[EXPRESSO] Voyagers (2021) | In observation, I analyze

It’s the future, and a group of young men and women, raised to be intelligent and obedient, are sent into space on a mission to colonize a distant planet. But they discover some of the expedition’ secrets, and then rebel to the mission in order to explore their less intelligent, more primitive and irrational side of themselves, resulting in a chaotic struggle with their own fears and lusts.

I want to clarify right away that Voyagers (written and directed by Neil Burger) isn’t a bad movie, it isn’t, but it’s also one of those movies that might come across as incredibly frustrating, the kind of frustrating born not of lazyness or lack of energy and vision, but of ambition too vast for the script own’s good, and – more to the point – its quality.

The premise is intriguing and ripe with potential, the themes are there, there’s clearly a vision, but the execution is incredibly predictable, underwhelming, and some of the more original details of the plot that make it stand out end up unadvertly working against it’s own overall message, coming off as dumb mistakes on part of the program, or contrived excuses to create more conflict.

Like, why the teens are asked to maintain the ship for a mission they themselves simply won’t live enough to carry out ? Why not cryogenically put them to sleep, instead? And yes, they’re teens, so they can be fuck up or be swayed regardless of their IQ or education, sometimes they come off as both incredibly intelligent AND dumb as a bag of bricks (or incredibly naive), somehow, and it never feels natural, just arbitrary bullshit.

There is definitely something to like here, like the good cast and performances, but the overall result it’s an overly ambitious mixed bag. Pity.

Don’t expect a review of Godzilla Battle Line

I planned to play and review this one like i did for the other mobile Godzilla titles Toho unleashed on us this year, as in via the EXPRESSO format, but the game just refuses to work on my iPhone, regardless if i reset the device, uninstall and reinstall it, remove other apps to make space in the phone’s memory storage, i have tried for 2 weeks by now to make this damn thing working on my device, but it ALWAYS, without fail, immediatly crashes after being launched.

Despite the app being constantly up to date and my device being compatible with it.

I have no clue why, the updates didn’t change a fuckin thing, and unless the next one magically fixes the issues (which seems to affect other uses with more advanced iPhones), i’m never gonna be able to play the damn thing, and hence i will never be able to review it. And i kinda wanted to do that, for completition’s sake if nothing else.

The review might happen, and they might just update the game to make it work immediatly after i post this, and tomorrow i will be able to play with no issues at all.

But until that happens, the review isn’t either.

Sorry, but that’s the situation, so expect other EXPRESSO reviews coming from tomorrow onwards, today is a forced review-less day.

Mad Max PS4 [REVIEW] | Down Undah

Yeah, remember the debacle and the case of divisive reception on this title?

I do, but it feels like it happened so long ago, despite this being a 2015 release. Such is nature of online discourse on social media, after all, doesn’t matter what the subject is.

I will keep that in mind, but since 6 years are a lot for videogames, i’d say it’s the time to revisit the Avalanche Software’s interpretation of George Miller’s australian apocalyptic world of holy motors and highly stilized weirdos, while i think of the burning coast sands during this city bound and holiday-less summer season.

Let’s see exactly how chrome this game is!

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[EXPRESSO] A Quiet Place Part II (2021) | Hush Of Us

I wasn’t sure if i wanted a sequel to A Quiet Place, as i was perfectly satisfied… heck, more than that, with both the finale and the movie itself, one of the best ones i saw that year, had everything you could want from a horror thriller, from fairly original premise to great acting, excellent creature effects, tense atmosphere, great characters, etc.

But i guess the combination of it being surprising (as it came from a director that previously didn’t explore or dabble in horror), acclaimed by everyone, AND being a surprise big financial hit made John Krasinki, Platinum Dunes and 20th Centhury Fox think of making a follow up, and it’s finally in theathers, another of the many movies delayed for months-years due this goddamn pandemic.

Following the events of the first movie, the Abbott family is forced to venture outside of the house they took refuge in and in doing so confront the human survivors of this post-apocalyptic world, still thriving with the blind deadly creatures attracted by sound.

Gotta admit, my fears of this sequel being somewhat of a cash-in were quickly shattered, as it manages to move forwards the story about this family surviving in the post-apocalypse, to give more context to the events that led up to the creatures appearing, and to develop the survival aspects even more thanks to them having to face not just the monsters, while giving way for character arcs.

All still done with minimal use of dialogue and sound, with a great atmosphere, some really scary – genuinely scary – moments, good action sequences, excellent acting, likeable characters, amazing creature effects yet again, all packed extremely tight in less than 100 minutes, no minute is wasted for the sake of it, at all.

Noteworthy sequel, and great movie all around.

Do NOT buy the Kao The Kangaroo Trilogy on GOG

Yeah, this article isn’t timely, but i wanted to get around to it eventually, and eventually here we are.

Earlier this year, GOG re-released all the original Kao The Kangaroo games as bundle for 6 bucks, and since i was actually waiting for a re-release of the first and third games, as i’m a platformer buff and these are getting hard to find, i immediatly bought them, especially with a small discount to 5 bucks.

But sadly GOG really dropped the ball on this re-release of a niche and forgotten platformer series from polish developer Tate Interactive, especially as it wasn’t released before in its enterity. Kao 2 is basically the same as the enhanced Steam release, and it was also released on PS2, so there’s really not much to say.

The problems come with the other two games, the ones most people bought the collection to play because they didn’t before. The original Kao The Kangaroo game was released on both Dreamcast and PC at the time, so of course the GOG release ignored the version WITHOUT tank controls, and released the PC one.

Good idea for a 3D platformer game, good idea.

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Zombi Holocaust (1980) [REVIEW] | With Extra Falernum

Let me take you back the days of italian zombie movies, with one of the slightly more obscure films, even if we’re still in the familiar territory of italian directors credited with laughable american pseudonyms and a plethora of alternate titles, it wouldn’t be an italian zombie from that era if it somehow got the alternate title of Zombie 3 (yes, with an extra “e”), others trying to link it to the “Zombi non-series” or the cannibal subgenre, one that happens to have been mostly dominated by italian genre directors.

Zombi Holocaust does have 2 recognized alternative titles, Queen Of The Cannibals and Dr. Butcher: M.D., and to be honest they’re not too that outrageous or mystifying, because this one decide to go ahead and combine a cannibal and zombie movie together, throwing in a mad scientist that created his own zombie army, as an expedition to the Eastern Indies finds out more than they bargained for, as this group of doctors and journalist went there to investigate, after episodes of cannibalism by immigrants of that particular island started happening in various city hospitals.

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Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity – Expansion Pass PART 1 [REVIEW]

I did it for Pirate Warriors 4, might as well do it for Age Of Calamity, since it’s also structured in two part as the Season/Expansion Pass for Breath of The Wild was… and since Nintendo itself didn’t really promote it in anyway, revealed this thing was gonna exist and when to expect the content of the pass to arrive, the price, just a couple of images and text. ….Kinda odd.

As promised in the announcement bullet points, this first part of the Expansion Pass won’t add stories or story content, but new types of weapons, new playable characters, and intriguingly new enemies. Alongside the pass immediate bonus of a new costume and weapon (NOT a new weapon type) for Link, which it’s just them giving you something for buying the whole expansion.

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I Eat Your Skin (1971) [REVIEW] | Burial Grounds – Voodoo Terror

Summer means it’s a perfect time to revisit some black and white “exotic flavored” zombie flick of yore.

Made in 1964 as “Carribean Adventure”, titled this way to hide from investors the fact it was a zombie movie… it never saw the light of day until 1971, when the zombie genre was “properly” born via the unexpected, shocking and – as time would tell – seminal release in theathers of a low budget flick called The Night Of The Living Dead in 1968.

Of course, zombies existed in cinema before, but mostly “voodoo zombies”, as in people put under hypnosis or drugged by a scientist or master of some kind, used as both forced labour and goons to dispose of people, usually made invulnerable by magic to compensate their slow, stiff movements, but even by 1964 the “voodoo zombie genre” had already plateaud… heck, you can argue it basically died in the mid 40’s when zombie comedies like Zombies On Broadway happened, as Universal later would make Abbott and Costello meet its own monster roster.

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[EXPRESSO] Monster Hunter (2020) | Isekai Hunt

Yeah, we just got this one in theathers now, once again delayed due to the pandemic.

Preface: i know a bit about Monster Hunter, but not that much, as the franchise it’s one of those i should be really into, but somehow it never clicked with me.

But still, you should know what to expect: it’s another big-budget live action adaptation of a Capcom IP directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, as the Resident Evil movie series did bring a lot of buckaroos, so let’s do it again, and of course cast Milla Jovovich as the lead, i would be surprised if the director didn’t cast his wife for these roles.

And let’s get this out of the way: yes, it could have took place in the fantasy world alone and still deliver on the monsters and action, but nope, so in order to make it more “palatable” to all audiences, let’s have a US military unit get isekai’d into the Monster Hunter world, finding the guns useless on these giant monsters, and having to adapt to dual blades, maces and more “primitive” weapons that actually can damage these things. All while roaming a mostly desert land, searching for a way home.

And sequels.. that WILL probably be made.

To be honest, while the plot is a shining example of Hollywood cowardice and spineless scripts, the movie itself it’s not that bad. It’s dumb as a brick, written as such, but the CG for the monsters looks good, there’s a bit of horror, it adapts fairly ok a lot of elements from the games, preserving the basic gist of the thing, and it’s entertaining.

Not good, not smart, but entertaining enough, like MOST of the director’s Resident Evil movies. Also, it has Ron Perlman with a hilarious “afro Meatloaf” hairdo. XD

Upcoming Attractions: Sharks und Pirates

(no, a Girls Und Panzer retrospective isn’t afoot… YET)

Just a quick overview of what’s coming for the rest of the summer on the blog.

July will be Shark Month. Usually it is anyway, but this year i actually have managed to pile up enough material (despite everything), so there will be a shark movie review out each day, and maybe some EXPRESSO ones too, depending on when i can get to some releases in theathers.

August will yet again be a One Piece retrospective…. of the TV specials.

Last summer we did go over the featurettes, and it’s still too early for me to properly re-assess all the One Piece movies. Like i said before, i’d prefer some more time to pass,, in order to avoid some lazy rewrite-recycle of the old reviews i made in italian years ago.

Also, i’m gonna take a break from the 15th of August (included) until the 1st of September.

This doesn’t mean i will stop posting at all, since EXPRESSO reviews will be made and published, but any time consuming form of review or retrospective will go on hiatus.

That’s about it, so look forward to another summer of sharks and anime pirates!