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My Review of Kong: Skull Island

17 Mar

March 17, 2017

Before we begin, I’ll tell you right upfront that though I am going to try to keep the spoilers at a minimum I have a terrible track record so expect me to spoil this film for you.

This is a fun film and I enjoyed it a lot, and although it is set in the same universe as Godzilla, there is no comparison at all. Godzilla was pretty good but ultimately disappointing, this one is very good and not disappointing. Unless you want to see him climb the Empire State Building. But what do you expect? This film isn’t called Skull Island for nothing. He doesn’t go to New York.

In a nutshell, a bunch of soldiers and scientists land on Skull Island. The soldiers are there to help the scientists with a “geological survey,” which was just a lie to flush the monsters above ground. And it works. It works really well. It works too well. Out of nowhere Kong decimates them and from there on it is a trek for the survivors to the other side of the island while dodging monsters and beasts, but for one man it becomes an obsession to kill Kong. (And of course that man is Samuel L. Jackson. The subtitle of this film should be King Kong vs. Samuel L. Jackson.) Will he kill Kong? (No. See? I told you I’d spoil it.) Will the humans make it to the safety of the other end of the island? (Some of them yes, most of them no.) Does Brie Larson spend most of the film in a tank top, often soaking wet? (Mercifully yes.) 

So here’s the good:

  • This film is faithful to the original from 1933, despite being a reboot and having no relation to the original. No, I am not drunk. Let me explain. This film is set during the 1970’s and details the first time outsiders set foot on the island. Take the original film- the island, the natives, the wall, Kong, etc., but now leave out Carl Denham and the rest. Imagine that they never set foot on the island. In Skull Island, it is easy to believe that this is what the original island would be like if no one else ever set foot on it. Sure, they updated it a bit, but this is clearly the same island. Also, the film opens with the sound of old airplanes and machine gun sounds over the credits, which leads into the first scene of a WWII air battle, but I also found it to be a homage to the climax of the original film.
  • It can actually be compared to Apocalypse Now. Yes, really, and I am not just talking about the posters. 
    Skull Island generally follows the same basic plot as Apocalypse Now. A group of Vietnam-era soldiers in an untamed jungle doggedly moving upriver and through more and more danger to a climax with a mad colonel. True, Apocalypse Now doesn’t have a giant ape, but it does have Marlon Brando, so I call that a tie.
  • The first action sequence with Kong vs the helicopters is awesome. You will love it.
  • John C. Reilly is hands down the most fun character in the film. If you know him from Adult Swim’s Check It Out, his character is about 60% Dr. Steve Brule. If that means nothing to you, go to YouTube right now. Seriously, go. I’ll wait for you.
  • Kong is all over this film. This isn’t like Godzilla where we had a few murky shots and were constantly waiting for the monster to show up again. 
  • The soundtrack is all 1970’s classic rock. Grace Slick! Black Sabbath! The Hollies! 

And here’s the bad. But it isn’t too bad. 

  • There were no dinosaurs. In every King Kong film, even the ones from Japan where he fights robots, he fights dinosaurs. And although I said above that the island is identical to the original, this is the one exception. No dinosaurs. Kong did fight a lot of reptilian skull crushers, but they looked more like those lame MUTOS Godzilla fought in his last American film than Dinosaurs. And while that makes sense since they are set in the same cinematic universe, it was a glaring omission. King Kong fights dinosaurs! (That will be rectified when King Kong vs. Godzilla comes out in a few years.) 

This is the real problem I had with the film: It had no heart. You didn’t root for Kong. There was no “humanity” in him as there was in every other version of the giant ape. This Kong is just gruff. And it is understandable since he is an orphan who spends his life fighting other monsters. But it doesn’t make you root for him. He protected the humans in this film but never seemed to like them or have any connection to any other human. The film tried to make up for that by giving one of the human characters a tear-jerker ending and it worked, if the intent was to make everyone leave the film feeling good, but it did nothing to make us like Kong. 

Like the original, the female lead ended up in the ape’s palm, but unlike the other versions this was a rescue and there was no connection between them. It wouldn’t have surprised me if Kong just dumped her back in the water. 

This was a fun film and a good action film. This may not be the Kong that you remember or the Kong that you want, but it works. You get your money’s worth. And since we already know that King Kong vs. Godzilla is going to be made, my geeky fanboy take on that after seeing both monsters in action, is Kong will easily take out Godzilla.

Just like Kirk would beat Picard in a fight.

Here’s Brie Larson in a tank top. Think I’d leave you hanging? That ought to sell some tickets. Tell ’em Mr. Blog sent you.

 

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My Review of Sausage Party The Movie

13 Aug

August 13, 2016

lnmh sausage party

Sausage Party, The Movie is an animated film like no other. I mean that literally. There is no comparison, unless I dare to compare it to some of the raunchy 1970’s cartoons like Fritz the Cat. This is an adult film in every sense of the word. And then some.

Seth Rogan is behind this film so you some things going in. It will be tasteless, it will have plenty of F-bombs, and there will be drug use. I think it is impossible for him to do a film without drug use. (Both in the story and possibly during production.)

(For those of you who are wondering, I managed to snag my favorite seat, top row center. I may have tripped a couple of nuns to get it, but I got it.)

In a nutshell, the film is about cute cartoon food items (hot dogs, buns, boxes of cereal, etc) that live for the day they will be plucked off supermarket shelves by “the gods,” who will take home to be pampered and taken care of for the rest of their lives. Of course, they find out the truth that they will be chopped up, blended, eaten and “murdered” in the most horrendous ways possible, all very gruesomely (though not too graphically) animated.

sausage party cast

The story centers on 6 main characters- a hot dog who finds out the truth in the outside world and a group of five- a hot dog and his girlfriend, a bun, a Jewish bagel and an Arab falafel who do nothing but reenact the real-world Israel/Palestine issue, and a horny lesbian taco.

This is a film that is guaranteed to offend someone. In no particular order, there are the Woody Allen-ish bagel and the fiery Arab stereotype falafel constantly at each other’s clichéd throats, sleepy Mexican food, wise Indian “Fire water,” Nazi sauerkraut (in a Hitler mustache) determined to wipe out the juice (yes, “the juice”), and almost any other ethnic group you can think of.

The main group is threatened by an evil douche- yes, he is literally a female hygiene product- who holds a grudge against them for ruining his chance to go the outside world.

Along the way they encounter a human who gets high on bath salts and ultimately ends up beheaded.

It gives nothing away to tell you that the movie ends with a giant food orgy, including hot taco-on-bun action, lesbian oral sex, gay male sex between the bagel and falafel, the hot dogs inserting themselves in any willing food orifices, and every single food item in the store having group sex with every other single item in the store.

Don't tell me you're not thinking about it.

Don’t tell me you’re not thinking about it.

And the douche rams itself in the store manager’s butt where he does battle with the hot dog in the manager’s crotch. (I mean a real hot dog, not, you know.)

At this point, I must tell you that not only does this post contain spoilers but it’s also not safe for work.

Bottom line, this film is very, very funny and is also an equal opportunity offender. The German items are all Nazis, the English tea bags are all interested in tea bagging, the Arab is only interested in the seven bottles of virgin olive oil promised to him in heaven. No one in the theater I was in was at all offended, we were all too busy laughing. This is a foul-mouthed film, a borderline pornographic cartoon, a partial stoner movie, and all funny. And conveniently, the porno parody will not have to change the title at all.

If more films had Salma Hayek as a hot and horny lesbian taco, this might have been a better movie season. That was what Ghostbusters desperately needed.

 

 

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