[One Piece Film Retrospective] #12: Film Z (2012)

After the very brief and very odd interlude of Straw Hat Chase, Toei “came to their senses” and the next year released another proper One Piece film, surely having learned that these movies are at their most successful when you have extra side-corn to market them, as in OVA and small filler arcs for the TV series, alongside the eventual promotion with retailers and shit.

So yeah, this had a tie-in filler arc in the TV anime, and an OVA set slightly before the events of the movie, Glorious Island Z, aka Nami and her big floaties taking more screentime (and “choice angles”) than Luffy eats meat during any meal of the day.

Fitting title, though.

Even if viewership can be spotty as some people got bored or tired of the TV series’ pacing (especially if they already know what’s gonna happen from reading the manga), you can bet chances of these people taking a look at the trailer for a new shiny One Piece film, even more if you market it by saying that this will pit the Straw Hats against one of their most powerful enemies ever.

Continua a leggere “[One Piece Film Retrospective] #12: Film Z (2012)”

Fire Emblem Warriors NSWITCH & NEW3DS [REVIEW] | Tactics Of The Emblem

To celebrate a new Fire Emblem crossover game with the Warriors formula, this time based on Three Houses in the same fashion as Age Of Calamity was from Zelda Breath Of Wild, let’s rivisit the older (and first) title, simply titled Fire Emblem Warriors, released back in 2017 for the Nintendo Switch and the 3DS… as in, only the New 3DS models, yep, it was one of those very few exclusive titles for that 3DS revision-upgraded restyling, arguably the only title of notice alongside Xenoblade Chronicles 3D in terms of New 3DS Only packaged retail releases.

I’m gonna review both versions as i first sunk 50+ hours on the New 3DS release (i didn’t had a Switch at the time) and then a little less once i got hold of a Switch and that version, and by that i mean i will just make a specific comparison in terms of performance and overall looks between the two versions, no need to review both separately, as in terms of contents they are 99 % identical.

Aside from that, prepare from a lot of comparison to Hyrule Warriors, it can’t be helped.

Also (as already explained in the hands-on on the demo for Three Hopes), don’t expect a review of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes anytime soon, for the same reason of Persona 5 Strikers, i gotta play the main game, Three Houses, first, even though this is described as an alternate story in that world. And i’m never gonna finish that game and then start, finish and have a review of that out in any timely fashion.

Time is not on my side. 😦

Continua a leggere “Fire Emblem Warriors NSWITCH & NEW3DS [REVIEW] | Tactics Of The Emblem”

[EXPRESSO] Jurassic World: Dominion (2022) | Jurassic Mixtape Meatloaf

While i would have a lot to say about this one, i’ll reserve some of it for when we tackle the entire “Jurassic Park/World” series, so i’ll keep it brief.

While long overdue, it’s finally that time again. Time to go see the new “big budget Asylum movie equivalent”, i really go in these later Jurassic movies with this mindset, after Fallen Kingdom i don’t even entertain the idea that i might be too hyperbolical, given that someone greenlit that script.

Speaking of which, yes, the plot sees the fallout of that shit awful ending, leading to dinosaurs escaping free into our modern world, and the inevitable fight for survival that ensues. This also leads to Chris Pratt having to save the offsprings of Blue the velociraptor, the actual true protagonist of this new trilogy.

Like pretty much any other goddamn IP from decades ago that still receives installments, Jurassic World: Dominion treads heavily on nostalgia, even more than before, as it basically recasts all the surviving actors from the original Jurassic Park and “alluding” to that one a LOT.

Talk about a series that peaked so hard and so instantly, to the point nobody really cares anymore about anything that came after the 1993 original.

Even so, i feel this is arguably the best of the Jurassic World movies, thanks to a script that’s not fuckin tosh, despite trying to balance the “nostalgia mixtape best of 1993” of having pretty much all the original cast back, the callbacks (horror-style scenes included), more focus on story and the more chaotic dino bullshit from the other Jurassic World movies.

Honestly i’m surprised the final result isn’t a complete mess despite the movie wanting to compromise/squish together both the old and the new.

At least it’s entertaning big budget b-movie meatloaf funtime.

[EXPRESSO] Pacific Rim: The Black (Season Two) (2022) | Kaiju Kult

Well, look’s who back, a series that i honestly even forgot existed, but they did announced this second (and final) season, guess that branding helped.

So yeah, while i didn’t hate the first season, Pacific Rim The Black was kinda the perfect example of “Netflix anime”, as in, it looks like anime, it’s produced by an anime company and japanese directors, but you could tell it’s written by non-japanese staff.

Which isn’t necessarily an issue, but you just can tell right away and it creates this slight disconnect, and due to that once again it’s hard to say for whom exactly this is made for exactly, given it’s still made in okayish but still janky 3D CG (and the specific “3D CG anime jank” of Polygon Pictures output), which is kinda offputting for most of the self-proclaimed “anime enthusiasts”.

But on the flipside, it’s not that bad, it’s honestly alright, it’s entertaining enough and this one picks from the point where the first season started having some interesting worldbuilding and character development, and manages to make the plot have some purpose (though it kinda has to, since this is the final season), introducing a death cult of Kaiju worshippers.

It’s an actual improvement over the first season, the writing it’s still nothing impressive, but it’s better, though despite being just another 7 episodes, i did wonder if it was ever supposed to be longer, as some resolutions and events happen very quickly, almost abruptly so.

Again, it’s alright, but as the idea of anime series based on Pacific Rim makes a lot of sense if you think about it, it kinda let you wish it had better animation and a slightly longer lenght.

Still, for a spin-off “western-ish anime” series that didn’t need to exist in the first place… it’s decent.

Snowmageddon (2011) [REVIEW] | Promise (NOT featuring Kohmi Hirose)

If you’re like me, you don’t need to be told that there is a deluge of disaster movies up on Amazon Prime Video, often looking so easy to review that makes you feel bad, so low hanging and free (as in, included with Prime, i’m not paying extra subscription) the fruits of this “tree” are.

So i often end up browsing, looking at the description, just adding to the watchlist and moving on, forgot i’ve even added them, etc.

This one does break the mold and managed to make me kinda intrigued, as the premise made Snowmageddon (E- for the title, btw, it could have been way more stupidier and tortured) sounded very fuckin stupid, cheesy but slightly different.

And it’s still fairly cold here, so before springtime hits proper let’s indulge in more icy TV trash, the review for the Uncharted movie it’s coming later, so please, join me in this mystical garbage dive.

Continua a leggere “Snowmageddon (2011) [REVIEW] | Promise (NOT featuring Kohmi Hirose)”

[EXPRESSO] The Last Journey AKA Le Derniere Voyage (2020) | Majora’s Musk

Talk about a surprise release, since this 2020 french scifi movie only now has reached theathers in “The Boot”, and i’m willing to guess it never reached US theathers, since i didn’t even heard about it via social media.

Not even a mention, despite the original french title being similar to Luc Besson cult classic Le Dernier Combat, also a sci-fi movie with Jean Renò.

Regardless, the movie its set in a not too distant future (2050, in this case) where humanity it’s on the brink of extinction, with a red planetoid knows as the Red Moon is now coming so ever closer to Earth, bringing desertification, unliveable temperatures, animal extinctions and an energy crisis..

Only one man, Paul W.R., can save the day as he’s only one able to survive and pass through the magnetic field surrounding the planetoid, but mere days before the mission begins, Paul escapes to get away from his responsabilities, making the authorities start hunting him down, and he happens to meet a young girl called Elma, willing to follow him in his uncertain quest….

I’ll say that the cinematography it’s very good, some of the sequences are entertaining, there are some ideas, but the execution it’s just so confusing in many ways, as in the mesh of road movie and action scifi elements in a way that tries to kinda go for a more american-international feel or the themes and character motivations often feeling at odds, if not almost random.

Add a mediocre worldbuilding with some plot points never properly explained to make a simple plot kinda hard to follow, and you have a movie that’s perfectly watchable, has some good acting, but from beginning to end will have you more confused and annoyed than engaged at what’s going on and why exactly.

EUNGH.

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”.

Continua a leggere “Invasion Roswell/Exterminators (2013) [REVIEW] | Made for TV invasion”

[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.

What is Christmas without an Ice Cream Bunny?

Think watching The Star Wars Holiday Special each year it’s not the hipster “christmas tradition” it was before? If so, i will propose something that’s also not new, as it has a cult following, but very very smaller in comparison, since it doesn’t have the Star Wars branding.

Santa and The Ice Cream Bunny.

If this didn’t trigger a PTSD-like reaction, i’m here to share my cursed knowledge upon you, because in a way this fits the Christmas period, and its deranged insanity.

Continua a leggere “What is Christmas without an Ice Cream Bunny?”

[EXPRESSO] My Hero Academia The Movie: World Heroes’ Mission (2021) | God Loves, Hero Kills

We’re at the third theathrical movie for My Hero Academia, and that itself it’s a testament to the popularity of the franchise, if nothing else. Make no mistake though, i quite like MHA.

That “disclaimed”, there are certain expectations that inevitably come with a movie based on a popular shonen manga series that still on-going, even though MHA started the modern trend of having the movies’ original stories being considered (somewhat) canonical by its creator.

I’m not gonna explain the premise of MHA here for time sake, but i will say it’s quite fitting how the plots of the movies for a series inspired by american superhero comics… borrow liberally from their heritage. Like Heroes Risings, the plot it’s heavily “X-Men inspired”, this time about Humarise, a sect of people that believe the power of the Quirks (the superpowers almost everyone in this universe has) will eventually get out of control and bring about the end of humanity.

So they plant bombs filled with a special gas that makes Quirks go berzerk, and pin the blame of their terrorist attacks on Izuku Midoriya and his new friend Rodney, having him and the Pro-Heroes at large intervene to stop Humarise’s agenda…

While the plot on paper should make the story more cinematic than before, in practice not so much , as most of the movie its spent with Deku and Rodney on the run, so the world spanning mission and the many heroes are put on the background, all for a new ally character that’s ultimately quite clichè, slightly better than the villain, not really interesting in characterization or design.

The script also suffers from more of the usual “shonen anime film”-isms, not exactly inspired.

It’s decent overall, but it’s the weaker MHA movie so far in pretty much every aspect.