Monday, August 21, 2017

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

After making it through Alien: Covenant this weekend, I decided to change genres completely for my next flick. That movie is the 2017 action/adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Plot/ Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy - whether he likes it or not.

I can see why this is polarizing. On one hand, this is definitely not your traditional King Arthur movie, which would leave traditionalists up in arms. But, there are some interesting aspects that make it entertaining. Personally, I did enjoy the action sequences, the performances, and most of the effects. However, the lack of character development, the modern dialog, and the overall lack of Arthurian atmosphere did not do it for me. Was it a terrible movie? No, in fact, had it been made outside the King Arthur universe it would have likely received a better reception. In the end, if you like period pieces and can look past the idea that this is Arthur and Excalibur, then you may enjoy this one more than I did. Not a terrible movie, but not quite what I was expecting.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Alien: Covenant (2017)

I decided to take a couple days away from the blog to relax and to spend some time helping out a good cause by entering the dunk tank dressed as my favorite character Bert the Bird. That did not stop me from watching a couple movies. The first one that I am going to review from that group is the 2017 sci-fi entry Alien: Covenant.

Plot/ The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination and must attempt a harrowing escape.

I have always been a fan of the Alien universe and was looking forward to this installment. Unfortunately, for me, this one did not leave me wanting more as it felt extremely forced and less organic than some of the earlier films that made the franchise great. While it was not terrible, it just lacked the dark and foreboding atmosphere that saturated the earlier entries. Plus, the characters left nothing to be desired and were flat and predictable throughout. Even the Xenomorph and the effects lacked the feel and intensity of the source materials and the ending was expected. The cinematography and scenery worked, the performances were not terrible, and there was potential within the storyline to create something interesting, this one just missed the mark. Overall, it just did not hit home like the originals. In the end, I really wanted to like this film, but I couldn’t. Sure, it was not completely terrible or the worst sci-fi flick out there, but it just did not resonate in the same way that the original Alien films did.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Attack of the Monsters (1969)

As I said yesterday, I needed something mindless and turned to my 12 Creature Features set. Even after the first movie from the set I watched last night, I needed more. That is when I broke down and continued a Gamera marathon with Attack of the Monsters (AKA Gamera vs. Guiron) from1969.

Plot/ Aliens kidnap two children and take them to another planet for the purpose of getting knowledge from their brains, but Gamera follows and tries to rescue them.

So, I went down a Gamera rabbit hole last night and did not come out until I was two movies into it. Incredibly, this flick was even more ludicrous than the first one, but it was also quite entertaining and laughable. This entry had everything fans of this genre will appreciate including crazy monsters made from rubber suits, uneven audio dubbing, and a fascinating storyline that goes off in multiple directions when you least expect it. More of a kid-centric film than the tamest Godzilla entry, this schlockfest is both entertaining and comical, plus it features some decent acting and decent cinematography for what it is. Yes, all of those technical aspects could be considered flaws (and will be from those who didn’t grow up with these creatures), but they are part of the charm. In the end, while I did like Gammera the Invincible more, this one was rather entertaining and did a great job taking me back to my youth. If you are like me and a fan of 1960s monster driven schlock, give this one a shot. It is a blast and kept me entertained.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Gammera the Invincible (1966)

All right, I had planned to review a film that I rented at Family Video, however, that movie was even worse than some of my latest selections. Needing to clear my mind, I decided to head back into some of the schlockfests that came with my 12 Creature Features set, after some debate, I decided on the 1966 American release Gammera the Invincible.

Plot/ An atomic explosion awakens Gammera--a giant, fire-breathing turtle monster--from his millions of years of hibernation. Enraged at being roused from such a sound sleep, he takes it out on Tokyo.

Fans of no-budget monster flicks from the 1960s and 70s should already know what expect from this one; a lower budgeted Godzilla type flick full of cheese and schlock. In fact, this one offers that and more. Yes, there are the cheesy effects with a rubber suit and miniature cities, the storyline is unfathomable and hilarious, the dialog and dubbing while bad and uneven make this one extremely entertaining and laughable. Plus, the soundtrack is awesome and the Cold War tensions are perfect! Of course, for non-fans of this genre, they will say this is a miserable movie with very few redeemable qualities; to them, I say grab some popcorn and free your mind. In the end, technically, there are definitely many flaws, but then again, that was part of the charm of these movies when watching them on the Saturday morning creature features on a UHF channel. If you are from that generation, you should definitely agree with me on that. This one is easy to find in the bargain bins, find it and check it out.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Blessed Ones (2016)

Last night I made it through a couple of movies, but unfortunately, neither did anything more than help me pass time. The first one of those was the 2016 flick The Blessed Ones (AKA Polaris and The Divine Ones).

Plot/ The Blessed Ones shadows a tightly knit cult hiding in a remote desert enclave as they prepare for the impending apocalypse. Two dissenters try to escape through the vast desert wasteland as the cult embarks on a mass suicide pact.

When I read the synopsis of this one at Family Video, I was drawn in. Disturbed cults and serial killers are always great subjects to watch or write about. This low budget indie flick was an interesting film with a storyline that I thought explored many of the darker facets that exist within a cult. The problem is that the budget in no way helped bring what could have been an extremely entertaining and possibly surreal movie to life. Yes, there are some positive moments with solid cinematography and interesting concepts, but overall, the film felt disjointed, the scripting and performances uneven, and the pace felt predictable and forced, unfortunately, these flaws also left the film somewhat unmemorable and left me wanting more. In the end, while I loved the concept, it never really reached its potential. Yes, it has a few moments, but not enough to make it worth watching. Stay away.