Review of Godzilla 1954

By Ben Velazquez

2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the king of all monsters, Godzilla. The last time I saw a Godzilla movie was back in the mid 1980’s. After Godzilla 1985 came out,WPIX here in NY (channel 11), would air his  “classic” films on Sunday evenings. Some of my friends and I would watch the big green monster battle aliens from Dimension X, become a parent with having a Baby Godzilla and team up with likes of Ultraman.

Yet, in all those years, I have never seen the film that started this dynasty, the original Godzilla. I know it was recut in the States and Raymond Burr was added into the film, yet I never had the opportunity to watch it. Fast forward to this past week when I was invited to a press screening of the remastered 60th anniversary edition. That’s right, no Raymond Burr. This is the original Japanese cut of the film.

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Showing up on a typical rainy day in April, I was the first to arrive (despite getting lost a few times)

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to the premier of the 60th anniversary of Godzilla at the Film Forum.

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As soon as the movie began, the credits were off a bit graphically. So much so that it had me considering a trip to the eye doctor, but I was wrong. The movie simply had to be restarted due to a minor malfunction.

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From the beginning of this film, director Ishiro Honda did a spectacular job keeping your eyes glued to the screen. Although the movie was released in 1954, it seemed new and fresh because of the story, the actors, and the action. Everything seemed to fall in its place perfectly.

This isn’t some run of the mill monster trashing through the city, the typical image that we think about when the name Godzilla appears.

No, it’s the simple details such as Godzilla becoming what it is because of nuclear radiation due to the after effects of World War 2. The power of the romantic story that was thrown in the middle of the mix added more suspense to this wonderful movie.

There was never a “cheesy” moment in this movie. A little comedy, sure, but most of all, it was very well put together and a movie that will stand the test of time. This movie was so good that it made me a fan of Godzilla all over again.

The original cut of Godzilla is being shown April 18-24 to commemorate the film’s 60th Anniversary at the Film Forum. Go see where it all started before the new film debuts!

Movie Review: Unindentified

Julian Cannon is back with a new movie Review. This time it is the found footage style sci-fi/comedy movie Unidentified. This movie was directed and written by Jason Richard Miller and it is starring Parry Shen and Colton Dunn. Now lets get to the review.

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RELEASE DATE: October 28, 2013

CAST

Parry Shen as Jeremy

Colton Dunn as Dave

Eddie Mui as Nick

Eric Artell as Jodie

Beth Alspaugh as Janelle

PLOT

Four friends documenting their weekend road trip to Las Vegas encounter a cosmic terror that is not of this Earth in this sci-fi flavored found footage shocker from first-time director Jason R. Miller. The party never ends in Sin City, but when this impulsive group of aspiring high-rollers incurs the wrath of a ruthless loan shark, they decide to cut their losses and hit the road. Their bad luck appears to take a turn for the worse, however, when an incident in the Nevada desert leads to the discovery of a metal fragment that appears to be extraterrestrial in origin. In a flash, the one who discovered it disappears into the surrounding darkness. When he is found, his increasingly bizarre behavior hints that something is terribly wrong. They’re right, too, because something sinister is stirring in the shadows, awaiting just the right moment to reveal itself. And when it does, we will finally know that we are not alone in the universe.

MY THOUGHTS

The direction of the movie I thought was pretty cool along with the characters but however, it left me with a few questions.  Like why would a group of friends take a degenerate gambler to Vegas for the weekend? Why does no one seem at all bothered when said gambler then borrows a large sum of money off a loan shark? It’s an odd set up but the comedy of this film makes up for it. The first half hour takes too long to build up and like a lot of other films of a similar nature, the climax is a bit rushed and it all ends way too soon. For the most part, it felt like I was watching a found footage version of The Hangover but I would take this over The Hangover. The actors do a fine job as all of them are charismatic in their own way. I would like to say that Parry Shen kept the entire flow and the pace of the movie from not loosing track from the plot at all. The best scenes from the movie is the final 20 minutes as the visual effects and the action scenes really draw you to the screen to make you wonder how will this movie end.

I do not believe I have seen a found footage movie that has to do with UFO’s or aliens until now. The extra features on this DVD is the YouTube videos from Jodieman in which I thought was pretty entertaining. Also, we get commentary from Jason R. Miller where he explains about what made him decided to do a movie like this and other things in the movie I have not known about. I give credit to the cast and the director for their hard work in this film and i will give this film a final rating of 7.5/10

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Movie Review: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Julian Cannon is here for another movie review. This time it is a supernatural horror movie I have just seen last week, Paranormal Activity: The Marked ones.

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Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is a 2014 American supernatural horror film written and directed by Christopher B. Landon. It will be released on January 3, 2014 in U.S. theaters. It is a spinoff of the Paranormal Activity horror movie franchise. It is also Landon’s second directorial effort after Burning Palms and the first to be shot in found-footage style.

RELEASE DATE: January 3, 2014

CAST

Andrew Jacobs as Jesse

Richard Cabral as Arturo

Carlos Pratts as Oscar Hernandez

Gabrielle Walsh as Marisol

Jorge Diaz as Hector

Catherine Toribio as Penelope

Noemi Gonzalez as Evette

Gigi Feshold as Natalia

David Saucedo as Cesar Arista

Julian Works as Pablo

Molly Ephraim as Ali Rey

Chloe Csengery as Young Katie

The fifth entrant in the Paranormal Activity found-footage series picks up its home video cameras, moves to a new location, and introduces a new set of characters with the same old problem: how do you make a movie about things that go bump in the night a compelling experience for audiences that have already seen all your old tricks?

The makers of this film decided to approach the story from a different cultural perspective. Officially titled Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, I think it’s fair to call it PA: Cuatro y Medio, reflecting its setting in a working-class Latino neighborhood in Oxnard, California. Rather than the spacious suburban dwellings depicted in the first four films, the action takes place largely in two apartments in a small but typical two-storey complex. On the second floor, Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) lives with his sister Marisol (Gabrielle Walsh) and their grandmother. Jesse has just graduated from high school and received a video camera as a present, which is the only justification the film needs for everything to be presented from a (very) shaky-cam point of view.

Jesse and his best friend Hector (Jorge Diaz) hear strange sounds coming from an apartment on the ground floor, prompting them to snake a camera down through the ventilation ducts in time to catch a glimpse of a naked woman being painted with an odd symbol (a triangle inside a circle) on her belly. Anna (Gloria Sandoval), the woman who lives there, has long been suspected of being a bruja, or witch, but her subsequent murder, apparently at the hands of her son, Jesse and Hector’s schoolmate Oscar (Carlos Pratts), catches everyone off-guard, especially when Oscar ends up dead as well.

Curiosity leads Jesse and Hector to sneak into the dark apartment, leading to Jesse becoming one of the titular “marked ones.” He begins acting strangely and then, well, the “paranormal activity” part of the title becomes manifest, and it’s off to the races, so to speak, except that the action is doled out in a haphazard manner, with the story stumbling forward like a drunk in search of the floor

The screenplay is credited to Christopher Landon, who also wrote the previous three installments and directs this one as well. His scripts have been more interested in fleshing out the demonic mythology conjured up by the original  film’s writer/director, Oren Peli, than in spending much time tending to the characters. That’s fine. If the picture builds tension over the course of its running time or at least depicts unexpected moments of fright, the more sustained, the better.

FINAL THOUGHTS

For my money, the first film and Paranormal Activity 3 did that very effectively, while the second and fourth installments fell down badly, the latter resorting to a series of cheap fake scares. This time out, Landon adds welcomed intentional levity to early scenes and eliminates the knee-jerk “boo!” cheats. And the decision to explore a Latino environment — complete with  snatches of conversations in Spanish without subtitles — is a good one, though  the story falls back on less-welcome cultural stereotypes in search of a good scare. By the time the ending rolls around, veteran viewers of the first four films  will either appreciate the multiple nods in their direction or roll their eyes in disbelief. I’m afraid that I broke into laughter at its narrative contortions. While I appreciated the attempt to reach out to Latino audiences and explore new territory, the film gets lost in its own mythology and is unable to stand on its own, failing to generate any suspense, much less horror.

PLOT: 7/10

PRODUCTION: 8/10

CAST: 5/10

SCREENPLAY: 6/10

FINAL SCORE: 7.5/10

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Movie Review: The Hunger Games:Catching Fire

Julian Cannon is back with another movie review. And sorry I was late with this one, I was really busy the whole week. Also follow me on twitter @julianexcalibur and check out my show on dailymotion.com/thedarkfoxshow Where I talk about wwe topics, top 10’s, video game reviews and movie reviews. I have done over 20 episodes on Facebook and I got very positive feedback so now I have 6 episodes on that channel so expect more on the way every week. Now let’s get to the review of The Hunger Games : Catching Fire

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RELEASED: November 21, 2013

DIRECTOR:Francis Lawrence
WRITER:Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt
CAST: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks
DISTRIBUTOR:Lionsgate
RUNNING TIME: 129 minutes

Gore is upped a notch – or 12 – but the message is as dark and dystopian as The Hunger Games.

After The Hunger Games burned a Mockingjay-shaped mark on filmgoers, the pressure was on for I Am Legend director, Francis Lawrence, who took over from Gary Ross.

Fortunately, Catching Fire is bigger and grittier, slaying us in all manner of malicious ways – poisonous fog and man-eating monkeys included.

But first we begin in a near-identical setup to the first, with Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) back in District 12 and President Snow (Donald Sutherland) plotting something sinister.

He isn’t happy with the District 12 lovebirds and the currant coloured mess they left following the last games. Leaving the Capitol comforts to pay ‘The Girl on Fire’ a visit, Snow informs Katniss that their rule-bending win caused a stir in some of the districts. Rebellion is in the air, and he leaves her with a sinister threat of the district’s destruction that weighs heavy on her shoulders as she leaves for the Victory Tour in an attempt to convince Panem of her ‘love’ for Peeta.

The performances from the main three have stepped up a gear in the interim, with Lawrence and Hutcherson convincingly portraying the struggles of returning to life after participating in a public bloodbath, as well as the mental and physical preparation needed to gear up for round two.

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Liam Hemsworth as Gale is granted a touch more screen time in the build up to what should be a lead role in the next instalment, and newbie tributes, particularly Johanna (Jena Malone), Finnick (Sam Claflin) and Beetee (Jeffrey Wright), manage to make a deep impression in spite of the non-stop action. Another noteworthy addition is Philip Seymour Hoffman as new Head Gamemaker, Plutarch Heavensbee. The Oscar-winner brings gravitas to the role and steals scenes from Sutherland’s increasingly one-note Snow.

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Bigger, better and more garish than ever, the Capitol scenes are breathtaking, its grandeur made obvious due to sweeping exposition shots, brilliantly juxtaposed against shaky and guerrilla techniques used within district-based scenes. But where Capitol colours have brightened, the overall tone has darkened, sticking firmly to the page when it comes to blunt hierarchical messaging.

Public lashings provoke a very real reaction, and when the Quarter Quell commences, the knife-throwing and axe-wielding is more brutal than first time round, though it’s still hampered by it 12A classification.

Inevitably, Catching Fire feels rushed in parts (the book is 400 pages-long), but choices regarding what to ditch, including the novel’s heavy wedding focus, were probably the right ones. A little more time could have been dedicated to the tributes, but with so many strong leads already fighting for screen time, it’s probably best audiences aren’t persuaded to bond too much; we know what happens to those entering the arena.

Author Suzanne Collins’ vision for the clock-shaped battleground, with its 12 sinister segments, has been brought to the big screen brilliantly by Lawrence; the game itself keeping you gripped right up until the moment Katniss fires that fateful arrow. This new tropical setting and its dangers are much more arresting than the forest, and the tension is so palpable that you’ll need a shoulder rub after to relieve it.

The cliffhanger conclusion will undoubtedly split opinion, leaving novel novices dangling in frustration, while fans of the book will appreciate the almost identical finale, right down to Gale’s final revelation, which we’ll keep quiet for the sake of those now running off to power through the trilogy’s pages.

I give this movie a 9/10

My favorite gadgets from the James Bond movies

Guess who? its me again. Julian Cannon is here for a new post. not only I am a WWE/video game/ Marvel and DC boy, I am also a fan of the James Bond movies. here are my picks for my favorite gadgets from the James Bond films

Camera gun (the living daylights)

The camera gun is a 2 in 1 gadget.  Other than it takes pictures, but it is also a sniper rifle that can be used for a long range assault. Also the gun has an touch I’d so if anybody else other than bond uses the gun. it will not work at all. This is very interesting since the same idea was eventually used in metal gear solid 2 :sons of liberty with the guards on the big shell storyline that all of their ak-47’s have an ID system. now if the government does this, then our gun control laws will be set.

Underwater gun spear(thunderball)

I would not know if this count as a gadget because everybody else in the movie uses it too. But it counts in my list. The spear gun was something I have never seen before until I have seen this movie years ago. The spear itself after it is shot from the gun travels at a very fast speed. Even underwater it is pretty damn useful to not only get the bad guys out the way, the sharks as well. If there was a contest between a dart and that spear,I would like to see the outcome. But I would not use this underwater because if I miss my target, then I will get angry

Cigarette rocket (you only live twice)

This Bond gadget kills enemies and helps end cancer! Bond is introduced to a special brand of cigarette in this scene that, when lit, launches a rocket up to 30 yards. Cigarettes and cigarette cases have a special place in the Bond gadget universe—they’ve been used to detonate explosives, assemble microfilm readers, unleash stun gas, and help assemble the eponymous golden gun. These rockets can and will hit an unexpected target at any time. can we thank Q for this

Yo-yo saw (octopussy)

This gadget should be in a horror movie. The yoyo saw gave me goosebumps when I was a kid but now when I look back,I think this is the best yoyo ever made. Duncan cannot even top this. Think of the possible ways to take an enemy down with just one cut from the yoyo. It would be very hazardous if you would try to do tricks with it. But you would only see that in a circus or if captain America decides to switch his shield for the yoyo saw

Ghetto blaster (the living daylights)

Like some of the gadgets on this list, this was only seen in Q’s lab. That doesn’t make it any less awesome. It’s a rocket launcher that is shaped like a pretty sweet looking jam box. I’d finally feel safe walking to the store for candy bars in my neighborhood if I had this on my shoulder. I am assuming that this was here because of the rise of the boom boxes in the 1980’s

Pen bomb(goldeneye)

Never one to shy away from a pun, Pierce Brosnan starts strong in his first outing as Bond by telling Q that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword when the quartermaster produces a Class 4 grenade disguised as a Parker Jotter. The pen in question is eventually put to use in a brilliantly tense scene where the captured 007 is forced to watch programmer (and nervous pen clicker) Boris Grishenko click through the arm/disarm cycle of the Jotter multiple times before, once armed, Bond slaps the pen out of Boris’s hand with explosive results.

Golden gun(the man with the golden gun)

The iconic golden gun that Francisco Scaramanga used in The Man with the Golden Gun only shoots a single bullet and takes too long to assemble to be of any use in a real fight—but look at how shiny it is! The gun’s handle is a cigarette case, attached to a lighter that serves as a firing chamber, a pen that serves as barrel, and a trigger made from a cuff link. And it shoots 24-karat gold. now if we had a gun battle between this and a revolver, lets see who would win. Also the gun appears in most of the James Bond video games, as well as the call of duty series ripping off their version of the golden gun too
This I believe is the greatest handgun ever made

industrial laser(goldfinger)

If there’s one thing 007 enjoys more than ending the pitiful existence of nameless lackeys it’s having meaningless sex with awkwardly named vixens. So when boss baddie Auric Goldfinger straps Bond to a table and sets an industrial laser to ‘neuter’, 007 understandably gets a bit squeamish. Naturally, Bond makes it out of the fix with both heads undamaged, but what you might not know is there was a man beneath the table slowly moving a blow torch towards Connery’s crown jewels to produce the laser burn effect. There was no need for Connery to ask ‘What’s my motivation?’ on that day of shooting. But then again, many other TV cartoons or show has used this laser and have escaped the trap in many ways so it works for me to


Bowler hat(goldfinger)

The first time I have seen Oddjob threw the hat,I was thinking about Kung Lao from the Mortal Kombat video game. When you trowel is like a disc, it goes with rapid speed. The bowler hat from Goldfinger wasn’t actually Bond’s gadget but that of Goldfinger’s henchman Oddjob. It had a razor sharp steel rim that could slice through flesh and bone when thrown like a Frisbee. Now try to have your dog catch this if thrown and see what will happen. but then again I would rather use this than a ninja star.

Rolex wristwatch with laser (never say never again)

Before Brosnan used a laser wristwatch in GoldenEye, Connery put it to use in his unofficial return as 007 in the curiously titled Never Say Never Again (the title is derived from a quip made by Connery’s wife in response to him saying he’d never play Bond again). Bond puts the inbuilt laser in the already classy Rolex wristwatch to good use, zapping his chains when he’s caught in a bind. The best part is that the watch is a prototype created by an ex-KGB defector; from Russia with love, indeed.

credit card(a view to a kill)

If you, like us, have watched way too many movies, you’d know that opening a stubborn locked door is as easy as getting a credit card and jiggling it in the gap between the door and the frame. Hmm. At least in A View to a Kill 007 is armed with a credit card that has a tech excuse for why it’s able to open doors: it has the electronic ability to do so, dammit! At least, that’s what we’re told. To prove it works, Bond uses it to break into Stacey Sutton’s home. I used to use my library card as a key to sneak into my living room at night just so I can stay up and do whatever I want. its the most simple gadget ever created

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