Monday, November 28, 2016

THROWBACK REVIEW: Godzilla VS Mechagodzilla II (1993)

If I could somehow type out the sound effect of an annoyed groan, I would right now, because that's kinda how I feel about this movie on a whole. All I can say is I'm thankful I took the week off before watching this one because this movie jumped all over me. Despite some cool things about the film, on a whole, this is another one of those films in the Godzilla universe that just doesn't do it for me. In fact, I gotta say, they take a lot of steps backward from Godzilla VS Mothra: Battle for Earth. Despite some cool ideas and whatnot...I feel very underwhelmed by this film.

Dear Toho....fucking drop the baby Godzilla shit. Forever. And ever. It sucks. It just sucks. While I'm thankful that this baby Godzillasaurus isn't nearly as horrible or stupid as Minilla, it's still stupid. And the fact that it serves as the central plot point of the film...a nearly two hour film mind you, is just mind numbing. In the bad way. They go back to the Godzillasaurus concept here, and it's just as annoying as it was in Godzilla VS King Ghidorah. And rather...stupider in some ways. Am I really supposed to believe that Godzilla is a plant eater? An herbivore? I'm gonna say no to that. I don't care what you say movie. I also gotta say that for as big as Godzilla is, this is one very small offspring. Only the size of a person? I think it needs to cook more. Oh...and great name for the offspring by the way. I'd name a baby Godzillasaurus "Baby" any day of the week.

(Of course they won't, we already have like 15 of them at the end of Godzilla Resurgence)

I always found the title of this film rather confusing. Godzilla VS Mechagodzilla II? Why the two? I understand there were other Mechagodzilla films before this, but they aren't in the same continuity. There were other films with Mothra before Battle for Earth. Why not give this film an actual title rather than confusing your audience? But I digress, there's much stupider things to rip apart in this film. Like the characters of this film. Screw these guys. Maybe I still got the sour taste of King Ghidorah in my mouth, but what is with the dinosaur enthusiasts in these films? Like that film, this film also has a thing for dinosaurs in the age of man. They even go as far as to say that dinosaurs will make a comeback, at which point I just laughed. Yeah, forget what science says, forget that extinction is a thing, forget that the environment in which dinosaurs thrive is all but completely destroyed now  (in more ways than one), they'll be back! I should really just assume that Godzilla doesn't give a rats ass about science in these films...

So, despite being improbable, I actually kinda like the origin of Mechagodzilla here. They salvage the mechanical pieces of Mecha-King Ghidorah from the bottom of the ocean (avoiding the other Ghidorah body down there from the plot hole of that movie), and construct Mechagodzilla to replace their current Anti-Godzilla weapon,  Super X- err, I mean Garuda. (What happened to Super X again? Was it dropped like the other million events that happened prior to this film?) But despite being in the title, I found it rather strange that Mechagodzilla isn't exactly as big a presence in this film as Godzilla...or Rodan. Who's also in this film. In fact, most of the action centers on those two alone. Seeing as how Mechagodzilla is out of service for the most part in this film.

That's not to say that Rodan and Godzilla aren't fun. I actually like Rodan's design, and the idea behind Fire Rodan...even though Rodan becoming Fire Rodan is never explained, and a complete deus ex machina plot device. I also gotta give criticism to Godzilla because I feel they took steps back in how the special effects were used here. Why is it that Godzilla VS Mothra's atomic breath looked wicked cool last film, only for it to look outdated in this film? Budget cuts? I don't know, don't care. It's also this film that made me realize just how awful Godzilla is at aiming his atomic breath by the way. Why is it that it always takes him a few seconds to actually hit his target after firing his signature weapon?'re aiming at something as big, if not bigger than you like ten footsteps away. Why are you aiming at the highway on the ground? I know the technical reasons, but...I don't care. It got annoying in this film.

I'm sure many of you are wondering why I haven't brought up the story of this film. All I can say is...what story? It's probably one of the most forced Godzilla movies I've ever seen. Events are forced to happen. Any..."character development" (and I do emphasize the quotes there) is forced to happen. Any sense of driven story only happens because I don't think the writers were smart enough to write a competent version of this story. I honestly am wondering if this story should have been rewritten altogether because unlike Godzilla VS King Ghidorah, there aren't too many areas I can point to and say "This can be fixed this way." The story is literally Godzilla and Rodan are fighting for the custody of baby Godzilla. And they fight in Kyoto. And Mechagodzilla is there too! Honestly the..."climax" of this film is one of the biggest "because movie" things I've ever seen, where Fire Rodan without reason, gives up its life energy to a crippled Godzilla, who just had his...(sigh) second brain destroyed. This heals that brain, and Godzilla is back, suddenly stronger than ever. Why did Rodan do this? Because I guess Godzilla isn't meant to die for another two films. Oh and nice forced message at the end there, movie. Way to really not make me give a shit.

I'm finding very little to defend in this movie honestly. Even the fights aren't that great. The intensity that made me love the fights of Godzilla VS Mothra is absent, the gruesome violence that made me enjoy Biollante and King Ghidorah isn't there, it's honestly just a bunch of dull explosions. And one particular moment that gives physics the middle finger. The one good fight that I actually kinda liked was the first battle between Godzilla and Rodan, even if it should have been the last as well. Because Rodan's...Resurrection? Transformation? Into Fire Rodan is never explained. It just happens. Again. Very forced. Yet despite everything, I find it hard to hate this movie on the terms that I do films like Godzilla VS King Ghidorah. This film is pretty bad, don't get me wrong, but unlike other films, this one can keep my attention and interest. Fights happen plenty of times, the monster designs and concepts are cool, and even if there's not much else going for it, it didn't go so far out as to make up its own rules or whatnot. To me, this is just the equivalent of a mediocre Star Trek episode...only almost two hours long.

Godzilla VS Mechagodzilla II is getting a two star rating out of four. I wanted to score it lower, but I think it earns at least a two. Because that's what it is. Average. Maybe slightly below it. Yet has enough life in its blood to keep my interest. I guess the one thing I really wish about this film was thar it wasn't the final film I own to have the original Japanese language. The final two films I hours very through here are all English dubbed. But I will say that I had a laugh at the bad English subtitles in this film that happened now and then. In fact I guess my final criticism of this film is the tons of unnecessary English Speaking. Because that was a thing in this movie. Oh well, what can I do? See you all next week when I tackle Spacegodzilla.

Feel free to request any film you'd like to see my thoughts on. Leave a comment down below telling me of your own thoughts on this film or whatnot, and as always, thanks for reading.

Final Verdict: 2/4

Friday, November 25, 2016

REVIEW: Finding Dory

So I didn't get to see this in theaters, but I've finally seen it regardless. The sequel that no one asked for is here, and I will say I'm maybe slightly underwhelmed by it. Finding Nemo remains one of my absolute favorite Pixar films, and I knew right off the bat that this sequel would not have an easy time topping its predecessor. Why? Because honestly, I couldn't see much of a story happening in it. Finding Nemo gave us a definitive beginning, middle, and end. All solid. Here, I'm sorry to say that despite the fun story they present, there is a bit that feels like they took some steps backward in their storytelling, because there are a lot of plot points and whatnot that mirror the first film. Particularly towards the beginning.

What I mean to say there is that there are characters that behave way too similarly to how they behave in the first film. Particularly Marlin, who at the end of the first film learns to be a bit more lenient and not so overprotective. Yet here, he is almost just as paranoid, if not straight up insulting towards those he cares about. The reason I guess I don't mind this so much, mainly because in this movie, Marlin and Nemo don't really have much of a role in this film. They're honestly just kinda there. In fact, while it's on my mind, the vocal performances here really don't sound that enthusiastic to me. There's no driving sense. At times, they all can sound very uninterested in their roles.  While there can be some important plot involving Marlin and Nemo towards the beginning, they don't really contribute to this story. In fact, towards the end, Marlin and Nemo kinda have this deus ex machina moment that comes nearly out of nowhere. And that's not the only moment this can happen. The plot at times can be incredibly convenient in the spur of the moment from fish jumping into tanks of water perfectly lined up with one another, or other crazy occurrences that honestly could have been executed better. One of those being the echolocation of the beluga whale. I can't claim to be an expert, but I do know that echolocation doesn't work as well outside water as it does in water. Yet here, it doesn't really have much of a limitation. 

Which brings me to my next criticism. The sea life. A lot of the time, I really don't like how certain creatures behave or whatnot. One thing that comes to mind is that there's very little hostility. The only creature in this film that shows any interest in eating our main characters is this squid which only had one short scene in the very beginning. While I understand that this film isn't nearly as hostile a journey as the first film, there are times I feel that the opportunistic predator behavior is dropped completely, despite being completely hinted at. Like with the sea lions. Marlin talks about how they're known to be predatory animals, yet throughout the film, they have absolutely no signs of such behavior. It's little things like this that make me feel very underwhelmed with a lot of these characters. Even the octopus, which feels more like an excuse to potentially bait another sequel to this series, I didn't find that interesting. He says he wants to avoid the ocean because...reasons. Let me make a quick comparison to Gill from the first film. Despite knowing not as much about him, we were given glimpses into his past to connect with him better than we could this octopus. Hank just isn't as developed as the minor characters of the first film were. Heck, despite being fun, all the minor characters here could have had better development.

My final really big criticism to this movie comes from the fact that the environment of this movie isn't as immersive or played with as in the first film. What I love about Finding Nemo is how they set up the ocean and how life under the sea works. Little things that film does, from fish not knowing how to read, to taking a breath of water before exposing themselves to the air really make this world feel alive. Even in the aquarium of that film. But almost all these things they did in that film are dropped here. Reading seems to be a simple to most fish (even Dory struggled slightly in the first film), we see the fish expose themselves to the air quite often, and they even know how to use certain human objects. Granted that the octopus in real life is indeed a very intelligent animal, very capable of flipping a switch, or whatnot, but it being strong enough to push a stroller, or...minor spoiler a truck, seem rather far fetched. Heck, there are times the octopus is exposed to the air for large amounts of time and it doesn't suffer at all.

However, despite all this, despite this film taking so many identical plot moves the first film did to get to its story, despite all these annoyances, once the ball is rolling, there is plenty of fun to behold. Despite being so very over the top in so many ways, I found it impossible not to laugh. Despite the weaknesses of the minor characters, there is plenty of times I laughed at Destiny's near-sighted weaknesses. I had a good laugh at Dory's carefree memory loss moments. I had a fun laugh at the sea lions constantly yelling "OFF!" at that one sea lion trying to get on their rock. The film does have some life in its blood, despite getting a lot of things off or wrong. Though I'd have loved to hear Dory mess up Nemo's name more, it's impossible to say that her journey to find her family is not well executed, if not straight up emotionally touching at times.

I'm giving Finding Dory a three star rating out of four. It does fall short of Finding Nemo. By a long shot. But I kinda saw it coming honestly. It's not a sequel that could have easily topped that film, especially since that film did so much right when it did. With that said, I do hope that we don't see another film in this series. There's just not much else to tell with these characters. The same life blood that gave the first film so much to go off of is no longer there. Sorry Dory. Is it fun? Sure. But it just doesn't compare.

Please feel free to suggest a film you'd like to see reviewed. Leave a comment down below expressing your own thoughts on the film down below, and as always, thanks for reading.

Final Verdict: 3/4

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


If you're gonna go see Moana, I have one thing to say to you: See it in 3D. You won't be disappointed. I'm actually kicking myself because I didn't see it in 3D, but I can tell you it's will worth the extra few bucks. I'm actually shocked that it wasn't available in Imax at my location. Going into the theater, I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew this would carry on the Disney Princess-esque tradition, but I literally had no idea what to expect as far as story or whatnot. And I gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised on multiple levels, in just so many ways. I've not seen too many of the newer Disney Princess films.  I've seen Tangled, but skipped Frozen. It needs to be said that Disney is getting my attention again, and that more and more, I'm giving these films with a more fairy-tale take to their stories, more respect than I've given them in the past.

Right out the gates, this film transports you into this world, filled with gods, monsters, spirits, and legends, and it's actually quite exciting. It's not often you see someone battling a giant lava monster in a Disney movie, in the first five minutes. It's all very fun. And I gotta say it's really cool to see Disney Animation Studios adapting so many traits that made Pixar so fun to watch not so long ago (before they kinda began to...get mediocre). There's coherent storytelling, pleasant humor, and I gotta say, despite my shaky ground with musicals, this one did have its fair share of surprisingly strong musical numbers. In fact, as I'm writing this, the song "How Far I'll Go" is stuck in my head. A lot of it is really well done, and very enjoyable. And I gotta say that the musical score by Mark Mancina? Absolutely gorgeous. Those who go out of their way to get this film's soundtrack will have plenty to enjoy.

The film surprisingly draws strength from its lack of too many characters. In fact, as the credits rolled, I found myself surprised that the cast was as small as it was. This isn't a bad thing, as the film does a great job of developing our two main leads in the Chieftain's Daughter, Moana, and the Demigod, Maui. The characters are fun, funny, charming, likable, easily some of the best of any of these kinds of films I've seen. And that's a good thing too, because there are times that they literally feel like the only people in this movie. We see Moana's family, from her overprotective father, her wise yet crazy grandmother, and her...mother...who's there I guess (no seriously, the mother does nothing in this film), and that's really about it. We don't really know too much about her tribe she's supposed to eventually lead, we don't have a best friend or an exact enemy, and despite it all, the film pulls through.

Now I will say that some of the storytelling aspects are pretty...stretched beyond my disbelief. I won't spoil anything but there is one part in the beginning of the movie that honestly just kinda comes out of nowhere. There is no hint that it'll happen, the film just turns the page, and moves on. No buildup. And despite a good amount of these tunes being trait strong, there are plenty that I didn't care for. Like the song this giant crab sings halfway through the film. I can't remember his name. He's literally like Smaug from the Hobbit, if he were a giant crab. But I guess he was such a hit that he deserved his own post-credit scene where he almost kinda mocks how his musical number was as forgettable as it was. And while not all of it is forgettable, a lot of it does come out of nowhere. Some of the transitions from story to music seemed very sudden and not exactly fitting. But these relatively few faults can be overlooked, because it needs to be said that the journey you go on in this film can be breathtaking.

And I gotta devote an entire paragraph to this film's absolutely stunning animation. I honestly don't think Disney has looked this gorgeous in a very long time. I wasn't joking when I said go see it in 3D. The lighting of this film can be absolutely phenomenal, and the water, which is everywhere in this film looks practically flawless. The way the water moves, how it's influenced by the spirits in this film, how it looks both above and below, is just amazing to look at. Even small things, from hair on the characters, to animation on the ships, to the action in this film, to the environments, it is all just a beauty to behold. Absolutely stunning at times. If I scored movies based on look alone, this film would be near perfect, but this film does have a lot more going for it than its animation, and I'm very happy to say that.

Moana earns a solid three and a half star rating out of four for me. A wonderful experience, incredible journey, and just very pleasant surprise honestly. I had more fun than I thought I would. It's been a good year for Disney. While the film has its problems, they're just too few and far between for me to really get worked up about it, especially when there is just so much more to look into with this film. I'm willing to bet that those who aren't even that big on the Disney Princess-esque (I'm not sure if I wanna call this one), will be entertained by this. Can certain musical numbers be annoying? Sure. Are some characters forgettable, or just pulling tropes we've seen one too many times with Disney? Yeah. But there's plenty of new things here to keep your attention as well.

Feel free to request any film you'd like me to review in the future. Leave a comment down below annotating your own thoughts on the movie, and as always, thanks for reading.

Final Verdict: 3.5/4

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

THROWBACK REVIEW: Godzilla VS Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992)

Godzilla VS Mothra, The Battle for Earth is a very special film to me for very personal reasons. Why is that? Well, it's the first Godzilla movie I ever saw as a child. Yes, this was the film that started it all. I don't remember when exactly I saw it, whether it was 1998, 1999, or 2000, but this was the film that introduced me to the Big G. I'm glad to say that, because unlike so many other Americans my age, or whatnot, a lot of them were introduced to Godzilla through the Tristar Roland Emmerich film. Well...I remember briefly my father talking about his limited exposure to Godzilla, talking about a film he liked. Godzilla VS Mothra.  So one particular trip to Hollywood Video (remember that place?), I found it.  Or a particular version of it I should say.  I think he was originally talking about the 1964 picture. I didn't see that until later on. But I picked this up, and this would start a trend of Godzilla video rentals that lasted for weeks.  It drove my parents absolutely insane. But for better or for worse, it started my love for the franchise. And watching it as an adult, I will say that I was still pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Despite some very silly choices in storytelling, it has some kick-ass action, decently developed character, and some of the coolest monster battles of the franchise, making it one of the better entries of the Heisei era. Despite me laughing at some of the absurdities of this film, watching it, I was a kid all over again.

As with the previous film, it needs to be said that the copy I own is an English dub. But as it was the dub that I started out with all those many years ago, I wouldn't have it any other way here. Despite some flaws with the a little girl sounding like a grown's not terrible. You know...aside from some laughably stupid lines that may or may not be the dub's fault ("Please tell Mothra to stop, otherwise he's gonna kill so many people! If you do, I'll tell my daddy not to steal anymore and I'll make him get a real job!"). Yeah...there are those moments.

Though it doesn't explicitly state when this film takes place, it apparently takes place one year after Godzilla VS King Ghidorah. But as you all know, I think that film sucked, so this worked in my advantage as a film that just kinda seemed to drop that film like a dozen eggs. We see a meteor crash into the sea...causing no tsunami's or anything else that it would logically create (in fact the splash is laughably small), and it awakens Godzilla. It apparently instead causes these typhoons and other crazy events that uncover Mothra's egg, and awaken a completely new monster to the franchise, Battra, who is described as the "black Mothra" and he is a badass! We go from this meteor, to one of our characters, a thief of artifacts stealing some artifact from some place of significance, we get an Indiana Jones style scene where this thief has to escape this booby-trapped temple, and he's arrested in the process, and reunited with his ex-wife, where they go to Infant Island and...(sigh) we go.

This is where I think the story gets really stupid.  This film, despite being in the Heisei era, has a lot of Showa traits in it. Such as the Cosmos. You know...those two little little girls that are like...Mothra's guardians or something? I never understood their roles in these films. I never liked them. They do nothing in this film but talk about how humanity is destroying the Earth, forcing this really simple and unneeded environmental message into the story, about how the Earth is angry at humanity and is getting revenge through monsters and natural disasters. You can say what you want about the purpose and meaning of Godzilla, but this is a really stupid plot element that isn't executed well at all. Back to the Cosmos, the only other thing they do in this film is sing. Yeah they do that in the Showa films, but gets really old in this film. And the film seems so intent on focusing on them whenever they sing their...Mothra spells or whatever the hell they are. Unfortunately the weaker story doesn't really hold up on its own. Despite some pleasant mirrors to the original Godzilla VS Mothra, involving a big company interested in Mothra's egg and whatnot, there's not a very strong story here. A lot of the subplots involving the company are straight up dropped halfway through the film it seems. I can't believe I'm saying this, but the characters are actually likable enough for the most part to keep my attention. So kudos there, movie.

What else keeps your attention? The monsters of course. We get three of them in this picture, with Mothra, Battra, and Godzilla. All are surprisingly really well developed, and a real treat to see on the screen. Though I will say, I didn't like just how stupidly powerful Godzilla's durability seems to be. My main point here is that I still in no way am willing to believe that Godzilla could get submerged in an underwater volcano...and swim all the way into the mainland through the lava. Come on. Burial in a volcano, in a hibernation is one thing. Swimming? I call shenanigans. Just a little too much, movie. I also don't like how they abandoned his more animalistic roar. But that said, his design is really great in this film. And his atomic breath looks like...100 times better than what it did in the previous films. When it comes to Mothra, this development is some of the coolest we've seen on screen.  While we've seen Mothra hatch before, we've never seen it actually evolve into its adult stage. And it is done actually pretty well. I also love how durable Mothra is. Most of the time I remember, Mothra was usually hit once in the air and down. Here, it can take quite the beating.  And Battra? The only thing I didn't care for for him was the fact that he just instantaneously transforms to his adult stage. Other than that, his attacks, his appearance, his scenes are all incredibly awesome.

And I gotta dedicate an entire paragraph to the monster fights.  They are easily the best of the Heisei era so far. And they start off pretty quick too! Right after we see Godzilla emerge from the sea, there's a really intense fight between him and Mothra in its larval form, and then Battra comes along, and there's an even BETTER fight! Here Godzilla Battra have this colossal battle underwater, which may sound boring, but's about damn time. It's actually one of the most intense fights of the entire franchise, and one of the best. And I gotta say, it's a pretty lengthy battle at that, not too rigid, very fluid, which isn't a trait seen enough in the battles of these films. Even if the underwater fights make no sense because they take place in super deep water that apparently Godzilla has no problem standing knee-deep in (Still waiting for an answer to that nonsense, Toho). And if those fights weren't enough, the conclusive battle is a real treat to watch from beginning to end. It really feels like one of the most immersive battles of the film as the city itself crumbles around and on the monsters as they combat one another. 

But with all this impressive stuff about this film, I am surprised that the film seems a little unpolished. At times, the scene transitions were incredibly quick. It wasn't as jumbled as Godzilla VS King Ghidorah, but it was still noticeable.  Other problems included small goofs that just should have been noticed. A few times when Godzilla is obviously roaring, yet there's no roar heard, at one point I swore I could hear the wheels and motor that propel that large Mothra larva, just small things like this that should have been taken care of. The music, very traditional for the Godzilla films, but enjoyable for the film. All this put together...I still believe this film was the perfect film for me to start out on in my Godzilla love.

I may be somewhat biased here, but I am giving Godzilla VS Mothra: The Battle for Earth a nice three star rating out of four. It definitely has problems. But it does make up for its problems with semi-decent characters, and just really fun action. It really did Mothra justice if you ask me, and there's just not enough films that really highlight Mothra in this manner. I feel like Mothra always has to take this backseat to Godzilla, but this film really makes Mothra stand out as a force to be reckoned with if you ask me. 15 years later or so...I'm still giving this film a big thumbs up. And I should say as an added bonus...with America now having the rights to Mothra for our future Godzilla-Kong cinematic  universe we are slowly but surely building, I am excited to see if we can give just as much justice to this monster, as we have Godzilla. We can only wait and see.

Please feel free to suggest any films you'd like me to take a look at in the future. Leave a comment down below explaining your own thoughts and feelings to this film, and as always, thanks for reading.

Final Verdict: 3/4

Sunday, November 13, 2016

REVIEW: Arrival

I like me some Sci-fi. I like it a lot. And one particular scenario that always comes to mind in what I like in this awesome genre, is the potential first contact scenario we will have from beings from another world. Whether it's a violent extermination such as Independence Day, or When Mars Attacks, or a more peaceful approach such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or Star Trek: First Contact, I'm always happy to see how humanity reacts when it is finally contacted by another world. And I'm happy to say that Arrival delivers on many of the ideas and concepts it portrays and introduces, making it the first film to really leave me on a good note this Autumn.  (About time, honestly.) But where Arrival can succeed with flying colors, there are times where I was rubbing my head in confusion as these strange plot points are kinda just dumped on us from out of nowhere, and your suspension of disbelief isn't really played with, more than it is forced on you. Ultimately, this leads to a lot of unanswered questions by the time the credits roll.

Despite the at times, drug out beginning, it doesn't take long at all to get the ball rolling in this film as these massive ships land all over the world. Who are they? What do they want? All these questions and more get asked, and I gotta say that it is all wonderfully done. Your characters, setup, and setting is all set up wonderfully. In a way, it actually reminded me of Independence Day, only not in a bad way. Here, we get twelve vessels that land in places around the world, in completely random locations. They don't position themselves over the world's famous landmarks, one straight up landed in Montana. The world of course takes notice, and confusion happens. Hysteria from the general public, tension with the military, I honestly believe this may be one of the most accurate portrayals of first contact out there. We're introduced to Dr. Louise Banks, played wonderfully by Amy Adams as an expert linguist, who is asked to help find a way to communicate with these mysterious beings. This sets in motion a solid first two thirds of film for me. There is always something keeping your attention, always piquing your curiosity, always wowing your mind.

My first criticism toward this film goes to the aliens themselves. While we don't exactly see them an awful lot in this film, mainly because most of their scenes take place aboard their ship, where they stand behind a literal glass wall of a sort, I didn't see their design to be that compelling. One can argue that as a fan of Star Trek, designs in alien races should be the last thing I criticize, but each race there is fleshed out so incredibly well most of the time, that you don't mind that 90% of the galaxy is humanoid. The aliens have no visible orifices, and seem more like large black squids honestly. I will say though that the way they communicate is great. I love the way they write their language, I love the idea that time to them is perceived differently from how we perceive it, it's all a wonderful blend of sci-fi mesh that again, kept my interest, despite the bland designs of the aliens...and their ship (the interior of this ship is really nonexistent).

As wonderful as the story is for the first two thirds of this film, there are a few things I've been pondering now that I cannot help but wonder. Louise communicates with the aliens by way of visual aid, and introduces them to our writing system, which introduces us to theirs. We see the humans work tirelessly to interpret this new language, and I cannot help but wonder why the aliens themselves didn't bother trying to understand ours. Or attempt to communicate with it. The aliens of this movie, despite having a presence, really don't serve much of a purpose to this film I can't help but feel. Heck, by the time the third act rolls around and the question of why they're there is answered (which I won't deny is actually pretty cool), I cannot help but feel that literally nothing was accomplished.

Spoilers up ahead. Skip this paragraph of you don't want any.

The aliens apparently come to earth because they're in need of humanities help in 3000 years. There are some basic ideas here with their perception of time here that are actually coin a phrase, fascinating. Where we perceive time as linear, time to them is more...whole? They can perceive the beginning, middle, and end. Or something along those lines (the movie explains it better than I can). But after we find out this goal, and how the aliens keep in communication and speak to one another...they literally just leave. And that's their story. This leads to an ending I'm not sure I really like. Out of nowhere, it kinda becomes this last minute romance film. While the two leads get some time to develop thankfully, I cannot help but feel that their actual relationship was kinda just tacked on. One of the things I didn't care for was how Louise apparently all along was this...person who could see the future and see ahead. It lays this whole convenient plot device down in which she may prevent a global war and where memories she thought were past memories were actually visions of her future. And what I cannot stand is that we get little to no explanation as to where she got this ability, or why she has it. Heck she doesn't even seem to tell her husband about it. In fact I'm gonna go ahead and say that I feel the ending of this film is...too happy? Yeah we know how it ends in a way, but at the same time, I cannot help but feel that it just kinda halts this movie. In the bad way. Heck, as the credits begin to roll, there were a lot of questions on my mind that I didn't feel were answered. 

That being said, I still think that the first two thirds are quite solid. Despite some quiet scenes and some small moments of confusion, the contact with the aliens themselves, and the process of communicating with them is really fun to watch. The films score, though nothing memorable, presents a very ominous and very big feeling. It's a very ambient score that's there more to show the importance of the visitors, more than it is to make actual music I guess. And it succeeds. It's not a bad score. And the casting of this film is great. Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner,  Forest Whitaker, they're all great in this film. It's all a wonderful combination to take in, and despite its faults, I am glad to say I saw it. 

I'm giving Arrival a three star rating out of four. The first movie of the Autumn season I've seen to thoroughly entertain me. Despite the flaws it has, it's impossible to say that it's not enjoyable. Even if the first two thirds outshine its conclusion, it does need to be said that it's still a film to admire. It has a lot of really cool ideas that will make you wonder just how accurate the film might be in protocols with first contact scenarios. Who knows how that day will act out, so long as they don't blow our landmarks to hell and back again, I'll be open to their own arrival.

Please feel free to suggest any movies you'd like me to look at. Leave a comment down below encouraging your own feelings of the movie, and as always, thanks for reading.

Final Verdict: 3/4

Sunday, November 6, 2016

THROWBACK REVIEW: Godzilla VS King Ghidorah (1991)

I can already tell you, about 90% of you Godzilla fanatics out there are going to hate this review, so why bother reading it? Get out of here. I'm trying to save you some trouble. I'm doing you a favor right now!  No?  You're staying? Well don't say I didn't warn you. I don't like Godzilla VS King Ghidorah.  In fact...I think it SUCKS! This is the one movie of the entire Godzilla franchise that baffles me as to why it gets praise. More than Shin Gojira! I've at least found some people there who don't like that film. This one? I've heard it hailed as one of the best from people like James Rolfe (aka, the Angry Video Game Nerd), WatchMojo...and I don't care. I don't care if I am the 0.01% of people who don't like this film, there is very little solid ground to hold this film up.  Three major things hold this back from being good. The lack of competent storytelling, the ridiculous origins of both Godzilla and King Ghidorah, and the absolute BUTCHERING of one of my favorite aspect of all science fiction. Time travel! It's like they didn't even try! How is this hailed as one of the best??? Now before I go on my critique, it is worth noting that this is one of four films I have in the Hensei era that I only have the dub of. This means, this is one of the four movies that I can only watch in the English language.  But honestly, part of me doubts it matters here because there's not that much difference in these films here. And I need to say that when I first saw this, I was ecstatic.  I'm a huge science fiction nut. I love Star Trek, Stargate, Futurama, The Outer Limits, the list is endless. And of course I love Godzilla. Well each of the franchises I just listed has dealt with time travel before. Time travel is one of my favorite things about science fiction, and hearing that they brought it to Godzilla? I was on board! THe idea of them going back through time to prevent the mutating of Godzilla is an idea that I will say is borderline genius. I love it! So....what went wrong?

Strap yourselves in guys, this is gonna be a long one.

Right off the bat things get rolling in this film. There is no recap of the previous films, there is no time to get what's going on, you just see a flying saucer flying in the skies over the world, we see our main characters talking about said flying saucer, and then we see a guy preaching in the museum about dinosaurs and how they'll save mankind or something. I'm going to get this out of my system right now, this movie is likely the most random movie of the entire era.  Things happen...because reasons. For example, maybe five minutes into the movie, writer character is talking to old soldier character (I don't know their names) in which old soldier character tells writer character that a dinosaur saved his troops during a battle in WWII, but that none of them reported the event because they were the only garrison to survive, and that no one would have believed them. Well if that's the case, why is he preaching about the dinosaurs saving them in the museum? The pacing of this movie is so clunky at times, that I wonder if they even tried with the whole idea of a transition.  When King Ghidorah is rampaging, we cut to a...slightly romantic scene? In which two of our characters are sharing their inner thoughts about the situation and whatnot, before it just immediately cuts to the destruction again. It's just very awkward.  I might as well get the ball rolling on the characters of this movie.  They're really....really bad.  Stupidly bad. This might be the dub's fault, for not portraying them perfectly, but I can't blame everything wrong with this film on a language difference. The characters are just so forgettable, and bad. The only two that even made an impression on me were this Android character named M-11, and this guy who throughout the movie claims his garrison was saved by the dinosaur in WWII. M-11, gave me reason to laugh because of how poorly portrayed he is for an android. They pull every trope out of the book for him taking tips from the Terminator, Robocop, and other silly robot science fiction movies. He is ripe with bad special effects, and while I'm aware that Japanese filmmaking is highly budgeted, if budgeted things like Star Trek could actually give a good  good portrayal of an android...EARLIER than this film, then  this really should not have been difficult.  There was an effect that stood out so embarrassingly bad at one point that I actually had to pause the movie to laugh it out (he was running through the jungle, and for a split second, you could tell he was on a coaster or something because his actual legs weren't moving). And then we have old soldier dinosaur man who does nothing in this film but be sad and depressed that his dinosaur savior is destroying Japan.  His last scene is incredibly stupid.  He just decides he's gonna die because movie. His exact words are "Let me have it my way." Someone play some Frank Sinatra for him.

I might as well talk about the dub problems of the film. The film is absolutely ripe with laughable lines and awkward lines that are read for these actors. I can tell that had this been the actual Japanese cut, I likely wouldn't have laughed so much at these bad lines. One moment I love comes when a jet is flying through the air in pursuit of Ghidorah, and he does a roll in the air.  The guy providing the English dub for him decided it would be a good idea to straight up say "I'm...I'm spinning!" As if he were in some sort of peril. I can't take too many points off this film for dub flaws, so I'll just move along.

One thing I never liked, and the fan inside me actually kinda refuses to accept as canon is the ludicrous origin story of Godzilla in this era. I never really liked the idea of the Godzillasaurus. I understand that Godzilla is in fact a radioactive lost dinosaur...unless you're in the present era, in which case have fun with your radioactive lungfish, but the origin story that they present in this film is so absolutely ludicrous and laughable that it presents the weakest point in this era if you ask me. What I mean is, all the mystery, all the terror of what made Godzilla...well...Godzilla in 1954, is just wiped away when we see our heroes travel back in time to WWII in the Pacific. A concept again, I'd like to make perfectly clear, that I was open to. But the way it's executed is just pitifully stupid. We see the United States and Japan fighting in the war as our time traveling party keeps out of the danger, somehow watching the conflict from the safety of their time machine, and then we see the Godzillasaurus, in all its rubbersuited glory tromping through the forest. How did it survive? What does it eat to stay alive? Who cares? I'm still trying to figure out how the Japanese commander identified it as a dinosaur when he was in his bunker to begin with. (But this is the least of my gripes)

There are two major things I hate about this scene. Firstly, I gotta acknowledge the elephant in the room. The depiction of the Americans in this movie is a complete joke. Again, this movie was made when our nations were in an economical tension. I understand that we likely weren't hosting favorable views of Japan. But when Ishiro Honda says you've gone too far....then movie, you screwed up. While acting has never been impressing to me in these films, the Americans in this movie are laughable. Everything they do or say makes....little to no sense. Two officers see what I'd only see as a meteor, they watch it crash on the island and immediately say it came from another planet. But do they report it? No, they just say "Let's keep it a secret." ...WHY?  If you're gonna claim you just saw a UFO, then screw you, I don't care who you are, I'm telling someone! Does the term national security not mean anything to you? Sure you could tell your son about it, but what good would that be if Little Green Men do indeed take over your planet? Fast forward to the Godzillasaurus attacking the troops and we see some horrible acting when they're reporting the dinosaur attack, in which little gunfire is working, even from a bazooka...I'll buy it I guess. The navy unloads on the Godzillasaurus, giving it quite a bombardment, a navy officer gives possibly the best worst line I've ever heard in my life ("Take that you dinosaur."), and then because movie, the Godzillasaurus gets up and just kills the American soldiers and leaves the Japanese soldiers alone in a storm of awful effects and stupid plot reasons.  Then because movie the Americans just decide, fuck it, we're leaving. To hell with burial retrieval and no man left behind. Let's get the hell out of here. This is one of the most incompetent military forces I've ever seen in a movie. The military in Godzilla 1998 are BUTCH compared to this, and I gotta say they were pretty incompetent themselves. This was just a big slap to the face of America. Makes Biollante's American characters almost likable. Again, I understand that negative publicity was a thing during this time. But that isn't an excuse for me. I don't even like it when Hollywood does that kind of thing. It's just stupid.

But my other big gripe about this scene comes from the Godzillasaurus itself. How does it survive? Because the movies have me believe that it was radiated via nuclear testing in the 1950's. Yet the navy gave it quite the whooping. We aren't told how it managed to survive despite being on its near death bed, and what's even more stupid is that our protagonists are there to teleport it into the ocean in the future to prevent it from ever becoming Godzilla...AND THAT SHOULD KILL IT.  This is my biggest issue with this story. What they're doing should thoroughly kill Godzilla. It has yet to be irradiated, mutated, or changed in any way. So their teleporting it to the ocean should just straight up drown Godzilla. Does it? Of course not. I guess dinosaurs don't have to worry about drowning, we see him just walking along the bottom of the ocean later on in the movie, as happy as a clam. But if that wasn't stupid enough, the origin they have for King Ghidorah was stupid on a whole other level.  They introduce these little mini Ghidorah's with only one head, called Dorrats, which they replace the Godzillasaurus with in secret so that when the nuclear testing happens, King Ghidorah will be created.  Couple questions here. Firstly how do the Futurians as they're called in this movie know that leaving three dorrats on this island, exposing them to radiation would create Ghidorah? They say that nuclear weapons and whatnot are banned where they come from, so they likely didn't have the resources to test this little theory.  Ask me, these dorrats should have died, seeing as how they're barely the size of a tribble. Second question...I understand that Ghidorah is a three headed monster, but how does a little radiation mutate three little dorrats into this hulking monstrosity of Ghidorah? It made more sense with Godzilla, an already big beast. Here, they're stretching the already stretched suspension of disbelief to the breaking point, expecting me to believe that three small creatures somehow merged, giving up limbs, wings, body mass, and becoming one of the most iconic creatures of the franchise. I don't buy it.  Not for a second movie! I understand that they wanted a different origin for Ghidorah, rather than just doing with the monster from space routine again, but sometimes, older is better. And I still haven't discussed my issues with how they rebirth Godzilla. It's way too instantaneous. They literally just send a nuclear submarine down to awaken him, they sink, and Godzilla is suddenly bigger and more violent than before. Okay, I'm guessing Godzilla doesn't work like a cup of noodles. You don't just add radiation, and get an instant King of Monsters. I think it would be a bit more complex than that. I can think of many things that could have fixed this right off the top of my head. 

But none of this goes into my biggest issue with the movie.  Time travel. The thing that should have been one of the coolest things this franchise ever attempted, is actually one of the things I wish they never even touched.  Why?  Well to quote Dr. Emmet L. Brown, this film doesn't "think fourth dimensionally". At all. Any interesting complex aspect that comes with Time Travel is completely absent in this film. There is no cause and effect, and there's no consequence. They go back in time, teleport Godzilla to the future to prevent his transformation, and they go back, and it is literally like none of that ever happened. They get back and the head Futurian literally said, "We just got the report, Godzilla has vanished from history."  If that's the case, then why does EVERYONE STILL KNOW HIM?! I mean that too.  EVERYONE knows the name Godzilla. Despite that Ghidorah supposedly took his place, everyone knows of the devastating past that Godzilla had. HOW?! If Godzilla vanished from history, that means that literally NOTHING of the past films would have happened, which means absolutely no one of that time period who didn't travel back to 1944 would know the name or the history. Hell, I can take this further.  Plenty of people who died would still be alive. Japan likely could have built better and even stronger cities than before. The futurians may not even exist anymore. And who's to say that King Ghidorah didn't do any of the rampaging that Godzilla did? Why does literally no one know who Ghidorah is? Is any of this addressed?  Absolutely not. Instead, Time travel is reduced to one's typical trip to the grocery store, and as soon as they come back, everyone is shocked that Godzilla is gone, but suddenly this Ghidorah is just devastating Japan after appearing "out of nowhere". Again. Not how it works. All the aspects that make Time Traveling a compelling, and even tense aspect of science fiction are gone.  They weren't even touched. The first time I saw this, I was fuming. And I'm no more forgiving watching it now.

All these problems plague this movie for the first two thirds. about the third act? Well despite a few film contradictions which I'll get to, I actually like the third act of this film.  The action, true to the Hensei spirit, is a wonderful treat to see, and I gotta say that the battles that Godzilla and Ghidorah have are incredibly violent, even if they're not as bloody as those between him and Biollante. It's all a marvelous treat to watch, and even when Ghidorah is out of the picture, Godzilla's city rampages of this era continue to be a marvelous destructive treat to enjoy. Almost to the point where i can forgive a few of the faults of the third act.  They say that no two of the same beings may be in one area of time as the other (I don't know why, since we saw that in Back to the Future and Star Trek, but whatever), yet once Mecha-Ghidorah comes into play, it thouroughly places two Ghidorahs in the same time period. You got one on the bottom of the ocean, and one doing the fighting. And that mecha Ghidorah falls into the ocean, which would mean that there are actually two Ghidorah's on the bottom of the sea now? They completely ignore this plot hole, but I don't care too much. Another thing is that they don't really bother explaining how a mortally wounded Ghidorah managed to stay alive for two centuries on the bottom of the ocean to become revived. But when you're seeing the battling going on, you just don't care.  The third act of this film is very solid, despite the few faults it does have, and it's what I enjoy most about this movie. I just wish I didn't have to sit through two thirds of crap just to watch it.

At the end of the day, I likely take this film much too seriously, but I think I have a small right to. I'm sure a lot of you don't like what I have to say about this film. And if you enjoy it for whatever reason, I can certainly see why. That third act is wonderful, and even when the film is bad, it's not un-entertaining. I can see many of you labeling this film in the so bad that it's good territory.  In a lot of ways it is. But the lack of competent storytelling to me is just a bit insulting now.  Don't even bother trying to say that it's not as big a budget as hollywood, you don't need a budget to write a competent story. This is a clear example to me when I say that Toho at times just doesn't care about their Godzilla stories.  The reason I'm being as harsh as I am with this movie is because I want to give you the idea that I want a good story for these films.  I'm not asking for a best picture. I'm not asking for better looks. I'm asking for a story to care about. Something that makes me really root for our heroes as they struggle against one or two monsters. Two monsters that mind you, are easily amongst the most iconic monsters of the franchise. Godzilla himself, and Ghidorah...arguably his biggest Nemesis. I wanted something to really give these two monsters justice. This movie is not that movie. We may laugh at silly dubbed lines, or awkward acting at times, you can spend all day laughing at a turd. At the end of the day, it's still a turd. And that's how I feel about this movie.

Godzilla VS King Ghidorah gets a one star rating out of four. I almost gave it the initial one and a half star rating, but I can't be too generous.  I want to send the message that I want quality.  This is another reason I was so harsh with Godzilla Resurgence earlier this year. I want Toho to care about their films. I want them to care about their audience. And I want them to care about Godzilla. I didn't see that care in this film as I have in other films.  And it is for that reason, I cannot in my right mind say this is one of the best of the franchise. One or two good monster fights do not make a good movie for me. And when it comes to things like Time Travel, unless you explicitly lay out your rules for how you play it, I will not take too many rule breaks. I have seen worse films of this franchise, but I did include this on the list of the worst monster movies I've seen back in the day for a reason. And watching it again, I'm genuinely sorry to say, that I hold to that stance. I know a lot of you may enjoy ripping me a new one for that stance, but I do expect better from Toho, and I am thankful to say that we have gotten better films since then.

Please feel free to suggest any films you'd like me to review down below.  Leave a comment explaining your own thoughts or feelings of the film down below, and as always, thanks for reading.

Final Verdict: 1/4

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

THROWBACK REVIEW: Godzilla VS Biollante (1989)

Godzilla VS Biollante is one of the few Godzilla films of this or any era that puts any real effort into the story behind the monstrous showdown the title advertises, even if the story itself falls short of other stories of the series.  That's not to say that no other Godzilla films are entertaining or fun to watch, that's me saying this is one of the few films out there that puts any effort into the actual story behind the origin, and background of Godzilla's nemesis in this film.  And that is a real good thing.  Despite the Hensei era being amongst my favorite eras, this is one of only two films that actually does this, the other being Godzilla VS Destoroyah, but it needs to be said that the story here is very hit or miss. I will say that most of the Hensei films are a lot of fun, and superior to other Godzilla films, especially those made during the Showa era, and even a few during the Millenium, but still, a lot of them are guilty of having very little reason to actually exist, other than pit one iconic monster against another. Again, I don't want anyone to mistake this for hating any of these films, because truth be told...I only really dislike one of the Hensei films. But we'll get to that film when we get to it.  Onto Biollante!

Despite my liking of this movie, this is the first film of the era to really showcase the weak story trait of most Godzilla films. We get an opening recap of the previous movie of Godzilla rampaging in Tokyo, before we get a monotone, and uninteresting recap of it in the style of an American news broadcast, before we see three characters which I guess are American soldiers? Stealing Godzilla skin samples, gunning down Japanese military (no doubt putting tons of offscreen diplomatic tensions between the two nations) before they're just gunned down by...token Japanese badass gunner, who's only literal lines in this movie revolve around "'s Godzilla!". I just described the first few minutes of this movie. Who are these English Speaking soldiers? What were they gonna do with the skin samples? Who cares? Certainly not the movie. Actually while I'm on the subject, the depiction of America in this film...and of other films in this era for that matter is absolutely laughable. This can be attributed to some economical tension between the two nations at the time I guess. There's a scene in the beginning of the film, in which two American...spies? Thieves? I have no idea... But these two obviously American characters (one of which looks like a Japanese actor), are wearing two baseball hats with blatant American flag designs, in which they're focused on nothing but the looks of a woman. I find this kind of political message absolutely laughable at how bad it is.  This is the equivalent of me creating a political character for a movie, and blatantly labeling them with a parody name tag of who they are so obviously supposed to represent, while having them behave like a five year old. Did the director of this film REALLY think that was how Americans dressed? They're from America. They must wear American flag attire! And be easily distracted by a female character. Why are we depicting America like this?  Because America sucks. We don't like the current economical situation we have with them. And I guess America bombed Japan.  Take that America! That'll teach you...I guess? Seriously, the grudge that Japan had against America at this time is so obvious in these films, that it's kinda...mind-numbingly annoying. It seems that it's only there to serve as a blatant "We don't like America" message for ten year olds. It contributes nothing to the story. At all! The two thieves we're introduced to are killed, and though we get a brief glimpse into who they are and whatnot, they literally serve no other purpose than to just be the forced Political message for the movie.  A message that is nowhere near as strong as the film's predecessor mind you.

I will give credit to this movie, it's one of the few out there that actually attempts to have characters that are in any way memorable or likable and easy to connect with. Particularly when it comes to Dr. Shiragami. He has very believable motivations and goals in this film, even if they are a bit far fetched. The whole "talking plants" thing in order to preserve the spirit of his deceased daughter was a bit silly. Especially since it was kinda just thrown out the window when a psychic character out of the blue just pretty much said, "There's no sign of your daughter anymore, it's just a monster like Godzilla!" Despite the weaker story there, he remains one of the more connectable characters of the film. And while there are other likable traits by other characters, he is easily the strongest. And even some of the more minor characters are pretty fun.  I had a good laugh at a soldier who gave a one liner, "Medicine is ways best when taken orally.", before firing a bazooka of bacteria into Godzilla's mouth, before getting killed. Moments like that are in this movie. Which is a pity because like other Godzilla films, there are a LOT of characters in this movie that straight up suck. Like token Japanese badass gunner who has two lines in this entire movie. You can say "Oh but he wasn't Japanese, he worked for that foreign nation in this film." I don't care.  It's obviously a Japanese actor. He's wearing shades more than to look like a token badass. His accent is noticeable. He has zero personality in this movie and is just there to serve as a plot device to axe off characters you actually kinda like.  Like Dr. Shiragami. The "bad guys" of this film have very little motivation in this entire film.  In fact, I'm still unsure who the bad guys even are.  Is it the Americans?  Is it some unnamed Middle Eastern country? I mean it's a possibility, they were talking about plant genetics to help plant growth in the global deserts.Yet they serve little purpose other than to just be there, and be evil. I laughed when they heard that they'd lost a valuable anti-nuclear eating Bacteria organism, and their first resort was to just...axe Dr. Shiragami. Our plan failed.  Guess there's nothing to do but see if we can steal back the organism, or get some Godzilla Skin samples of our own...nah, let's just kill the guy who made the discovery. 

I gotta ask this...what is with the almost impossible to understand English language in this movie? I'm not trying to sound flat-out racist here, but I gotta bring up the previous Godzilla film I watched, in which some characters spoke English, yet were not easily understandable.  The DVD...which is an unofficial copy mind you, gave subtitles for what they spoke. And even without them, I likely could have understood better than what I heard here.  Here? On an actual official release, some characters speak English, with a HEAVY accent.  Yet there's no subtitle options for them. I gotta go from the hip on what I think I hear.  Another note on the DVD subtitles, I can tell that a few of the translations are either way too literal, or just straight up wrong. I had a good laugh at the translation "We are looking for a stuff." Nice one there guys.

Honestly, I know I'm being a little harsh at the moment, but I don't hate this film.  It's actually a very satisfying film. I thought the idea of a bacteria that could eat away Nuclear Material was very very fun. A clever idea indeed, even if executed a little sloppy. It's up there among other fun ways to stop Godzilla such as the infamous Oxygen Destroyer of the original film. I also like how this is one of the first films in this era to really cling to the science-fiction aspect of this franchise in more ways than one.  Even if we got terrible characters, some characters of this film are psychic, and gifted with limited communication with Godzilla and Biollante. It kinda serves as a plot device, but a likable one.  I also love the military technology, which undoubtedly throws any Post WWII military restrictions right out the window with the Super-X2, and these tanks that fire lasers and whatnot. It leads to some of the funnest concepts of the era, and undoubtedly some of the coolest action.

Speaking of which, the action in this movie is absolutely GLORIOUS. The monster fights between Godzilla and Biollante are easily some of the most graphic and brutal fights of the entire franchise. We see Biollante bleeding sap all over the place, we see Godzilla's hand and skin get pierced by the vines, we see Biollante spraying acid all over Godzilla's face, we see Godzilla burning Biollante alive with his radioactive heat. It's all glorious.  But despite this...I can't help but feel it to be very underwhelming. Mainly because of how glorious it is. Biollante is a plant. A plant is fighting a giant radioactive death breathing dinosaur. Who do you think is gonna win?  Despite the action being fun to watch, there's really not that big a payoff in the whole combat. Especially when you start to realize that all Godzilla is doing is standing there, unleashing radioactive death. Yeah they grapple and whatnot after on, but a lot of the time, it's very stiff and that's when you get feelings of it being underwhelming. And since the conclusion of this fight really just confuses me more than anything...I really can't say  it's flawless. Biollante just kinda dies, and Godzilla just kinda wanders into the water after the bacteria affects him...only to rise again completely fine. I don't buy their water temperature theory either. 

All in all, it's a nice way to followup the wonderful 1984 return of Godzilla, but I can't help but feel this film was rushed in more ways than one, and therefore, suffers. Despite being a roller coaster of good and bad, there's not too much oomf in this film to make me really consider it one of the best.  It's certainly not bad, it's good, I like it, but from what I remember, most of the other Hensei films had a stronger approach. But we'll see as we get to those.  I'm giving Godzilla VS Biollante a two and a half star rating out of four. It's a lot of fun, it'll make you laugh, whether it's actually funny, or laughably bad in areas. It's got some of the coolest action of the franchise, even if a bit underwhelming, and honestly, one of the coolest monsters the franchise ever created.  I think Biollante is terrifying! Yeah, it has its weaknesses, but that alligator plant beak and those vines make for one very cool monster. I give this film a thumbs up, despite the flaws it can have.

Please feel free to request any film's you'd like me to look at.  Leave a comment down below expressing your own thoughts and opinions of the film, and as always, thanks for reading.

See you next week when we review...(sigh)...Godzilla VS King Ghidorah.

Final Verdict: 2.5/4