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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kong: Skull Island (2017)



After watching Awakening the Zodiac, it was time to change genres. Having felt such a connection to Caesar, I decided to grab another flick with some Simian heritage. That movie was the 2017 blockbuster Kong: Skull Island.  


Plot/ A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.


I am sure that this is going to be a polarizing film split between the love or hate communities. Personally, I loved this one and think that this is one of the better blockbuster creature features to come out in some time. I will admit that there were a ton of plot holes and the characters were not only flat, but their decision making was unfathomable, but I was able to look past those elements. All of the creatures were amazing, with this representation of Kong being one of my favorites. The fight scenes were fierce and at times gory, and the performances were solid. Overall, this was exactly as advertised a blockbuster creature feature that brought one of the all-time greats back from the dead. In the end, the film will likely disappoint some hardcore Kong fans. Yes, it has some flaws, but if you are in the mood for a mindless creature feature with some tremendous fight scenes this one is for you.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Awakening the Zodiac (2017)



After spending last night reviewing the latest entry from the Planet of the Apes series, I decided to get back to something more realistic for my next review. That movie is the 2017 thriller Awakening the Zodiac.


Plot/ The story follows a down-on-their-luck couple that discovers a serial killer's film reels. They decide to take the law into their own hands, risking everything for the chance at a $100,000 reward. It isn't long until they find themselves in the killer's lethal cross-hairs.


I love movies about serial killers, especially ones with a historic and mysterious appeal. With that being said, Awakening The Zodiac was much better than I imagined when I saw the synopsis at Family Video. More of a thriller than a true horror movie, this one comes complete with some originality and a dark/heavy atmosphere that helps bring everything together. Overall, the storyline, the performances, the cinematography, and the scripting work extremely well together and create something better than one would expect. Yes, there are some head-scratching moments and there are a few moments where the editing feels like it removed a bit too much of a scene (probably due to budget or time issues), but those flaws are minor in the grand scheme. In the end, this is one of the better thrillers to come out in some time and one that has an authentic feel. Give it a shot; it is worth watching.


Monday, July 17, 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)



After taking a couple days to enjoy my trip to Columbus and the Softball World Series event, I decided to kick back tonight and review the movie I saw over the weekend. That one is the finale of the Planet of the Apes reboot, 2017s War for the Planet of the Apes.


Plot/ After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.


I had heard a few different perspectives on this movie that covered the entire spectrum of film reviews. With that in mind, I figured that this would definitely be one of those love/hate entries that seem to be growing with every passing release. While that is fine (and somewhat expected), I am definitely at the point where seeing is believing. I absolutely loved this one and think that it is a film that does have some elements that have to sit inside your mind before the entire depth of the storyline and script hit home. The storyline is detailed with a few different subplots woven in, the performances are solid, scripting works, and the CGI is amazing. In fact, the imagery created in this one was top-notch throughout. Yes, it does have a slower pace and there are many silent moments used for effect, but those elements only add to the meaning of the film and work well for emphasis. In the end, I can see why this will be a polarizing film and a movie that will fall into the love/hate category. Sure, there could have been some more action and some of the storyline is a touch absurd, but that happens in many films. For me, this is a movie with a message and one that was a perfect capstone and one that left me wanting more. Check it out and make your own decision.


Friday, July 14, 2017

The Discovery (2017)



As the first day of Worlds winds down, I figured it was time to finish writing up one of the last movies I watched before leaving Pennsylvania. That movie was the 2017 drama/mystery The Discovery.  


Plot/ Two years after the afterlife is scientifically proven, a man attempts to help a young woman break away from her dark past.



I watched this the other night with absolutely no idea of what to expect. Unfortunately, while the cast was awesome, the overall story felt played out and uninteresting. That isn’t saying that the premise wasn’t interesting, it just felt uninspired and seemed to waste the solid performances. A perfect set-up for a horror or psychological thriller, the love story aspects added in did nothing to make the film grow on you. The film did have some solid cinematography and a subject matter that mixed well with the performances, but even that could not save it and make it memorable. In the end, there wasn’t any major flaw that brought this one down, but the movie also didn’t have any one spot to make it memorable. If you have no other choice, give it a shot, just do not expect a masterpiece.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Kong Island (1968)



As I lay here relaxing after spending some time in the hot tub here in Columbus, I figured it was time to jump into the blog. My next selection for review is a movie that I believe no one else should ever suffer through, the 1968 creature feature Kong Island (AKA King of Kong Island).


Plot/ A group of mad scientists travel to Kong Island where they implant receptors into the brains of gorillas planning to create a gorilla war for world domination. Out to break a few heads is a descendant of King Kong.


I decided to go back to the no-budget creature feature collection I picked up, but I definitely picked the wrong movie. There is really nothing I can say about this film that could make me feel better about watching it. Yes, it is THAT bad. There is no coherent storyline, there is no Kong (or island), the effects are beyond bad, and the performances are not even uneven (terrible comes to mind). Yes, there are some good-looking women sprinkled throughout the film, but even that cannot do anything to stop the train wreck. While I understand that there were tremendous budget constraints, but even that cannot be used as an excuse for this miserable piece of cinema. In the end, if this wasn’t part of this set, I doubt I would have ever heard about it. Unfortunately, I sat through it, now I hope to stop you from suffering the same fate. Stay away!