Sunday, July 29, 2012
Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, and then Rodan make up the 'big four' of the Godzilla world. Seemingly in recent years Mechagodzilla has replaced Rodan for the spot, but I never bought that. While MechaG might be a little more known in the States, Rodan will never be replaced. What some people are not aware of is that Rodan had his own film back in 56 before he went on to crossover into Godzilla world in Ghidorah. Now you see why he's part of the 'big four.' Rodan was directed by veteran TOHO director Ishiro Honda. While not as messaged driven as Gojira, the film was still pretty deep. Part nuclear war allegory, part horror, and part science fiction. It also has one of the most emotional endings I've seen in a Godzilla film. No, scratch that, it has one of the most emotional endings I've ever seen in any film period. Rodan in his debut movie was pretty much like the original Godzilla, he didn't have too much of a personality. He did have an appetite for Meganulon. As a baby, he acted like a true boss, slapping his eggshell to the side. I don't think you know, but there was actually two Rodans in the film, companions. That's why it's tragic when one refuses to leave the other when it's getting engulfed by the lava.
After that, I'm willing to bet no one had thought we'd see the flying monster again. But no, eight years later he was brought back in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. (Giant Monster movies of yesterday at its finest.) After being buried for eight years, he must have lost it in his head a bit. Unlike his rather calm and collective self from his debut film, here he was a little crazy. He constantly mocked Godzilla, laughing in his face. He had evey right to, he was Godzilla's equal if not superior. He even beat G at rock volleyball. Now he and Godzilla were both pretty similar at the time. They both disliked humanity, and both were kinda immature. Mothra practically begged them for help in battle against Ghidorah, but they both wanted the other to 'apologize.' Once Mothra went to go fight alone, they decided it was tragic for such a little thing to battle such a heavy hitter. After the battle was won, Godzilla and Rodan became allies, even friends. Rodan treated Godzilla purely as an equal from then on, but he doesn't mind G being the leader. After DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, Rodan didn't get any appearances other than some stock footage in Gigan and a brief appearance in Megalon until his revival in 1993.
Now I like Heisei Rodan as much as the next guy, but there are a few things I didn't like what TOHO did with him. First off, he got shrunk down. Unlike in the Showa era where he's the same size as Godzilla, here he's not even close. He's no longer Godzilla's equal either, he was rather easily defeated in their encounter. Unlike his energetic Showa counterpart, Heisei Rodan was more calm, more mature, and took things very seriously. But he's also weaker, he seemingly died two times and then the third time gave his energy to a fallen Godzilla. What's cool and most well known about this Rodan is his super-form, Fire Rodan. In it, he got a beam. Rodan in general doesn't really need a beam, it's like giving Titanosaurus a beam. Even in this super-form, he was disposed of by Mechagodzilla rather quickly. I do love his bravery though, even if he knows he's outmatched, he'll still go in there and peck. (One of the best scenes in the film was when he rose and pecked out MechaG's right eye.) Thanks to his inclusion in all three Atari games, Fire Rodan may just be the most well-known here in the States. To fans like myself he's lacking the original's fun personality. But I'll always like this version also, probably nostalgia is part of the reason, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II is one of the Godzilla films I grew up with.
Eleven years later, I repeat, ELEVEN years later, Rodan was brought back for Godzilla's 50th anniversary bash, Final Wars. It was pretty much a no-brainer that he would be included, he was one of the classics. And it appeared that they brought back his Showa self. Right when he landed in New York he was taunting the population. Sadly he was paired against an overpowered Godzilla, so he didn't get to look impressive strength wise. But hey, he was the only one in the three-way fight to knock Godzilla down. While Fire Rodan has seemingly been his 'definitive' look, I really think his Final Wars look should become the definitive one. It's a nice update of the original with some aspects of Fire.
In recent years, Rodan has appeared in the Atari games via his Heisei form. In Destroy all Monsters Melee and Save the Earth, he's given his beam from when he was in fire form. That isn't a bad thing, since every monster in the game has a beam attack. The only thing is that Unleashed made it a point to call him Fire Rodan, yet he's still in his brown form instead of his fiery red form. He has since made sort of a comeback in IDW's comics. I say sort of because he hasn't been treated with enough respect. He had an awesome first appearance way back in Kingdom of Monsters #2, (let's just say now we know he doesn't mind chomping on people, namely kids) then went on to fight Battra. But after that he was turned into a mindless slave for the twins. The final straw was in the final battle with Godzilla, he lost in one hit! While Battra went to fight Godzilla to a standstill, Rodan was pushed aside like a joke. He had his own story in the lackluster Godzilla Legends #2. In it, he completely resembled his Heisei look and character. Though I have to question the kid's intelligence if he really thought the tanks and jets were at any point killing Rodan.
He's only now starting to redeem himself in the comics. While Anguirus, Kumonga, and Battra were defeated by the Monster Hunters, he escaped. In the next issue, he'll be tackling Titanosaurus in what will be the greatest fight in comics this decade. Rodan is the type of monster that is timeless. You could always use him as either a partner or opponent. In fact, I would love to see him as the opponent (and maybe in the end turn into an ally) for Godzilla in Legendary Studios' upcoming film. Rodan may look simple on the outside, but once you see the films with him, you see an energetic, sometimes serious, but fun and awesome monster. Rodan is a staple of Godzilla lore, he's one cool guy.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
The 70's were a very colorful era for Godzilla. It was in those years that we got a monster made of smog, a cyborg chicken from space, and a giant beetle from Atlan---Seatopia. We even got a mechanical Godzilla. The films had a more light and energetic tone than its predecessors. That was mainly thanks to director Jun Fukuda. It wasn't until Ishiro Honda came back to direct the final film in the Showa era, Terror of Mechagodzilla that the films became dark again. Now in that time we were getting all those crazy (and awesome) monster concepts, but this film saw a more simple monster in the form of Titanosaurus. He didn't have a buzzsaw, two extra heads, smoked smog from a smokestack, or had drills for hands, he was just a simple amphibious dinosaur. He didn't even have a beam! This guy was the most simple monster creation since Baragon. What's interesting and a change of pace is that he's not evil, it's the aliens who control him that make him violent. Nothing we haven't seen before, but it makes his end all the more tragic.
I don't remember my first impressions of Titanosaurus, was way too young. It wasn't until I saw the film again a few years ago that he became one of my personal favorite monsters. From such a peaceful dinosaur, you wouldn't expect a really aggressive fighter. But that changed when he got controlled by the Aliens from the Third Planet of the Black Hole. All of a sudden he was turned into a vicious fighter. In the final battle against Godzilla, it was Titanosaurus who really got into it. Mechagodzilla was the calm one while Titanosaurus was the wild one. He is also what I consider to be an underrated monster in an underrated film. He really got into the fights, and is a lot stronger than he looks. His kick to Godzilla sent the big G flying! Unlike most, if not all the monsters, Titanosaurus had a specific weakness, a vulnerability to supersonic sounds. (Now you know where they got the weakness idea for Venom and his symbiote pals.) It's ironic how Godzilla was accepted by the humans, to the point where he's giving them the okay to shoot the supersonic waves while he was holding Titanosaurus. Ah, I do miss the heroic days. The sad part was that after the control was broken, Titanosaurus just wanted to high-tail out of there, but Godzilla shot his atomic radiation, which eventually sent the seahorse over the edge into the water, presumably dead.
Sadly he hasn't appeared in any films since, aside from a brief flashback in Final Wars. I always found that disappointing, this guy has an unlimited amount of potential. You can tweak him to fit any storyline. In fact, he wouldn't be that bad of a choice for Godzilla's opponent in Legendary Studios' upcoming film. Though his elephant dying-like roar may annoy some people, I think it's pretty cool, definitely one of the more unique ones. In recent times, he's appeared in the game Godzilla Unleashed. (The Wii version, PS2 players didn't get him, which was pretty lame.) They put him in the mutant faction, which I gotta say was a mistake. He's described 'peaceful' in the film, not 'chaotic' as all the mutant faction is. The ironic part is that they gave him a supersonic blast for his beam attack. So basically he's shooting his weakness. Then in a sorta kinda not really sequel to Terror, he appeared in Godzilla Legends #3. He was 'summoned' by this boy Tristan, then was captured by the Simians. It's another tragic story as you see him tied down into a pool of water. He doesn't want to be used as an instrument of evil, but he really has no choice. See, Godzilla is a lot deeper than you think, you just have to really get into the franchise to see that.
Titanosaurus will tackle Rodan in what will be the fight of the decade in next month's GODZILLA #3. So we have that and most likely more appearances of him in future comics to look forward to. Titanosaurus is one of those monsters that appeared in only one film but deserves more. He's simple, but it's effective. He fights great, isn't a coward like a certain cyborg, and c'mon, he's just a cool monster.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises is the final 'big' film of the summer. Avengers started the summer with a bang, Spidey slinged through the middle, and Batman ended it with 'hope.' This film marks the final film in the trilogy, there's been a lot of hype in the past months. The Dark Knight will forever be known as a game-changer for the genre, Rises isn't quite as good, but still a fine way to end the trilogy. You will leave the theater having hope inside, which I believe was the purpose.
Check out the official description from Warner Bros. (Skip to the last paragraph if you don't want to know anything about the film.)
Christopher Nolan returns to complete the Gotham trilogy that launched with “Batman Begins” and reached the stratosphere with the billion dollar blockbuster “The Dark Knight.” “Inception” stars Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt join the cast regulars along with Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle (Catwoman) and Tom Hardy as the powerful villain Bane. Christian Bale prowls the night as the Caped Crusader, fighting crime and corruption with the help of Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman.Set eight years after The Dark Knight, we're introduced to a retired Bruce Wayne who has pretty much given up on everything. This film seems to be adapting aspects of Knightfall amd The Dark Knight Returns. What this film does is give the viewer 'hope.' We see Bruce Wayne getting back into the suit, then getting crippled, then 'rising.' I would have rather they'd not time-skipped and adapted Knightfall more. So with that said, one of the big things was whether Bane was going to 'break the Bat.' Well, it does happen and the whole scene was pretty intense. I think the scene with him actually breaking Batman's back should have been more focused on, it happened a little too quickly. But the fight leading up to it was intense and maybe the best scene in the film other than the great ending.
Christian Bale once again is a good Bruce Wayne/Batman. He played the whole 'retire from the outside world' thing well. You really do feel for him when he's getting beaten down by Bane. For the first time, he was on the complete losing side in a one-on-one battle, we get to seem him struggle and then 'broken.' It was interesting to see Batman lose completely. However, the true highlight is Tom Hardy as Bane. With his Darth Vader-like mask breathing, he proved to be a great villain. In fact, I think he deserves the villain of the year award. (Yup, over Loki) Such an amazing script. Of course pretty much nothing can match Heath Ledger's Joker, but Hardy as Bane was a good runner-up villain. That's why I was disappointed at how anti-climatic his death was. He was the antagonist for awhile, his death was unfulfilled and deserved better. Anne Hathaway as Selena Kyle/Catwoman was pretty much a slightly bad version of Black Widow from Avengers, which is a good thing of course. Some of her scenes with her 'helping' Batman are somethings that would happen straight from the comics. It was a mystery of who exactly Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character John Blake would be. Gotta say this guy was established rather well, and by the end, you'll be left happy of what happens. I was honestly surprised that Alfred left, I don't quite buy that. I don't think he would actually do that in the comics. The same thing almost happened in an episode of The Batman, but was done much better since he decided not to leave and support Bruce even though he didn't approve. Other characters...Commissioner Gordon is as good as always, lifted straight from the comics. Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, well, he's Morgan Freeman, enough said. Marion Cotillard is Miranda Tate, who happens (spoiler) to be Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra's al Ghul. She was pretty good and deceptive. I should have known from the beginning, but ended up being surprised, so the film succeeds in doing that.
The soundtrack is very good, often emotional, and fits the movie well. Batman's theme was fantastic once again. Some silent scenes with music playing was a nice touch. Now, a few things...Bane's signature venom toxin was nowhere to be found. It's a major part of his character, it's always been a big plot point in the comics. And Catwoman...she could have been replaced with a made up character and it wouldn't have made much of a difference. Other than the term 'cat-burglar,' there's no indication that she has a cat persona. Would it have been hard to incorporate more of a cat-like costume or show an apartment full of felines? I think Nolan deviates from the comics a little too much in favor of ultra realism. That isn't such a bad thing, but when major parts of characters are taken away, it becomes less and less a comic book adaption. I did like the whole rope in the hole, it was a great analogy. If you have a rope to save you, you won't try your very best. Good stuff. Then the whole scene with Gotham's evil vs. the police was intense, really heart-pumping stuff.
Overall, The Dark Knight Rises is a great film and fitting end to the trilogy. Bane was a fantastic antagonist and using the whole 'Batman is broken' plot from the comics was a really good idea. Catwoman wasn't bad, she just was lacking the cat part. Great script, some really good fights, (which The Dark Knight lacked) and a fantastic closure. The legacy lives on. Of course, now I'm ready for a Batman film series to embrace the comic book feel that Nolan's films didn't.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
You notice how each issue goes, less and less people are talking about the series? I am astonished of the lack of talk for the latest issue in this series. As you know, my reviews for said comic has migrated to Unleash the Fanboy, check out my review of Issue #3 here. Get ready for heavy spoilers in the coming paragraphs. This issue has opened up some new plot developments. One of them is my worst fear coming to life: these 'Monster Hunters' are taking down whole monsters! Yes, it's true. As I mentioned in my review, none of this stuff is really possible unless you have a Mechagodzilla. The worst part? Some of these guys don't even get to have to have a struggle shown on page!
Okay, I can buy how they took out Anguirus. They managed to lure him into an erupting volcano, that's fine. But then they took out Kumonga AND Battra! See, this is not a very good thing by having these monsters losing so easily. The thing about Godzilla monsters is they are above military threat. They can't defeat them. The monsters (well, most of them anyway, sorry Ebirah) are like storms, you can try and battle them, but it's futile, you just have to let them pass. By having a bunch of hunters defeat them, they lose their magic. The biggest offender is having Kumonga offed in just a few panels! The whole battle happened off panel and we're left with the monster that almost killed Godzilla in his debut film getting buried by a mountain like a total weakling. It's just very, very sad. Battra is taken out by an electric net. Amazing how he used to be the tough monster in Kingdom of Monsters but now has ended up like this. However, I do applaud them making my main man Rodan not get defeated. You see, Rodan hasn't been a big hitter at all these comics, sadly enough. He had a pretty impressive first appearance way back in Kingdom of Monsters #2, but after that he became a mindless slave for the twins, then lost in ONE HIT to Godzilla, while Battra went toe-to-toe with the big G. So I'm happy to see him getting some respect and a big fight coming up...
Godzilla himself barely does anything in this issue. My main problem is that he's mimicking his Heisei incarnation, which isn't bad, but he has even less personality than that version. Is it really so hard to give personality to these guys? Dark Horse did it. It could be done here too. If these Monster Hunters were actually pretty engaging characters, them defeating the monsters wouldn't be as bad, but they've been pretty cardboard, Boxer is becoming a really unlikable character, Steven Woods from Kingdom of Monsters was someone you could root for, with this guy you're slowly wanting Godzilla to stomp on him. With Kumonga, Anguirus, and Battra defeated, all there's left at the moment is Godzilla, Rodan, Titanosaurus, and SpaceGodzilla who's roaming around on the moon. Though after reading the comic again, I noticed something interesting in the dialogue, that the Monster Hunters 'get paid to take the monsters down, not store them.' That could be a foreshadow of what's to come. This issue wasn't all that bad, it's really only hardcore Godzilla fans that will be a disappointed at how cannon fodder they made some of the monsters. But the next issue looks to be the payoff....RODAN VS. TITANOSAURUS! I gotta say I haven't been this excited for a comic since Kingdom of Monsters #1. Well, let's see if it will actually be a payoff.
Greetings all, and what a lovely (albeit hot) day here in the Garden State. This week I just have one review, but at least it's a positive one. This week also sees the release of the latest GODZILLA issue, look for my post on it coming later. But for now, Spidey and a deranged Curt Connors!
Amazing Spider-Man #690
• There might be more than one Lizard now…• And Spider-Man might notice-- if only he wasn’t so busy trying to save everyone from a crazed Morbius, the Living Vampire! • Also in this issue: New developments for The Kingpin, Madame Web, Horizon Labs, and the Hobgoblin!
A deranged Curt Connors with the mind of the Lizard? I love the concept, and it's being executed wonderfully, this issue is a prime example of that. It's interesting to see exactly what the Lizard is planning and his surprise on some of the human's emotions. Spidey isn't neglected as we get some really serious action as he beats down on Morbius. The writing is as strong as ever, this arc has been the best Spidey story in awhile. Of course one might smirk at the fact of Madame Web telling Spidey once again his futrure is dire. This issue is nicely paced, with action throughout while the plot moves along. The ending is something you had begun to suspect from reading the issue. Slightly shoehorned in? Yes. It'll be interesting to see if this plays out in a non-cheesy manner. The art is great. Curt Conners looks like a deranged maniac, the art succeeds in giving him that look. While the issue isn't exactly 'dark,' the moments with Billy were pretty unsettling, the writing really compliments those little scenes.
Overall it's another great entry in what could very well be the best Spidey story of the year. I look forward to the next issue.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Ah, pizza. America's signature food. Oh wait...Italy invented it. Well, at least America has the cheeseburger. Anyways....pizza! I have never met anyone who dislikes the dough with Mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. You hear it almost every day, "Let's get a slice." But the real question is....what is the best pizza? Everyone you talk to will have a different opinion. Sure, there are people who might say Domino's, or Pizza Hut, or the salty Papa John's. Those are the food chains, but what about the usual pizzeria you see on the street? I've been to a lot of them in my lifetime, some good, some okay, and some bad. (You have to see this place in Manhattan that sells Jumbo slices, it's pretty awful.) Usually when driving it doesn't matter what the name is, if you're hungry and it says pizza, you go in. (However, if a place just simply says 'My Pizza,' I'd be a little suspicious.) By the way, that 'My Pizza' thing in the parentheses wasn't just an analogy, I actually once saw a pizzeria called 'My Pizza.' That is perhaps the lamest title for a pizzeria I have ever seen. 'Ray's Real Pizza, ' now that's a title. (Apparently all the other places are fake.) And this is not a joke, but in Manhattan there's this place called Mario's Pizza. Not really big, right? Well, it actually has Paper Mario as its logo! It's not open yet sadly, so I haven't had the chance to see if the food can match the amazing appearance. But really, there are two pizzerias in the world currently that is the best. If someone I know in person is reading this, chances are they might have been there. But there's a high chance you've never even heard of it. So you see, while you may consider your favorite pizzeria in town to be the best ever, it's not. Because if you're saying that, you obviously haven't been to Denino's.
Denino's was once just a restaurant in Staten Island. (Check out the history at the site.) Me and my family use to go there frequently when we lived in the Island. Unlike most pizzerias, this place was built like a restaurant. It was rather dim inside, (in a good way) waiters, and just had that high quality feel. However, appearances isn't everything. All this fancy stuff could just be a disguise to get us thinking the food is good. That is not the case. Every pizzeria has its own little taste, but ultimately they're all pretty similar. There's this place called Giuseppe's near me where I usually get my pizza. It's good, you know, the definition of the average pizza. And it depends on the day, sometimes it could be really good, or just alright. Denino's never has an 'alright day.' I've been there probably well over 100 times, it never fails to disappoint. Why? Well it's going to be hard to say without you having had one already.
Before I get into that, you know how I mentioned there were two locations? Well, it turns out there is actually one in New Jersey. The ironic part is that me and my family had moved there four years ago, it's like Denino's had followed us. Now we go to that one often, same great pizza. I'm not sure what they do, no other pizza I've had comes even close to matching Denino's brilliance. First off, you know what I hate? Soft pizza. I cannot soft pizza. Denino's always makes it crunchy. Then there's the cheese, oh, the wonderful cheese. You have never tasted cheese like this. It's high quality man, I can't describe it. It takes awhile to cook, but it's worth it.
Denino's has by far the greatest pizza ever. Look, I've been to many pizzerias, none of them come close. This is one of those rare food cases where once you leave, you feel like you could go for it again. Even when you heat it up at home it's still great, which is saying something. So if you have a place near you and think it has the greatest pizza ever, you haven't been to Denino's. I could go for some right now actually.
Who is Godzilla's greatest enemy? The usual response would be King Ghidorah. That was the first answer I got on Twitter when I asked the question. Ghidorah is definitely Godzilla's most popular adversary, and part of the 'big four' which includes Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan. He's appeared in six films, seven if you want to count Keizer Ghidorah. A number of people would also claim that Mechagodzilla is his greatest enemy. No, not the government MG II or the anime-like Kiryu, I'm talking about oldschool Mechagodzilla from the 70's. This guy in his first appearance had everything. A (so awesome) 'Fake Godzilla' disguise, beating up on G's sidekick, and nearly killing the big guy himself. Those two are the usual contenders thanks to their immense popularity.
But really, Godzilla's ultimate enemy is neither. It's Destoroyah.
Now this is just my opinion of course, but I really do think this demonic monster deserves the title. Even his origin helps the matter. Destoroyah was created from the Oxygen Destroyer, the same weapon that destroyed the original Godzilla. Unlike Ghidorah, Destoroyah shows personal malice. I have never seen a creature in Godzilla world so intent on killing a human. King Ghidorah was always a mentally insane monster that loved destroying worlds. But in the Heisei era, Godzilla and him were evenly matched. Until he forced Ghidorah to retreat. Godzilla did seem to to have more of an upper hand in the battle. Ghidorah would appear in GMK as a scrawny weakling, then in Final Wars as Keizer Ghidorah. (Whom I count as a different character.) But Destoroyah is the one opponent that Godzilla couldn't beat even though the latter was souped up. He tried and tried, but Destoroyah was dragging him around like a rag doll. Not only that, but he killed Godzilla Junior. The latter was pretty much begging for mercy as Destoroyah was flying while holding him by the neck. Once he had emerged, he just slapped aside Burning Godzilla like he was nothing. After Junior was killed, Godzilla had something personal against Destoroyah, something he never had with any of his foes in the past. It was a personal battle. But the demonic monster had the upper hand the whole time. Godzilla could barely even get close to him without being struck down by his oxygen ray. And when they did go head-to-head, it was Godzilla who was was trying to knock down his opponent desperately. SpaceGodzilla might consider Godzilla to be his greatest enemy, but Godzilla didn't see him other than a very strong opponent to take down. With Destoroyah, it was personal and a battle to win because he was weaker and dying. Destoroyah literally picked him by the tail and threw him like was absolutely nothing! And he mocks Godzilla the whole time. Godzilla must have known he was dying, and he was going to take Destoroyah with him. But ironically it wasn't Godzilla that destroyed him, it was the JSDF that finished him off. Godzilla's most powerful opponent and he wasn't even the one that finished him off. Fun fact that a lot of fans don't know about is that in a deleted scene, Destoroyah rose up and Godzilla battled him until the latter died. Would have been a better ending I think.
Destoroyah is Godzilla's greatest enemy. Even in Godzilla's raged up Burning form, he proved to be even stronger. (Imagine if he battled G in normal form.) Once Destoroyah disposed of Junior, that's when things got personal. Destoroyah may not have considered Godzilla to be anything other than a major nuisance, but the latter considered this guy to be his ultimate opponent. No matter what he did, he just couldn't beat him. Destoroyah was like a malicious killer, he will slowly give it to the opponent while mocking them. These are things Ghidorah and Mechagodzilla never had, and that is why Destoroyah is Godzilla's ultimate enemy.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Hello all, I'm a little late with these reviews, huh? I would have gotten them up earlier, but it was the third Thursday of the month, so I was at a youth group event called BEYOND. Well, chances are you're watching The Dark Knight Rises right now, so enjoy it! This week we have Namor attacking Wakanda, four-legged carnivores versus two soldiers, and Wonder Woman losing her cool with one of the League members.
Avengers vs. X-Men #8
• Last stand in Wakanda as an out-of-control Namor invades this sovereign nation in pursuit of the Avengers! • And a shocking truth stands revealed that may cause fractures in the X-Men’s alliance!
Now this is what I'm talking about. This issue had it all, great action, good story, very good writing, and fantastic art to top it off. The heroes, (the Avengers) are technically on the losing defensive side, yet at the same time there's a slight hope for them without making it too cheesy. There's some really great splash pages here, such as the opening scene with Namor destroying Wakanda and the Avengers all about to gang up on him. This is how you do action scenes in world-scale event, every blow is felt. It's brutal, (especially what Namor does to Red Hulk) and one of the best fights in this event yet. It's easy to forget that Bendis, one of my least favorite writers currently, is the one that did this issue, the writing is top notch. From Captain America to Namor, the writing is the issue's strongest aspect, great drama here. Spider-Man's lines range from cringe-worthy to admittedly humorous, so that's mixed. Adam Kubert takes on art duties, and it's some fantastic work. For once Spider-Man is drawn as he should be, reminds me of him from the late 90's.
Overall it's by far one of the best issues yet in this event. With a very interesting plot development at the end, it'll be hard to wait the two weeks to see what happens next.
G.I. Combat #3
• It’s modern warfare versus prehistoric horror in “The War That Time Forgot”! • The Unknown Soldier and his newfound super powers head to Pakistan in search of chemical weapons…and retribution!
Take away dinosaurs, what does G.I. Combat have? Really, if there's no dinosaurs, all it has is the second story, Unknown Soldier. This series I've been buying really for The War that Time Forgot, which has been pretty fun. The writing could be better, and it slightly improves in this issue. It's by no means great, just generic stuff, but nothing too generic seen in the previous issue. This one definitely had a pretty big excitement and heart-adrenaline factor. As the four legged carnivores emerged, you could feel and almost hear their panic as if this were a film. The action featuring the dinos was pretty intense and satisfying, only thing is that it's too short. This should be the main thing, not half and half with the other story. I was extremely disappointed at how fast this part of The War that Time Forgot ended. Unknown Soldier continues to be an interesting ride. It would probably work better as its own separate series though. The art is glossy for The War that Time Forgot, the dinos look great. The art in Unknown Soldier is more gritty, as it should be.
Overall The War that Time Forgot is like a SyFy original movie, only with an actual budget and script. It's fun, noting great, but fun. Unknown Soldier continues to be an interesting story.
Justice League #11
• “The Villain’s Journey” part three! • Batman , Cyborg and Aquaman battle Element Woman! • Continuing the origin of SHAZAM!
Eleven issues in, and here we are with some of the League members fighting each other. You would think with the five year gap stuff like this wouldn't happen. The two best things about this issue is Graves and Jim Lee's amazing art. Graves has been established pretty well in this arc, a much better villain that what Darkseid was. The scene with him and Steve's sister was pretty intense and greatly written. The writing in this issue is pretty good for the most part. However, it has some of the same problems. Civilians sound really dumb, and I mean really, really dumb. And there's something off about Wonder Woman, her lines sound rather cardboard and forced. And then Steve's sister saying she's going to "haunt Wonder Woman for the rest of her life?" I mean really? I found that pretty funny, not haunting. It just sounded so strange. If you're going to buy a comic solely for the art, this would be the one to get. I almost chuckled a bit at the awesome splash page with Wonder Woman, cause you saw it coming. The Shazam backup story (this is how a backup story should be, long enough but short so it doesn't get in the way of the main story ) heats up with Black Adam taking center stage, intense stuff there. Billy is still annoying, and his adoptive brother has a very creepy smile.
Overall it's a pretty good issue with a great villain, minor writing annoyances aside. The Shazam backup continues to be solid way to introduce Captain Marv-I mean Shazzam to The New 52.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Originally I was going to get the old Bandai Fire Rodan, but when I heard that this thing would just be $43, I couldn't resist. So I ended up pre-ordering this a few months ago. The pics looked really, really great. The detail looked sharp, bright, and amazing. Now, surprising as it sounds, this is my first figure from the SH Monsterarts line. I was considering getting the Godzilla, but I ended up buying the Heisei Movie Monsters one. (The Movie Monsters was $15, I couldn't justify spending $60 on the Monsterarts one.) I would have bought SpaceGodzilla, but I had a Bandai Creation one already, so I didn't want to spend around $70 on it when it could go toward a whole new monster. (Didn't bother buying Mechagodzilla II cause I also had a Bandai Creation one.) I had a Showa Rodan and a Final Wars Rodan. What was missing? Fire. Today it arrived straight from Tokyo. (Wow, shipping from Ami Ami is awesome, only took a few days.) After opening up the very pretty box, I discovered a cute, highly detailed, but slightly disappointing figure.
First off, this thing is small. Maybe you were expecting that, but I was expecting it to be a little bigger. It looks tiny next to a 6 inch Bandai vinyl. Sadly I don't have any of the SH Monsterarts to compare it to, but I've seen pictures. The Godzilla one isn't much bigger than a 6 inch Godzilla vinyl. Scaled next to the Bandai Movie Monsters Godzilla Heisei, Fire Rodan should be a little bigger. The head looks so inferior when compared to the head on the Godzilla. Size aside, the figure has a high quality feel. The detail is of course great, better than the Bandai ones from what I've seen of those. Though honestly I gotta say the pictures online look better than what it is in person.
Doing the stand is not too bad of a process, but getting that beam in is pretty painful. It's cool to look at, but I don't know, I wish they could have made it easier to do. You're going to want the stand, cause it's nearly impossible to stand him up without it. Plus being so little he may get lost in a large collection without it. The paint job may just be the greatest aspect of the figure, it's matches his movie counterpart 100%. The Monsterarts line is famous for it's articulation, you can pose the figures whichever way you like, Fire Rodan is no exception. Every which way you could pose the figure. Stuff like that doesn't really matter to me, I just stand up the figures on the shelf, but I know articulation is important to a lot of collectors.
So was I disappointed with the purchase? Well, it's not worth over $43 let me tell you. It'll grow on me as the months go by, they always do, even if you might be disappointed when you first view it. It's a fun little figure, the detail is great, and it's Fire Rodan. It's too small however, and attaching the beam and putting it on display isn't really worth the work and space in my opinion. $43 is a bit much, I think it should be $33. But in the end, it's a great figure, just too small.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
A few weeks ago it was 'announced' thanks to Latino Review that there would would be a surprise Godzilla appearance at Legendary Studios' panel July 14th. After the update that wasn't an update a few months back, we were all ready for this. Now here comes the ironic part, that day (now yesterday) I would be out for the majority of it. My followers on Twitter whom some don't even know what Gojira is would hear about it first. It was exactly 7:13 p.m. when my dad had text me the news that there was a trailer. I was like "Oh my gosh!" I was one excited person coming home that day. When I got there, my e-mail was engulfed with Twitter tweets from some of my followers wondering where I was when all this madness was taking place. Yesterday they showed a teaser for the film, which hasn't been leaked yet, Though strangely, my dad had told me he saw the trailer at his job. I still haven't figured out if that was a video which was leaked, cause later we couldn't find the video. But we did get a teaser description, and a screencap. I won't talk about the first impressions until I actually see the teaser. However, while the video wasn't released, the first official poster was! Isn't it awesome? It's simple, but effective. Now for that screencap.
Look closely, doesn't it remind you of the 2000 design? Just seeing that gets my eyes wide with excitement. GODZILLA is moving forward, which is the best news in a long time.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Hey everyone, welcome to another round of my Weekly Comic Reviews. This week we have the Guardians of the Galaxy teaming up with the Avengers and Spidey battling a Venom illusion! Let's start.
Avengers Assemble #5
• The secret behind Avengers Assemble is revealed but what does it mean for the future of the Marvel Universe? • PLUS: The return of the characters you demanded!
Obvious movie marketing aside, Avengers Assemble has been a pretty fun ride. It feels good to take a break from the current massive crossover for a simple Avengers story. Of course, add Thanos, and we have the makings of a great read. The Guardians of the Galaxy take center stage. Adding them in right now is an interesting move. For new fans reading the comic thanks to the film, they're introduced to them so they can get ready for the 2014 film. Interesting strategy on Marvel's part. Anyways, aside from the opening flashback, this issue is dialogue-centric. It's the Guardians explaining things to the Avengers. After I read it I had to look back on the front to see if Bendis had really wrote it, this issue has the strongest writing so far. I really haven't read much stories with the Guardians, this issue makes me want to go check out some of their stories. I'm still annoyed that the Avengers are acting like this is their first time seeing Thanos. And was it really necessary to start a romance between Hawkeye and Spider-Woman in the main title if it's not going to go anywhere? The art is one of my favorite aspects, my favorite Avengers art currently. They gotta get Bagley on the main title.
Overall it's a surprisingly good issue with some great dialogue.
• The ULTIMATE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN EVENT OF THE YEAR! • Can both Peter Parker and Miles Morales defeat CLASSIFIED? • Guest starring Nick Fury and the Ultimates!
The second issue of this crossover was a fun one. We get to see what are Spidey's and Ultimate Spidey's fears materialize thanks to Mysterio. (Whom I still think was a stale choice for this event.) Though the Carnage illusion didn't get to do anything. Still, always fun to see Spidey and Venom come to blows. The writing is pretty strong, the best parts is Spidey's monologue in the latter part of the issue. The scene with him asking a store clerk on how that world's Peter dies was great. The ending I didn't like. It felt complety forced and shoehorned in just for the 'wow' factor. The art is great for the most part. But I really cannot stand how small Spidey's eyes on the mask are drawn, they look really silly. Cover is fantastic, a contender for cover of the week.
Overall it's a pretty fun continuation of this crossover. Ultimate Spidey is still annoying and I really didn't like the ending. But Spidey does battle a Venom illusion, and that's all that really matters, right?
Alright, so about a week ago I had this Movie Monsters Godzilla 1974 in my watch list. With the $30 I had earned from helping pull weeds for a neighbor, I thought I would get this figure. As the ending of the bid approached, I decided not to get it. Why? Well, I already had a 1975 Godzilla from the Memorial Box, so I didn't really need another version of practically the same thing when $30 could go toward something new. (I'll still get the Movie Monsters version one day, it's one of my favorite suits.) I originally was watching a Y-MSF Kumonga, but when I went over the newly listed section, I ran into this three pack. It featured a Godzilla 1954, 1962, and 1964. All were a pretty great size too, about seven inches each. I've been wanting a G 62 and a 64, so this would be a good chance to get them. I had never heard of the brand 'TOHO Eiga.' I later learned on the TOHO Kingdom forums that it was a non-licensed brand, these figures were made in China. Bootleg Godzilla figures as you would. With that in mind, I asked the seller if he would be interested in a buy it now of $35. (The buy it now was $50.) I was declined, but the next day I saw it was lowered to $40, so my message must have done something. So I bought them. Aside from a mishap with G 54 (more on that soon) a pretty good purchase. First up, the main reason why I bought it, the Godzilla 1962.
All three of these guys are statues, with only the tail being movable. These 'bootlegs' have done a great job capturing the likeness of the looks. G 62 is an amazing figure. The quality is a step above the usual Bandai. After watching King Kong vs. Godzilla again, the suit in that film has grown on me, one of my personal favorites now. This figure captures the very odd-looking head well, and the actual pose is great. I'm also a big fan of the dorsal plates on it. In terms of size, they all are slightly bigger than a Bandai 6 inch, but not quite as big as some of the 8 inch scale ones. I gotta get a Bandai King Kong to go along with this.
Now time for G 64.
This one is unique. The pose is like he's getting attacked, it matches some of the classic shots from the film. I've read that a lot of people like this figure, it's easy to see why. It feels like an X-Plus figure. The teeth are sculpted and not 'painted on' like a lot of the Bandais, good stuff. It's a unique figure, I like it a lot.
Finally, G 54.
You know that mishap I was talking about? Well, this figure came with his head broken off. (Apparently in transit.) Thanks to the saving grace of glue, the figure was saved. So this figure captures the derangeness of the 54 suit really well upon closer inspection. On side-view the head looks fantastic. I like the pose with the hands also, overall this figure is a great likeness to the original Godzilla.
So were these figures worth the $40 purchase? With their bootleg nature, I think they should have cost $10 each. But yes, I'm pretty happy with the purchase, probably the only time I could find a standard size G 62 that's not the old Bandai one. Plus these figures are kinda rare, you don't see these popping up often. So yes, I'm happy with the purchase. Three high quality Godzillas. You can never have too many Godzillas in your collection!
Saturday, July 7, 2012
This Gigan is a space monster that came to earth 12,000 years ago. While the Showa version was more of a bully than a world destroyer, this one was the latter. This Gigan pretty much destroyed everything before Mothra intervened. After a great battle she defeated Gigan and he was turned into a mummy. 12,000 years later he is discovered and brought to a research lab. That is where the events of Godzilla: Final Wars takes place...
This Gigan is a complete showoff. Then again, he has every right to be. He knows he's awesome and pretty powerful, but unlike the honorable Battra, he just loves to act 'cool.' Sometimes I think he's more concerned with looking cool than actually winning a fight. Apparently the Xiliens knew Gigan, cause the leader knew him by name. "Gigan.....rise!!!!!" That is what he said. (It is possible that it was the Xiliens that originally sent the cyborg.) After that quote, Gigan's visor lit up and he started shaking his claws. He was back, and he was happy about it, already making some poses attempting to look cool. Then he slashed the roof open, and just like that he was back in the world. He roared a roar saying he was back. Unlike his Showa counterpart, this one actually liked to use his beam. On the way he decided to blow up a rather tall building. How can an evil monster not blow up a tall building? Later in the day ol' chicken-head (okay, to be fair, this version looks a lot less like a chicken than his Showa counterpart) was called in to destroy the Gotengo, which was going to awake Godzilla. Gigan is a loyal, arrogant monster. He'll get the job done while looking cool. Gigan was pretty much laughing to himself as the Gotengo's missiles didn't hit him. Of course he hadn't expected them to melt Godzilla's icy prison. Gigan was caught off guard by a sudden blast of atomic radiation. Godzilla was then occupied by blowing up a building, but Gigan was quick to retaliate, showing Godzilla his own beam. After a blast he landed, roaring. He knew he was cool, and he thought Godzilla knew that too. Despite what you might think, Gigan isn't one to 'play around' with his victims like his serial killer Showa counterpart, he's a serious fighter, but likes to look cool along the way. He likes to show his opponent who's boss. He's also merciless, his opponents die slow painful deaths from that buzzsaw, Godzilla would be the next. Or so he thought. After he managed to tie Godzilla's neck, he shouted a roar of knowing he had this in the bag and started up his buzzsaw as he reeled Godzilla in. He then roared a roar of mockery to Godzilla.Though Gigan has one very sensitive area, his head. One good blast, and it's destroyed. That's exactly what Godzilla did. A blast of atomic radiation easily destroyed his head, rendering him powerless. However, that wouldn't be the end of our Millennium friend, if you thought he couldn't get cooler, you were wrong.
While Godzilla was dealing with Monster X, Mothra was arriving to help out. Of course, can't have two earth monsters ganging up on ol' Monster X. So the Xilien leader sent out a new and improved upgraded Gigan, complete with chainsaws. And he loved them, already showcasing them as he left the Xilien mothership. However, he's not one to waste too much time, his mission was to destroy Mothra. And he was pretty happy about it, he could exact revenge on his old rival. He flew toward her and they went at it. Then they both went to the ground some distance between them. Gigan roared and got into a battle stance, anticipating his battle with Mothra, and then her death. Gigan didn't consider Mothra to be a respectable rival like Battra did, she was nothing more than a bother to him, an extreme bother. Mothra kept roaring at her old enemy. Gigan lifted one of his chainsaw claws, he had a plan. He zoomed and managed to grab Mothra's abdomen with his tail and swung her away like rag doll. Gigan like I said before is a serious fighter, but when it comes to Mothra, it's a grudge fight. Right after Mothra flew into the air, he was hot on her tail, clipping one of her annoying wings off. She fell, defeated.. Once she was down, only thing left was Godzilla. So he stepped in to assist his ally Monster X. (See the reference to when his Showa counterpart teamed up with Ghidorah back in 72?) After a beam of letting know he was here, he landed and started up his chainsaws, making another 'cool' pose. This guy was really full of himself. He knows two against one isn't honorable, but he doesn't care about that stuff. He just wants to get the fight over with. And look cool while doing it. After Monster X managed to subdue Godzilla, Gigan roared in thrill as he approached. He showed Godzilla his chainsaw as if saying you're about to feel a lot of pain, and then laid a blow. Of course, being how smart is, Godzilla spun around Monster X and Gigan struck him insead. However, the two didn't argue, it was a mistake. Unlike his Showa counterpart, this Gigan knew what it meant have an ally and when mistakes happen. Then Mothra came and knocked them both down. Of course, since she was back, she was once again Gigan's main target. After chasing after her, Mothra went beind him and shouted something like "Hey!" Gigan turned around, struck another pose, then shot out two ninja stars, Mothra easily avoided them, but Gigan unexpectedly shot a beam, setting fire all around. With the explosion in the background, he turned around, looking 'cool' while roaring a roar of victory and bragging about it. Sadly for him, as embarrassing as it sounds, his arrogance got the best of him, he forgot about his ninja stars and they came back and decapitated him. Yes, he was decapitated twice in the film. A little bit of a running gag. However, this upgraded version could actually still operate without the head, but 'Fire Mothra' emerged and went sraight into Gigan, blowing him up and ending his reign of terror for good.
That was the end of the Final Wars Gigan. Comparing to his Showa counterpart, this one was obviously faster, loves to show off, and just generally cooler. (It's no surprise that he's my favorite kaiju.) While he was the running joke of the film, there's no denying that he made a great impression with what is by far the coolest monster design (or re-design in this case) ever. With his arrogance, show-off persona, and look, the Millennium Gigan will never be forgotten, despite being decapitated twice in the same film.
Friday, July 6, 2012
Hey all, I have three comic reviews for you this time around. Before I begin, I think I'll take some of this space to talk about something pretty interesting. Thanks to my, I quote, 'stunning work and dedication' of my work over at Unleash the Fanboy, I'm getting a free trade paperback of my choice! I ended up choosing the original Secret Wars story. (I was deciding between that and Marvel Zombies.) Hard work and dedication pays off. So yeah, now that I bored you long enough, onto the reviews. Here we have the Lizard taking over, Namor attacking, and Batman getting pummeled...
Amazing Spider-Man #689
• Spider-Man, Peter Parker, Curt Connors, and the Lizard. The stars of this summer’s big blockbuster movie are right here! • Morbius the Living Vampire is on the loose and no one at Horizon Labs is safe—including a recently cured Curt Connors. • But if Curt Connors is cured, who or what is that new Lizard creature? It’s definitely someone Spider-Man knows…
Never Turning Back is shaping up to be the best Lizard story of all time, and the best Spidey story in awhile. It feels like something from the late 80's, and that's a good thing. This version of Lizard is by far the best we've seen, Slott's writing for him is savage yet incredibly smart. However, other than the whole Lizard thing, Morbius takes a central role here. My favoriote part of the issue is when after he bit into Sajani's neck, Spidey was on the scene and attacked. The writing is stronger than ever, in fact, it's the strongest aspect. I just want to say the plot point of having Connors' mind out of commission in place of the Lizard's is such a unique and awesome thing. I'll be disappointed if this arc ends with the generic amd cheesy 'Conners mind eventually takes over and wins.' The art is very good, I wouldn't mind seeing it for the rest of the Spidey issues.
Overall it's another great issue. Never Turning Back looks to be a classic, this issue shouldn't be missed.
Avengers vs. X-Men #7
• Cyclops changes the game with these three words: “No More Avengers!”
With Marvel NOW being announced, everyone's wondering how exactly the ending of Avengers vs. X-Men leads into it. While technically not much happened in this issue, it was still very good. For once Cyclops doesn't come off as rather insane, his reasoning and logic makes sense. The tension between him and Namor was pretty intense, these Phoenix Five are getting pretty shady with each other, it makes the story a whole lot more interesting. Scarlet Witch is turning out to be one of the best characters in this event, it's interesting how she is really the only one that's able to keep the X-Men at bay. It makes for a great story when the heroes are on the losing side. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this all ends. And...someone dies! Or...not. Oliver Coipel's art works better for this event than John Romita Jr.'s.
Overall not much is progressed, but still another fantastic issue in this event.
Detective Comics #11
• The connection between HYPNOTIC and the attacks on Wayne Enterprises is revealed! • Plus, the latest chapter in the TWO-FACE backup story.
The previous issue in this series had renewed faith for me, I was on the verge of dropping it. Detective Comics has been a pretty 'loose' series, sometimes it's good, and sometimes it's pretty bad. The next part in this arc thankfully keeps up the good. First off, I just want to say that I'm really enjoying Mr Toxic as the antagonist, I hope he keeps popping up in future issues. My only minor gripe is Batman's portrayal, he's coming off more as a dark Spider-Man than Batman. The way the story progress is interesting, Batman doesn't know what Mr. Toxic is doing, but at the same time the latter's plan isn't exactly going as planned. Interesting plot points there. The art is once again one of the strongest aspects of the book, one of the best covers I've seen in awhile.
Overall it's another great issue, this arc with Mr. Toxic has been the best since the first story with Joker and Dollmaker.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Ten years ago Spider-Man came into theaters. How time flies, right? Just ten years later we have a reboot. Like many, when I heard that Spider-Man 4 was canned in favor of a reboot, I thought it was a pretty bad decision. Spider-Man 3 came out four years ago, was this really necessary? I was also a bit annoyed that they didn't go The Incredible Hulk route and make it a reboot-continuation. No need for the origin, just had it in the opening credits. That's exactly how this film should have gone. Everyone knows Spider-Man, having him established already with the origin in the opening credits I still think would have been a better way to do it. The original trilogy I will never forget, despite Sony wanting everyone to do now. I remember my dad taking me to watch Spider-Man in the theater, I would be six years old. I remember when I saw the two sequels, I liked the actors, all of them. Even today, I still like them despite what others think. This film is meant to be an origin story for a new audience, for all the six year olds out there that's their first time seeing Spidey on the big screen. While I will always be attached to Raimi's Spidey films, I will not deny the new directions with this film is exciting. It's great to see a new take.
The story as told from Columbia Pictures:
"The Amazing Spider-Man" is the story of Peter Parker (Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Sheen) and Aunt May (Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Ifans), his father's former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors' alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.
So, how exactly does one review this film? Am I supposed to forget that there was a series of films with the last one being just four years ago? I wasn't too thrilled to be seeing all of this stuff again, the spider bite, Uncle Ben dying, it's already been done in modern times. However, things have quite changed since 2002. The film's tone is darker, gritter, and not attempting to have any comedic moments. This is Spider-Man for a new generation, so in that way, a new origin is welcome. Of course for people like me, the real question was going to be if it would be engaging enough. What would it do to improve upon the origin story of the original? Well, Spider-Man is better. Probably some of the reason is nostalgia, but that film's light tone and the actors captured the classic Spidey comics' tone and atmosphere. This film is almost like an else-worlds version. Let me put it in brief: this is a remake of Spider-Man, nothing more, nothing less. The whole 'Untold Story' nonsense was just trying to appeal to the fans that grew up with the old trilogy, that we would be getting something new. That isn't the case. False advertising aside, this film did a better job with following the comics' canon than the first film did. Peter in high school, Gwen Stacy, no sign of Mary Jane, this film is building a better established universe than the Raimi films did. I feel like it's going to be like Marvel's Cinematic Universe, everything feels nicely intertwined with hints of things to come. The casting is one of the most important parts in the film.
The race for who was going to play Spider-Man was pretty big two years ago. In the end, Andrew Garfield was picked. I've never seen him in anything, but people did like him from The Social Network. I personally was a little disappointed that the whole film would be taking place in high school, but it works here. These days people seem to be in favor of a teenage Spider-Man. But it follows the comics, we'll probably see him graduate in the next one. Anyways, Garfield's portrayal was pretty...good for the most part. What fans didn't like about Maguire's portrayal of the Web-Head was his lack of signature wisecracks. I think there could have been more wisecracks, but he's still the definitive Spidey. Garfield brings something new to the table however. I can't quite put my finger on it, he was good but there were some out-of-character moments. First off, he seemed well, for a lack of better term, rather mean. Spidey uses his wisecracks, but not in such a mean manner. Also, Peter isn't one to be an initiative when it comes to the lovey-dovey stuff, I think they're tweaking his character a little too much in that aspect, Maguire's portrayal had a sense of niceness and respect I liked which conveyed Spidey (well, from the older comics) well. That's not to say Garfield is a bad Spidey. With this film's gritty tone, he's the perfect choice. I liked him for the most part. The lovely Emma Stone is Gwen Stacy. While Stacy was completely shoehorned into Spidey 3, here she's Spidey's first girlfriend, just like in the comics. I'll be honest, with the high school setting, I wasn't expecting much other than the stereotypical stuff. (For some reason when a film takes place in high school, I automatically assume the acting will be sub-par at best.) But I assumed wrong, she turned out to be one of the better characters. It'll be sad to see her leave once the Green Goblin inevitably throws her off the bridge. (That's going to be one heck of a thing to adapt.) It's hard to replace Aunt May and Uncle Ben from Raimi's movies, but this film made it possible. I was a bit sad the whole time knowing Uncle Ben was going to die, he was one of the best characters in the whole thing, all of his dialogue was great. While no one could replace Aunt May with her many quotes of wisdom from the Raimi films, the one here does a pretty good job. Captain Stacy was also a pretty good character. Rather than be a stereotypical captain who wants Spidey captured for little-to-no reason, he comes off as 'real.' One of the best dialogue scenes was between him and Peter at dinner. Now, for the antagonist. Rhys Ifans portrays Curt Conners, better known as the Lizard. He was pretty good, nothing great, but good. He doesn't quite match up to William Dafoe as the Green Goblin or Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus. Those villains were really well established, the Lizard isn't quite as well established, they could have done a much better job with that. It doesn't help the fact that the Lizard looks extremely lame, I'm really surprised they didn't go with the more reptilian snout look, it would have looked so much better.
Seeing the new costume helped me realize the same thing I've thought before: the classic one would have looked better. This one isn't bad, (spider logo on the back is pretty awesome) but looks a little strange in my opinion. Of course, this new costume helps separate itself from the Raimi films, so that's something. The fights with the Lizard was good, but could have been longer and more satisfying. The Avengers did a great job with its fun and excellent choreographed fights, the fights against Lizard I felt was a bit disappointing. While the film is pretty much dark, (picture a Spidey story in Gotham City) there are a few pretty funny instances. This Stan Lee cameo may be his best one yet. In the early stages when Peter looks surprised at how he made some things break (his reaction to the bent football goal post is priceless) is some funny stuff. Spidey never managed to catch the burglar who killed Uncle Ben, I guess that plot point will be saved for a future film. The death of Captain Stacy I think should have been saved for the sequel with the classic words from the comic "Take care of Gwen" rather than him dying him asking Peter to promise that he'll stay away from Gwen. The soundtrack was rather disappointing. While comic book films pretty much never have stellar soundtracks, this one was just bland, nothing stood out. At least the Raimi films had that catchy Spidey theme, not here.
Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man is an origin story whether you like it or not. There's no 'untold story,' it's about Peter becoming the Web-Slinger. Despite some questionable character moments, bland soundtrack, and lame Lizard design, The Amazing Spider-Man is a very good film. I look forward to seeing what Andrew Garfield will do with the role in the sequel. It is a good day to be a Spidey fan. Plus it has a Godzilla reference, so there's that.
About a week ago someone on Twitter asked me why there is a need for a new Godzilla film. I was taken off guard by this, how can one ask such a question? Why is there a need for a new 007 film? Or Spider-Man? Either the person asking me hasn't seen a Godzilla film or thinks since there are 28 of them already, why the need for another one? Yes, exactly why do we need another Godzilla film? Why should anyone care? I'll answer that for all those wondering why we need to see the King of the Monsters back on the big screen in America.
First off, I want to ask you a question. Who do you think Godzilla is? What do you think he is? Today's generation will probably answer something like with "A giant monster," "A giant monster that attacked Japan," "A dinosaur." but the main thing that is associated with Godzilla's name here in the States is 'cheesy, campy, and kid's stuff.' Yes loyal reader, that's what Godzilla is known for here in the States. That's how a lot of adults who saw the 70's films (mainly Godzilla vs. Megalon) on TV when they were kids see the big G as. Only the Godzilla fan, like myself, knows what Godzilla originally stood for. His heroic adventures was just part of an era, but that's how most people know him by, something not to be taken seriously, something to chuckle at. Now I'm not going to be hard-nosed or anything, there's plenty of stuff to chuckle and have fun with in this series. The 70's mainly with its many crazy moments. (Godzilla using his atomic breath to fly? Never gets old. ) But after that era, the series returned to darker roots. Sadly, Americans don't remember 1985, and releasing the rest of the Heisei films to direct-to-DVD didn't help matters. In fact, I'm sad to say that a lot of Americans have only seen the 98 abomination. Another reason to dislike the big G. I've talked to quite a few people who have only seen the 98 American film, which goes to show they really have no clue about the franchise.
Apparently GODZILLA 2000 was released in theaters. I would be five years old, always wondered why I never saw it in the cinema. The sad part is that it pretty much bombed over here. When people think of Godzilla, they think of "The guy who directed Independence Day directed it, right?" "That giant iguana with the Jurassic Park raptor spawn." That's how they know him, from a lackluster film with a monster that could be defeated by conventional means.Today, despite a new comic series, Godzilla isn't even as close to being taken seriously as Star Wars, 007, or really any longtime series. Godzilla is often looked down upon as something completely aimed at kids with no hidden messages or deepness.
There was once a time when comic book movies weren't respected, they were looked down as something made just for kids. That was until films like Iron Man, The Dark Knight, and The Avengers came along. Now these type of films are enjoying a renaissance, no one thought The Avengers would become the third highest grossing film of all time. That is why we need a new Godzilla film, to re-define giant monster movies in America. To re-introduce the King of the Monsters to the American audience. This could make him something to be taken seriously. Now coming from a Godzilla fan's standpoint, this film is necessary to bring new light to the merchandise. Imagine walking into Wal-Mart to see promos and shirts for it! Godzilla fans like myself could use this opportunity to share knowledge with people going to see the film. Today, if you're a Godzilla who's reading this, chances are you don't know anyone in person who knows/cares about the franchise. I'm in that same boat, unable to share my passion with anyone in person. A new Godzilla film is necessary so that everyone here could see him more than just an old cheesy Japanese hero that flies using his atomic breath.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Did I really spend $125 on just a figure? Yes, yes I did. Godzilla figure collecting is surprisingly a pretty recent hobby. I've had a Bandai Creation Godzilla 54 and a Bandai Creation Showa Gigan for over ten years, but never started 'collecting' until this past January. Being part of the TOHO Kingdom forums was a huge influence in my decision to start collecting. As a Godzilla fan, I really wanted to start collecting these things. At first, I thought it was going to be a one-shot thing, In January I had purchased a $20 Movie Monsters Destoroyah. But then I saw this wonderful looking $60 Mecha King Ghidorah. But the price, how was I going to get it? Well, I eventually did manage to get it, like a week later I had mustered enough money. Ever since, I've been collecting. It's to the point where spending $100 on a single figure feels normal! Now for the fun part, below are photos from my still-growing collection, which was actually featured over at ComicBookMovie. Let the fun begin...
|The main Godzillas will of course kick it off.|
|Some more Gs.|
|You can never have too many Godzillas!|
|A bunch of 6 inch Bandai figures, led by Titanosaurus.|
|Another angle showcasing Gamera, Zetton, and Kiryu.|
|Fake Godzilla and Gorosaurus look EPIC in this pic.|
|Some cool figures, Y-MSF Megalon especially looks impressive here.|
|Showa Baragon taking center stage.|
|My personal favorite Rodan figure.|
|Isn't Anguirus just cute?!|
|The three main Ghidorahs.|
|The 'big boy,' the largest figure I own, the large scale Godzilla 91.|
|My most expensive ($125) and favorite figure, Keizer Ghidorah, taking center stage.|