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I am a big fan of Asian cinema in particular, and I am quite fond of especially South Korean and Hong Kong movies.
My favorite genre is, and always have been, horror, with a preference to anything with zombies in it.
I believe that every movie should be given the chance of being seen - a belief that has lead me to watch many a questionable movies.
Oh lord, this was boring...
I was under the impression that this was a zombie movie in some way, so of course I jumped at the chance to sit down and watch the 20134 movie "Antidote" by directors and writers Craig DiFolco and Pete DiFolco.
Well, I managed to endure 42 painstakingly long and excruciating minutes of sheer boredom. Wow. This movie was horribly monotonous, slow-paced, dull and downright pointless. After 42 minutes, I was just ready to claw my eyes out and I got up and ended this misery. And believe you me, I have no intentions of returning to watch the rest of the movie, because the storyline and characters both had absolutely zero appeal to me.
Now, I am rating "Antidote" a two out of ten stars rating because there was something to be said for the production value of the movie. But everything else, just don't even cut it. And a friendly word of advice, don't bother with this movie.
The storyline was so infinitely boring and uneventful that I lost interest in the movie fairly quickly in, but I opted to stick with it, because the movie could pick up its pacing and get into gear. Just never happened and I gave up, tossed in the towel.
And as for the characters, well let's just say that they were as interesting as a concrete sidewalk. They lacked appeal, they lacked interest, they lacked personalities, and they lacked just about anything that would make you have an interesting in watching them on the screen, traversing the apocalyptic barren lands, and they lacked depths and meaning.
All in all, "Antidote" is not worth the effort. Pure and simple.
Meatballs Part II (1984)
Not a classic in the making, but still better than part I...
Granted, after having sat through the 1979 "Meatballs" movie, then I didn't really have much of any expectations or hopes for the 1984 sequel "Meatballs Part II", but still, I did sit down to watch it.
Actually, and oddly enough, then I was actually more entertained with this 1984 sequel than I was with the 1979 original "Meatballs" movie. Yeah, odd, I know, right?
The storyline in this 1984 movie seemed more coherent and structured, whereas the storyline in the first movie seemed chaotic and made up as the director went along. So this coherency in this 1984 movie definitely added to the overall enjoyment of the movie.
However, this still wasn't a movie that really made me laugh, it got a few smiles here and there, but not making me laugh. Which was disappointed, especially since this is a comedy. And that fact makes me not want to return to watch "Meatballs Part II" a second time around.
The alien creature in the movie was actually some of the best parts of the entire movie, because it was so cheesy and campy.
The acting in the movie was adequate, taking into consideration the type of movie this is and the script presented to the actors and actresses. It was, however, a nice treat to see the likes of Richard Mulligan, John Larroquette and Paul Reubens in a movie such as this.
My rating of "Meatballs Part II" is a mere four out of ten stars.
Mediocre at best...
Alright, well oddly enough I have never seen or heard about "Meatballs" before this late in 2019. I stumbled upon the movie by sheer chance, picked up the DVD and saw that Bill Murray was in it, and it looked like a typical comedy, so of course I sat down to watch it.
"Meatballs" wasn't really a movie that brought about any laughs for me. Sure, the movie was watchable, but it was just lacking something fundamental to make it interesting and enjoyable for me. Perhaps it was because of the humor that was to be found throughout the course of the movie, it just didn't really appeal to me. And I also found the movie to be a bit too generic and not really standing out from other similar comedies.
This 1979 movie was hardly the brightest moment in the career of Bill Murray, but he does add to the movie with his usual charm and goofball demeanor.
For a comedy, then I found "Meatballs" to be a bit too generic and just lacking contents to make it a worthwhile movie. And while I did manage to sit through the entire movie, then it is hardly a movie that I will be returning to watch a second time.
My rating of "Meatballs" is a very generic and less than mediocre three out of ten stars. There are far better late teenage comedies readily available out there.
Humanoids from the Deep (1980)
Now this was actually a surprise of a movie...
Right, well it wasn't before 2019 that I even heard or knew about this 1980s movie titled "Humanoids from the Deep". But being a lifelong horror fan, I took the chance to sit down and watch this movie from directors Barbara Peeters and Jimmy T. Murakami.
Sure, the movie was showing telltale signs of being old and being an archetypical 80s horror movie, for better or worse. The movie was campy and goofy, for sure, but at the same time it was actually enjoyable and entertaining to sit through.
The storyline was generic and predictable, no doubt about it. But still, writers Frank Arnold, Martin B. Cohen and William Martin actually managed to come up with something that just worked. There is something about monstrous creatures emerging from the depths of the oceans to stalk and prey on mankind. So that definitely worked for me.
What didn't really work was the unnecessary nudity and things like the amphibious humanoids ripping bikini tops of women before attacking and attempting to mate with the female humans.
For a movie from 1980, then I will say that the special effects and practical effects were actually surprisingly good, and actually still are sort of passable for today. There was a fair amount of gore and grisly make-up in terms of wounds and mayhem, which I found enjoyable and surprising for a movie such as this. And the creature design was actually interesting and worked quite well.
The acting in the movie was fair, this is a 1980s horror movie after all, so you shouldn't go expecting a Shakespearian experience. You know what you are getting here.
All in all, "Humanoids from the Deep" was actually a surprisingly nice and enjoyable horror movie, despite of its age. And I am giving it a rock solid six out of ten stars. The movie is actually well worth taking the time to sit down and watch if you haven't already seen it.
Shark Attack 2 (2000)
Get past the growling lions (or sharks), and the movie is actually fair...
Well, first of all "Shark Attack 2" from 2000 is not "Jaws", not even close to being that. But still, it actually turned out to be an enjoyable shark movie, nonetheless. I must admit that I hadn't actually expected it to be what it turned out to be. But I still sat down to watch it, given my interest in sharks.
This 2000 movie from NU Image and director David Worth actually had a wholesome sense of enjoyment and entertainment to it. Sure, you know what you are getting, and writers Scott Devine and William Hooke do actually deliver that spot on.
Was the movie predictable? You betcha. But that is just a part of the genre, I suppose. So you shouldn't sit down to watch the 2000 movie "Shark Attack 2" and expecting it to revolutionize the shark genre.
The effects in the movie were for the most parts quite good and passed as being good. However, some scenes were not as fortunate and the shark looked like an inflatable shark in one scene where it emerged from the water, I kid you not.
One thing that was horrible was the sounds that they opted to add for the sharks. First of all sharks do not possess vocal cords to produce such sounds, and why would they even sound like growling sharks in the first place? Sure, I get it to add effect to the movie, but it was working in the exact opposite, because it dumbed down the movie and made it goofy and have a horrible B-movie aspect to it.
If you enjoy shark movies, then "Shark Attack 2" is actually a fair enough addition to the genre, and I think it is actually worth the time and effort to sit down and watch it. I would have rated the movie six out of ten stars, but because of the atrocious growling of the sharks, then I have to settle on a campy and dumbed-down five out of ten stars. Those sounds just spoiled it and took away so much from the movie.
Komodo vs. Cobra (2005)
This was a questionable experience...
Well, watching the 2005 "Komodo vs. Cobra" for the second time since it was released doesn't really make it a better viewing experience. This movie from director Jim Wynorski does, however, deliver exactly what you would expect from a movie such as this, so that at least counts for something, I guess...
"Komodo vs. Cobra" is by no means a particularly outstanding movie, and even for a creature feature, then it hardly offered anything interesting to the genre. It was pretty generic, predictable and very monotonous.
One thing that I did enjoy, however, in the movie was the endless supply of bullet rounds that could be stored in the handguns they were using. In one scene I counted over 55 bullets fired from a single gun, and there was no reloading. Actually, this happened a couple of times throughout the course of the movie, which was just infinitely stupid. Seriously? Wouldn't you think at least someone on the set would raise a hand and go "uhm, excuse me? But shouldn't there be at least some realism in the movie?"
The acting in "Komodo vs. Cobra" was pretty much as you'd expect. People were doing fair enough jobs with their given roles and characters, but they just had so very little material to work with in terms of character development, a proper storyline and a plausible and realistic approach to the whole situations.
The CGI special effects in the movie were reminiscent of something you would experience in a 1990s computer game. So don't get your hopes up in terms of seeing amazing CGI with super realistic reptiles. That ain't happening here.
For a creature feature then "Komodo vs. Cobra" is pretty stupid - yeah, let's just be bluntly honest. There are far better movies with monstrous critters readily available, and it is hard to find a reason for suggesting you taking the time to sit down to watch the 2005 movie "Komodo vs. Cobra", unless you have a thing for cheesy, campy and less than mediocre creature features.
I am rating "Komodo vs. Cobra" a mere three out of ten stars, and I am feeling mighty generous right now, actually.
Shanghai Fortress (2019)
Earth's last defense falls upon China...
Oddly enough, then "Shanghai Fortress" had managed to stay under my radar, and it wasn't before I was browsing through the movies on Netflix that it happened to pop up.
I was immediately interested in watching the movie, given the synopsis and also because it starred Shu Qi.
First of all, then it should be said that the storyline written by Jiang Nan wasn't exactly rocket science. This was pretty much generic to the core. It was everything you could and would expect from a sci-fi action movie of this type, for better or worse. Well, at least you know what you are getting yourself into when you sit down to watch "Shanghai Fortress". This is hardly a movie that sets new milestones or move existing borders.
That being said, then I will move straight on to saying that while the storyline was generic and predictable, then the movie was actually quite entertaining and enjoyable, nonetheless.
The visual department really upped their game in this movie. And it was such a visual treat to sit down and watch the CGI effects in "Shanghai Fortress", and I think this is actually the first Chinese movie I have seen that have put on this type of grand display usage of CGI. It was marvelous and it really carried the movie a lot of the way, given the shortcomings of the storyline and script.
They had some fairly nicely talented actors and actresses on the cast list. I wasn't familiar with the most of them, which actually is a nice thing for me, as I enjoy seeing new talents and not associate their faces with previously played roles and characters. But for, I must admit, then it was Shu Qi that had the spotlight in "Shanghai Fortress". I have been a fan of hers for a long, long time and she was good in this movie, though it wasn't her best performance in her career.
All in all, if you enjoy a good old fashioned alien invasion movie, then give "Shanghai Fortress" a chance. I enjoyed it from start to end, and I am rating the movie a solid six out of ten stars.
Yôkai daisensô (2005)
Watchable for sure, but not a great movie...
I think I watched "Yôkai daisensô" (aka "The Great Yokai War") back around in 2006 or so. But I don't really recall the movie, so I sat down to watch it again here in 2019, as I was presented with the chance to watch it again.
It should be said that the movie definitely has a lot of interesting costumes and creature designs throughout the scenes, but the storyline was watered down and almost non-existing. And that was a shame, because the movie suffered from having an inferior storyline and a weakly written script.
Granted, the movie is from 2005, but the CGI special effects look like something you'd see in a late 1990s computer game in many instances. And that wasn't really helping the movie along either.
What did work in the movie was most of the acting performances, as they put on good performances, despite of having little to work with in terms of a proper script and storyline. And also the creature design, that was definitely a plus for the movie.
This is not really your average Takashi Miike movie. I mean, the director definitely have some odd and interesting movies to his director career, but "The Great Yokai War" is a deviation, even for Takashi Miike.
All in all, "The Great Yokai War" was mediocre in terms of entertainment value and enjoyment. So I am rating it a five out of ten stars.
But it had so much potential...
I saw the trailer for "Yesterday" in the cinema and I must admit that the trailer was cut and edited in a manner that really made the movie look interesting. And thus I ended up eventually sitting down to watch this movie from director Danny Boyle.
First of all, the fact that it was directed by Danny Boyle hardly brought any excitement for me. Not that he is not a good director, but I am not the type of person whom watches movies solely because of whom has been behind the camera.
Secondly, "Yesterday" definitely had potential, and it was heading down a great path, right up until about halfway through the movie, which was about an hour in, give or take. Then the air just seeped out of the balloon and it went horribly flaccid and mundane. The storyline just crashed entirely for me at that point and the movie spiralled into mediocrity fast and irrevocably. It just got repetitive to watch the things that took place on the screen.
And the movie was long, so terribly, terribly long. And given the fact that the last half of the movie was so mundane didn't exactly help to lift up the enjoyment of sitting through the movie as it trotted onwards in a generic and monotonous pace.
Ed Sheeran was in the movie, playing himself. My wife liked that he was in the movie. Me? Not so much, as he is merely a pop musician of no importance as I don't like his music or that genre of music he plays. So that really didn't excite me to see him.
I will say that Himesh Patel carries himself and the movie quite well with his performance and his on-screen charisma. But it was a shame that the movie just nosedived halfway through. Kate McKinnon was in the movie, but it was so hard to tell if she was portraying the same character she did in the abysmal "Ghostbusters" remake, or if she is seriously ill-equipped for acting and she just everything the same way.
"Yesterday" definitely had potential, but it ended up being a less than mediocre movie at the end, when it comes to it for me. The movie was cut down because of its pacing, because of its length and because it just simply rolled over and decided to die halfway through.
I am rating "Yesterday" a generous four out of ten stars.
Chemical Peel (2014)
Adequately entertaining, but actually too predictable...
I stumbled upon the 2014 movie "Chemical Peel" in 2019 and I hadn't even heard about it. But I read the synopsis and it sounded like this might actually be an interesting movie, so of course I sat down to watch it.
I will say that the concept idea behind Hank Braxtan's movie was interesting, and the movie definitely had lots of potential, but something was just lost along the way, because the movie never really got out of the mediocre muck that it settled into. It was a shame, because "Chemical Peel" could have been so much more, but it ended up being a mediocre horror movie that came and went without leaving much of a print. Perhaps it was all the things that were never brought to fruition or the seeds that were planted but never given a chance to be used in the movie, or perhaps the fact that the movie was overly predictable.
"Chemical Peel" has some interesting special effects, which unfortunately had a tendency of falling over into the cheap production value side of the box. That was a shame, because with a bit more effort on the special effects and make-up side, then "Chemical Peel" would have been more visually pleasing.
As for the acting, well it was mostly adequate. There weren't really any outstanding performances in the midst here, as the ladies seemed to be about the same level of skills, for better or worse.
The ending of the movie was definitely not satisfying and it most surely helped to drag the movie down with its stupidity. That ending was seriously a slap in the face with a cold, dead fish for us in the audience that had been sitting through the entire movie.
"Chemical Peel" didn't leave any lasting impressions with me, and it is sadly a movie that will fade into the fogs of oblivion and never come out to be watched a second time.
American Idiots (2013)
A comedy without the comedy...
Well, I must admit that I didn't really have much of any expectations for this 2013 movie titled "American Idiots", aside from it being a comedy and a road trip movie.
Turns out that this movie from director Robert Taleghany and writer Jeffrey T. Schoettlin wasn't really much of an entertaining movie. At least it failed to really entertain me and I actually didn't even laugh once throughout the course of the movie.
Storywise then "American Idiots" is as straight forward as it could possibly be, to the point of where it became generic and just predictable. And writer Jeffrey T. Schoettlin offered literally nothing in terms of making the storyline interesting, as it just cruised onwards on autopilot.
You shouldn't be setting yourself up for expecting a grand presentation of acting performances here in "American Idiots". Because you'll be sorely disappointed. I mean, some of the actors and actresses were adequate, while others were just downright out of their element and league.
There are far better comedies readily available of this particular genre of comedy.
I am rating "American Idiots" a mere three out of ten stars, and I can in all honesty say that I am not returning to watch this movie a second time.
Gojira vs. Biorante (1989)
Plants vs. Zom... ehhhr, Godzilla...
This 1989 addition to the "Godzilla" franchise, was something of a swing and a miss for me. Oddly enough, as I have been enjoying most of these older "Godzilla" movies.
So why? Well, because of the fact that Godzilla was fighting a huge genetically manipulated plant-like creature that eventually mutated into something of a mixture between a kaiju and a plant. It just wasn't all that interesting to me.
And also because the human side drama that took place in this 1989 was even more pointless than it usually has been in the many other movies. For me, the human stories are just fillers, but the storyline in "Gojira vs. Biorante" (aka "Godzilla vs Biollante") was just downright stupid and boring.
The special effects in the movie were actually good, taking into consideration the type of movie that it is. But it wasn't really among the most impressive that the Japanese "Godzilla" movies have to offer, not even by a longshot.
Sure, "Godzilla vs Biollante" was watchable, but it is hardly a movie that I will be watching a second time around. My rating of the movie lands on a less than mediocre four out of ten stars.
Child's Play (2019)
No. Just no...
Right, well if you ever have seen any of the old "Child's Play" movies where it is Brad Dourif voicing the Chucky doll, then you might want to do yourself a favor and give this abysmal 2019 reboot (or remake, whatever Hollywood wants to call it) a wide berth.
This 2019 movie was every bit as horrible as I had expected and anticipated it to be. I mean, you don't go back and meddle with the classics; just look at what happened with "IT", "Pet Sematary" and "Poltergeist" to mention but a few of classic horror movies that were wronged horribly by Hollywood's quest to revisit things that worked and try to make it better.
Can't really say that director Lars Klevberg did anything particularly great here with the script and storyline as written by Tyler Burton Smith.
Sure, most of us are already well familiar with the story and legacy of Charles Lee Ray and Chucky, which just makes this 2019 remake such an unnecessary movie. And it didn't help much that the movie was unfathomably generic and horribly scripted. Actually, for a seasoned horror veteran as myself and having grown up with the "Child's Play" movies from the very first, then this 2019 was a slap to the face with a cold, dead fish.
Sure, they changed the script and storyline and Charles Lee Ray is not even a part of the storyline in this ghastly remake. And the changes weren't really all that good.
And what is up with the appearance of Chucky in this 2019 version? He doesn't even look nearly as off or disturbing as he did in the old movies. In fact, there is just something way too cartoonish about the way he looks now and it doesn't suit the Chucky character one bit.
Now, what does work for the movie is the fact that they have Mark Hamill voicing Chucky. But while Mark Hamill does indeed have a very characteristic voice and I have been a fan of him since "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope", then he is by no means no Brad Dourif. Not even close.
I am sure that this 2019 "Child's Play" movie will find a niche with younger viewers whom might never have seen or even heard of the old classics. But for us whom have and do like the classics, this was just a train wreck.
Satanic Panic (2019)
Not very Satanic, and not much panic...
I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into when I sat down to watch the 2019 movie "Satanic Panic" from director Chelsea Stardust. I had sort of expected a horror comedy.
And sure, the movie is labeled as a horror comedy, but it utterly failed on both accounts. I wasn't the least bit amused with the events taking place on the screen throughout the movie as the insanely mundane and generic storyline unfurled. It was just atrocious how generic and stereotypical everything in this movie turned out to be.
"Satanic Panic" offers nothing new to the horror genre, and it turned out to be a dead fish in the water sort of movie. The writers sat out to accomplish a heap of things with the storyline, but it wasn't a fulfilling experience to watch on the screen.
The acting in the movie was adequate, but the actors and actresses could do nothing to manage to salvage this train wreck that was fast sliding down a very steep hill.
It should be said that the special effects department actually managed to do a fair job with the effects, both practical and CGI. So that worked well enough in favor of the movie. But sadly it just couldn't do much to salvage everything else that was bad - which was the majority of the movie.
If you enjoy horror comedies, then there are far, far better choices readily available. I am rating "Satanic Panic" a meager three out of ten stars, because it was a boring movie and it failed to be horror and it failed to be comedy.
Gojira vs. Kingu Gidorâ (1991)
Time traveling now? Seriously?...
This 1991 addition to the "Godzilla" franchise is one of the less interesting and entertaining of the movies actually. But still, I sat down to watch it, as I have been watching a lot of the old Japanese "Godzilla" movies, so I eventually found my way to "Gojira vs. Kingu Gidorâ" (aka "Godzilla vs King Ghidorah") as well.
So why is it a less interesting movie? Well, simply because of the storyline and plot. Time travelers from 2404, or thereabouts, coming back to 1992 Japan to set in motion a ... Well, I will not spoil it, for those about to sit down and actually watch this movie.
Let's just say that I found the storyline unfathomably ridiculous, and if it wasn't for the kaiju action towards the end of the movie and the upgrade made to King Ghidorah, then I would have rated "Godzilla vs King Ghidorah" a mere three stars, but because of this, the movie managed to sneak up on a four out of ten star rating from me.
The special effects in the movie were bland. The kaiju fights were good, and both Godzilla and King Ghidorah looked pretty interesting. However, the green screen scenes in the movie were just atrociously bad, and the black border around everything was just a testament to the lousy work on the special effects.
And the thing about incorporating Western actors and having them speak Japanese just makes little sense.
I managed to sit through to the very end of "Godzilla vs King Ghidorah", but I wasn't particularly impressed or entertained for that matter. The storyline was just atrocious and was such an insult to the audience. This 1991 addition to the "Godzilla" franchise is definitely not a movie that will find its way back to my media center a second time.
Dark Phoenix (2019)
An "X-Men" movie for an adult audience...
Granted, I am not much of a fan of superhero movies, but still I find the time to sit down and watch them because they are actually fun enough to watch for the mindless entertaining they turn out to be. And if nothing else, then the special effects are usually more than enough to keep me entertained.
On that premise I ended up sitting down to watch "Dark Phoenix". And I am actually glad that I did, because this 2019 addition to the "X-Men" franchise turned out to be the most entertaining of the movie and also the movie in the franchise that was mostly appealing to an adult audience. So that was a definite plus in my book.
Director Simon Kinberg did a great job in putting the script to life on the movie screen, and it was done with such interesting detail that you might actually want to sit down and watch the movie twice. The first time for the story, the second time to take in all the details in the special effects and sets.
Now, "Dark Phoenix" definitely has an interesting cast ensemble, and I am very pleased to see James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender in their roles, because they do it so well. I am not a fan of Sophie Turner, but I will say that she carried herself and the movie phenomenally here, so thumbs up for that.
As for the speciel effects, well... This is a Marvel movie, need anything else really be said? The special effects and CGI in "Dark Phoenix" are phenomenal and it is a visual treat to sit down and watch the movie.
I was more than genuinely entertained by what I saw here, both in terms of storyline and special effects. And I am rating "Dark Phoenix" seven out of ten stars. If you enjoy the "X-Men" franchise, then "Dark Phoenix" is definitely a movie well worth watching.
Contamination .7 (1993)
Who knew something could be so boring...
This 1993 movie titled "The Crawler" or "Contamination .7" was one that I hadn't even heard about prior to finding it in 2019. I do enjoy horror movies, so of course I picked it up and gave it a chance.
Turned out that I could only manage to endure about 50 minutes of this ordeal, then I simply was fed up and called it quits. This movie was pointless, boring and very unimaginative. Oddly enough that I managed to endure 50 minutes, because I was ready to turn it off about 20 minutes in. But I decided to stick with it, just in case the movie would pick up its pace and actually become interesting...
That never happened.
The storyline told in this movie was abysmal, and it really didn't help one bit that the character in the movie were flaccid and had the appeal of wet cardboard. Actually, I didn't even stick around long enough to find out what was really going on in the movie. But being bored out of my mind, I had zero interest in lingering about this self-torture of a movie experience.
I am rating the movie two out of ten stars, solely because of the production value. If you enjoy a good horror movie, give "The Crawlers" or "Contamination .7" a wide berth.
The Dead Don't Die (2019)
Oh wow, this was dreadful...
I had such high hopes for this movie. I mean, a zombie horror comedy with a star crammed cast, as this was all that director and writer Jim Jarmusch could muster? This was such a disappointing movie in so many, many ways.
First of all, the storyline and the pacing of the movie was just atrocious. The movie was unfathomably slow paced to the point of where boredom was starting to set in and you were really to just hold out a hand and let a zombie chomp down on your flesh.
And when the movie finally does pick up pace, which wasn't very much actually, it wasn't much of an improvement. Especially since the storyline and script was essentially non-existing and just rubbish.
Sure, the zombie aspect of the movie was good, and it was that which lured me to watch the movie after all, as I am a fan of all things zombie. But this was just way, way too boring. And then suddenly a flying saucer turned up, and people started to talk about a script implying that they were in a movie. I was good and ready to just get up and walk out on "The Dead Don't Die" at that point. But I stuck with it to the end, to the boring, prolonged and boring end.
The zombie make-up was good, so that at least counted for something, but it wasn't enough to make up for everything else where the movie either lacked, came in short or just didn't even bother to make an effort.
Now, the movie does have a very impressive assembly of cast, which includes Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tom Waits, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi and Danny Glover.
There was a healthy dose of sarcasm in the movie, small bits and pieces that you might not pick up on. But that was actually a nice thing about the movie, such as Adam Driver's character having a Star Destroyer keyring, zombies walking with mobile phones groaning "wifi", zombies drinking coffee and groaning "coffee", Buscemi's red cap with a slogan that openly mocks Trump's slogan, and odd bits and pieces like that could be found throughout the movie.
Sadly "The Dead Don't Die" is not a movie that I will be returning to watch a second time, because it was just horribly boring and so slow paced that even the zombies were going "hey, Jim Jarmusch, you mind picking up the pace?"
My rating of "The Dead Don't Die" is going to be settling on a very low three out of ten stars. The movie had potential, but it failed in almost every aspect. The comedy in the movie was flaccid and just infantile. The storyline and plot was abysmal. And it was a massive swing and a miss of something that could have been such a glorious thing...
The movie was, in lack of better terms, dreadful. And it being a zombie movie makes me cringe just having to admit to saying that about it. But hey, not everything zombiesque is amazing, huh?
The Haunting (1999)
A rather good haunted house movie...
I have seen the 1999 movie "The Haunting" a couple of times now over the years since it was initially released. Well, this remake, I mean, not the original movie.
Personally, then I do enjoy it, as it is a rather good supernatural haunting genre movie. Sure, there are flaws to it, but in overall, then this movie makes for good entertainment and I will say that director Jan de Bont was good at setting up the scenes and building up suspense and thrills.
First of all, the movie boasts a pretty impressive cast list, which includes the likes of Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson, Lily Taylor, Bruce Dern and Virginia Madsen. So there is an abundance of good acting performers in the movie in various roles.
And the movie also have some pretty nice special effects, which were definitely super spectacular in 1999 as the movie was released. But I will say that the special effects actually still hold their own even in 2019, passing as something you could just as easily see in movies made today.
And looking at the incredible details they put into the house, that is enough to boggle your mind. Actually the movie is worth sitting down to watch a second time, just to pay attention to the level of incredible detail they put into Hill House. It is spectacular, and there is just so much to see. I keep finding more details every time I sit down to watch it. So thumbs up, way, way, way up for the commitment put into the sets and props.
The storyline told in "The Haunting" is pretty straight forward, actually to the point where it becomes generic in terms of a haunted house story. But hey, we know what we are in for when we sit down to watch a movie such as this. Regardless, I was - and still am - more than entertained by this movie when I have sat down to watch it over the years. So the movie does have enough contents to it to sustain more than a single viewing.
While this is a supernatural haunted house movie in the horror genre, then the movie wasn't really scary to a seasoned horror veteran such as myself. But luckily it is the storyline and the suspense and building up the scenes that keeps the movie fresh and interesting.
If you enjoy haunting movies, then you definitely should take the time to sit down and watch the 1999 "The Haunting" if you haven't already seen it.
Well, the franchise had to start somewhere...
This 1954 "Gojira" movie is the movie that kickstarted the franchise. But oddly so, since the movie hardly was all that fantastic.
Granted, we need to keep in mind that the movie was made in 1954, but still, it wasn't a particularly thrilling or exciting movie. I found the storyline to be slow, dull and rather mundane actually, and I started to drift towards dreamland more than once throughout the course of the 1 hour and 36 minutes that the movie ran for, because it felt like a 3 or 4 hour long movie.
It was interesting, though, that they opted to kill Godzilla off in this movie. But I guess they weren't counting on it sparking a massive franchise.
The special effects were actually fair enough, again taking into consideration that the movie was from 1954. Some scenes though were just so poorly made that you could see it was toys and miniature models being used, and I doubt it would even pass for being realistic back in 1954.
For me the movie was way too lacking on kaiju action, and all the human drama was just too stupid and tedious to witness on the screen. Hence, it was severely dragging down the movie in terms of enjoyment and entertainment value for me. My rating of "Gojira" (aka "Godzilla") is a mere four out of ten stars. This was hardly a memorable addition to the "Godzilla" franchise for me.
Return to Zombie Island with the Mystery Gang...
I bought the original "Zombie Island" Scooby-Doo! adventure for my son on DVD, and then we happened to come across this 2019 revisit to the island. I must say that my son was quite thrilled to get to sit down and watch this one.
I, on the other hand, wasn't as thrilled, but still, I did sit down to watch it, knowing quite well what I was getting myself into, as Hanna-Barbera never breaks the Scooby-Doo! formula by an inch. But still, the animated movie promised zombies, and I am a fan of anything zombiesque.
Turns out that "Scooby-Doo: Return to Zombie Island" was actually an entertaining animated movie, despite of it being very, very true to the 'how-to-make-a-Scooby-Doo-animated-movie' formula. But hey, at least this is part of the charm of the Scooby-Doo! franchise. You know what you get.
The animation and art style in the 2019 "Scooby-Doo: Return to Zombie Island" was quite good, and definitely helped keeping my interest ablaze. However, the storyline was faltering and wavering at times and I did feel my interest waning at times. And unfortunately there just wasn't all that much zombie action throughout the course of "Scooby-Doo: Return to Zombie Island".
It is, of course, always a nice treat for the audience to have Frank Welker, Grey Griffin, Matthew Lillard and Kate Micucci doing the voices in this animated Scooby-Doo! adventures. But I will say that "Scooby-Doo: Return to Zombie Island" held a wonderful surprise for me, because it had none other than the Mistress of the Dark herself as a cameo in the show - Elvira (aka Cassandra Peterson). Now that was a fabulous surprise, and it makes it worth to sit through this animated adventure, if for nothing else.
Yeah, you know what you get, and the ending of the mystery is, well... I don't even have to say anything, because you also already know how it ends. Yep, following the blueprint to the letter.
But it was enjoyable nonetheless, and hence I am rating "Scooby-Doo: Return to Zombie Island" a score of six out of ten stars.
Gamera 2: Region shurai (1996)
Better than the first movie...
I had a little bit of reluctance of sitting down to watch "Gamera 2: Region shurai" (aka "Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion") because the first "Gamera" movie wasn't really all that impressive.
But continuing on in my recent kaiju marathon, I eventually ended up with "Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion", so I did sit down and watch it.
Good thing that I did, because "Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion" turned out to be quite more interesting and entertaining that the predecessor movie was. So I was actually genuinely entertained with what I saw in "Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion".
There is an abundance of destruction throughout the course of this 1996 movie, which more than definitely pleased me. I watch these movies for the kaijus and the mayhem they happen to bring with them in their wake. And "Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion" definitely delivered on that account.
The kaiju designs in the movie were good, as were the special effects in general. I liked how Gamera looked in the movie, and also the appearance of his enemy - Legion? - because there was a lot of nice details and just a general interesting appearance to them both.
Like all kaiju movies, the kaiju action is "spruced" up with some human drama. To me, the human drama aspects of these movies always sort of take a background position, because it is never as interesting as the wanton destruction of the kaijus and the massive fights between them.
All in all, "Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion" is definitely worth taking the time to sit down and watch. And my rating is a strong six out of ten stars.
Itsy Bitsy (2019)
I wasn't really expecting much from "Itsy Bitsy" given the fact that a lot of movies with monstrous spiders in them tend to be quite questionable, either in special effects or just the overall plot.
However, I still sat down to watch the 2019 movie "Itsy Bitsy", despite of its somewhat cheesy title. After all, it is a creature feature and I do enjoy such horror movies. And luckily so, because "Itsy Bitsy" from writers Jason Alvino, Bryan Dick and Micah Gallo actually turned out to be rather enjoyable.
The storyline told here in "Itsy Bitsy" was a bit over simplified. I mean, an ancient urn is broken and a carnivorous spider is awoken in the process. Sure, it sounds like an interesting tale, but look at it realistically, then it was just actually a stupid storyline. But still, for a creature feature of this kind, you don't need realism - you need a solid creature and an entertaining movie.
Turns out that "Itsy Bitsy" actually had that and was that, so this was actually an entertaining and enjoyable movie.
And the spider in the movie was just phenomenal. It really looked realistic, and it was such a joy to watch it scuttle about in the movie and do its business. And for a creature feature, then having believable and realistic special effects and/or CGI is everything. They had that here, so thumbs up to the special effects team.
It was nice to see Bruce Davison in a movie such as this, and he really performed well in his role. I wasn't particularly familiar with Elizabeth Roberts, but she performed quite well also, and she had a very interesting character to work with in the movie. And if you are a true horror fan, then you will be pleased to see that Denise Crosby is also in the movie.
I can warmly recommend that you take the time to sit down and watch "Itsy Bitsy" if you enjoy creature features that have that old school classic feel to it in terms of horror movies. I am rating "Itsy Bitsy" seven out of ten stars.
Gojira vs. Mosura (1992)
It was actually quite good...
I sat down to watch the 1992 "Gojira vs. Mosura" (aka "Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth") without much of any particular expectations, aside from it being your average traditional "Godzilla" movie.
And true enough, this is actually what "Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth" turned out to be, but there was just something about the storyline that made it just a tad more outstanding than your average, generic mass-produced "Godzilla" flick. Perhaps it was because of Mothra and Battra? I enjoyed that aspect of the movie quite a lot actually.
The special effects in the movie were good, and they definitely helped to bring the movie to life in a more enjoyable fashion. Sure, the movie was made in 1992, and the effects are showing their age. But still, there is just something charming about them still using miniature models in 1992.
The more of these movies I watch, the more both Godzilla and Mothra grow on me. And believe you me, I have sat through a lot of the older "Godzilla" movies by now.
Storywise, then "Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth" turned out to be just another run-of-the-mill storyline and script made from the 'how-to-make-a-Godzilla-movie-for-dummies". So don't go expecting a revolutionary chapter in the "Godzilla" franchise from writer Kazuki Ohmori and director Takao Okawara.
But all in all, an enjoyable and entertaining movie. I am rating "Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth" a solid six out of ten stars.
This was pretty good...
The 2000 installment into the "Godzilla" franchise didn't really prove to be particularly innovative or revolutionary in terms of script, storyline or action. But still, it turned out to be entertaining and actually had enough mayhem and destruction to it that it was above average. Which was good.
With the "Gojira tai Megagirasu: Jî shômetsu sakusen" (aka "Godzilla vs. Megaguirus") you know what you are getting yourself into. And the movie did deliver on that account. However, the whole black hole aspect of the movie was a little bit too far out there, but luckily it was more than salvaged and made up for with the action and the fact that both Godzilla and Megaguirus looked really awesome in this 2000 movie.
As for the characters in the movie, well this is a "Godzilla" movie, so don't expect anything Shakespearian or particularly outstanding. The characters are, as they tend to be in "Godzilla" movies, generic and fairly flaccid like cardboard cut-out figures.
The special effects in the movie were good. And I was genuinely impressed with the appearance of the kaijus in this movie, because it really added a lot of enjoyment to the movie for me.
This movie was definitely among the more enjoyable of the 'older', I use that term lightly here, "Godzilla" movies, and if you enjoy the franchise, then you definitely would want to sit down and watch "Godzilla vs. Megaguirus" if you haven't already seen it.