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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Godzilla 2014 movie review and Godzilla sequel hype!!!

This movie review is LONG overdue... And it's been ages since I wrote a post about Godzilla so here we are! LET'S DO THIS!!!!!!

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Godzilla '14 is a fantastic movie. Enough said! But let's delve deeper, where I will talk about everything I liked, I didn't like and some other stuff.

Godzilla '14 manages to accomplish not one but TWO things. 1 and most important: America can make good kaiju movies too! And 2 and less important: They actually made a decent story on the human side of the film! Of course there are a few plot-holes (like, spoiler alert!, they tried to nuke the evil kaiju known as M.U.T.O., despite the fact that they already established that M.U.T.O. literally eats nuclear weapons for dinner).

And unlike the previous attempt at making a Godzilla film in the States, '14 stays true with the base design and improves on it. In case you want to know what the previous attempt was, it was the 1998 film. Which was bad all because they messed with the King of the Monster's design.

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The original 1960's design...

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So now you can see how Godzilla aged through the years.

But on to the movie.

The '14 movie is probably the most atmospheric kaiju film I have seen. And keep in mind I watched pretty much all the kaiju films. Except Gamera. And Battle Bird. Those guys can go do their own thing for all I care! Because they are nowhere near as kick-butt awesome as Godzilla. Anyway, this film has some really creepy music. You'll see what I mean if you buy it on blu-ray.

the premise of the movie is basically, an nuclear physicist named Joseph Brody (played by Brian Cranston) supervised a damage check at the Janjiro, Japan Nuclear Power Plant.

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Joe Brody!

And the repair team is led by his wife, which according to the wiki is Sandra Brody but they never state her name in the film. Anyway, something goes wrong and evil gas of doom fills the area of the power plant that Sandra's team is in. They were unable to escape in time, and Mr. Brody was forced to seal the door before they could get out or risk endangering everyone else. Yeah. The movie starts out so sad! And this is a KAIJU film people! Normally the human story is an afterthought! But Legendary actually took the time to make a good story! IN A KAIJU FILM! WHAT IS THIS WITCHCRAFT!? If only all kaiju movies could do that! So bonus points for doing something that is never done before!

Anyway, the film then fast forwards 15 years later, where Joe Brody's son, Ford Brody, is all grown up now. And is a soldier. Trained in bomb disposal! And he has a wife and kid! But Joe Brody wants to know what caused the power plant to blow up all those years ago. He finds out the government is hiding something in the remains of the power plant. So, with the help of Ford, Joe Brody manages to sneak into a quarantine zone. the city was put into quarantine because of "lethal radiation". But there isn't any radiation in the quarantine zone to begin with!

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Ford Brody!

And turns out a secret organisation called Project Monarch was hiding a cocoon. For a brand new kaiju! Which is promptly named the MUTO (Mutant Unidentified Terrestrial Organism).

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Now I are some things I like about the MUTO's (there are two, one with wings and the other) and some things I don't like. What I like, is that they resemble insects, and there are not a whole lot of kaiju insects. What I don't like is that they borrow so many characteristics of previous kaiju. At least the E.M.P. attack they have is completely original. But the male MUTO looks like a bug version of Rodan! Which is almost funny considering Rodan is confirmed to play an important role in the sequel (more on that later).

Now something this movie does REALLY well is that they nailed the scale. This is the largest version of the King of the Monsters and this film constantly reminds you of that. It even has some first person shots of the kaiju mid combat! First person human perspective by the way.

Then there is the final showdown. Something that some people will find annoying is that despite this being Godzilla's story, he doesn't get that much screen-time. But then again in the classic movies Godzilla was onscreen for 10-15 minutes, tops.

But as much I have been praising Godzilla '14 for having a good story, there are plot-holes. Chief among them is that the military tried to lure the MUTO's out with a tactical nuke and detonate it when they get close. BUT THEY LITERALLY JUST SAW THAT THEY CAN EAT NUCLEAR BOMBS LIKE THEY ARE SLIM JIMS!!! Sorry but they should have listened to Ken Watanabe's character and "Let them Fight".

Overall, this is a good movie. I give it a 9/10 (not a perfect 10 because plot-holes bug me).

I recommend getting this on blu-ray. Is it a must have/must watch movie? Depends on whether you are a kaiju fan. If you do not know anything about the kaiju genre, this is a great starting point. If you are longtime Godzilla/general kaiju fan than this is definitely a must watch.

P.S. Godzilla 2 hype!!!! They announced it a few weeks ago and it is scheduled to release in 2018. I'll be a legal adult by then. But the point is that rather than having new kaiju to deal with, Godzilla will face his most iconic foe: King Ghidorah!!! For those of you who never heard of King Ghidorah, he is a three-headed golden dragon who, in the classic movies, is Godzilla's arch-nemesis. Basically like the kaiju version of Lex Luthor from Superman.

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King Ghidorah!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Valiant Hearts the Great War Review!

This post is about a game that I absolutely love but took me three months to get because PSN was being wonky. Valiant Hearts the Great War. Warning! This game may contain SPOILERS!!! Also Warning! This game has instances of violence (hundreds of soldiers dying on screen, one mission has you amputate a soldier's arm, etc).

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For those of you who never heard of this game, Valiant Hearts combines three of my favorite things into one beautiful package: History, Puzzles, and a BEAUTIFUL soundtrack. Oh, and a fantastic art style that is similar to sketches (almost like comic books in my opinion). On to the premise!

Valiant Hearts takes place in World War 1 (no not World War 2). At the beginning of the war, a German man named Karl (who married a French woman and is part of a French family) is drafted into the war.

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I should mention that this game DOES NOT glamorize war. None of the playable characters even want to be here. The only playable character who joined the war voluntarily is Freddie, an American whose wife (spoiler alert!) was killed in a bombing. And even then the only reason he joined was so he could get revenge on the Germans.

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But one would think that Karl is the main hero, right? WRONG! Sure he is a playable character but he doesn't even become playable until three-quarters in to the game.

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The main hero is Karl's
Father-in-Law, Emile
(who was drafted into
WWI as well).

And  Emile is by far my favorite playable character. He goes through a LOT (he gets shot in the shoulder at the end of the very first level, becomes a P.O.W. for a whole year, barely survived a collapsing building, and even gets, spoiler alert, post traumatic stress disorder/shell-shock syndrome at the end of the game) during the game.

On another note, Valiant Hearts is as authentic and historically accurate as a video game can be. It even has enough true facts about WWI that will give even Wikipedia a run for their money.

And speaking of spoilers, Valiant Hearts has the best ending ever. It's atmospheric, emotional, beautiful, and actually gave me goose-bumps (P.S. you remember that old show called Goose-Bumps? That show gave me nightmares during that puppet episode. ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING!!!! Then again I am apparently the only person in the world that thinks Dilophosaurus is cute so...).

Anyway, on to gameplay. Possibly because I played on max difficulty on my first play-through (because that was obviously a good idea when doing a blind run). this game made me look like a idiot. And that is a good thing! Because I am good at puzzle games and it takes a lot to leave me scratching my head. I remember one puzzle took me an hour to do and even then I cheated by Googling the answer to the puzzle. Only to realize I apparently fail hardcore at numbers!

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Emile prepares to face life as a soldier.

Something interesting is that every character has a unique ability. Emile can use his dipper to dig in certain areas, Freddie can cut barbed wire with his pliers, and the only female playable character, Anna, can use her medic training to treat the wounds of allies/civilians (this is done by doing a mini Quick Time Event).

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Anna, pro medic!

Anyway, Another important character is Walt the dog. You can't directly control Walt, but you can give him basic commands like "grab item" or "push lever".

And finally, this game has one of the BEST soundtracks ever. I am listening to one of the themes as I type this post. The final song, "War makes men Mad", is a major highlight. Another highlight is "Dreams within Dreams", which is the opening music.

Overall, this is my ALL TIME FAVORITE VIDEO GAME. This game is beautiful, artistic, emotional, has clever puzzles, memorable characters, and a fantastic story complete with one of the best endings I have seen in a LONG time. So I give it the amazing score of 10/10!!!!!!

For more info please play the game yourself.