MOVIE REVIEW: COLOSSAL (Nacho Vigalondo, 2016)

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Started as a cool concept where Anne Hathaway controlled a Godzilla/Cloverfield-like monster in Seoul, but eventually abandoned its metaphors and never went beyond its “There’s a monster in all of us” tagline. I wonder what Charlie Kaufman could have done with this conceit.

By the time it reached its final act, it had turned into an actual disaster by way of Ashley Judd revenge B-movies where all men were the real monsters.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published May 30, 2017.)

 

MOVIE REVIEW: GODZILLA (Gareth Edwards, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Godzilla:

1. “The Philippines, 1999.” My heart skipped a beat.

2. I bet it would have been a much better movie if they kept Juliette Binoche and Bryan Cranston until the end credits. The first 20 minutes had some really good performances from these veterans.

3. Aaron Taylor-Johnson may have kicked ass in Kick-ass but he was so bland in this movie. I’ve never seen a worse lead in a disaster popcorn flick since Taylor Kitsch in (choose any of his 2012 movies).

4. So Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen play husband and wife here and then twins in Avengers: Age of Ultron. What is up with these weird casting choices (see Divergent/The Fault in Our Stars)?

5. I’ve always liked Olsen ever since Martha Marcy May Marlene. Also because she’s the only Olsen sister that probably enjoys a plate of bacon.

6. Why did I feel like I just watched a lame Jurassic Park sequel? Oh, if you liked Pacific Rim I’m 99% sure you’ll like this one, too.

7. Godzilla didn’t come out until an hour into the movie. Pfft! They could have removed all the scenes involving Taylor-Johnson and it wouldn’t have made any difference. That train scene? Cut! That skydiving scene? Cut! That stadium reunion? Cut! Who wanted all of this human drama anyway? To recap: humans boring, monsters awesome.

8. Was Cloverfield a rip-off (or homage) of Godzilla? Now that one I really liked.

9. I just realized that I’m no different from Godzilla. I’m chunky, I’m cranky, I create chaos, I take long naps, and I wake up with atomic breath.

10. Did the dog die?! I was too woozy to remember. But did it really die? Isn’t it a rule in movies that dogs should never die?

11. Am I overthinking this or is Godzilla really a bitter and cynical beast? Why is he so against two creatures falling in love and creating babies? Is he simply jealous? Is this the monster version of The Legal Wife?

12. Hero?! Ok. Now I don’t regret sleeping through most of it.

13. The sequel should be set in the Philippines. I bet Godzilla’s enjoying his sweet ol’ time under the Payatas dumpsite.

14. Stay until the end credits. You’ll see a preview of…darkness.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published May 20, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: THE UNBORN (David S. Goyer, 2009)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

It stopped being scary as soon as the possessed kid muttered the classic “Jumby wants to be born now” line. It had me in stitches.

I remember how lovely Odette Yustman looked in Cloverfield. I was not surprised with the gratuitous shower and underwear scenes.

I’m so over movies with twisting body parts and dead people doing the spider walk. Everything screams Asian horror rip-off.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published September 6, 2013.)

MOVIE REVIEW: 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on 10 Cloverfield Lane:

1. If it were the end of the world and I would be evacuating to the nearest shelter, one of the very first things that I would pack as well would be clean (relatively newer) underwear. I wouldn’t want strangers (and future neighbors and/or friends) judging me for having bacon undies. Speaking of, I heard that there were really bacon-scented briefs and boxers for sale in some stores. Wouldn’t this pose a problem if you were caught sniffing yourself (or worse, other people’s privates) in public? (I mean it’s bacon! Who couldn’t resist?)

2. Loved the opening credits interspersed with the car crash scene. It immediately screamed horror movie (or rather HORROR MOVIE!!). Maybe that was one of the reasons why I was a tad dissatisfied with this sequel. I was expecting a grand payoff that just didn’t happen.

3. I had flashbacks of Saw when Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, rocking a white tank top and black non-bacon panties) realized that she was chained to the wall inside a cramped space. When it was further shown that she was (deliberately?) trapped in an underground bunker, I then remembered Room and started to experience claustrophobia yet again. I would never survive living below ground or I would stay true to the phrase “six feet under”. When she had to squeeze through the tiny air ducts, I had to reach for my inhaler because my lungs just stopped functioning.

4. The first two-thirds of the movie was a great psychological thriller that played on a group’s growing paranoia. Howard (played by the excellent John Goodman) was such a shady person and acted like a psycho beneath that teddy bear figure. All of the bunker scenes were really well-staged that when one of the characters was able to escape and the movie started linking itself to the original Cloverfield, I felt cheated and wanted a refund. Such a wasted opportunity. (FYI, if you saw the trailer and one of the posters, you actually had seen the entire movie.)

5. Could anyone help identify that local commercial where they used Frankie Avalon’s Venus as the theme song? I swear it was a soap or beauty product commercial and I have lost a lot of sleep trying to think about it. Anyway, I really loved the soundtrack that included I Think We’re Alone Now and Tell Him (no, not the Barbra and Celine showdown, but Ally McBeal’s go-to song).

6. When they showed the pair of rotting pigs that died after getting exposed to the air outside, I had a terrible feeling that the twist might be similar to The Happening. Now that would really be horrific.

7. While watching Michelle stitch the wound on Howard’s forehead, I was reminded of our Home Economics high school teacher that would give a double and triple zero score if you couldn’t identify the difference between a running stitch and a backstitch. I still didn’t know what those extra zeroes meant to one’s grades, though.

8. Does perchloric acid work the same as hydrofluoric acid (frequently used by Walter White and Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad) in terms of body disposal? I’m asking for a friend.

9. I was so upset that Cannibal Airlines wasn’t real. It sounded like a really fun horror flick. Probably wouldn’t have been as disappointing, too.

Rating: ★★★☆☆