Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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In 1954, Japan unleashed a legend that is unlike any other. With the film Gojira (re-edited in America as Godzilla: King of the Monsters), we got a movie character that has became part of our national lexicon. You mention the word Godzilla to anyone, and what they start thinking of is cheap suits, cardboard building, horrible acting and English voice actors, and B-Movie material. It was only in the hearts of those that studied the film history of Godzilla that we knew what he was: a metaphor for the dangers of Nuclear radiation and the consequences of tamping with the natural order of our world.
In 1998, we got the first American Godzilla film, and it was popcorn entertainment that destroyed the hopes of Godzilla fans. We fans hoped that, with the first American film, we can introduce to everyone the true side of Godzilla. Instead, we got a disgraceful film that made the fans even more of a joke. For years, Godzilla fans rejected the film, claiming it to be an abomination.
Then, around 2012, we got news of another Godzilla film being made. Once we saw the Comic Con footage, we got into a frenzie of hype: it looks as if they done it right. With the marketing and us being able to see more of what Garth Edwards (director of Monsters) has done, it was a blessing to us.
Today I finally saw the film, one of the most hyped films of my life. The end result was me being astounded and shocked with what I was seeing. This Godzilla film not only does the original classic justice, but goes in and ends up making it relevent for today's society. I could go into a complete analyze of the themes of this movie and how they are related to today, but I am sure you can figure that out yourself.
I am going to assume that you want to know all about the title creature: Godzilla. There has been complete backlash over how little of Godzilla we see, but from what we see of him is all we really need to see. There will be a lot of comparing between this film and the original, and it has about equal screen time in both films. The point of a Godzilla film isn't really to see Godzilla destroying the city, as much as how humans react to such a disaster happening in our world. With this film, I felt as if they showed how we would react, but the emotional aspects are not really noticeable. The first act of this film shows some emotion when Joe Brody (Bryan Craston) is trying to figure out what the government is hiding from the world, but then there really isn't anything I found worth whiled. The main issue with this film is how bland the humans are, not really doing anything to make us attached to them.
But in the grand scheme of things, that is really minor. I won't discuss the other kaiju that are in this film, but as pure spectacle, this film nails everything on the head and doesn't disappoint. In terms of how good a Godzilla film, I view this as one of the best films in the series. Hopefully any sequels are able to go in and be able to make us have some great characters, because there is one (which is a re-imagining of a character from the original) that has some potential. That is the best way to sum this film: wonderful Kaiju film that has potential to be great.
I love musicals. I don't know why it is that I love them, but something about a world where everyone tends to break out into song and dance just captivates me. It's indescribable. Like, take a musical like 'Repo! The Genetic Opera', for example. In that film, while no where near as great as the film I am reviewing (though I do rank this higher on my list of favorite films), the world and the idea of the film is what makes me love it. The fact that people sing in it tends to just add more to the greatness of their world (not always the case in some musicals, like Les Miserable).
When I was younger, my father introduced to me various different musicals, the main two being The Who's Tommy and Pink Floyd's The Wall. What separated them from other musicals at the time was how they started off as concept albums, but then became great films. I always love knowing what it is that tends to go through people's minds when they hear music, seeing what images the artists that they are listening to come into play. Now, this trend of adapting albums into films wasn't short lived, and I think we know who to blame (the only time, in my knowledge, the Beatles have screwed up).
But then, lo and behold, one of my all time favorite bands wants to bring back this style.
I tend to see myself as having a personal connection with the Finnish Operatic Metal group Nightwish. I remember being in Middle School, and next to Dio era Black Sabbath, the lyrics of Holopaine and the voices of Tarja Turnen and Annette Ozone got me through so much. Like all fans of Nightwish, the first Annette album 'Dark Passion Play' didn't do that much (though now it has really grown on me). It would not be until the album 'Imaginaerum' that I finally came to terms with her being the voice of Nightwish (until she left the band and we now have Floor Jansen doing vocals).
The album of Imaginaerum is as near a perfect album as one can get. As a concept album, the story of finding your imagination and your childhood is shown clearly while every song being great on it's own terms. While listening to the album, you get these images of dreams, nightmares, love, and lust in your mind and it is done so vividly that you can't help but love them and the songs in general.
Hey, you know what would be great? A film adaptation. Thankfully, we got just that.
It is not easy for people to really track down and watch this film, unless you have no problem pirating the film off some sites in okay quality. But, I did what I could and I saw the film a year ago. Even now, the film is still stuck in my head.
The story of the film is basically a poetic of suffers dementia goes through his memories to find out who he is, why he can't remember anything, and this mysterious snowman that talks to him. I was surprised that this is what Tumous Holopaine (who acts in this film, along with all the band members) had in his mind and I was blown away. The fact that this is what he thought of kind of shows me his own mind and how he thinks. A reoccurring theme in the music that he write is that of innocents and childhood and dreams, themes that this film showed. It was a delight to see such things with his music playing.
But, we all know that the scene that stole the entire film is that of the 'Scaretale' sequence. Of everything, that is the scene that still makes me speechless. Not only is it wonderful to hear such a great song being performed, but how it was shot, the costumes everyone is wearing, and even what the main female character does is just... breathtaking. I know it is a dark and kind of horrifying scene, but it just takes your breathe away because it represents that song so well.
Every scene in this film really does pack the emotion of the song from the album it represents. Sadly, only two songs (Scaretale and Slow Love Slow) are performed int the film, but the score for this film goes back to the original album and just breathes new life into this music.
I know of all my reviews, this one might get some people mad because I keep going back to the album. I won't apologize because it is impossible not to talk about this film without mentioning the album. Does this film work on it's own? Without a doubt. This film is just one great musical/ fantasy film and, in a way, a great look into child psychology with the main boy (Tom) and his Snowman plus his relationship (Tom's) with his father and when Tom is older and with his own daughter. If this film would have been more successful, then this could have started such a revolution of musicals being darker and more serious without it being annoying. This film is, beyond under-appreciated.
Note: This is one of the rare times I can not give a star rating to a film.
If you are not a fan of horror films, then this is a film I have to urge you to turn away from. Never seeing even a frame from this movie, I heard about it via Facebook and one of my friends mentioning how disturbed he was by the second half of the film. Being intrigued, I decided to watch this film, wanting to see what it was about. What I experienced was a horror show of the highest order, being so freaked out that I felt my stomach turn and rattle with sickness.
The story of this film is very basic, which is a good thing. The moral of this story is one we all know, but never actually take into consideration: the idea of stalkers/ predators being anywhere. That is what this film is about: the tale of two missing girls. What I did like about this movie, and what was used to it's advantage, was how it was set up. his film is a collection of found footage, webchat footage, news reels, and some still photographs (which, I swear to you, will never leave your mind). Being a fan of found footage films, it is nice to see one done as differently as this one because it really works to it's impact. It starts off kind of happy, then disturbing during a party scene, then a sense of suspense, then a light comedic moment, and then... I am not even going to bother to describe.
Which leads me to the acting. For the first 2/3, the acting of this film kills it. No one is really that good, with some mediocre performances from Amber Perkins. Seriously, this chick knows how to run this film and it is clear over how she is able to give it her all. Even more during the last 22 minutes and the horrors she goes through.
As I am typing this review, I can't even think straight over how deranged, grotesque, and sickening this film is. Even more over how true and realistic this film tends to be. There is no happy ending, everything is left up to imagination, and then you are left with the haunting still images of a tortured girl BDSM styled, a decomposed corpse, a brutal rape sequence, and so much more that I can't even say in this review. As I am wrapping this up, I am talking to a friend of mine about this movie. All I can say is: if you are easily offended or hate horror or anything mentioned in this review, keep away from this movie. If you can handle it all, then best of luck dealing with this film.
Holy. Crap. What happened, Tom Hooper? How could you go from a masterpiece like The King's Speech and make something that was great into something that was boring? Yeah, the performances were decent enough (mainly loved Hathaway) and it looked gorgeous, but I just found myself bored and annoyed. Now, I love operas. I love musicals. But, Les Miserable has, what I call, 'The Phantom of The Opera Curse'. Basically, this is when there is a stage opera that is so bloody good, but then the film adaptation sucked. That's what happened here. I tried my hardest to not compare this to the stage production because I know there will be differences, but the magic of the opera got lost somewhere in the transition. Sorry, but having a clear mind going into this film and knowing that this will be an opera, my opinions I had before this film are still the same: overstuffed and over hyped.
Ever get the feeling that you have wasted about 10% of your life on a film? Yeah, that was my reaction to the latest film in the infamous 'Children Of The Corn' films. Here is the thing people: after eight bloody films, most of which are so bad I can't stand them, why would you want to carry on this dead beat of a horse? Actually, I don't even like the series, so why am I even wasting my time with this film? The answer is simple: I kind of liked the second adaptation from Stephen King's original short story, so I had some hopes. This film destroyed all those hopes.
The first, and main problem, is that this doesn't even follow the mythology of the original story. In fact, except for a very terrible beginning, this film doesn't even remotely feel like it is part of the same series. To put it mildly, this is one of those films you see on television at three in the morning when you can't sleep due to insomnia. Nothing good, nothing decent.
My only main question is simple: who's idea was it to even make this film? Who wrote this garbage and thought it would work? Because, sorry to say this: nothing in this film works. The acting is stale, the script is laughable, nothing is scary, and it is kind of insulting to fans of horror, Stephen King, and to Children Of The Corn in general.
As you can tell, I have nothing good to say about this film. It's bad, it's awful, it needs to be burnt forever. Take my advice: just skip this film. If it is on television, you will get a more better horror story watching the news channel.