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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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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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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Movie Review: The Last Days On Mars (2013, Dir. Ruairí Robinson)

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Back in January, I reviewed a zombie movie called Knight Of The Dead, and in that review I said I had never seen a zombie flick set in the medieval ages, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to review it. Well, in The Last Days On Mars zombies finally make it into the final frontier, another setting I have never seen them in. It’s about goddamn time, too. These way over exposed movie monsters have run their course in my opinion and it’s about time someone finally looked up and decided to take them off world.

To be precise the “zombies” in this movie are not quite the tried and true versions you get on Earth. Just by origin alone it already sets them apart in that an alien bacteria is the cause. Other tell tale signs of their “alien” uniqueness is the turning of the skin to a weird, black veined look in some and an extreme skeletal, desiccated visage in others. But like their Earth bound counterparts (depending on what movie rules you adhere to) the procedure to becoming one is relatively the same; the human dies and then comes back to “life” sans heartbeat and all those other well-known signs that give away the living, and they instantly have the unwavering urge to attack and then kill/infect others who are not like themselves. There’s even a scene towards the end that implies these “zombies” are in fact eating their victims, so you can add that little tidbit towards these things being just like their Earthling gut munching cousins now.

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Made-For-TV: The Horror At 37,000 Feet (Dir. David Lowell Rich)

The Horror at 37000 Feet Review

“Perhaps somehow, it was a final act of faith. I don’t know. I have no thoughts.” 

I suppose it’s all relative.

Every generation of movie lovers has their own era of “memory movies” they will always wax nostalgic over and hold dear to them. Today’s kids have slick looking shows, sometimes questionable CGI and the SyFy channel (once known as the SciFi Channel) while we Gen-Xers had the more languid and plot centered horror and science fiction TV movies of the 70s and 80s to affect us in all manner of joy and fear. Not that they were all that way, but I tell you a lot of the time I prefer that style to this eras heavy on effects and show all directive.

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Blu-ray Review: Escape Plan (2013, Dir. Mikael Håfström)

Escape Plan (2013) Blu-ray Review

As an avid movie watcher and collector, I consider myself lucky to have been alive in the 80s, for that era was not only noteworthy for seeing the rise of the slasher film but also the rise of the action hero movie. Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Steven Segal, Jean Claude Van Damme, Jeff Speakman, and Bruce Willis all came to fame in this decade, playing hard to kill heroes who were adept in gunplay and stylized fighting. Yet, none were more famous, or bigger (literally), than Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Both were muscled beyond belief and capable of killing large amounts of bad guys with their equally muscled guns.

It’s a shame, though, none of them were able to pair up in a film. I’m sure Tango And Cash (1989) would have been even more noteworthy had Schwarzenegger been Stallone’s partner. Well, here we are in 2014 and most of these guys are still doing action movies despite their advancing ages. Some are more successful at it than others and some have completely retired altogether (i.e. Chuck Norris). I was incredibly disappointed when Schwarzenegger decided to go into politics, but then again his movies around that time were lackluster to say the least. On the opposite edge of the spectrum once his governorship was over I was excited and admittedly more than a bit leery when with he decided to get back into the movie business.

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Blu-ray Review: Frankenstein Created Woman (1967, Dir. Terence Fisher)

Frankenstein Created Woman

Frankenstein Created Woman unexpectedly reminded me of Beyond Re-animator (2003). In that film, the character of Herbert West becomes more interested in the “soul” and how it relates to his experiments of resurrecting dead bodies, the same can be said with Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) in this fourth Frankenstein film. His experimentation on the dead has turned to trying to preserve the soul and thus the corpses personality. Separating one from the other, doing “work” on the corpse and then “re-installing” the soul back into the body is definitely an evolution of sorts from the tried and not-so-perfect resurrection of mindless, stitched together collections of body parts.

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