (not the human) is telling the story.  Whatever it is, it feels kind of fresh to me.

          So, there's that.  It looks kind of 'meh'.  I don't anticipate watching it when it comes out but I could see myself watching it eventually.  Or not.  I don't know.

     But that's just my opinion...

01 November 2012

Horror Shorts

          I wanted to post these yesterday for Halloween, but I was uber busy.  So I'm doing it now.  These are just some short films that are kind of scary/Halloweenish.

          Saw - Before Saw was made into a feature length film, the filmmakers took a scene from the script and adapted into a short film.  They then showed the film to people in order to get funding for the project.  (As for as I know).  While not gory or explicit (there is some blood though), it is pretty disturbing.

     Watch short HERE

          Meshes of the Afternoon - This is an experimental film with some pretty cool visuals.  This isn't really a horror, but it is kind of creepy.

     Click HERE to watch

          Red Riding Hood - So, I found this one some website where, I believe, anyone can create content and upload it.  But, for coming from an amateur, it is a little chilling.  The only thing is: what's up with the uncle?

     HERE it is

          Mamá - This one is being made into a feature length film.  Sometimes, when they expand shorts to feature length, it is exactly the same story; but sometimes, the short is just a springboard for the feature.  So, I don't know if watching this will spoiler the feature when it comes out.  But it's cool either way.

     Clicking HERE may or may not contain spoilers for an upcoming movie

          Dead Island - Ok, so technically, this is not a short, but a trailer for a video game.  But it also works extremely well as a short.  This is pretty damn cool.  It is a little manipulative, but it works.  And this is by far the most graphic video of the bunch.  But it's worth it.

     Watch it HERE

          And if any of these go offline, let me know and I'll repost a different link.  Or, you could just not be lazy and find it yourself.  Whatever works for you.

     But that's just my opinion