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  • Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

    Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

    ★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Revisiting this one for the first time in a while, and … it’s fine?

    My memory is hazy, but I feel like people, myself included, were crazy for this one when it came out. Maybe we were just excited for a new Mission: Impossible, or the live-action debut of Brad Bird, or maybe we just hadn’t yet been spoiled by Chris McQuarrie’s entries in the franchise. But whatever the reason, I feel like this one is much less impressive on…

  • Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster

    Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Mothra-Mothra vs. Godzilla-Ghidorah The Three-Headed Monster feels like a trilogy, a single storyline that remains thematically consistent while getting more and more batshit crazy with every installment. I loved it.

    Ghidorah has a lot going on, and it starts the lunacy right off the bat from moment one. Yuriko Hoshi (playing a reporter this time, rather than the photographer she played in the previous film) is chilling with a bunch of dudes waiting for a UFO to buzz them. They…

  • Mothra vs. Godzilla

    Mothra vs. Godzilla

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Mothra vs. Godzilla is a landmark in the Godzilla series. It’s not only the first proper sequel since Godzilla Raids Again, but it’s also the first film to bring together two kaiju from previous films (King Kong doesn’t count, since they “rebooted” his origin in King Kong vs. Godzilla) and confirm that these all take place in the same universe. What’s interesting is that this is mostly a Mothra sequel, and Godzilla takes a backseat to the threads picked up…

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I was thinking “ugh, do I really have to write about The Force Awakens again? Haven’t I said everything I need to say already?” Only to realize I’ve never actually written about The Force Awakens, and that any discourse I’ve participated in has taken place on Twitter.

    So here we go! The Force Awakens is far from a perfect film, but boy oh boy is it a fun one. Back in a movie theatre in 2015, within minutes of this…

  • My Neighbor Totoro

    My Neighbor Totoro

    ★★★★★

    Taking a break from the kaiju (but not, y’know, Japan) for this sweet, gentle film about … wait, IS Totoro a kaiju?

    When this film ended, I announced to the room that it was the most delightful thing I’d ever seen, and I stand by that. There’s hardly any plot, but it doesn’t need one. It’s simply a magical portrait of childhood, family, sisterhood, anxiety, and wonder.

    Though it’s never explicitly stated, the film takes place in the late ‘50s/early…

  • King Kong vs. Godzilla

    King Kong vs. Godzilla

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    AT LAST. The one we’ve all been waiting for. Well, the one I’ve been waiting for.

    I watched the American version of this film last year. As with Godzilla: King of the Monsters, they use journalists commenting on the events of the film as a way to … I honestly don’t know. I understand the impulse in King of the Monsters (even if it’s a stupid, racist impulse) to have an American POV character inserted into the film (and to…

  • Mothra

    Mothra

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Yes. Fuck yes. This is exactly my shit. Fuck yes.

    Mothra is weird as hell. It feels like an episode of the original Star Trek, and I mean that in the best way possible. The plot hinges on a greedy American (oh, sorry, Rolisican) entrepreneur kidnapping a pair of tiny women (like, tiny tiny, Borrowers-tiny) from a remote island, taking them back to Japan, and forcing them to sing in front of audiences. Their telepathic connection to Mothra causes the…

  • Varan

    Varan

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The only thing “unbelievable” about this movie is how bad it is.

    Shot on a shoestring budget and originally intended for television, Varan the Unbelievable was changed to a theatrical production midway through shooting, necessitating the cropping and enlarging of many already-shot 4:3 images for the wider “Toho Scope” 2.35:1 theatrical ratio which was by then expected for major motion pictures. The poor image quality (and the black-and-white print, again, intended for television) are the least of this film’s problems,…

  • Rodan

    Rodan

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Rodan, the first film in what I guess we’re calling the Godzilla Cinematic Universe (kill me) not to feature the big-G themselves, is the second film in this series to be directed by Ishirō Honda. Does it hold up to the original Honda kaiju masterpiece, the first Godzilla? Is it at least an improvement on the rushed and deeply flawed Godzilla Raids Again? The answers, respectively, are “nah,” and “yep.”

    The formula Rodan follows closely resembles that of Godzilla: bad…

  • Godzilla Raids Again

    Godzilla Raids Again

    ★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    What to say about this movie that hasn’t already been said—that I myself haven’t already said? It’s that rare combination of being astonishingly influential, while also happening to be a true masterpiece at the—

    lol jk jk this movie sux

    Okay, okay, it doesn’t suck. But boy oh boy is it not good.
    Rushed into production after the box office success of Godzilla, Godzilla Raids Again hit Japanese theatres just five months after Godzilla’s premiere. If that sounds like an…

  • Godzilla

    Godzilla

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    What to say about this movie that hasn’t already been said—that I myself haven’t already said? It’s that rare combination of being astonishingly influential, while also happening to be a true masterpiece at the same time. One of the most important, and greatest, films of the 20th century.

    Modern audiences more familiar with the campy Godzilla films of the ‘70s and ‘80s can sometimes be surprised by the original. Its somber tone and quiet introspection seem very much at odds…

  • Ant-Man

    Ant-Man

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I didn't love this movie the first time I saw it. It felt too bland, too neutered by the Marvel machine. I think I was mostly just still angry & disappointed that we would never get to see Edgar Wright's take on this material (honestly, I’m still a little peeved on that score)

    Revisiting it, though, I find there’s more to enjoy. It’s actually quite the fun lark, a light and breezy antidote to the deadly seriousness of Civil War, Infinity…