Month: February 2012

Tweet Friday 2012-02-17

  • Playing around with CBCMusic, and their Hard Rock station is pretty damn good. Still in Beta, so beware. http://t.co/nJskrAGh #
  • CBCMusic.ca wishlist: Able to either favorite or add to playlist of Non-Canadian bands. I know the point of this, but still, would be nice. #

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King Kong vs Godzilla

King_Kong_vs_Godzilla_1962

This is the third movie in the Godzilla series, and was released in 1962, 5 years after Godzilla Raids again. It was the first Godzilla movie to be shot in colour (Toho-Scope no less) and we also return to the original director and composer.

Once again, I haven’t seen this Godzilla film, and I’m starting to realize that I haven’t seen the majority of the Showa series. I guess I really came on board with the Heisei series starting in 1984. I know I’ve seen all of those, and the Millennium series(of which I have a fair number on VCD). So the Showa series of movies will be a real treat to watch, and possibly make fun of. Winking smile

Our movie starts out with what appears to be a boring science show, and then switches to a guy(that is the spitting image of a Japanese Groucho Marks) being bored and complaining of being bored. He works for Pacific Pharmaceuticals, in the advertising department, and he hates how boring the show is. Then there’s word that giant monster is inhabiting a southern island, and he want’s this monster for advertising purposes. It’s like a Mad Men version of the original King Kong.

Oh, and a US sub is exploring the island where Godzilla was trapped in ice(remember Rides Again?) and crashes into the iceberg(worst driving ever really). The one thing I’m noticing about Japanese films in general is that, everytime they have an American actor/character, speaking English, they do so veeeery sloooowly. Not sure what the deal here is. I wonder if it’s the other way around, when an American films has a Japanese character speaking Japanese, if it’s slowed down?

The Sub is destroyed by Godzilla(which the Americans seem to pronounce as godjilla), Godzilla is release from the iceberg and attacks a nearby base. And all the model tanks and anti-aircraft guns just can’t stop him.

It’s at this point that we completely diverge from the  seriousness of the original Godzilla film. They moved to the VS format and made it almost slap-stick. This pretty much continues until the Heisei series. It goes on record as the highest box-office attendance for any Godzilla film, and with an estimated budget of 5 million yen, it raked in 350 million. So you can see why they would want to continue with this format. I know I would!

Back on the island, the natives are attacked by a giant octopus, and I really think someone just plopped down an octopus on the sound stage and just let it roam about. I say this as, in the scenes where it’s not actually interacting with King Kong(yea, we finally get to see the monkey suit), you can tell that all of the foreground is shot separately. Well, after the big gorrilla/octopus fight, King Kong drinks some berry juice, get’s wasted, and passes out. I love the 60’s Smile

So naturally they tie him to a raft and carry him off to Japan to be the official sponsor of Pacific Pharmaceuticals. No, you read that right. This is all a publicity stunt/thing.

Godzilla then shows up on the main land to wreak havok on some model trains, and almost at the same time, King Kong wakes up and gets free. No, I have to ask another question about Japan; how shallow is the water surrounding the island? Because King Kong is standing up where a steam freighter just passed. And I know he’s big, but he can’t be that big. Can he?

And the moment we’ve all been waiting for, Godzilla and King Kong meet on the field of battle!

And it was lame! Some rocks were thrown, some fire was breathed, and, well, that’s about it. KK scratched his head and walked away.

Basically the two monsters go their separate ways and cause havoc for the poor people of Japan. There are a few other attempts to stop them, nothing really works. Then King Kong pulls the old ‘steal the pretty girl from the train trick’ and they have to try to stop him…by drugging and singing to him. Well, it works. And with the help of a few large ballons, they air lift him to Mt Fuji to fight Godzilla, in the hopes that they’ll destroy each other.

Epic Battle #2, and this time it’s not sucky. Rocks are thrown, fire is breathed, trees are shoved down throats, and it’s an all out battle royal. And somewhere down the line King Kong picks up this interesting electro-shock grip that helps him fight Godzilla.

They fight, they bite, they fight, they bite; fight fight fight, bite bite bite, they fall into the ocean! And only one monster comes up for air…

And there’s a moral at the end? Really? About how humans should better treat plants and animals? That was really out of the blue.

All in all, it was a silly movie. I’d like to think that since this is the first in a line of movies like this, they’re just testing the waters to see what was working and what wasn’t. I’m probably wrong.

I wouldn’t put this in my top 10(hey, I should make a top 10) but it does have it’s place as the most watched in the theatre, so I guess there’s that.

 

Next time: Mothera vs Godzilla! Woo, singing fairies!

Lunch Time Demos: Anomaly Warzone Earth

Anomaly-Warzone-Earth

Everyone loves tower defense games! Right!?

Well, for the sake of this review let’s assume that everyone does.

And for the most part, I actually do. Yes, they tend to get a little tedious and whatnot, but still fun casual play. But all tower defense games have one thing in common; it’s always about defense. What about the people trying to get through? This is where AWE comes in. It takes the angle of the people trying to get from A to B, all the while avoiding the defenses built up.

Yes, another indie game, but I’m telling you, that’s where all the interesting stuff is Smile

In AWE, you’re in control of, what can only be called, a runner. He runs around, collecting things, and either changes the direction of your troops, heals/fixes them, and upgrades them. You get to plan your path(and adjust if needed) to get your troops from A to B. Your troops are ever moving forward, so you have to keep up with them, and collect, and change routes. It’s all very hectic.

However, you can kind of curb that. When you start your missions, there are three options; Casual, Normal and Hardcore. I chose Casual, because, well, I am. And even with that, I wasn’t able to pass the first mission the first time Sad smile

In the demo, each level really goes through some basics. The first mission is just to keep your troops alive, so all you can do is change the path and do some healing.

Unlike most tower defense games, which are generally browser based, the graphics are just beautiful. Rendered really nicely with all sorts of fun texture effects. And as the runner, you can use the buildings to hide behind as you wait for your troops to catch up to you. I was playing on the PC, but I know it’s also available for the Android and IOS devices. And there’s some fun contrast to how you see the world(well call it normal graphics) and the enemy fire. At least on the first level, all enemy fire looked more like the original Asteroids game. I liked it.

Level 2 adds another level to the game. Instead of just A to B, you actually have to do something(fix a probe). While I guess this is kinda A to B, it has more of a purpose. And hey, there’s finally a fire fight going on. Little turrets pop out and start shooting. Again, the enemy stuff seems to be more vector graphics instead of the textured stuff, which is still a nice contrast.

It also introduces the buy option, where you can add/upgrade your troops. For each enemy you kill, you get money, and that can be spent at anytime. Like a tower defense game!

Overall, this is a really fun game that could appeal to the casual gamer as well as someone more active. The multiple checkpoints in each level are like mini-saves, so if you bugger it up(like I did on the first level) you can go back to that checkpoint and start there.

Would I buy it? Actually, I already did. It’s in the latest Humble Bundle and(at the time of this writing) is available for the next 11 days for whatever you want to pay.

I’d go get it if I were you Smile

Godzilla Raids Again!

For the longest time I really thought that this was Godzilla Rides again, but Raids makes so much more sense.

Gojira_no_gyakushu_poster

The second Godzilla film to made, and the first to show another Kaiju, Anguirus. I think it’s at this point where the Godzilla series starts to become what we know of it today, and moves away from the very serious start in Gojira.

As this is the first time I’ve seen this movie, I was really looking forward to see how it held up to the first and where it stood with the rest of the Sh?wa series. It stars some of the same actors from the original, repeating their roles, but it does change the Director and musical score. Starting to watch it, it already feels like a quick follow up to a successful movie. Oh, the same special effects team is on this movie.

Now, the first thing that strikes me as odd is that, if Godzilla was ‘killed off’ in the first film, why is no one surprised that he shows up again so soon? And that there’s still a Godzilla Countermeasures force? Oh, that’s right, it’s a sequel, don’t worry about these things Smile

So the movie starts off with one plane going down near a southern island, and another trying to rescue the first. Then they both see Godzilla attacking another monster that turns out to be Anguirus. Then there’s a general meeting about what to do, and I stand corrected. This is a different Godzilla, as the first one is really dead. OK, so that clears that up. But they still don’t know what to do about it.

While this still retains some of the serious feeling from the first film, it moves in on the action pretty quickly with the entire Japanese fleet tracking Godzilla in the water. Of course they do this in the ‘command room’ with a map and a little wooden Godzilla figure. I would like that figure Smile

The destruction starts really early on this one. Godzilla is spotted and they try to confuse him with flares(it’s a thing) and that sorta works. Until an odd side-plot of a group of convicts escape from a police truck, only to steal a gas tanker and crash into, well, a very large plant that’s very flammable. Worst criminals evar. This lures Godzilla to the mainland, where he’s attacked by Anguirus. There is some very silly looking Sumo style fighting going on between two guys in rubber suits. And it appears to be sped up for some reason.

This really goes on for some time, all the while laying waste to hundreds of tiny buildings. In between these scenes we have the reaction of the helpless Japanese people, all watching the destruction happening around them.

When I was really into Gundam models, a dream of mine was to either:

  1. Be in a Godzilla film only to get stepped on
  2. Be on the design crew, making all the models and backgrounds for Godzilla to step on

Neither has come true, but really, I didn’t pursue it at all Winking smile But it would still be cool.

So the really long battle ends with the defeat of Anguirus(oh, spoiler alert) and Godzilla wanders off into the sea. And then, like all good monster movies, people just assume he’ll never return and they got on with their lives. Which, in this case, is to plan a wedding. And get drunk. Probably at the same time.

But wait! He returns! Again.

The Japanese air force is called out to trap him on an island and bomb the scales off him, and that, or course, doesn’t work. Hey, it’s only the second movie in the series, the military hasn’t figured out that anything they have is pretty useless. So what happens? The second rescue plane(remember him) circles around and, well, basically tries to annoy Godzilla. I really have no idea what his plan was. And, but the look on his face just before he hits the mountain, I don’t think he knew either. But this causes an avalanche, and the military bombs the surrounding area to encase him in ice.

And as that seems to be the case, then I think the 1984 Godzilla movie is a direct sequel to Raids Again, and not the original as I had originally thought.

Overall, still a good movie. It’s an interesting transition from the original to the more well known ‘campy’ movies that will follow it. And I think it should be noted that the next in line, Godzilla vs King Kong, comes out 5 years later. Maybe people needed a Godzilla break after this one Smile

So stay tuned for Godzilla vs King Kong!