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"Lousy Human Bastards!!!"
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes is the fourth of the Apes series. It is my third favorite of the films and a pretty dark and entertaining film.
Armando takes Caesar to the city where Caesar witnesses how humans mistreat apes. Caesar curses at a few humans who torture a chimpanzee and Armando takes the blame for it since any ape who can talk would be known to be the offspring of Zira and Cornelius. Eventually Caesar starts to lead a ape rebellion.
I like the story and tone of this film. It is set in a cold dark setting so that makes you want to root for Caesar. It is definitely the darkest of the first five ape films and has a lot of parts that might disturb younger audiences. I kind of like how dark it is, I always was a fan of darker films sometimes.
Another thing this film has going for it is that Roddy McDowall returns to play Caesar this time. Its cool that he plays Caesar as he also played Cornelius so he is playing his own son. He gives one of his best performances in this film, maybe his best from the apes series. Roddy is always great in these films.
Supporting characters are OK. I liked Mcdonalds character as he sympathizes with the apes. Also Ricardo Montalbon is great again as Armando. The rest of the characters are OK. Nothing too special.
Towards the end this film has some good action packed scenes. But they really lead up to it and build suspense as you see the apes start rebelling and smuggling weapons.
A few complaints. Some of the apes in the background clearly are just wearing masks. Caesar and the main apes look great, but not all of them do. That was probably due to budget restraints though. Also like I said before there are some pretty dark parts that show apes being tortured so I don't think this is the most kid friendly ape film. Its not the worst thing out there, but from the first five it definitely has the most disturbing scenes with torture.
Overall I really liked this film. It is dark and that makes it stand out. Roddy McDowall is also great. I recommend it.
Planet of the Apes (1968)
"Its a Madhouse!!!! A Madhouse!!!!!"
Planet of the apes is one of the best science fiction movies ever made in my opinion. It has a interesting story, great performances by several actors, and great memorable scenes.
An astronaut named Taylor travels through space and winds up on a planet that has apes as the superior race and not humans. Humans here are primitive and not able to speak so it comes as a surprise when Taylor speaks to the apes and causes many questions to be asked.
Charlton Heston is great as the lead in the role of Taylor. One of the greatest actors of all time in my opinion and this might be his best performance in a film in my opinion. He really plays a character you can get behind and root for. That alone is reason enough to see this film.
The supporting cast is great as well. Kim Hunter is great as Zira, the open minded psychiatrist who becomes friends with Taylor. Maurice Evans is great as Dr. Zaius the not so understanding Orangotang who is the villain of sorts in this film. Roddy Mcdowell is great as Cornelious, the archaeologist chimpanzee. Mcdowell is one of the main reasons Planet of the Apes as a film is series is so great as he returns to give great performances as several ape characters throughout the rest of the films, except Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
The story is great and the action scenes are pretty well done. The music also adds to the tone of the film.
Many iconic scenes as well that you will always remember. Lots of good memories in this film for me.
The make up in this film is really well done for the time that this film was made. All of the apes look really good in this film and I respect all of the actors who had to sit and wait several hours for the makeup to be applied while they were shooting for this film.
Overall a great science fiction film. Recommend it strongly.
Uchu kaijû Gamera (1980)
Gamera: Super Monster is the worst of all the Gamera films, and in my opinion I don't see how anyone can argue otherwise. The plot is decent enough for a science fiction movie but one thing kills this movie. TOO MUCH STOCK FOOTAGE!!!!! Almost all (about 95 percent) of the scenes with Gamera are from previous films. This includes him fighting all his former enemies like Jiger, Viras, Gyaos, Barugon, Zigra, and Guiron. So while this may be a somewhat enjoyable film if you had not seen any of the previous films, it does not work at all for someone who hates overuse of stock footage and has seen all the previous films. I only give this film a 2 because of this one actual new scene where Gamera knocks over a poster for a Godzilla film. That was worth watching. The rest of the film I do not recommend.
20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)
20000000 miles to Earth is a decent film with good special effects provided by Ray Harryhausen.
An expedition from Venus returns (yes seriously) and bring back a creature from the planet. It gets looses and grows drastically in size each day. Then its the same old stuff with monster movies from this time.
The plot is actually interesting how they actually are coming back from a trip to Venus. Also the distance to get to Venus is pretty close to the title. I also thought it was cool how the Ymir monster changes size constantly each night.
The effects and the Ymir monster are very well done like usual in a Harryhausen film. The monster itself in this film is pretty cool, its not a true evil monster it more so just defends itself viciously. Seems like it is out of place in its new setting and thats the root of its problems.
Pretty good action in this film and the film does have a good flow. You don't really have to wait around much for the monster to appear.
The acting is pretty boring in this film. Nothing special and none of the human characters stand out.
Pretty entertaining movie, I recommend seeing it.
Song of the South (1946)
"Everybodys Got a Laughing Place."
Song of the South has not been released to DVD or VHS. I was lucky enough to see it and knew that there were reasons that they did not release it pertaining to racism and other issues. Overall I found this film pretty good and entertaining and was glad I got to see it, especially with how rare it is.
The story is about a little boy who travels to the south with his mom and dad. His dad has to leave for work related reasons and so the boy learns many lessons from an older African American man named Uncle Remus. Uncle Remus tells him about Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear teaching the young boy important lessons.
I know that this film was considered racist for how it depicts the slaves and how they talk in this film. I understand where they are coming from, but I don't see anything that bad in my opinion unless people have problems with the dialog that the slaves speak in. I have heard that Disney just wanted to avoid problems with this film altogether and that is why they just did not release it. I can believe that, as I said I did not find anything overly racist, but that is just my opinion. Its a shame that it was never released though because I found a lot of things in this film to be entertaining.
Uncle Remus's stories about Brer Rabbit are the best parts in this film. The animation is well done and also well done with regards that this probably was one of the first films to incorporate live action with animated scenes.
The songs are great in this film. They are very catchy and fun to sing along with.
I think that some parts of this film are just boring too though. Especially the scenes without Uncle Remus involving the young boy and his mother. Those scenes don't do anything for me.
Overall I thought this film was good. Glad I got to see it considering how rare it is. I would say see it if you get the chance.
Gamera daikaijû kuchu kessen (1995)
Good Reboot to a Great Monster
I think that Gamera: Guardian of the Universe is a pretty solid monster film and is also a good reboot to the Gamera franchise.
An ancient species of creatures (Gyaos) reappears and starts causing havoc. Gamera also reappears and is responsible for protecting the Earth from the Gyaos.
I think the story is pretty good. I like how they change a little about Gameras back story but they also keep his powers the same. The way that they gave Gyaos a new story was well done too.
Gamera looks pretty good in this film, definitely the best he has looked on screen so far. He has his classic roar and when he flies and shoots fire balls it looks really good. I am glad that they brought Gyaos back, as he is my favorite of Gamera's foes and also Gyaos is one of my favorite Kaiju. Gyaos looks great and gets to do a lot of action, but I just wonder why they did not use his classic screech he used in the older films? That is one of my main complaints in that they did not use Gyaos's classic roar.
I also like how they paid respect to the older Gamera films by doing some scenes that are the same as some scenes in the showa series. WOnt give away what they do but if you are a fan of Gamera you will know.
Good film. I recommend it.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Gets Better Each Time I See It
Terminator 2 is one of the best sequels ever made and a great action and science fiction movie. It further develops characters and has a great story as well. Each time I see it I like it a little more.
Two Terminators are sent back to 1991. One is given the mission to kill John Conner, and the other one has the mission of protecting John Conner. Sarah Conner is currently in a mental institution for trying to destroy the computer that eventually would attack mankind on Judgement Day.
The story is a great follow up to the first Terminator film. This time it feels like a lot more is going on. Its fitting how the Terminator did not kill Sarah Conner in the first film so it was sent back this time to kill John Conner as a young man. I like the parts that work from events that happened in the first movie, like how the Terminators hand is in the headquarters of Cyberdyne Industries and how they remember the first Terminators attack on the police station.
The action scenes do a good job of complimenting the story. I really like the action scenes in this movie, especially when the T-101 fights the T-1000.
Arnold is great as the Terminator again, this time as a heroic defender. I also really liked him as a bad guy in the first movie, but he is just as good as a good guy. He always is great in these films, which are definitely his best films he has made.
The T-1000, played by Robert Patrick, is also great as the villain. He is really cool as a liquid metal machine that can make sharp pointed weapons. The special effects for him are really well done and hold up really well. Probably this film and Jurassic Park have the best usage of special effects in a film. I like how the T-1000 is a villain, but also cyberdyne industries and skynet are also a villain too.
John Conner is pretty cool for a kid character, and you can see why people will follow him in the future. Sarah Conner is a much more interesting character in this film and gets to do a lot more.
Great story, great characters, and great action. Great movie. I recommend it greatly.
I am a huge Godzilla fan. So when I first heard an American Godzilla was going to be made I thought that was pretty cool. However I was thoroughly disappointed.
Nuclear bombs alter an iguana or something and it turns super big and becomes "Godzilla".,...............thats it for story pretty much.
I really hated this movie because this is nothing like how Godzilla is in the great Japanese movies. He is not a dinosaur in this one, just a big lizard and his character in this has no heart it feels. Hes also got no personality. Also he does not really attack the city, he just runs around and when the army attacks him he runs away. Finally he cant even breathe radioactive fire. What were they thinking? You can alter certain things about a character if they aren't important, but these are all well established and important character traits of Godzilla that were all not done well at all.
Also this movie is a downer cause it rains the whole movie. I just think it makes you get a bad feeling when watching it.
The human cast was OK, I actually like Matthew Broderick. Hank Azaria is cool, but other than that nothing special.
Basically this is not the Godzilla I grew up to love as a kid. I do not recommend this horrible film.
James is always good, but I disagree with him a little on this one.
I think James Rolfe is good at what he does. His reviews on video games and movies are some of the best that you will see. I in particular liked his monster madness reviews of all the godzilla films because I also am a huge godzilla fan.
I think that James has legitimate complaints on this film. It does show a lot of stock footage. And it does have a tone that is geared towards children. However I think he is somewhat unfair and I doubt he has seen the Japanese version. The Japanese version has much better dialog and Minya does not have nearly as annoying of a voice. So I think that when he beats up on this film he needs to look at the big picture and realize that often the English versions are way worse. But I agree that this film does use too much stock footage.
Also I disagree with him when he said that he does not think that this film teaches good lessons to kids. If anything, this film teaches kids to stand up to bullies. I think that is a good lesson. If he really grew up watching godzilla films, then he should be able to appreciate the film sending the message to stand up to bullies.
Overall, I think James does good work. I do not totally agree with everything he says in this review, but I recommend watching his monster madness Godzillathon.
Ice Road Terror (2011)
Where are the dinosaurs?
Seeing Ice Road Terror was not that mind blowing. The film actually had decent acting, somewhat good action, and a simple plot. But overall it was nothing special.
This film is basically about a company up in Alaska that awakens a prehistoric predator "dinosaur". A couple truckers then try to take hazardous materials up to the area where the beast is, not knowing that it exists.
I actually thought the human characters were good in this film. They really seemed like truckers and were characters you could get behind. Also the girl who was the scientist was pretty good too. Surprising because usually in movies like these the humans are all cliché.
The "dinosaur" in this film is weird in that it really is a big lizard. I do not know of any predatory dinosaur that runs around on four legs. It was pretty standard CGI for this beast and it got some decent action but nothing special.
The story is pretty easy to follow.
I thought that I got tricked because they showed a carnataurus on the box and some dvds even had a tyrannosaurus on them even though neither of those dinosaurs are in this film. The only creature in this film is the giant lizard. So I don't know why they had to false advertise this film.
Pretty standard SYFY film. I do not strongly recommend it, but it isn't bad either. Watch it on a rainy day.