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Topic: The Movie Thread

Posts 41 to 59 of 59

RR529

Project A-Ko (Amazon Prime Video) - 80's anime film that sees two high school girls (the cheerful A-Ko, whom has inhuman super strength, & C-Ko, who has a childlike cuteness & demeanor) transferring to a new school, and acclimating isn't easy, largely due to the schemes of B-Ko, spoiled rich & a genius, she's quickly enamored with C-Ko & devises many plans to defeat A-Ko & take C-Ko for herself. All this while an alien invasion is brewing on the horizon, seemingly linked to a mysterious object that crashed to Earth 16 years prior, of which our cast's city is built on top of.

It's largely a parody of anime of the time (with A-Ko, B-Ko, & C-Ko being named for their personality stereotypes, rather than having actual names, I believe), with nods to franchises such as Macross, Captain Harlock, & Fist of the North Star (I'm sure someone more well versed in anime culture of the time could find more). I actually first watched it a number of years ago after I randomly ran across it on YouTube (there was a channel long since taken down that had posted a bunch of the old Central Park Media stuff, and maybe some stuff from some other defunct localization outfits), and I remember liking it at the time so I decided to check it out again (and in more official capacity) since it's on Amazon. It's not a must watch classic, but I enjoyed it for what it was. Just keep in mind it's from an early era in dubbing, and it's in need of a remaster (quality was consistent, but SD).

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RR529

Godzilla VS Space Godzilla (Blu-Ray) - In this entry the anti-Godzilla task force "G-Force" has devised two plans to help humanity stand against the big guy. The first, Project T, seeks to influence Godzilla's actions via enhanced telepathy, and if the more peaceful plan fails, Project M, which refers to MOGERA, yet another giant fighting robot that has a heavy drill theme (and can split into two parts). Of course, things don't go quite as planned, especially considering the arrival of a new monster dubbed Space Godzilla, assumed created by some of Godzilla's cells being sucked into a black hole, rapidly mutating & evolving, then spat out of a white hole (in a previous film in the canon, Mothra flew into space to destroy an asteroid after fighting Godzilla).

Space Godzilla sure isn't the most unique monster in Toho's stable (it's just a souped up Godzilla with crystal growths), and I actually think MOGERA was the most interesting between the two (though with the Mechagodzilla in this canon also being a G-Force piloted mech, I can understand them not wanting to hedge too closely to their last movie in terms of plot), but it's still a decent watch for what it is.

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PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

Deep Star Six (Amazon Prime Video) - Set in the fictional deep sea Navy facility "Deep Star Six", it follows a small group of workers nearing the end of a 6 month project to install a nuclear missile silo at the ocean floor. However, in a rush to complete the project they open up an ancient cavern while clearing the ocean floor, from which a primordial crustacean emerges that throws things into chaos.

It was a pretty good watch. While I'd never say it got to the point of being scary, it did a good job of building up suspense as the crustacean was a faceless terror until the last half hour, up until that point being nothing more than a mysterious radar signal that would close in before snatching away an exploratory sub or some such. Plus, there tends to be just something that works on an atmosphere level in these post Alien sci-fi suspense flicks, with the soft glow of the CRTs & the high tech but very mechanical facilities they work in.

Must of been a busy year for the theme too, as according to the recommendations of what to watch next, The Abyss, Leviathan, & Lords of the Deep all released the same year as this (89), and all seem to be variations of the same idea. I'll put them on the watchlist.

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Tasuki

@RR529 Hahaha I remember seeing that when I was kid. My dad rented it from a local video store and it freaked me out. From the description on the back of the VHS box he didn't think it was a horror movie, more like a Godzilla or King Kong movie so he let my brother and I watch it with him and my mom. Big mistake lol. For some reason the part that sticks out in my mind the most is the part where the guy in the diving suit gets torn in half.

Still haven't seen that movie since then.

RetiredPush Square Moderator and all around retro gamer.

My Backlog

RR529

Golgo 13: the Professional (Amazon Prime Video) - Late 80's anime film that sees professional assassin for hire Golgo fight for his life after the CIA, FBI, & Pentagon team up to kill him at the behest of a powerful oil baron, who's son was Golgo's last mark.

It was an interesting watch, though not without it's flaws. Graphic, gritty, but with a flair for spectacle (such as car chase through the neon lit streets of LA), it has a vibe you'd never see from anything the anime industry would turn out in the past 20 years, and honestly would probably feel more at home next to Kill Bill & Sin City rather than any anime collection, and it cleans up really nicely in HD, save for a few rough edges (Though it has a laughably bad helicopter CGI segment during the climax, that completely takes you out of the experience & plops you down into an ancient flight simulator. I can't imagine it looked good even at the time, other than the novelty of having a CGI segment. They didn't, and honestly probably even couldn't, achieve any sort of aesthetic commonality between it and the rest of the film).

The story is nothing particularly noteworthy, though it does it's job in setting the stage for the graphic misadventure, and features a few eccentric assassins that would feel right at home in a Metal Gear game. Also, when I say graphic, I mean it. It's absolutely saturated with blood & sex, and while while some scenes are stylistically interesting or tactful (the scene where Golgo beds his female contact in LA comes to mind, where they appear as silhouettes on an ever changing neon background), it easily goes in the other direction as well, even featuring a rape scene (as morally ambiguous as Golgo himself is, they really wanted to drive home that he finds himself up against some twisted individuals). Needlessly to say, it's definitely not for everyone.

@Tasuki, to be fair there isn't that much gore in it (Deep Star Six), but I can definitely see why that'd stick out to you as a kid (while other characters had died before then, that particular scene was the first instance of bloody gore I believe, which is probably why it stuck out to you).

Edited on by RR529

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Tasuki

@RR529 Yeah I am not sure either, especially as you said there isn't much gore to it. Even movies that I seen later on as I got older had more gore in them. Just for some odd reason that part always sticks out in my mind whenever someone mentioned Deep Star Six.

RetiredPush Square Moderator and all around retro gamer.

My Backlog

RR529

Deathstalker II (Amazon Prime Video) - The sequel of the low budget fantasy affair, Deathstalker (itself I watched about a month ago). In this entry, the warrior is lured by the promise of fame & fortune after a seer he rescues promises he'll receive them if he manages to defeat a wicked sorcerer who rules a far away land (what she doesn't tell him is that she's no seer, but the displaced princess of said land).

It's still ultimately a rather generic budget fantasy tale, but it is an improvement upon the original in a few areas. A new actor is called in to play the titular role, and while he was previously a brute of few words who was just as likely to assault the women he "rescued" as the bad guys were, here he's been changed to a more Indiana Jones like depiction (not always the biggest guy in the room, he's more likely to get into rough & tumble brawls, not adverse to throwing some dirt in his opponent's face in order to gain an edge, all with a bit of a smart mouth), and he never forces himself onto any of the film's women (there is one scene of attempted sexual assault, but it's by a group of minor baddies who are killed by a band of warrior women). While Deathstalker puts on a macho front and says some questionable things, as it goes on you get the impression he's not quite as bad as he lets on. Also, the film is a lot more tongue in cheek than the humorless original, even including a scenario where Deathstalker finds himself getting caught up in a fight to the death that takes the form of a pretty modern professional wrestling match, including ring & mid round ring girls. Also, while it clearly hasn't been remastered, the picture quality was much more consistent here than it was in the original.

It's still a pretty forgettable film, but if you're really into cheesy 80's fantasy, it's an okay source of swords, sorcery, & mostly guilt free nudity.

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PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

InuYasha the Movie: Affections Across Time (Amazon Prime Video) - Currently rewatching the series in anticipation of the sequel, and that includes the movies in respective order. In this entry, Menomaru, a moth demon from China, sets out to get revenge against InuYasha, who's father killed his own years ago during the Mongol invasion of Japan.

Of course, not much of that will make much sense to you if you haven't seen the series, so it's definitely a watch for those already somewhat familiar with the lore, but it's a fun time if you are. Of course, being a film the animation quality is a few notches higher than it is in the TV anime, all the main characters get a chance to do their thing, and there's some decent romantic moments between the leads, so it's all good.

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PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

InuYasha Movie 2: Castle Beyond the Looking Glass (Amazon Prime Video) - As I continue my way through the series I watched the second movie last weekend. In this entry the series' main villain Naraku appears to be defeated, but after the cast splits up to seek their own individual quests a new villain appears and draws them together once again.

This is probably my favorite of the films, if only because it features the first of only two kisses the leads share throughout the entire series (I know I'm a sucker, lol). Otherwise it's a fine film that captures the spirit of the show well, and I like the fact that the villain is based on an actual Japanese myth (the tale of Princess Kaguya), which is a nice touch.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (Blu-Ray) - It's been a couple months since I last watched a Blu-Ray, and I realized this was the last film in my last batch I had yet to watch.

Maybe it's just because it's been a couple months and I had gotten used to the slightly compressed HD image on cable & streaming, but I thought the picture quality on this one was absolutely stunning (the opening space battle & Anakin's transformation into Darth Vader were particularly striking IMO).

As for the film itself I found it to be a great watch and the most enjoyable of the prequel films. All the political maneuvering of the past 2 films finally comes to a head in what is the most action packed film in the trilogy, with some epic large scale battles & great light saber duels. Also, I feel that it's reliance on CGI doesn't hold it back as much as it's brethren as it seems a lot more modern in that regard (the last two films, particularly AotC, had a few CGI setpieces that looked terribly out of date or cheap), as everything looked fantastic and even drew a couple of "wows" from me. The worldbuilding continues to be a strong suit as well, with the introduction of many new worlds (though some are only seen for a few moments) that are awe inducing. The acting won't win any awards ("Ultimate Powah!!!"), but it generally does it's job and is simply a fun watch, and I like the fact that it still has a sort of "movie making pulpy feel" to it (for a lack of a better way to phrase it), that I feel is missing from modern Hollywood.

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PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

Ordered my next set of Blu-Rays:

  • The Wizard - Essentially a 2 hour long commercial for late 80's/early 90's era Nintendo, it's probably not a very good movie in the objective sense, but it's one I've always enjoyed for the campiness of it all.
  • Rebirth of Mothra I, II, & III - A 90's Mothra centric trilogy. I've never actually seen any of these I believe, but I enjoy the Godzilla movies from this era so I figured I'd bite, especially since it's a collection.
  • Tomorrow Never Dies - The next Bond film in line.
  • Aliens - Watched Alien sometime last year, so I figured it's finally time to follow up.

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PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

the Wizard (Blu-Ray)

The Premise:

  • When young Jimmy Woods is threatened with the prospect of being institutionalized due to developmental issues his parents just can't figure out, his older brother Corey takes him and runs away from home for fear he'll lose his brother. Soon it's realized that Jimmy immediately masters any video game he plays, and with the help of a worldly girl named Hailey, the trio embarks on a crosscountry trip across the desert southwest in order to reach "Video Armageddon", a competition at Universal Studios where the winner takes home $50,000 (it just so happens that their goal takes them to California, a place that Jimmy seems mysteriously obsessed with). It won't be an easy journey though, as the authorities, their parents, and a bounty hunter specialising in capturing runaway children are all hot on their trail.

The Takeaway:

  • I wasn't quite sure what to expect going in (other than the fact that I remember it seemed to prominently feature Nintendo), and while it probably wouldn't be categorized as a good movie, I found it to be an overall fun one (especially for the gamers among us). The idea that a group of pre-teens could successfully hitchhike across country while avoiding all searching for them is absurd, but it makes for a silly good time (also, there's no way a film aimed at kids would be allowed to do anything similar today), plus the guy playing the bounty hunter does a terrific job playing the kind of squirrelly bad guy you just love seeing bad things happen to (the interactions between him and the boys' dad are a particular riot). As for the Nintendo/gaming presence, yeah it's pretty constant. After Jimmy gets his first shot at Double Dragon, it seems like you can't go 5 minutes without someone pulling out an NES or walking up to an arcade (and, while I'm not an expert on these things, they seem to feature NES versions of games in the arcade at times), and throughout it's runtime you'll be exposed to classic titles like Mega Man, Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Mario Bros. 2, the climactic reveal of Super Mario Bros. 3, and more, including a meme worthy scene shilling the Power Glove ("the Power Glove, it's so bad"), or a moment where Corey likens their quest to that of Link in the Legend of Zelda. At times it feels like an overly long commercial for the Big N, and there's definitely a certain charm to that as a gamer. That said it can get surprisingly deep at times (around the halfway point it's revealed that Jimmy's twin sister drowned in front of him, which is the obvious trigger behind his problems that the adults just can't figure out for whatever reason), and I almost started to tear up at the end when it was time for him to put that tragedy to rest.

The Package:

  • I've seen some bare packages before (such as Blu-Rays that lack any sort of special/extra features), but this takes the cake, as it doesn't even feature a menu! It jumps straight into the movie like a VHS would (no trailers either), and kicks you back out to the PS4 menu once the credits roll. Granted, that's not really a problem (just more of a surprise at how bare bones it is), and the actual picture quality is fantastic (I'd say it may even look a bit more impressive than a few other older, more popular, films I have).

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PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

Over the weekend I watched Rebirth of Mothra (Blu-Ray)!

The Premise:

  • After a Hokkaido logging company accidentally unearths an ancient seal, the family of the company boss finds themselves in the middle of an ancient battle between Luna & Mona (Mothra's tiny little retainers that regularly appear beside her) and their evil sister Belvera (new for this film, I believe) who aims to undo the seal and unleash Desghidorah upon the world, a prehistoric threat Mothra sealed away millions of years ago. With the titular Kaiju near the end of her natural life, she may not have the strength left to go another round. It has an environmentalist tone, and doesn't feature Godzilla (the first of a late 90's solo Mothra trilogy).

The Takeaway:

  • In many ways it differentiated itself from the typical "Godzilla VS" films (beyond the lack of the big guy), with the rivalry between the sisters giving it a slight "Magical Girl" vibe at times, it included a memorable aerial dogfight inside a living room which is just so different to what you'd expect in a Kaiju film in terms of the small scale destruction & quick speed, which I enjoyed. That said, when it came to the big fight it was no slouch either, with Desghidorah having an awesome design more akin to a traditional dragon (in comparison to King Ghidorah), with some weighty combat (the way it tore into Mothra's catipillar form was surprisingly brutal), and a plethora of special attacks (each monster had at least a half dozen, including a bizzare moment where Mothra bombarded her opponent with a swarm of glowing moths, which is a greater variety than you usually see in Godzilla flicks, outside of Mechagodzilla's diverse loadouts). Of course the special effects can be pretty hoaky, which is par for the course when it comes to the genre, but I actually had a pretty good time with it (dare I say I enjoyed it more than any "Godzilla VS" films I've seen in recent memory).

The Package:

  • It didn't have a lot of bells & whistles, but as with the Godzilla films I have, it has the film's Japanese Theatrical & TV spots. These seem to be translated more literally than the film itself, with the subtitles referring to Belvera as Berbera, and more interestingly, Desghidorah as Death Ghidorah (I imagine this was changed in the film itself as the American distributors probably didn't want to have a monster with Death in it's name in a movie largely marketed towards kids, though that's just a guess).

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RR529

Tomorrow Never Dies (Blu-Ray)

The Premise - Elliot Carter is a global media mogul who makes the news, quite literally. With the launch of his satellite news network quickly approaching, he attempts to instigate a military confrontation between the UK & China, and of course his new station will have the scoop before anyone else. It's up to film's most famous super spy James Bond (teaming up here with Chinese femme fatale Mai Lai) to cancel the show.

The Takeaway - This is the epitome of popcorn entertainment. It has nothing particularly deep to say (outside of maybe an OTT parody of cable news/Rupert Murdock) and there's some suspension of disbelief, but it's simply a fun time. The opening sequence at the black market arms deal was cracking (especially the moment where Bond ejected his attacker into an enemy jet), it had possibly the most tricked out car chase in the franchise, and the motorcycle chase was fun too. I also liked the tension between the Chinese & British militaries, giving it that element of international tension that makes the best Bond flicks.

The Package - Like the other Bond films I have this one is full of special features. Not that I'm going through all of them, but it has the Theatrical trailers, cast & production photos, commentaries, and more. The menu (shared across all the Bond films, I believe) is probably my favorite one, too.

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PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

This weekend I watched the last two Rebirth of Mothra films, which are on the same disc.

Rebirth of Mothra II (Blu-Ray)

The Premise:

  • After mysteriously violent starfish (yes, you heard that right) start swarming the seas, a group of Okinawan school kids join up with a magical creepy off brand Furby called Gorgo (which can heal wounds by peeing on them, ew) and Mothra's little retainer women on a quest to find the resting place of an ancient civilization, whom are said to have a treasure capable of bringing the calamity to an end. Of course, there's a seafaring Kaiju involved as well, which is where film's most famous moth comes into play.

The Takeaway:

  • This is honestly the weakest of the trilogy, IMO. While the first & third RoM films have the rilvalry between Mothra's retainers & their estranged sister Belvera more tightly woven into their narratives (as well as ancient threats with a history with Mothra), they feel sort of tacked on here. It's more of a kid friendly adventure movie with ancient ruins (including an "invisible bridge" scene aped from Indiana Jones), and a couple of bumbling adult pursuers who are after Gorgo for the fame of discovering a new species. It's best bits are a couple of gags early on in the film, the first where the kids accidentally send a caterpillar flying down the front of their teacher's shirt, and the second a completely random shot of a falling cigarette catching a cat's tail on fire. Oh, and Mothra gains the ability to transform into a Moth/Shark hybrid during the climax. Truly odd film.

Rebirth of Mothra III (Blu-Ray)

The Premise:

  • Wisdom, Courage, Pow... er, Love, these are the three sides of the Trif... er, Elias Triangle, and only by putting their differences behind them & joining forces can Mothra's retainers & Belvera give Mothra the power to face her biggest challenge yet, King Ghidorah, whom has returned to Earth after millions of years to bestow upon humanity the same fate it extended to the dinosaurs, extinction (and to kidnap children, lots & lots of children, to eat).

The Takeaway:

  • This was a pretty solid Kaiju film if you like the genre. The rivalry between the sisters is finally resolved, and after some time travel shenanigans Mothra recieves a pretty cool armored makeover. Also lots of SEGA product placement. The family that gets involved in all of this are farmers, and the father definitely has a stuffed Tails, and I think a little stuffed Knuckles in his truck, while two separate Stuffed Sonics can briefly be seen mere seconds apart during a scene in the house. Lastly, there's a kid playing with the detachable part of the Dreamcast controller in school, of which we get a close up shot of after he's kidnapped by Ghidorah & it's left on the floor.

The Package:

  • As with the other Godzilla/Mothra films I have, it has a collection of both films' original Japanese trailers.

Currently Playing:
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PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

Just ordered my next set of Blu-Rays. Since I'll be watching these mostly over October I decided to go for a general Halloween vibe.

Ghostbusters - The original one, which will be the comedy of the group.
Ghostbusters II - It was actually a double pack, so I'll get this one as well. I'm sure I'll find a way to squeeze it in.
Gemini - Some sort of Japanese horror film. Never seen it before, but it should be a welcome break to all the kaiju films I've been getting.
The World is not Enough - The next Bond film in line, and the only one in this order that's not in the spooky spirit.
Halloween - The original. Never really seen it in full, but I hear it's supposed to be good.

Also watched Aliens over the weekend, though I haven't yet written up an impressions piece.

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PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

Last weekend I watched Aliens (Blu-Ray)!

The Premise:

  • Set after the events of the first film, Ripley's escape pod is finally found by other humans and after recovering back at Earth she learns that it's been decades since the events of the first film (she had put herself in suspended animation), and anyone she's ever known (most devastatingly her daughter) has long since died. To make matters worse it seems as if humans have begun to colonize the planet on which her crew encountered the vicious Xenomorph, and with when Earth loses contact with the fledgeling settlement, she is sent in with a small military attachment to exterminate the alien species if it indeed is responsible for the lost contact. Given the name of the film, I suppose the answer to that should be easy to guess.

The Takeaway:

  • It's a lot more action heavy than the first film, but no less tense, as our small detachment, while well armed, is vastly outnumbered and soon finds themselves on the defensive. It's a somewhat different feel compared to the original film, and while I'm not super enamoured with either one (possibly as I really didn't grow up watching them), it's undoubtedly an expertly crafted film, and it's easy to get immersed in the sci-fi world presented, which is really impressive given it's age (I was even left in awe with some of the early set pieces). It (and the original) are definitely films you should watch if you're into future sci-fi.

The Package:

  • No complaints on this end. It features the theatrical & extended cuts (I opted for the latter, which made for a nearly 3 hour long film), and of course director commentary. I don't think there were any extra features on the disc itself, but the package itself came with some physical goodies which I haven't bothered with (like art cards & I think a comic).

Currently Playing:
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PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

Over the weekend I watched Ghostbusters (Blu-Ray)!

The Premise:

  • Classic 1980's supernatural action comedy that follows a group of paranormal scientists, whom after being fired from their university gig, decide to open up a spiritual investigations & capture business after discovering that ghosts are indeed real & can be contained with the right energy wavelength. Business is soon booming, but with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) seeking to shut them down, and an Apocalyptic threat looming in the shadows, our upstart entrepreneurs have their work cut out for them.

The Takeaway:

  • It's stuffed with 80's mainstays like Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, & Rick Moranis, and is just a really good time. Nostalgia probably plays a part as it's been a Halloween favorite as far back as I can remember, but I found myself chuckling along to it all the way through. Some of the sets & special effects are starting to show their seams in high definition, but I found myself still really enjoying it.

The Package:

  • It's a double pack that comes with Ghostbusters II (which I'll get to in due time), and while it does have special features I didn't have the time to check what all they entail.

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PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

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