Superhero time again, this time of the DC Comics variety, with the sequel to 2019’s Shazam, which introduced new audiences to the magic-powered hero and its origin story, before we got a DC Extended Universe entry related with last year’s spin-off film about Shazam’s nemesis, Black Adam, but honestly i’d rather not discuss of that movie again, what’s the point since their MCU attempt was such a mess that they hired James Gunn as well to reboot the entire thing?
So, talking about Fury Of The Gods, we have our boy Billy Batson and his foster siblings having to face a new menace, the Daughters of Atlas (played by Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren), who have come to reclaim a world ending artifact.
As you can guess, thanks to the new foes we get the explore the lore a bit more, learning of the origin of their powers, the world of Greek gods long gone, which also means it’s a great “excuse” to have a pandemonium style of monsters from said mythology run amok, from cyclops to harpies and manticores, and like the first you can tell this is from a horror director, because a lot of people get straight up killed (or worse) even in the prologue.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the first Shazam movie, and this one it’s just as good, being also a n everincrensigly rare specimen of superhero movie that isn’t plagued by tonal issues, has genuinely funny comedy bits (and the style of writing fits more with the protagonists being young teens), and balances well all of the aforementioned with the more emotional moments, which do feel earnest and not just there because the template says so.
Third act could have been a lil’ shorter, but still, lots of silly but genuine fun.
It’s March, so you know what that means, some select picks from the monster movie genre, as we try to not do the obvious ones but search deeper within the evergrowing sands of time, pulling out some familiar names as well as some of the more obscure entries, without completely forgoing more recent releases.
It’s not gonna be the more extensive year of the rubric, but i think the picks for this year’s Monster March are some of the better ones so far.
We’ll be starting on the 6th with some vintage rear projected cheese, after some EXPRESSO reviews of some recent releases i couldn’t get to before, see ya!
I am a little quite late on this, since i didn’t know Vampire Survivors was ever gonna see a port on mobile platforms, but it did at the end of last December, and i DID want to see for myself if this iOS (and Android) port was any good.
I don’t really think i need to introduce the game itself, since it has been one of the ever-so-rare Steam success stories, especially since it launched at a really budget price, but the deal is that Vampire Survivors struck a new combination by basically having a roguelite RPG- “reverse” bullet hell using a “legally distinct Castlevania” vibe, with your character attacking automatically in the direction it’s facing, but still needing to be manually manouvered through the increasingly thick hordes of enemies homing onto you, while collecting exp drops, levelling up, getting new weapons or upgrades to the arsenal of auto-attacks, learning what to keep and use in order to survive longer.
It’s incredibly simple but also very addictive, and honestly this is a nearly perfect port, as the controls just require moving your character via a virtual joypad, so it’s easy to get into on a whim but also to keep going at for prolonged sessions/runs.
Here on smarthphones it has been released as a free-to-play title, but thankfully the developers at Poncle decided to actually care, so it’s a benign case of watching ads for extra gold or a revive when dead, at the time of writing it’s seriously devoid of any microtransactions or way to spend real money on anything.
Obviously this version is currently not up to date with the Steam release, and most likely will remain “behind” for a while, but even so free Vampire Survivors on smarthphones it’s a match made in italian vampire hunters’ heaven.
Ah yes, the classic go-to monster of japanese folklore for when a regular hydra just won’t cut it, and a name that will be immediatly recognized by anyone with some dedication to videogames, manga and cinema, especially if they involve the classic mediaval fantasy japanese settings, as he’s often the big bad monster like in Okami, or has an entire subseries of Warriors crossover titles with him as the catalyst of chaos. Or more close to the bone, being the ispiration for the classic Godzilla monster, King Ghidorah, since we’re going into the Toho territory of giant monsters once again.
But it’s not quite that, as this one isn’t a science fiction film as many giant monsters from the Godzilla series were, but instead is a straigh-foward old fashioned magical fantasy film that picks various mythological characters and story pieces from the ones about the formation of the Shinto religion, in this case being the tale of Yamato Takeru, his encounter with the Yamato-hime priestess, receiving the holy sword Kusanagi no Tsurugi, the Tree Treasures, Susano’o, the fight with the god Tsukuyomi….
…and a lot more names that most likely don’t mean jack if you’re not familiar with japanese mythology, like at all, so it makes a bit more sense that they didn’t release it overseas under its original title of “Yamato Takeru”, despite it being more apt.
Continua a leggere “Orochi The Eight-Headed Dragon (1994) [REVIEW] | Tsukuyomi Endless (Endless)”
Some things come and go, but giant monsters are forever!
Yeah, while i’m still keeping the bi-daily posting rate, starting tomorrow for this month every posting day when there’s not a new movie EXPRESSO review there will be a full lenght giant monster movie review. Simple as that, so see ya tomorrow for the first one of this year, hoping this will become a yearly institution! 🙂
Welcome to another installment of “no, you never heard of this one before, and i haven’t either”, with The Iced Hunter, an italian horror fantasy action film directed by Davide Cancila and about the titular “iced hunter” (you can tell his namesake was never intended to be translated in english, because it sounds like a fancy non-IBA approved cocktail or a Blooborne collaboration cafè item), a mysterious non-human warrior with fittingly mysterious origins and with memories not of his own, being trailed by the “Domini Lupi” sect, hellbent of getting rid of him at any cost.
Does this feel like a werewolf spiced live action “redo/reinterpretation” of the “Holy Iron Chain Order” arc in Berserk?
Continua a leggere “The Iced Hunter (2018) [REVIEW] | Mozgus Chaser”
As Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City was released in theathers earlier this week (in most countries), let’s take a look at the final Resident Evil CG animated film, Vendetta, which is also technically the last of the “CG trilogy”, as in all three movies have Leon Kennedy as the main character and are set in the same universe of the Resident Evil games, to contrast with the live action film series (as previously said).
The biggest change – but not the most noticeable – is the animation, with this film produced by Marza Animation Planet instead of Digital Frontier, the studio behind all previous Resident Evil CG movies and even the short film Biohazard 4D Executer that we started this little retrospective with.
The name might not say much, but it’s actually a studio that started by providing CGI cutscenes for the Sonic The Hedgehog games, and eventually for both anime TV series and even full lenght features, working alongside japanese animation titans like Toei for the 2012 3D CG Space Captain Harlock movies, even Lupin III The First, and more recently being one of the production companies for the new Sonic The Hedgehog movies, in a kinda poetic turn of events.
Continua a leggere “Resident Evil Vendetta (2017) [REVIEW] | Remote Zombies”
While we wait for the new Resident Evil film reboot, i’d figure we’d take a look at the other forgotten Resident Evil film series, the CG animated one that basically most people don’t remember, know or care to do any of that.
But before tackling the movies you’ve might actually vaguely heard about, we need to go deeper and unearth the first actual 3D animated Resident Evil movie, 4D Executer, so unknown and so “important” it never got the Resident Evil title, so it still uses the japanese title for the series.
Continua a leggere “Biohazard: 4D Executer (2000) [REVIEW] | Parasite Evil”
Ghostbusters is something i don’t mind but also don’t feverishly worship, i can do without new installments milking the golden nostalgia udders this franchise possesses
This one comes also to ride the nostalgia train for movies like The Goonies AND the popularity of Strangers Things, which itself feeds into that nostalgia for the 80s that Strangers Things was borne from, making for a kinda sad self-sustaining loop, as its par for the course on modern revivals of old material, doesn’t matter if there’s a reason for it or anything aside it nostalgia lucrative.
But at least this isn’t going the full remake-reboot thing, it’s actually a sequel, set 30 years after the events of Ghostbuster II, and follows the nieces of Egon, Trevor and Phoebe Spengler, moving out into the rural town of Summerville, where their grandpa left them an old farm. And more, as the two kids find out, when the odd quakes Summerville keeps experiencing break out in a supernatural pandemonium.
Here the movie has the localized subtitle of “Legacy”, which it’s way more fitting and indicative of what it wants to be, as it’s directed by Jason Reitman, son of Ivan Reitman, famous comedy director that back in the day also helmed Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2, while Jason is more known for Thank You For Smoking and Juno.
It would be better if ultimately Jason didn’t want to recreate so much his father work with the first Ghostbusters, treated as a holy scripture that MUST followed upon and passed down through the generations. BUT this one is made by someone that definitely knows his stuff and that clearly cares about the material, arguably a bit too much emotionally involved, but at least it makes for a decent movie, better than the mediocre 2016’s reboot.
While Greek mythology is arguably the most overrepresented in media (followed closely by Norse mythology as one of the many “free idea buckets”), you don’t exactly think of horror when you think of Greek cinema, as the many monsters from that mythos often are more used in videogames.
But of course, there are exceptions, odd relics that surface when you start digging hard and long enough, and Land Of Minoutar does have the allure of starring Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasance, which is enough to have it featured here.
Even if this isn’t the first time the two beloved actors worked together, as The Flesh And The Fiends is from 1960.
And because this is a very obscure film, it has alternate titles, like just “Minotaur” and “The Devil’s Men”, the latter being used for its UK release, and my copy as well.
Continua a leggere “The Spooktacular Eight # 5: Land Of The Minotaur/The Devil’s Men (1976)”