Invasion Roswell/Exterminators (2013) [REVIEW] | Made for TV invasion

Lurking about the various streaming sites (and also by browsing Amazon recommendations, if you have an order history like mine), i’d hard not to notice that alongside monster movies, one of the safest go-to themes for a b-movie – especially if it’s a made for TV – it’s aliens.

Yes, the “subgenre” it’s not as popular as it was in the ’90s, thanks to tech billionaries indirectly making the point that the “space age” it’s not coming anytime soon, and also making us quite undesirable to contact by the prospective of hypothetical extraterrestrial, but it’s clearly still cheap, fast and popular enough, since i keep on stumbling on “army vs aliens” i never heard of but that managed to get DVD releases, with confusingly non-descript and generic cover artworks.

Though i found this one, Invasion Roswell, on Amazon Prime Video, under his other – and far more generic – title of Exterminators. Despite not being about giant spiders.

But worry not, it has another, slightly more fitting alternate title, “Battle: Earth”. Or the german DVD one, “Exterminators VS Aliens”.

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So Microsoft just bought Activision Blizzard King, like that

I usually don’t comment much on gaming news, stat, but this is such a monumental event i feel compelled to say something, as it doesn’t happen everyday that Microsoft just outright bought Activision Blizzard, one of the biggest companies since the Atari era.

And boy, my opinion on it really can’t be anything but disgust, as its another “Disney move” leading to an even shittier cyberpunk present we have, as it strangles even more the flebile sense of “competition” in the market, as corporate behemots are eaten by other mostrously larger corporate behemoths.

One might argue that this new leadership situation might improve the hive of scum, sexual assault and toxic workplace culture Activision Blizzard (which also including King, the Candy Crush guys) has become known for (alongside his many, identically minded buddies like Ubisoft), and it might, but it doesn’t change the fact that Microsoft now has Bethesda and Activision-Blizzard under its direct control.

I don’t expect much to change in terms of console esclusivites, as it doesn’t gel much with Microsoft current business strategy of basically wanting to sell its services (especially the Game Pass) as wide as possible, so i don’t expect them to make Call Of Duty NOT come out on PS consoles or anything like that in near future.

Again, some good things might come out of this, but i’ve seen how this industry behaves long enough to not trust anything positive change in it, not where it matters.

So, i’d say it sucks shit, and it’s kinda depressing overall, honestly.

[EXPRESSO] Demon Slayer: Mugen Train (2020) | Eternal Pyre

Fuck it, i’m reviewing this one as well, since it did eventually arrive just now in theathers here in Italy…. after being made available on Amazon Prime Video months earlier, but i’m willing to watch it again to support anime cinema releases, and to properly assess things further for a review.

Since the series it’s the more recent shonen manga success story, i doubt i need to introduce Demon Slayer/Kimetsu No Yaiba, even more since i feel its success lies in being pretty straightforward and easy to connect, as its set in a fantasy Japan of old, where demons lurk at night and feast on people, but are fought back by a secret order of samurai with mystical blades and techniques, the Demon Slayer Corps.

The protagonist, Tanjiro, becomes a Demon Slayer in hopes to undo the curse that made his sister Nezuko a demon, and along the way befriendes the cowardly lightining fast swordman Zenitsu, as well as Inosuke, a wild boy wearing a boar mask.

The plot revolves around the trio being tasked to – alongside an experienced demon slayer called Rengoku – embark a train and protect the people on it from eventual demon ambushes, and this isn’t an original story, a mostly disconnected one-off adventure, as most of these shonen anime movies are, but actually bridges the events of the first and second season, and has some important stuff happening in it, so i wouldn’t recommend jumping into this if you haven’t seen the first season (or red the equivalent manga chapters), for spoiler reasons.

That said, it can be watched fine on its own, and rewatching it made clear it’s a pretty good shonen manga film, with excellent animation from ufotable as expected, funny moments, good drama, likeable characters and intense fights with high stakes.

[EXPRESSO] Exhibition On Screen: Sunflowers (2021) | Now Available On CDi

Yeah, i changed my mind and on a whim went to see this limited screening event release.

This is actually the latest in the Exhibition On Screen gallery series of art documentaries, which already featured the dutch master painter Van Gogh twice (Van Gogh In Japan and Van Gogh: A New Way Of Seeing), which makes sense as many other films (documentaries and fiction) based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh and his art were and are still made regularly, with various degrees of quality.

So i was surprised by this one, as it centers on an apparently both specific and banal subject of Van Gogh’s output, his series of Sunflowers paintings, often mistaken as a single work but actually consist of 11 variations-iterations, and exploring the reasons why these prove to be incredibly iconic and popular for decades, the factual events (and theories) under which Van Gogh painted them, and some narrative inserts with actor Jamie de Courcey as Van Gogh.

Honestly, it explores the subject quite well, avoiding most of the obvious and beyond well known facts, and it being just a glorified advert for a museum (as they can be, like that one documentary about the Hermitage narrated by Jeremy Irons), while we do travel across the globe to see the 5 publicly owned pieces of the series (one in the Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum, of course), in what they differ from each other, and we go a bit deeper in the matters of restauration, of critique and preservation of these painting, as well into connected topic of botany, and the persisting popularity of what are – at first glance – very simple and almost banal in terms of subject.

Not great, but definitely a good art documentary, one coming in a comfortable 90 minutes package.

Jump Force PS4 [REVIEW- FUNERAL] | To The Digital Graveyard With You!

One might wonder why review Jump Force now, as it got “internet spanked” quite enough when it came out in 2019. Aside the fact i don’t need a reason to do so… Namco Bandai gave me a big one, by announcing they would remove the game from digital storefronts, alongside the 2 season passes, the DLCs characters and content by february 8th 2022, with online functionalities and features shutting down entirely by August 24th 2022, this on all platforms.

Now, i know this would be reason for joy to many, but i’m an archivist at heart, and while i won’t miss the microtransaction laden bullshit, i find it silly that they didn’t even managed to make a complete edition of it with all the content on disc, only the Deluxe Edition on Switch with the Season Pass 1 content baked in the cart.

So years in the future you won’t be able to play the Season Pass 2 characters at all, which isn’t exactly a loss given the game wasn’t good to begin with, but it’s even more soon-to-be legally lost content. The loss of the online functionalities was inevitable, to a point, but the rest not so much.

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David And Goliath (2016) [REVIEW] | He said Jehova!

Figured we’d take this occasion of very few time on my hands and wanting to see some crap on Amazon Prime Video in order to complete Wallace Brothers’ filmography, after covering his Jurassic/Alien Expedition movie during 12 Days Of Dino Dicember not too long ago.

As in, that movie its the second and so far the last one he ever did, with only this David And Goliath movie listed in his IMDB directing credits… and roles overall, he apparently just directed this two direct-to-video cheapo movies and nothing.

Again, going from the IMDB page, and as we learnt by going through the various Godfrey Ho and Joseph Lai ninja flick, IMDB it’s not that definitive a database, but checking on other sites like Letterboxd doesn’t make any new info surface, so…

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[EXPRESSO] The House (2022) | Trifecta Triumphant

New stopmotion animation film on Netflix with (also) animal people, you know i’m already in.

Even more since it’s a small anthology of 3 stories, one about a poor family meeting a miraculous proposal, one about an anxious ratman constructor trying to score estate success, and the last about an exhausted landlord, all tied together by revolving about the same house, while taking place in different epochs and with different kind of characters, going from humans to ratman and catmen.

The character models aren’t clay or the odd-papermaciè style seen in Mary Shelley’s Frankhole, but go for a very textured felt-wool look, with a very fuzzy feel juxtaposed to the horror atmosphere and visuals, even though just the first story has actual supernatural horror elements, there’s always a sinister or weird tone to most of the events, with some very stilish visuals to match.

Animation it’s top notch, the character models have very good designs and craft, and it’s a quite good trifecta of stories, with a balanced mix of horror, satire, drama and comedy, quite grabbing as you always wanna see where they’re going in exactly. I think the second one it’s arguably the best, as you never quite sure what direction it’s gonna go, gets weirder and has an even weirder ending.

And stuff like a trip-out insects & maggots musical sequence.

And free-roaming hippie catmen.

Honestly, i don’t really have much to complain about or add in general, if your ears peaked up like a fox at “animated stopmotion anthology film with lots of style and fun substance”, the chances are good you’re gonna like this one, easily. And it comes in a pretty good 90 minutes package, with everything in it feeling as long as it needs to be.

What a really great surprise, too. Excellent.

Ganbare Arino-san!

Today there’s no review, no promise of something coming to the blog later this year, not even a ramble on a recent subject. This one it’s for the analytics, to have something posted on to keep my streak going, but i can say i’m working on the reviews of two anime fighters, both really close to completition.

And i can recommend you watch good ol’ Arino, any way you can, good stuff!

I’m not gonna pull a “seriously though” because i do feel like Game Center CX would be up many people alleys when talking about retro videogames shows, but seems kinda niche in the “anglophone” sphere on the web.

That is better than just posting a screenshot from an anime and be done with it.

I will say i’m sorry i can’t offer much in terms of cinema releases, as even the events are lackluster, with a new documentary-style film about Van Gogh’s Sunflowers paintings and Demon Slayer: Mugen Train getting released as event projections.

Shame Mugen Train was already released here officially dubbed on Amazon Prime Video last year, i would love to see it theathers again, still, but that argument train left the station time ago, and i’m leasurelly watching the Entertaiment District arc of Demon Slayer for my own pleasure, btw.

Yeah, it’s january alright in terms of releases, even in “The Boot”, and i’ve rambled anyway, bye!

Shriek of The Mutilated (1974) [REVIEW] | Have you ever had… a Yeti feast?

I teased it a couple of times, so why not, let’s go down deep into the yeti hole by fishing out cult exploitation crapfest Shriek of The Mutilated, a classic go-to for fans of the cinematic abysmal, a common territory for most movies about the legendary humanoid cryptid Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Yeti, as the poor bastard it’s quite popular fodder for bad movies regardless of decade.

This is some primo shlock, coming from Michael Findlay and his wife Roberta Finlay, both infamous exploitation directors and producers behind many erotic and horror films, but i’d wager you most likely know them for the rather infamous Snuff from 1975, aka them riding the rumors around the existence of actual snuff films, marketing Snuff itself as a real snuff movie and making it about non-Charles Manson guiding around his cult followers into a killing spree.

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