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Roswell, New Mexico (2019)
In love with it, perfect retelling!
As an immense fan of the original, I have to say I absolutely have loved the reboot!!
There are different aspects in terms of charm to them, with the original feeling a bit more broody -- as one might expect given the high school setting.
The reboot takes places in the present, rather than 90's, and deals with the 2020's contemporary. The characters are also aged to 30, so they're no longer in highschool. This is one of the largest departures, however the meat and bones remain authentic. Heck, the reboot is even more faithful to the books in the character of Liz Ortecho (Liz Parker in the first adaptation.)
The characters fit exactly my expectations for the series, with exactly the right ambiences I would have expected for each character at their new age.
I love the dynamic cast and character development and this series has been a 2020s favourite on my list.
The 90's cast even gets involved!!
All I can say is, I'm a massive fan of both adaptations. While being a 90's kid will always give the 90's version a certain nostalgia (especially with that theme song), the 2020's version will always give me a new nostalgia for a new decade.
He picks up a bus and he throws it back down
Excellent adaptation, fantastic cinema!
What are the negatives: The negatives I've long heard on the film have long been about it "not being enough like the originals": using CGI in place of a man in a suit, and being set in New York City, New York instead of Tokyo, Japan.
And apparently, general antipathy for who plays the lead actor as well. Apparently some people just dislike him and cast off the film based on him having been cast. I feel it's kind of like the hate Shinji from Evangelion gets for having depression and not being "machismo enough."
Or conversely, expecting it to not be Godzilla at all... I saw complaints about the plot, when the plot and premise is very faithful. "A giant lizard monster borne of radiation from the fallout of nuclear bombs, not evil, but who comes into conflict with our modern human-dominated world."
And I mean, realistically, Godzilla's bones would probably break... if we're going with that angle. Most films have some requirement for suspension of disbelief, it's a powerful factor in film and stories that we can convery what can't be real in our world. I watch films with magic and/or science fiction, and I don't really see an issue withthe existence of these genres.
What do I feel about this film?
I grew up watching Godzilla, I can't say I've seen every single Godzilla film... -- but there's probably less than 5 by Toho I haven't seen, and there are a whopping 33 of these films to date. I've also seen plenty of the reated IPs such as Mothra, and played the Destroy All Monsters games. Ah, and I watched the animated series.
With that in mind, I felt this was an incredibly faithful adaptation using NYC as the setting.
The effects and character design were memorable and in service to the character (Godzilla).
This Godzilla is more lean and nimble than the original Toho Godzilla, this Godzilla doesn't have a man inside! So there weren't the same limitations and the designers were able to make Godzilla's body type a little more natural. With that in mind, the character design was sharply designed around the premise, keeping the iconic spikes, scales and fiery lazer breath in tact! Lucky for Godzilla, not so lucky for the island of Manhattan! (I don't live Downstate, sucks to suck!)
The opening credits scene shows us dramatic bombs being dropped in the Polynesian islands. In a sort of documentary-esque reel, then builds up intrigue as humans slowly start to notice - "something is up." This builds up good weight, drama and backstory providing enough time to introduce our other principle characters and their backstories. It also makes sense given this is an origin story film.
Character dialogue is well-weighted. While there's some humour in the dialogue, it's overall natural and not over the top, tho there is noteable satire included; regardless everything breeds realism to the charactersfor who they are.
Character motivations are well fleshed out, and the film follows these in a meaningful web of events rather than reducing characters to backdrops.
Weight is given appropriately to each scene, transitions are appropriate, lighting, angles, effects are all extremely on point.
The story has a meaningful and moving begining, middle and end. You can feel something in each of these, and this is important for great cinema.
The soundtrack is well-fitted. So often scores are forgettable or generic, but this score brings certain shivers and goosebumps and reinforces the epic narrative being told. The origin of the music is quickly recognisable (tho the percussion and range are a bit hard to imitate for a single person.) Both the sense of mystery, and the overwhelmingness of nature and the universe beyond simply man. Which fits the premise extremely well.
Honestly, I would like one of my very own Godzillas for my backyard. We could even make a trip down to NYC and watch the game, I'm sure no one would bother us? ;)
The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)
Oof. talk about a bad remake.
The original Dukes of Hazard had great characters with charm, tact and civility; and of course, the moonshine running car the General Lee.
Every episode was great for the whole family, and was uplifting, and frankly wholesome.
Nevermind African Americans were portrayed far better in the orginal than in many shows since, including this one. The African American sherrif of the neighbouring township was extremely dignified and respectable, and acted as an exellent foil against the corruption in Hazard County.
This "remake" features the names of the characters and the General Lee, but is only the Duke's of Hazard in name and because someone slapped that name over the title of a poorly devised and executed script.
This movie is more another in a series of D-movies of this decade which were mindless low-brow girls gone wild, party, drink, drugs, african american ghettos, crass malarcky. Mind you, the internet was still young in those days.
I can't recommend this movie on it's own merits as worth anyone's time; and I certaintly can't recommend it to anyone who has ever been a fan of the duke boys and the actual Dukes of Hazard.
Tremors: Shrieker Island (2020)
Film Grade Quality and Burt Gummer are the best parts. Everything else...
Burt Gummer Burt Gummer does a fantastic job as always. His acting and performance is really great and I have to give the actors props here.
Film Grade The Film grade (and CGI) in Shrieker Island notably took a step up from the previous installment. This was well-appreciated.
Setting The setting is nicely coloured and saturated. Albeit the plot seems awfully familiar...
Teasers The teasers hint at character development and some of the cast members were decently known actors. This had potential.
First 5-15 minutes were acceptable.
Is this really the way anyone wants to see Burt Gummer in what might be the last installment? (given the Second Series didn't happen)
CGI designs: Questionable changes to what were iconic designs. The original animatronics really beat CGI.
Plot points: Was it really sensible Burt Gummer was on an island alone? It seems like slander/defamement against the character.
Convenience: so and so, happens to magically be related, and this was somehow necessary to bring him in? Too contrived, and scraps previous relationships. Tries too hard to be edgy.
Shooting: Scenes are poorly weighted. Choppy, very scyfy b movie editing at best with similar story development.
Character Development: Wait, was there any of that?
While the teasers and opening and the fact some of the actors are well-known, hint at this going in a good direction, this is all scrapped after about 5-15 minutes.
There is one character with decent acting and dialogue in this show: Burt Gummer. Alas, a film is hard to pull of based solely around one person. Burt Gummer did phenomenal job, but it seems like he was the only one.
I really loved this film!!
The set up was great, and the ending really leaves you wonderign what's next in the universe. I loved the characters, the concepts and the execution. The conceptualisation and the way filming locations were done was phenomenal. The film sticks to it's single story-line,
Which is where one must note, this film apparently was never meant to stand alone, and apparently this is the root of it's lack of financial success. At 90 minutes, it needed more time to continue into the deeper delvings; but that was meant for the next installments. And as such, the film was bound in a Catch-22. A quicker pace would have done the series a disservice, skipping over or rushing aspects; but in not moving quickly enough or being long enough as a standalone, it didn't include as much as some anticipated. All in all, this was super unfortunate, as it was really enjoyable and conceptually, the continuations had a lot of potential.
The Legend of Korra (2012)
7.5, but not the writers' fault.
I'm very happy with the universe created by Konietzko and DiMartino, the world building and attention to detail by the duo was phenomenal.
On a personal note, the minority background of especially Konietzko (I can't speak for my Italian neighbours, but I'm sure they've similar feelings with DiMartino) has always been a source of inspiration and pride, as there are few Slavs in high places in US film - where we are often typecast negatively and the writers provide superb role models for minorities. Elements from East Asia and the Far North in the series I can attest have also been well recieved in a similar way by many especially Chinese-Americans.
Following in the footsteps of the tightly writeen epic Avatar: the Last Airbender, Korra had massive hype and high expectations.
The first season lived up to these expectations as a single story.
My primary issue with the series however has to do with the way order requests were done for the series. The station heads (at Nickeloden) initially asked for a single season story to be adapted. So far so good.
But upon seeing the success of S1, they attempted to further milk the series subsequently requesting individual seasons one at a time. This showed a very poor relationship with viewers and a greed-oriented model by those on the financial end. This short-sightedness ultimately damaged the series and reduced the impact, influence and significance of Korra, which could have easily become close in scale to it's predecessor if it had been given a cohesive and singular mission statement.
The result of the network relationship is that there are essentially four series, each seemingly a once per avatar event; which all happen under Korra and produce a world pacing which doesn't really feel right and stories which don't flow well into each other - because of how they were ordered.
These should have been separate series, focusing on separate Avatars; or else produced in a singular order giving the creators the room to write something epic which would bring the quality multi-season storytelling and character development the creators had with the Last Airbender to Korra.
Each individual season is thus kind of it's own thing, but in kind of the wrong way.
With this in mind, the only aspect regarding the writing I had a major issue with was one specific romance, which did not have meaningful build up. While there were most likely network reasons and production-period social taboo as the root for the lack of development here, likely curtailing the authors' creative freedoms; as the audience it feels immensely shoehorned. While it is what it is, as a viewer, it would be good to see in any future productions, better development in relationships and studios giving writers more proper freedoms to bring us gripping storytelling without curtailing aspects of stories for short-sighted reasons. Better-written stories hold up better over time and develop more loyal audiences.
Bearing these limitations in mind, the writing was worth-while and I recommend checking out the series. It's definitely a must for anyone who enjoyed the first series or any other Avatar media.
Resident Evil (2022)
Nice change of pace,I found myself rooting for the antagonist - in the real world, we aren't always the best character
Characters: I found it refreshing that the protagonist was a very unlikeable character, while the antagonist was immensely likeable.
Understandably however, this threw many watchers off as it is opposed to US culture, where the protagonist is often synonymous with likeable, bigger than life, the good guy, or even perfect.
Storytelling: I enjoyed the double timeline storytelling method, and most of the effects and CG were on point. There were some well-made fight scenes.
Acting: The teen actors were really good at their roles. I.e. The throwback timeline was well made. Billie was by far my favourite.
Wesker had a superb performance in this role, and the head of Umbrella did amazing as well. Grown-up Jade also had a solid performance.
Grown-up Billie, I'm not sure felt like it was the same character. In many ways, this might have been just due to difficulty in matching the younger Billie actress in looks. The different ethnic backgrounds and ancestries between the two was noticeable. That said, younger Billie really had an amazing performance.
Hommage: The Video Game hommage scene avoiding cameras with the aid of a tablet and third party was well integrated.
Suspension of disbelief: The adult protagonist should not have Alice level fighting skills, this suspends some suspension of disbelief and tries too hard to take over and "surpass"/replace the film franchise; which is a move in poor taste.
Plot holes: The characters are supposed to be genius level as adults, but the mistakes are so simplistic and it is poorly explained as to how they were able to make them. There was no real convincing reason for the death in the lab and the emotional reactions were extremely out of sync.
Gimmicky Plot elements: Certain parts invovled (such as the final scene), include too much "coincidental destruction" in an overused and poorly written manner
We don't really find out the whole story: At the end the good twin wins and walks away, but it's clear there were motives not mentioned which leave the end a cliff hanger.
Heathens and Thieves (2012)
I highly recommend this movie, and as to not give anything away I won't break into details ;) so you'll have to see to find out! but the cast & crew quite honestly did a phenomenal job! excellent cinematography. there a lot of points that make this such a wonderful addition to the Western genre, I think you'll know after seeing it for yourself :] great humour and wonderful points not often reflected upon enough in the genre. It breaks into the character of people & hits on the roles different people made on with in the Old West. You see the characters come to life and experience these roles first hand, & to jump the gun,(or guns as one might note) the title isn't without meaning. A really wonderful work!