Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Viaje al centro de la Tierra (1977)
As you know, I love monster movies. I love lost worlds and unexplored lands because it has this sense of wonder and it is escapism. In the 1970's, when the world was nostalgic for the 1920's and 30's, there were disaster movies, which was box-office fuel. They showed people in panic and have them under attack by nature's wrath (e.g. THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, EARTHQUAKE and JAWS) or something going terribly wrong (e.g. TOWERING INFERNO and the AIRPORT franchise). Fantasy films were kiddie fair, but these were no fairy tales. These were stories for older viewers, kids, teens, and adults. THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT (1975), AT THE EARTH'S CORE (1976), and PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT (1977) were movies that had lost worlds inhabited by monsters. What made these good, were the special effects. While they got out-shined by the big movies like disaster movies, JAWS, the 1976 remake of KING KONG, and STAR WARS. If these big movies were intense, then take your kids to see the fantasy movies. While these movies were mediocre in the box-office, these movies were good in other countries. This caught the attention of other filmmakers such as Juan Piquer Simon and he made this wonderful movie, JULES VERNE'S THE FABULOUS JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH. This films had dinosaurs, sea monsters, big turtles and mushrooms and a giant ape. Now about the big gorilla, there was one in the book, either Juan wanted to rival the 1976 KING KONG remake or he wanted to cash in on it. If you look at the movie, it answers the question, what if Universal made THE LEGEND OF KING KONG without stop-motion effects, but with monster suits and puppets? There is your answer. While the cast is good, the special effects are great, but they look hokey. If you enjoy shows like SCOOBY-DOO or DUCKTALES (heads up, a reboot is coming this summer on Disney XD), then this movie is for you. Rated G alright, but I see that IMDb re-rated it PG and I know why. To me, it must be all the scary scenes and peril. Peril?! That is nothing to be worried about because there was peril in G-rated movies. I think it is rated PG for blood from the sea monsters and kids might get scared by the dinosaurs, turtle-like creatures or the giant gorilla.
Xing xing wang (1977)
King Kong goes Hong Kong
As you know, I love monster movies. When I first heard and read about MIGHTY PEKING MAN I wanted to see it. After I watched it, I would say that it is a Frankenstein's Monster made up of the 1976 KING KONG remake, TARZAN (since there is a female jungle there), the original MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, EARTHQUAKE (the way the title appears on the land) and TOWERING INFERNO (the climax). The special effects are not bad, but the music consists entirely on stock music. For instance, the disco song that played at the TV station is an instrumental song by Franck McDonald & Chris Rae called "The Jam". The ending where the title fought helicopters on top of the building has Dmitri Shostakovich's "Symphony No. 5 in D Minor" playing. All in all, this is a pretty good movie. This is arguably one of the better KING KONG rip-offs. If you like kaiju films, cheesy movies and bizarre cinema, then give it a watch. You will like it. Rated PG-13 for violence, nudity, gore and some profanity.
The Mighty Gorga (1969)
The Poor Man's King Kong
This movie is not only the poor man's version of KING KONG, but it is also plagiarizing it! Circus owner and trapper go to a lost world with creatures that time forgot located at a plateau in Africa to find a giant ape who is worshiped by a tribe. Also they find diamonds and the ape becomes their friend. I saw this movie and let me think. GASP! This is not only plagiarizing KING KONG, it is also plagiarizing THE LOST WORLD (the plateau with dinosaurs as explained in the story from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), SON OF KONG (there is one scene where the ape's finger gets bandaged) and KING SOLOMAN'S MINES (the diamonds). Just like how JOHNNY TEST is plagiarizing DEXTER'S LABORATORY, FAIRLY ODDPARENTS and SCOOBY-DOO (read my comments on those shows). Also the effects are awful with a capital A! Let's start with the dinosaur that Gorga fights. It looks like a combination between an alien and Barney the Dinosaur. Gorga looks crappy. Either it is a paper-mâché mask, decorated kitchen gloves and jacket covered in wigs or they couldn't afford money to buy a whole gorilla suit which is why he is seen from the waist up. Also footage from GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON is seen. Speaking of stop-motion animation, in the late 1970's David L. Hewitt who not only directed this movie, but played the title simian was planning to remake or re-release this movie under the title THE GREAT GORGA (as reported in a February 1978 issue of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND) with a higher budget and stop-motion models. A stop-motion T-Rex and Stegosaurus were made by Larry Arpin. He also made the ape. He was going to animate these beasts but during that time other studios from across the globe wanted make their own rip-offs and Dave didn't want to get caught in that mess so he called it off. What a pity. It would be a great movie to help other people to get their minds off what Dino De Laurentiis did to KING KONG in 1976. It is available on DVD by Something Weird and it plays double-bill with the porno film, ONE MILLION AC/DC (they both came out in 1969) which features the same dinosaur from that movie. (Read my review and you will thank me for saving time you will never get back.) Bottom line: If you have a knack for finding bad movies, dinosaurs, apes and stop-motion animation then give it a watch. Rated G alright. Bring out the kids so they can learn what a bad movie is and what plagiarism is too. This has been another "Matthew Rants."
Best Christmas Classic.
I saw this classic when I was a kid and I loved it until this day. When I heard Chuck Jones did it, I was surprised because of the animation and style looked similar to his Bugs Bunny, Coyote and Roadrunner and Tom and Jerry cartoons. However, I got more surprised when I heard that Boris Karloff not only voiced The Grinch, but narrated it very well. My love grew stronger because back then, when I was a teenager, I was starting to fall into the field of classic horror films. I knew Boris Karloff played the Frankenstein Monster and Imhotep The Mummy. He had this calm British voice. As for the songs, well they are as timeless as the special itself! Albert Hague made the music to it and I was surprised that he was the music teacher in the original FAME. My favorite song is "You're a mean one Mr. Grinch" because when you hear it you can't stop and think of all those disgusting things that come to our mind when we hear the song. Forget about Ron Howard's adaptation with Jim Carrey because that one is complete and utter garbage catered for those who watch wacky cartoons on such cable channels as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. Bottom line: This animated special is timeless and it must be watched for new generations of audiences.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
A Ture Timeless Classic.
This is a great movie! I heard about it first and when I saw clips of it in documentaries, I understood the references/parodies in cartoons and TV shows. Cartoons like RUGRATS, JOHNNY BRAVO and FAIRLY ODDPARENTS parodied this movie as well as TV shows like Saturday NIGHT LIVE and THE NOSTALGIA CRITIC. I saw the movie in all it's entirety in the summer of 2012 (which is the right time to see it), when I was assigned to compare and contrast the paintings of Norman Rockwell and Frank Capra movies for my summer class "Painting and the Cinematic Image" at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Being a movie buff, I started to fall in love with that movie and realized how beautiful and wonderful it is. Jimmy Stewart makes a great performance in this movie. His character George Baily has hopes and dreams and helps out his friends and family. An angel gives him an answer to a what if question of his and he learns the hard way on the importance of being there! Various scenes in the movie feel like a Norman Rockwell painting because it captures the moment in a dramatic and sometimes humorous manner. Give it a watch it is fun for the entire family! Not rated, but in my humble opinion it is rated G.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)
Classic special about the holiday. :)
I loved this special when I was a kid. I found it funny and amusing from Snoopy's antics to Linus' speech. I liked the part where Snoopy is making toast and Woodstock is putting Snoopy's ear in the toaster and puts butter on it. I found it funny and when I saw it with a new set of eyes, I cringed with my brother because I was expecting Snoopy to yell "YEEEEEOOOOOOOOWWWWW!!!!"Fortunately that didn't happen and the beagle was unharmed. Yesterday, I was shopping with my mother and I heard some music that sounded like this cartoon and it was it! She thought it was French music, but I told her it was music from the cartoon. She knew it. Speaking of food, popcorn? Pretzels? Buttered Toast? Jelly Beans? That is like the poor man's Thanksgiving. At least something like Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie will do it. All in all, is great for the whole family, I had fond memories of it and so will you. This has been another "Matthew Praises." Happy Thanksgiving!
Charlie's Mother-in-Law (1963)
Atrocious! Obnoxious! UnBEARable!
IMDb user tvam is right! This is a super awful short! It is a complete waste of money, a complete waste of talent, a complete wast of time and a complete waste of celluloid! Now I know you people who are reading this are thinking, is he going to do it. Answer: Yes! Because back by popular demand, it is time for "Matthew Rants!" So I saw this cartoon as a kid and I did not enjoy it. I saw it nine years ago dubbed in Portuguese (via YouTube) and it is still awful! It starts out as the Mother-in-Law nagging at Charlie to do some chores and stuff and out of annoyance he wants to get away from her and go fishing with his friends, but no matter what happens, it backfires. When he hid in a piano, it was zipping down the hill and down the road and he runs into a policeman and he asks him about why is he speeding. Charlie said that he wants to get away from the Mother-in-Law. He doesn't believe him and when she arrived, she starts nagging at the policeman, he covers his ears and lets out a big yell of quiet so she can shut up and now he believes the long-suffering bear. As a result, he gives her a ticket and Charlie comes out clean. What's wrong here. First of all, the story is awful and predictable. I mean it is so predictable that you don't need a crystal ball to tell me about what will happen next. When Charlie's plans will go wrong, when the mother-in-law is going to abuse him, when the policeman is going to yell, ad nauseam. While the animation and design is trying to cater to kids who watch UPA and Hanna-Barbera, the bad story is trying to bring out some sort of sexist message on woman-bashing. While the villain is the Mother-in-Law, the policeman (or policebear), treats her like garbage. When the Mother-in-Law starts giving him flack, she was babbling her long loud lecture that is sounds like a tape-recorder being played in high speed. Whoa! What is this social commentary?! I think this was made in a time when the Sexual Revolution of the 1960's was going on back the then until the 1980's. It was awful back then and it is awful today! What is with all the yelling, crashing, destruction and gender bashing?! Just because you are using sound, that doesn't need you have to be loud and obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious! Sometimes the mind desires peaceful and quiet things it needs a break. It is like taking too much of something you forget about the things you like to take, it becomes like alcohol! Anyway, this cartoon along other ones made by Walter Lantz Productions fail to hold the test of time. This is because they were mega predictable, super boring and ultra anger inducing. Stick to Looney Tunes. If IMDb has a rating lower than one it would have that it would have that rating. Bottom line: just avoid it.
Popeye The Movie?! More like Popeye The Mess!
Back by popular demand it is time for "Matthew Rambles". What you missed rants, so do I but there will be some soon. Right now I got to ramble about this movie. When I first heard about this movie, I found out something about it. I was four when I saw a pirated video of it on Betamax and it had Arabic and French subtitles! When I was young I was familiar with Popeye with the cartoons. Whether it is the Fleischer Bros. (1933 to 1941), Isadore Sparber (as in the Famous Studios era from 1942 to 1957), the turgid Al Brodax cartoons (1960 to 1962) or the Hanna-Barbera reboot (1978 to 1983) I knew who was who. When I got the movie, I thought to myself, "Oh it is Popeye, I don't care!" When I got it I had fun, for a few moments. When I got older, I read that it was turgid. After giving it another watch, I found out why this was bad. It was so bad that Mad Magazine spoofed it as FLOPEYE! Thanks to a new set of eyes, I found out why this movie is not good! First of all, who is Robert Altman, who had a ton of dramas in his filmography, trying to cater this movie to. Those who watch musicals, or dramas and comedies you can see on a dull January? When KING KONG was remade in 1976, it was catered for those who watch disaster movies because Dino Dellaurentiis wanted to give this movie a disaster movie fell to it. POPEYE - THE MOVIE was made to rival the success of Richard Donner's SUPERMAN - THE MOVIE (1978). How can you cater a movie like this to those who watch a film like SUPERMAN? Second, while the cast is fine, Bluto is a bit of a problem. Bluto needs to have a big body and small head. Lou Ferrigno would be a good choice. Third, which is following number two, some scenes might be too scary for small children. Bluto angrily approaching Popeye, which leads to him rolling like a wheel. A small child would say, "Does this happen to a real person?!" Also, prostitutes in that musical number called "I am what I am" and the octopus (scientific name, Octopus-Cartoonicus) are other reasons why this movie is rated PG. Fourth, the writing. Since when did Popeye not like spinach?! Whenever danger rears its ugly head, he takes his spinach. When he eats it, his arms get big, his legs get big, his chest get big. You don't get to see that in this movie. In fact it can only work with nice stop-motion animation with a model of Popeye and have someone like Jim Danforth or David Allen animate it. We would like to see the octopus get clobbered. In fact it did get clobbered, it flew sky high. It would be funny if it lands explosively and when the smoke clears, you see something like cooked calamari or sushi. Now that is a good gag. All in all, POPEYE THE MOVIE is a mess. It is a Frankenstein Monster made of a drama, a musical, a western, Homer's The Odyssey, various cartoons and comics for which the film is based on and cinematography from Frederico Fellini films as the bolts on the beast's neck. This movie caused a trend that Hollywood would be doing over the next 35 years. Some went well such as the original TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES trilogy and A FAIRLY ODD MOVIE: GROW UP TIMMY TURNER. Other are just plain terrible like well, MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, THE FLINTSTONES, INSPECTOR GADGET, THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE, SCOOBY-DOO, UNDERDOG, SPEED RACER, DRAGON BALL EVOLUTION, YOGI BEAR, JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS, the TRANSFORMERS franchise and the atrocious ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS franchise. This film like any other movie has a cult status. Other people love it. My mother loved it and praised it like CITIZEN KANE. I wish I could praise, but I got a new set of eyes. Recently she found some moments where some scenes let her down. Bottom line, give it a watch at your own risk, because it is a guilty pleasure of mine. Rated PG for violence, mild language, some prostitutes and peril.
This childhood classic held the test of time for 50 years. I remember seeing this on CBS back in the day. After this cartoon played, it was followed by GARFIELD'S HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE. So what the animation seems crude, it is the story and humor that steals the picture. Who can forget Snoopy's dogfight with the Red Baron? Who can forget Sally and Linus waiting to see the Great Pumpkin. Who can forget Charlie Brown getting nothing but rocks? It once aired on CBS and in 2000, it aired on ABC just like all the other classic Charlie Brown specials. It got spoofed over the years and let me tell you, you are going to love it. It is rated TV-G like all the other Peanuts Specials so you will enjoy it. Happy Halloween.
The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)
The Gill Man's Final Bow.
I read about it and it is sad to see such a great character take it's final bow. This monster is a tragic figure and is treated like an animal. Is he evolving or is he going through a surgical make-over to make him look human. I saw it on "Svengoolie" and he still has an eye for the ladies. I cannot give away too much of this because you have to see it to believe it. This is the last in a trilogy. I for one wonder if there are going remake it. Frankly, my answer is no and here is why. You see, THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON is a timeless classic and there is no right for it to be remade. As I said early Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolfman, Phantom of the Opera, Hunchback of Notre Dame and King Kong all had one thing in common. They all got sequels and remakes. This one doesn't deserve a remake. Not suitable for children under the age of seven or better yet, 12. This one deserves a PG rating because of the surgery scene. It is way ahead of it's time. Bottom line: Great movie.