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I apologize in advance for any grammatical errors and other spelling mistakes in my reviews. The reviews are often written very quickly and are more a "stream of consciousness" style of writing,rather than them being proper thought out reviews.
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Great Cinematography,Acting and Atmosphere.
This is a very well-made film from a technical point of view and the acting is very solid. You really believe that the characters you see on screen could have lived in the era it depicts and their behavior feels very true to the circumstances they find themselves in.
There is a raw authenticity to the film combined with a sort of nightmarish/dreamlike quality that is further heightened by the beautiful black and white photography.
Whether or not this is indeed a horror film or not very much lies in what one finds scary on an individual level, as well as in how one chooses to interpret the film.
For me it is most definitely frightening in more than one way. It has unforgettable haunting imagery (The mask is forever engraved in my memory) and character moments that are psychologically and literally eerie. The final few moments of the film both elevate and manage to pay-off on everything before it in very effective ways.
So why not a 10/10? Well, even though Onibaba might be one of the more memorable horror films I have seen in recent years, and it has great artistic merit too, I just was missing a bit more character development for our core cast of characters, and in particular for the mysterious samurai that introduces the iconic mask to the film.
Some might argue (and they are well within their rights to do so) That the movie already does a good job of this and that the mystery further adds to the films overall impact. I respect these opinions (and agree to a certain extent) But I wanted just a bit more about these characters to make it a masterful horror film in my eyes.
Highly recommended! Now I am very curious about the film Kuroneko from the same director.
Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
The Latter Half Of The Film Is Filled With Very Entertaining Action
As someone who has seen every one of the 30+ Godzilla movies I would rate this one higher than 2019's King of The Monsters. KOTM had better music, more Kaiju and a better story, but as an entertaining action film GVK takes the cake. GVK fixes one of the biggest complaints of KOTM, namely the fact that all the action is either shot at night or in rain.
Once the action moves to Hong Kong the movie is essentially one giant action scene that is very entertaining. The story and performances are not particularly good though I liked Bryan Tyree Henry in this movie quite a bit, his was the only remotely interesting character and he gave the best performance IMHO. This movie is not great from a storytelling point of view but as a fun Kaiju battle movie it really delivers.
I was not a fan of Godzilla 2014 at all but I feel like each new American Goji film since then have only improved as pieces of entertainment, while also making Godzilla's actual design better in each film. This time around Godzilla looks older,rugged, like he has really been through a lot and it is very effective. The CGI in this movie is nicely done and the monsters are quite emotive and move in a way that feels suitable to their size and character.
All things considered definitely seek this one out if you are a Goji fan, a Kong fan, or if you just want to see an entertaining movie where two monsters kick butt.
Da 5 Bloods (2020)
Another Great Spike Lee Film
Though it isn't as good as Lee's masterpiece Malcolm X, Da 5 Bloods is still an expertly directed film with engaging characters. The film has a 2 hour and 30 minute runtime but it never drags and is excellently paced and nicely edited. The acting is absolutely great, especially Delroy Lindo's performance. As a viewer I really felt that the four main leads had a genuine connection and ended up caring about all of them. The film effectively alternates between time and place (and aspect ratio) and the use of Marvin Gaye songs is very fitting. There are a few moments that feel a bit too serendipitous and not all characters are given the same depth and care as the leads, but Da 5 Bloods is still highly recommended! Give it a watch on Netflix.
A "Fear God" Morality Tale With Samurais and Kaiju
Numerous times throughout the runtime of this film, our heroes and main characters stress the importance of believing in and fearing god and making sure to uphold traditional rites and rituals of religious importance so as to not anger said god. The bad guys are all without religious conviction and have the sole character traits of being power hungry and vicious while disregarding all deities.
Seemingly this film has a religious message, one that didn't quite work for me personally, but it did however lead to a film that manages to be a morality tale, a samurai film and a Kaiju film all in one, quite unique.
Those expecting an action-packed film with Kaiju battles/destruction should instead prepare themselves for a samurai drama with a religious message. As such it is solid entertainment but nothing spectacular. The effects work when Daimajin does appear and exacts his justice is quite well done and is much better than what is seen in the Gamera films of the same era (Daimajin is from the same studio as Gamera).
6 Stone statues out of 10!
To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
Awesome Music And Great Acting
This movie has an excellent soundtrack, memorable performances and it tells a simple crime story very nicely. Willem Dafoe is a highlight and the movie is brutal in a way that works in the story's favor.
8 out of 10!
Chiisaki yûsha-tachi: Gamera (2005)
I Respect The Effects Work
I give this movie props for sticking to suitmation back in 2006 when strictly CGI was the preferred method of many.
For the most part it looks quite good so with that in mind I have decided to give this film a 4/10.
It gets a low score because everything else is rather bad: Baby Gamera is not as cool as the original, the kid-centric story does not interest me ( Kids might wanna add a star or two to the rating if they like Gamera) and the acting is not the best.
I hope Gamera can make a comeback with a decent film soon, the cool Kaiju design is wasted on mostly lesser movies.
Gamera tai daiakuju Giron (1969)
Gamera Deserves Better
Gamera is a cool Kaiju but he deserves better films than the ones he got, though the Hesei era Gamera films do have excellent effects and are entertaining.
This one is a dull kid-centric entry that might amuse some kids, though it is surprisingly violent when Guiron first appears and fights Space Gyaos.
Basically everything about this film is poorly executed but Gamera is cool and I like Guiron's design and the old school effects so it gets 3 stars from me!
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
An Improvement Over Vol 1 Largely Due To Mr Liu
Vol 2 of the Kill Bill saga actually has better dialogue, more interesting story beats and is less overcompensating in its tributes to other films. and it becomes a better film partly because of it.
What really elevates this film from below average is the appearance of the great Gordon Liu who gets to play classic Kung Fu villain Pai Mei the white-browed priest. Liu is excellent in the role as the character he fought against in Fist of The White Lotus ( A brilliant Kung Fu film with Lo Lieh directing and co-starring as Pai Mei and his twin). Gordon Liu seems to genuinely be having a great time playing his role and the film is better for it.
Overall one of Trantino's better films IMHO.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
A Tribute That Doesn't Really Work For Me
I'm quite sure Tarantino would be a fun person to discuss movies with and I have a feeling both of us enjoy many of the same kung fu and action movies from HK.
This tribute however does not work all too well for me. I will admit that seeing the Shaw Bros logo in the opening does make me smile and I will always appreciate this movie on some level for introducing me to the brilliant 5,6,7,8,s, but it does get tiresome to see references constantly to better material, older material and less appreciated material throughout the film's runtime.
I find it quite odd that this film is in the top 250 films on IMDB whilst very few if any, of the films this film outright referenced to seen in "homages" is nowhere to be found on said list. This unfortunately comes across as another film where Tarantino gets by a whole lot on his influences and simultaneously ends up being labeled original for it, which does not seem fair and the end result isn't a very satisfying movie either.
The action is not as good as I have come to expect from the people involved and Gordon Liu is sadly wasted in this (see him in the sequel, a much better role for him there)
I did love the 5,6,7,8,s music and the anime segment was nicely animated and I think and hope Tarantino has a genuine love for the original genres and material somewhere in his heart so this gets a 5 out of 10.
The sequel is actually better made IMHO.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Not For Me
I am honestly happy that this film is beloved by so many people. Movies should elicit emotions in it's audience and I go into every movie I watch hoping to like it, or at least to find something I like in it.
In the case of Pulp Fiction I dislike almost everything sadly. The storytelling,plot and dialogue do not manage to entertain or interest me in any way. I do think there are some good performances in this so I am giving it a 2 instead of a 1, but unfortunately I dislike this film a whole lot.
To all the fans out there: Keep on enjoying this film, but please don't be disrespectful to those that don't share your opinion ( sadly this has happened to me when Pulp Fiction is discussed).
Not quite as good as Shrek 2 but still a very good animated comedy fairy tale that is highly recommended! Funny and well-animated with a great voice cast.
9 out of 10!
Planet Terror (2007)
Very entertaining from beginning to end. Action-packed,funny and with a great overall mood that pays tribute to masters of action and horror cinema. This is an absolute blast. The cast is great and story is fun.
10 out of 10!
Excellent action film with high quality action scenes, memorable characters and a solid plot. One of Rodriguez's very best. very highly recommended to fans of action cinema.
Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)
Wonderful animated film that is fun for people of any age! beautifully animated with great voice acting and an interesting plot. Manages to be both funny and pay tribute to older monster movies at the same time.
10 out of 10
Shrek 2 (2004)
Perfect Animated Comedy
The best Shrek film and a perfect animated comedy! Funny and filled with great characters. Very well-written with excellent use of music.
10 out of 10
On na ma dak lin na (1998)
A Movie I Love
I absolutely adore this HK dramadey. The acting is wonderful, the music is beautiful, and the story is told expertly. Everything about this movie just makes me feel good and I absolutely adore it. Highest possible recommendation.
Do ma daan (1986)
One Of My All-Time Favorite Movies
An incredible cast lead by the amazing Birgitte Lin star in this expertly crafted film from auteur Tsui Hark. The comedy is funny, the music is great, the acting is good and the action scenes are well done. Add to this an interesting plot and a fast pace and you get an amazing film that expertly jumps between genres. Entertaining from frame one, this is one of my all-time favorites.
10 out of 10
Xia dao Gao Fei (1992)
One Of The Coolest Movies Ever
Chow Yun Fat + Ringo Lam makes for an excellent combination. Full Contact is a film with brilliant action choreographed by the great Lau kar Wing, an epic soundtrack featuring cantopop king Alan Tam and a great cast of characters including Simon Yam's unforgettable villain and Bonnie Fu as Virgin. Everything about this expertly directed film is so excellently executed and everybody does a great job in it: besides the aforementioned actors, Anthony Wong, Ann Bridgewater and Chris Lee are all great too (not to mention Frankie Chin which is hilarious).
A must-see film for any fan of action cinema!
Friday the 13th (2009)
This film embodies all of the things that people bring up as negatives towards the slasher genre: Its dumb as hell an as an added "bonus" it tries to make some money off of the name Friday The 13th. I quite enjoy the original Friday The 13th and I have seen every entry in the series. In my humblest of opinions this is the very worst one I've seen. I liked Jared Padelecki on Gilmore girls but he sucks in this one sadly.
1 out of 10
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Fun For Fans
If you are a fan of either franchise this one will have some entertainment value as a film. It delivers what you would expect from a decent slasher while simultaneously sparking the fun debate of "who won?"
Recommended for fans only.
As Bad As Part 2
Everything about this one is a stinker: The plot, the acting, the Freddy kills etc etc. It is poorly executed in all the ways that a film can be and it takes its place next to Freddy's Revenge as the very worst of the series.
Entertaining Elm Street Film
Not one of the best, but still a fun entry in the Elm Street series of films. This one is mainly recommended for Freddy/slasher fans. The plot about the dream child is an interesting way to keep the series going and Alice returns this time around, which isn't a bad thing.
6 out of 10!
Entertaining Freddy Sequel
This is a fun entry in the Freddy cannon featuring new character Alice that many fans seem to like. The kills in this one are of the usual creative Freddy type and overall it is a good time for horror film and especially slasher fans.
Wonderful Horror Sequel
This one takes the Freddy movie's concept one step further with dream warriors and it is very entertaining. This might be alongside the Evil Dead sequels as one of the best horror sequels ever. I would place this on the same level as the first one for pure entertainment value!
I Want Revenge On This Movie
One of the worst sequels ever made, Freddy's Revenge has an awful plotline, lame characters and is a poorly executed production in every conceivable way. Good thing Dream Warriors came along after this and saved the franchise.
1 out of 10!