Showing posts from April 28, 2019

Review: Gojira

Created out of man’s usage of nuclear technology during WWII, the title giant radioactive creature emerges from the Pacific Ocean to cause havoc across Tokyo. Eye-patch sporting scientist Akihiko Hirata has created a potentially Gojira-killing weapon dubbed the ‘Oxygen Destroyer’, but is hemming and hawing over releasing such a destructive device, should it end up in the wrong hands. Hirata is also one part of a love triangle including military man Akira Takarada and Momoko Kochi. Kochi is the daughter of palaeontologist Takashi Shimura.

Although I’m personally more partial to the all-star “Destroy All Monsters”, if it weren’t for this 1954 original from writer-director Ishiro Honda (“Destroy All Monsters”, the similarly underrated “Godzilla vs. Monster Zero”), the entire long-running Godzilla phenomenon wouldn’t ever have existed. It’s a terrific, stark piece of disaster/sci-fi entertainment instead of the usual fun and silliness the series would often serve up subsequently. Godzilla…

Review: Trading Places

Two black-hearted, cynical commodities traders (Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy) make a wager: Take a man of the streets and a man of means and switch their circumstances to see if they can survive. A nature vs. nurture social experiment, basically. The man of means is commodities broker Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd), whilst the man of the streets is homeless African-American con artist Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy). Valentine actually takes to his new circumstance relatively well, but poor Winthorpe struggles, even ending up in jail and shacking up with hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis) as he tries to work out just what in the hell has gone wrong. Denholm Elliott plays a butler reluctantly involved in the bet.

The films of director John Landis (“Three Amigos!”, “Spies Like Us”, “Coming to America”) don’t get a whole lot of critical love, and I believe some of that may be due to matters not pertaining to the quality of the films themselves, but controversial…

Review: Jigsaw

Pathologist Matt Passmore and Detective Callum Keith Rennie discover someone claiming to be John ‘Jigsaw’ Kramer is leaving a trail of bodies. Is Kramer (Tobin Bell) somehow still alive? Or is there a disciple/copycat out there? Meanwhile, a bunch of strangers wake up as unwitting participant in usual ‘Jigsaw’ puzzle shenanigans.

Weren’t we done with this shit? Didn’t they promise last time would be the “Final Chapter”? Oh, see that was called “Saw” and this one’s “Jigsaw”, so it’s totally different. Nope, it’s the same old shit, better than some, worse than others. Oh well, I guess “Friday the 13th” and the “Elm Street” films laid the precedent for B.S. marketing. Directed by Australia’s hack-y Spierig Brothers (whose “Predestination” was quite overrated but quite good), this 2017 film is deathly dull. It’s barely even a horror film, playing mostly like a police procedural/serial killer film with a Rube Goldberg fetish. I don’t think the previous films were scary either, they were al…

Review: Lady Bird

Wilful teenager Christine AKA Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan) squabbles with her no-nonsense mother (Laurie Metcalf), oscillates between two very different boys (Timothee Chalamet and Lucas Hedges), and is kind of an all-round snarky bitch to everyone. Lois Smith plays a nun at Christine’s Catholic school, Tracy Letts is Christine’s sad-sack father.

Well-acted, rather brief semi-autobiographical drama from 2017 doesn’t ultimately have anything else of note to it unless being written and directed by a woman – actress Greta Gerwig – is of any particular speciality to you. Otherwise it’s a pleasant, likeable film with nothing in the way of surprises or substantiality to help linger terribly long in the memory.

The script is the issue for me, it’s so clich├ęd and archaic that you can see where it’s all headed long before its wilful main character does. Hell, for a long time I found myself wondering if it was going to get anywhere at all, so perhaps I should’ve been happy that it finally did, pre…