Godzilla – Really, Really Cool…and the literal definition of Cocktease

I’m just back from watching this movie. Although my head hurt due to dehydration, the movie kept me hooked completely.

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Now, long before its release, it seemed, at least to me, that the trailers were telling us that this was basically going to be a horror movie with action undertones. This didn’t seem to be the case  -much to my disappointment, might I add- but the movie was strong on its own.

The highlights of this movie are performances by Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Strathairn, Binoche, along with the ambientation and the production as a whole. The music is perfectly fitting for this movie, and the sound is so well done it sometimes outdoes the already-excellent visuals of the film.

My one gripe with this movie, however, is how they were trying to force us to like and care for two otherwise useless and pointless characters in the movie: the wife (Elizabeth Olsen) and the kid. There was absolutely no point for them to be in this movie.

On the other hand, Bryan Cranston’s character is the most enjoyable and sympathetic character in the movie, while Dr. Serizawa, played by Ken Watanabe, has an air of the “old wise sage”, but with modern SCIENCE.

Another slight complaint I’d have, perhaps, is how they handled certai encounters between the featured monsters: for instance, in one of the encounters between Godzilla and MUTO, the two monsters are facing each other akin to the duelists of the Wild West, slowly stepping towards each other, Godzilla roaring, MUTO screaching. And then, all of the sudden, it cuts to the stupid little kid watching news footage of the fight.

And this isn’t the only time it happens.

However, the true battle -the final battle- of this move…completely makes up for the cocktease some of the previous ones were. They were glorious, well choreographed, well ambientated, well visualized. There’s also enough fanservice for fans of the original Japanese movies, and they might even catch some (possible, mind you) references to a few of those movies.

Overall this movie is a great experience, even for someone who isn’t big into Godzilla, or Kaiju, movies in general. I seriously recommend it to anyone who wants to have a great time.

Movies – Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first half (so to speak) was building up to The Avengers, all the way: from Iron Man’s ending to Selvigg working for S.H.I.E.L.D. at the end of Thor, everything was built up for this, establishing even the most minor elements that would appear in the 2012 epic.

However, in my perspective, it was actually building up to this particular movie instead.

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Now, a sequel for Captain America: The First Avenger was highly anticipated since the release of the aforementioned movie in 2011. I myself was pretty excited to know it would take place in modern times and not be some silly side-story set in World War II or something (yeah, yeah, I don’t read a lot of comics, sue me; I just fap to the girls’ pin ups).

Either way, I was pretty hyped for The Winter Soldier when it was announced, and even moreso when I knew more helicarriers were appearing, Falcon was appearing, we were getting more of delicious Johansson in that delicious, skin-tight black suit of hers, and of course, the Captain in modern times, with modern weapons, and all that jazz.

But the movie completely, much more better than I would have ever imagined. It was complex, it was thick, and the action was amazingly done, with great, live action fights and great use of CGI. Captain kicks all kinds of ass, as usual, and his adaptation to the real world is pretty amusing and nice to see; his friendship with Falcon is also a highlight of the movie, and although it doesn’t spend an entire hour exploring it, it handles in the most proper way possible, making it a believable and cool friendship; Scarlett Johansson was cool when fighting the bad guys, and hot, as usual – and the same goes for Maria Hill at that; and Samuel L. Jackson is a badass, again, as usual.

Although it isn’t brooding and “depressing” like the Nolan Batman movies, it does share their sense of complexity, and, when you look at it and think about it, it is a dark movie in the end, and what boosts this aspect of the movie is that it is not done in such an obvious, “in-your-face” kind of way like in Nolan’s Batman films. It also makes you go out of the theater, and think about what happened, all the consequences of what happened, and speculate what will come afterwards (especially after those after-credit scenes).

This movie kicked all kinds of ass, and I personally find it to be better than The Avengers, due to all the reasons I mentioned above. The Avengers is awesome, but when it comes to overall nature, The Winter Soldier is a superior film.

Have you seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier? What did you think about it?

Random Rambling – Alien 3 impressions

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Everyone who is a fan of the Alien movie series/franchise knows the story behind the troublesome -you could even call it “chaotic”- production behind Alien 3: all the scripts that were forwarded and rejected, the issue the H.R. Giger, typical executive meddling, the cocktease trailer, and the enormously -perhaps one could say, even “excessive”- expectations for it.

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Then there’s the reception for it: it didn’t perform like how Fox wanted in the states, only did decently in other parts of the world, and people involved in the previous movies felt that the film didn’t do justice to whatever was established before; Cameron was pissed at them killing certain characters in their certain ways of death, Biehn was also pissed at them using their likeness, and got quite some money out of this as a result. People weren’t as loving with it as they were with Alien, let alone Aliens, which was ingrained in pop culture with Hudson’s quotes and Vasquez and Apone’s Sergeant attitude – to the point that Hudson is used in image macros whenever someone wants to express despair, and geocities was full of shrines to even the most minor of characters like Crowe (remember Crowe?).

It reached a point when the director, David Fincher (Se7en) disowned the film because of how pissed he was at it, and most of all, the whole production process of it: the pressure to make a movie “worthy” of the previous two, the producers cancelling many of his creative decisions, shooting without a solid, finished script, and myriad of other things. Understandably, Fincher treats it how Cameron treats his flying Piranhas movie, perhaps even harsher.

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As for me? I wasn’t old enough back when it was released. Hell, I must’ve been five or six when it came out. I had watched the first two films with my cousin (who would introduce me to pretty much everything I love today), in one those beautiful LaserDiscs. You know, the big, enormous, discs encased in some of the most beautiful packages ever? The ones that people now scorn at and sell for cheap on EBay?

So I was familiar enough with the franchise by the time I watched Alien 3 on television for the first time, many, many years later. By that time, I had browsed message boards and web pages where Alien 3 was (usually) talked shit at. Sure, you had the fans of it, who loved it, but they were usually silent. I for one wasn’t impressed with the movie, but looking back, I was heavily influenced by my online peers’ opinions.

Then the Quadrilogy set came out, and I bought it, and I watched the so-called Assembly Cut.

I loved it.

 

All the stuff that was added made one hell of a great film. But I never bothered re-checking the original cut. Not until recently, when I decided to marathon the films, just for fun.

And I must admit, the original cut of Alien 3 is as solid as the Assembly Cut.

I just watched (a few hours before I finished this post, actually), and I loved it. Every second of it. Well, except for that part when Ripley shouts “No!” in the final parts of the film, and the dated CG effects. But everything else -music, production design, acting, setting- was not only interesting, but it was well-enough executed to make one hell of an entertaining movie.

Although there’s no denying the Assembly Cut is vastly superior to the original cut, I’d say the original cut is fairly capable of being considered comparable to the other first two films. Sure, I’d argue that it’s not as scary as the first one, or as exciting as the second one. But this third entry in the series is its own thing, and has its own, unique qualities that make it a truly great film.

So overall, I recommend Alien 3 for anyone who is a newcomer to the franchise, or has never actually watched it. And the Assembly Cut? I give it an even bigger recommendation. In fact, I recommend you watch both versions. It’s really cool to compare them, see where the Assembly Cut improves on things.

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So have you seen Alien 3? What do you think about it? Hate it, love it? Indifferent? Are you David Fincher and want to finally express your uncensored feelings towards it? Comment below, let me know.