Blu-Ray Review: Place Your Bets! Godzilla Vs. Ebirah, Hedorah & Gigan

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I can’t remember the first Godzilla movie I saw. All I’ve retained to date are just snippets of memories from when I saw some of them during childhood. Let’s see if I can chart them here in this review before I discuss the blu-rays.

I was born in 1969 so throughout my childhood they were still making Godzilla movies. To start off here’s a quick rundown of the Godzilla movies and Godzilla-themed movies I saw: Rodan (1956) Mothra (1961), War Of The Gargantuas (1966), Atragon (1963), Godzilla Vs. The Thing (1964), Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero (1965), and Destroy All Monsters (1968), King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962) and King Kong Escapes (1967). Excluding Atragon and Mothra, all those other movies I bumped into more than once. Something about them the local stations just loved.

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Blu-Ray Review: Iron Sky: Director’s Cut (Dir. Timo Vuorensola)

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To function, that is the key,

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When designing Iron Sky we wanted to give the

film a distinct, unique look. But not just any

look—we didn’t want things just to appear on

screen and look good, but everything needed to

have a proper function, a reason to exist in the

world we see so carefully created.

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Together with our Production Designer Ulrika

Von Vegesack, Concept Artist/Art Director Jussi

Lehtiniemi, our whole visual effects team, our

set construction team and prop teams, we created

a world which could exist at least in theory.

My vision for Iron Sky was always to walk the

thin line between the completely ridiculous and

the theoretically possible, visiting both sides

of the imaginary line every now and then, but

in general giving the viewers and impression of

an alternative history that could have produced

what the world of Iron Sky eventually turned

out to be.

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Timo Vuorensola

Director, Iron Sky

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(Page 1 of the Concept Art booklet

that comes with this version)

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I was reviewing Knights Of Badassdom a couple of weeks ago and right after I put the disc in a trailer for this movie starts up.

“The Moon Nazis are back!”

What.

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Movie Review: 95ers: Time Runners (2013, Dir. Thomas Gomez)

95ers: Time Runners Movie Review

When thinking of low budget, sci-fi, time travel films, one almost instantaneously comes to mind: Nacho Vigalondo’s Los Cronocrímenes (titled Timecrimes in the U.S.). An enthralling story, great acting, the director/writer’s first name is Nacho – basically, you can’t go wrong! It had a grandiose feel, with minimal budget and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. At this point, you, dear reader, are probably thinking: “Jeez, they sure messed up the title of this review. This guy is talking about a completely different movie!” Don’t worry, I’m getting to it! Sci-fi and time travel CAN be messed up; countless films are below B-grade and more often than not, on the SyFy channel (though, they can acknowledge and use the cheesiness to their advantage). Director/writer Thomas Gomez Durham’s 95ers: Time Runners is an example of time travel gone wrong.

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Movie Review: Fading Gigolo (2014, Dir. John Turturro)

Fading Gigolo Movie Review

Before moving to New York, I, like many people in the world, had a picture of this city drawn by the romanticized portrayals of neurotic creatures of comfort in Woody Allen films.  Sadly, that world isn’t very salient in reality.  New York City has the same “normal” folks as anywhere else.  It’s just that people like Woody Allen heighten aspects of it by exploring and psychoanalyzing the fears and desires of many wonderful characters.

I say, “People like Woody Allen,” meaning people like John Turturro, the mega man of indie film.  Turturro explores the Woody Allen universe with the best possible guide, Woody Allen himself, in Fading Gigolo.  The premise is very simple.  In fact, the very first lines of the film have Allen’s character, Murray, proffering the idea that Fioravante (John Turturro) have sex for money.  Murray would find the clients and take a cut.  Fioravante, who makes a living doing whatever he can, barely stays afloat in an otherwise meager existence, and this idea slowly starts to sound appealing.

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Blu-Ray Review: Knights Of Badassdom (Dir. Joe Lynch)

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 ”You have questionable taste in women, my friend.”
“Apparently.”

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I wasn’t familiar with the term, LARP, until I first heard about this movie last year. I actually had to look it up (L.A.R.P=Live Action Role Play), then I realized whom those people were that dress up in fantasy garb: Larpers (Live Action Role Players).

Like Ryan Kwanten’s character I too had been into Dungeons & Dragons at one point, for me it was a big part of my high school life, and also like his character I had eventually outgrown it. Out grown all role-playing games actually, but unlike his character I did not get into death metal music.

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Movie Review: Patrick: Evil Awakens (2013, Dir. Mark Hartley)

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When creating remakes, there seems to be an inherent concern among filmmakers to not step on the toes of the original, while also remaining true to the core concept of their film’s cinematic predecessor. At times, those most familiar with the property will surprise us all by modernizing the remake, sometimes using their expertise to represent the original film almost identically. There’s a stroke of genius within that mindset which also functions as the film’s harshest critic — as if it’s the filmic equivalent of following in a successful parent’s footsteps, but veering off the path ever so slightly.

Patrick: Evil Awakens definitely feels as if it was bred in this vein, offering an entertaining and thrilling update on Richard Franklin’s Australian cult classic. Documentarian and Australian genre cinephile Mark Hartley plays surrogate to Franklin, all the while updating the beats of the story to accommodate the realities of this day and age. Luckily, Hartley’s approach is mostly effective, and from the apparent competence from his cast and crew, Hartley’s old school aesthetics and passion for the material keep Patrick: Evil Awakens from falling into irrelevance.

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Movie Review: Cesar Chavez (2014, Dir. Diego Luna)

you-won-cannes-cesar-chavez-movie-review-top-image Cesar Chavez tells the story of one man’s struggle to protect field workers against the tyranny of corporate greed. It’s a biopic that I’m surprised hasn’t been made yet. I remember a time when biographic epics were a big deal. Ghandi swept the Oscars when it came out. We can’t forget Lawrence of Arabia before that. I guess you can throw the ancient history epics like Cleopatra and Sparticus in there too. I’ve never been all that enticed by the biography genre, unless you count Goodfellas and Mommy Dearest. The movies about well-known historical figures have never quite captivated me, because I assume they will fall short, and they usually do. You can only tell so much about a famous person’s life, and the stuff that isn’t a famed part of history can seem dull. I did like A Royal Affair, but that’s because it was so unfamiliar to me. The writing and acting in that were phenomenal in exactly the same way they weren’t in the movie Diana. I’m not sure what I expect from these films, but whatever it is, it generally isn’t delivered.

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Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher (2014, Marvel Anime Movie)

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(Warning!! This review contains spoilers! Proceed at your own risk!!)

When that Marvel anime movie, Iron Man: The Rise Of Technovore, came out last April I had a hunch but wasn’t certain. In a couple of weeks they are about to release their second and now I’m confident Marvel is back in the animated movie business, one that started back in 2006 with Ultimate Avengers and ended in 2011 with Thor: Tales Of Asgard, and now begins again except this time they are anime-styled movies.

I have no problem with that since I’m a fan of anime.

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Blu-Ray Review: Odd Thomas (2013, Dir. Stephen Sommers)

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“That will be a long wait.
But I am a patient man.
And I have much to do.”

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There were three reasons that inspired me to want to be a fiction writer—H.P. Lovecraft, Clive Barker and Dean R. Koontz. Even though I’ve put my fiction writing on hold for the past 2 years I still hold dear those novels and short stories I first read from those three authors way back in my late teens and early 20s.

To this day I can still remember the first time I discovered Dean Koontz. It was back in 1988 and at my favorite bookstore The Berkshire Bookshop. We had two bookstores in town back then, the other was the Bookend, sadly both have been out of business for decades now, but The Berkshire Bookshop was my favorite, for it was the most spacious.

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Made-For-TV: Monsters (TV series, 1988-1991)

MONSTERS
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The complete re-mastered horror anthology series from
“Tales From The Darkside” Executive Producer Richard P. Rubinstein
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From modern-fables of fear, to stories that uncover
the trembling terrors of times past, each episode of this
acclaimed series harbors a terrible secret—it’s very own
gruesome monster to haunt your dreams in tales of
mystery, suspense and imagination.
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—Monsters: The Complete Series (back cover)

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Pretty much every movie I saw during my formative years (this also includes my 20s) I consider “memory movies,” which means they come with a memory, or memories, of when I saw them and how they affected me. I have two video towers, a smaller cabinet and a desk drawer chock full of memory movies. I can also apply this term to certain series I’ve seen like, Space: 1999, Star Trek (Original Series/Next Generatio/Enterprise), The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, etc. The review you are about to read is the tale of one such series that is full of nostalgic moments.

I’m writing this portion of the review on Black Friday 2013 and as of right now there’s no word yet on what extra features, if any, will be included. I’m hoping the commercial I saw in summer ’88 will be added.

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