[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

Attack Of The Crab Monsters (1957) [REVIEW] | ….For Massive Damage

We review a lot of B-movies here, so i figured its time to tackle some of the most famous ones, and one can hardly go more typical and emblematic than stuff like Attack Of The Crab Monsters, of course directed and produced by Roger Corman, the king of 50s b-movies himself, for a double feature release alongside Not Of This Earth, both movies written by Corman’s trusted screenwriter, Charles B. Griffith, also behind later films like A Bucket Of Blood or Little Shop Of Horrors.

And you can already tell these movies were engineered for the drive-ins and the double-feature show, because they are both very short, Attack Of The Crab Monsters being the shorter one, barely clocking in over 60 minutes.

Continua a leggere “Attack Of The Crab Monsters (1957) [REVIEW] | ….For Massive Damage”

[EXPRESSO] Ape VS Monster (2021) | Cranky Kong VS Zilla

Maybe it’s the pandemic and all, but i kinda missed having the Asylum pop-up to do their mockbuster version of whatever Hollywood blockbuster came out.

There’s something oddly comforting, almost reassuring in that.

And given how much Godzilla VS Kong was delayed even before the pandemic, you’d think they would have used this unexpected advantage to make the mockbuster come out earlier, but nope, so only now it’s time for the off-brand, million times cheaper Asylum offering, with Ape VS Monster.

In mockbuster tradition, the plot actually doesn’t have much to do with the movie/s “mockbustered”, and this time it’s about an ape that comes back to earth from a space pod launched decades before, crashing and releasing an alien substance, accidentally making the ape itself and a passing Gila monster grow into giant size. Eventually they fight, after the faffing about of the human characters, mostly good for old Cold War cliches, and so Eric Roberts doesn’t have to leave his war desk too much, while the main protagonist tries to save the simian, Abraham, whom she shares a special bond with.

Of course they copied that here too.

Considering everything, like not having the backing of the Monsterverse narratives, the budget, and… The Asylum being The Asylum….i will admit they really tried with this one, even if the monsters – mostly – looks about as “good” as you would expect, the production values are slightly better than i expected (cinematography is also a tad better), and there’s a bit more to the plot and to the characters (mostly), direction is fine, making for an entertaining 90 minutes low budget flick.

I have more to say (and we’ll talk about this one in more detail eventually), but for what it is, it’s actually alright, honestly surprised it ain’t worse.

Zarkorr! The Invader (1996) [REVIEW] | Cinephiles Of Earth, Beware…

You can hardly go more Z-grade cinema than with Zarkorr! The Invader from Full Moon Entertaiment, at least regarding movies that do have production values and some backing behind them. Of course, you can go even worse, as the company itself demonstrated last year by making a zombie movie about the Coronavirus… and by that i mean putting a shitty comical dub track over Bruno Mattei’s Hell Of The Living Dead, with a tiny bit of new footage to act as a “framing device” of someone watching Hell Of The Living Dead while quarantined at home. Good lord.

But thankfully this is just Full Moon Entertaiment doing a direct-to-video kaiju movie, about aliens that have been observing Earth for centhuries, and one day decide to challenge mankind by sending in a huge monster called Zarkorr to wreak havoc with its size and lazer eyes. As the human champion, they choose an incredibly average postal worker, Tommy Ward, as the only one who can defeat Zarkorr and save the planet.

Continua a leggere “Zarkorr! The Invader (1996) [REVIEW] | Cinephiles Of Earth, Beware…”

[EXPRESSO] The Mummy Demastered PSN | Prodigium Posse

Since i got this on the Halloween PSN sale, why not?

And i mean it, sure, it’s based on 2017’s “The Mummy”, that turd of a movie that was supposed to be the “real” launchpad for Universal’s MCU horror equivalent, the Dark Universe.. after trying and failing with Dracula Untold just 3 years earlier.

But it’s also developed by Wayforward, who notoriously built their reputation by actually doing good tie-in licensed videogames (and kickstarting their original series, Shantae), so they could manage to actually do some good with the abysmal source material. And they did.

It’s nothing original, but it’s also a good little Metroidvania title, who puts you in control of a soldier working for Prodigium, the secret company dedicated to defend the world from monsters, tasked by the face of Russel Crowe (who plays Doctor Jekyll in the movie) with defeating the freshly resurrected mummy princess Ahmamet. The plot is basically a side-sequel, as its events run alongside the ones in the movie, so no digitized retro-Tom Cruise to see here. Still, the plot is better narrated here than in the movie, and it’s told almost completely via exposition dumps.

The 16-bit styled retro graphics and the synthwave music are quite good, and while the game doesn’t try to change much of the typical Metroidvania trappings, it’s far from uninspired. Actually, it’s well done, and it also has a touch of “Zombi U”, as when you die you restart at the last save point, taking control of another Prodigium soldier and having to retrieve your equipment and upgrades from the other soldier, now zombified, but still weapon savvy.

It’s also fairly well paced, a bit on the short side, but, enjoyable all the way, and fairly well balanced, not easy but also not impossible. Or too challenging overall.

[EXPRESSO] Sol Levante (2020) | 4K Anime Fireworks

Sol Levante 2020 poster

Ok, apparently this arrived at the beginning of April on Netflix (Netflix Exclusive), and more than wonder how i missed hearing anything about it despite being quarantined at home, this just shows how much i use Netflix overall. I never even saw even a mention of this one on social media, so i’m gonna do what i can to help.

And yes, this is more of an announcement than a review, because Sol Levante (italian for “rising sun”, despite being a japanese production) isn’t or wasn’t meant to create an interesting story or world, but to test what exactly can you do with animation designed for 4K and HDR displays, with detailed hand-drawn animation produced by Netflix in collaboration with Production I.G, directed and conceived by Akira Saitou.

So the plot is vague at best, concerning a young female warrior (with fantasy ninja outfit) on a quest to reach a sacred place that is said to fulfill any wish, but she has to fight off the mystical and magical guardians of the Sanctuary, who vary from magma dragons, magic trees, sea monsters, etc. It’s good the summary tells you that, because there is no dialogue or text to explain anything, because the budget was already astronomical and the workload (2 years of work) insane, so you don’t get any context, even if the narrative is mostly self-explanatory, despite being bland and barely there.

But – again- Sol Levant was made to be a huge technical exercise, and it delivers with great animation, really detailed and incredibly colorful visuals, spectacle at its finest. It is truly impressive, while it lasts, but even so, this 4 minute short does sells you on the idea that this could be a new starting point for the future of animation overall.

Definitely interesting and worth a watch, regardless.


Earth Defense Force 5 [PS4] REVIEW | Frogs From Planet Space

Earth Defense Force 5 PS4.jpg

Moments of crisis are what unites us, especially in exterminating space bees and shouting “ EDF ! EDF! EDF! EDF! EDF!” from the safety of our own homes and away from something worse than bouncing giant spiders and ETs with laser guns!

Time to review Earth Defence Force 5, the latest in the main EDF series! Continua a leggere “Earth Defense Force 5 [PS4] REVIEW | Frogs From Planet Space”