Quickie 23 – Hellboy (2019)

or “An Idol Hand Is the Devil’s Playground”

15 years ago, critically acclaimed director Guillermo Del Toro (or, “Guillermo of the Bull”) delved into the world of independent comic book heroes when he adapted creator Mike Mignola’s rough ‘n ready crimson skinned demonic adventurer Hellboy into a beautifully cinematic form, headed by tough guy actor Ron Pearlman in the role of his career. 4 years later, the sequel, Hellboy II: the Golden Army fell short of monetary expectations and thus damned the franchise to freeze over, despite Del Toro, Pearlman, and millions of fans’ cries for a third installment. Well, after a decade plus wait, this year saw a new Hellboy flick finally claw its way from Hollywood’s fetid womb! … as a reboot.

Is this new iteration of The Right Hand of Doom worth selling your soul for? Given that “reboot” is one of our Seven Words You Can’t Say Around the Tomb, its chances of being so are about as good as Frosty’s snowballs surviving water skiing the Lake of Fire.

“I thought we were supposed to be fighting monsters, not working with them.” – Ben Daimio

If you saw the original Hellboy, you know Big Red’s origin. If not, here’s the Thrown-off-a-Cliff Notes version – in an effort to turn the tide of WW2 back to the Nazis’ side of the pendulum, Hitler (yes, that Hitler) hired Rasputin (yes, that Rasputin) to summon Satan (yes, that Satan) to destroy the Allied Powers. The good guys smash the Reich riff-raff, but not in time to prevent the conjuring. Instead of Big Daddy Beelzebub though, the ritual brought the Muppet Babies fun-size version to our world. Though killing the literal hellspawn would seem like a good option, the good guys’ leading arcanist’s natural paternal urges kicked in, leading him to“adopt” the crimson skinned scamp and name him Carl Hellboy. Raised among the supernatural and unable to live among the humans due to his demonic appearance, 70 years later he now works as a member of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (Weren’t creative enough to come up with a catchier acronym than “BPRD”? It doesn’t even spell anything!) battling evil in all of its forms. Well, not so much its human forms, just its monster-faced, tentacle swinging, nether horror forms.

The form evil takes for this movie actually is very human, belonging to a centuries old mega-witch named Nimue. Not to be confused with Little Nemo or Leonard Nemoy, Nimue had her ass handed to her by King Arthur (yes, that… you get it) and Merlin (and a dude who would’ve been a gold medalist in the javelin toss) back in fifth century England and is being resurrected in the current day by her acolyte Gruagach, who looks like an ancestor to Bebop of “and Rocksteady” fame. If Hellboy and his associates Ben (a special forces guy who’s specist against monsters) and Alice (a psychic medium and master of Tilda Swinton’s “Astral Punch” attack from Doctor Strange) can’t prevent her from being restored to her full power, Nimmy will tear down the walls of our reality and bring an everlasting darkness to Earth that will see it overrun by the monsters of myth and legend and Clive Barker’s wet dreams. Seriously, she’s got some straight up “Hellraiser by way of Heironymous Bosch” shit in-store for we hairless-apes! Too bad the whole movie couldn’t have just been two hours of that…

Yes, your lying eyes aren’t lying in this instance: this movie runs 120 minutes. I know that’s become the norm for runtimes on blockbusters these days (unless your title begins with “Avengers”), but Jesus vampire hunting Christ does this movie drag! It’s not for a lack of content, because Cosby (not that Cosby) and Marshall pack a whole chocolate fountain of fudge into their flick, adapting as much of Mignola’s original material as can be with what space they were given. It feels like they were trying to plant the seeds for an entire Mignola cinematic universe. Well, they buried said seeds in plenty of fertilizer, but it smells like creative interference forcibly redirected their green thumbs straight up their Whitman Samplers.

You know what made these two hours feel like slivers of glass being slowly pushed under my fingernails? For starters, the special effects are bad. Not “digital diarrhea” bad, but far too bad for a fifty-million dollar feature. Watching Hellboy brawl with a trio of computer generated giants made me feel levels of awkwardness and disappointment not felt since I saw Bob Crane’s snuff film. Beyond needing an eye wash station on hand to prevent permanent ocular damage, the dialogue too was… not great. And as much as I love David Harbour the man, David Harbour the Hellboy is sand paper Q-Tips in my ear canals. Ron Pearlman killed it when he took on the role, but Harbour’s “frat boy going through an emo phase” version just killed my interest deader than Don Rickles’ pickle. I hope the fault doesn’t lay with him and is instead another one of those “creative interference” cases, but whoever is to blame (it could be Mignola if internet sources are to be believed), a curse of Swamp Thing ass upon them!

Despite my derogatory diatribe, Hellboy isn’t an absolute waste of time, as I’ve lost far more of my life to far worse movies. There are some moments of moderate entertainment in the script, the more “horror and gore”-centric overall bend of the flick was welcome (and a move supported by Mignola), we get a great secondary antagonista in Baba Yaga (that would’ve made for a better main baddie than the charisma vacuum that is the Blood Queen did), and there were a few scenes that could’ve been better than okay with some more time and money thrown at them. In particular, the intro (that I refuse to believe is not an homage to the wrestling match from Samson/Santo Vs. the Vampire Women), the aforementioned 3-on-1 battle royale, and the all-too-brief “London Apocalypse” contributed to saving the movie from being completely drown in codswallop.

The movie presses hard for a sequel that I’d bet my(ke Tyson’s) soul on never happening, But, if we were just going to get the same producer interruptions and impractical effects of a turd sandwich we were served this time, it’s better for all involved (especially the audience) that this franchise go back into its stasis chamber for another ten years.

Moral of the Story: Self-proclaimed mediums like John Edward would have a lot more credibility with skeptics like myself if they could vomit up the recently dead on command.

Final Judgment:

Two Nick Caves out-of-Five

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Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

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Quickie 22 – Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

or “Uncanny Valley Girl”

A tale that the man who birthed history’s deadliest appliance in The Terminator, pluralized HR Giger’s penis demons in Aliens, turned the kid from Critters III into a human popsicle in Titanic and just gave up trying to be original when he forced The Smurfs and Dances With Wolves to breed and make Avatar (which also contaminated the global water shelf of creativity with the fucking parasite named “Unobtainium”), Alita‘s long hard road out of Development Hel is an epic story all its own. I don’t have the space to dedicate to such a story here, but I’ll say this much; it’s been on James Cameron’s (possibly erotic) otaku to-do-list since the mid-90s, but it was pushed to the back burner in favor of his other projects before he finally handed the directorial reins to Robert Rodriguez in 2016, then wasn’t released to theaters until 2019 thanks to two more years of graphical tinkering after filming had finished. Is all of that info true? Trust it as far as you can throw IMDB’s server banks.

Was it worth the 24 year wait for a big screen adaptation of a Japanese comic book that probably less than 1% of the global audience has ever heard of? Read on, my super freaks.

“That… looks… fatal.” – Nova

The time? 500 years in the future. The place? Iron City. What’s Iron City? A dystopic metropolis that exists in the literal shadow of the “floating” city of Zalem, where the wealthy and well-to-do live lives of luxury as the plebians below struggle to survive on the scraps that their social overlords throw down to them. Amid the cyberpunk squalor of IC, things basically run Wild West style, sadly minus mecha-spider Kenneth Branaugh. Though there is a constabulary, they’re little more than walking tanks that intimidate people rather than upholding any actual law. The real justice in Iron City is vigilante justice, as registered bounty hunters are responsible for keeping the peace, so long as their pockets need filling.

One of the aforementioned “scraps” tossed down from Zalem are the actual remains of a female android, discovered by mechanic-doctor Dyson Ido during a salvage run in the massive scrapyard at Iron City’s center. He takes the leftovers home, where he gives the head and torso a new body and names her “Alita” after his deceased daughter. Al awakens to almost total amnesia as to her previous life, so she doubles as our protagonista AND our avatar on this tour of a whole new world…. sans the magic carpet ride.

Alongside Alita we meet scrap dealer and inevitable love interest Hugo, whose dream is to buy his way into the good life up in Zelam. Through Hugo, we’re also introduced to Rollerball, errr, I mean “Motorball” – a hybrid sport that combines roller derby with… extremely violent cyborg mutilation… so I guess it’s not so much a hybrid sport as it is, well, just roller derby with extremely violent cyborg mutilations… Turns out that anyone who becomes the Motorball MVP for several years time earns citizenry in, you guessed it, Zelam. Given that ‘Lita’s ultimate motivation will now be joining Hugo in the journey to the city in the sky, will she become a professional ‘Baller or take the down and dirtier route and earn her way with a shiny new bounty hunting license? What’s a giant-eyed androidess modeled after a teen girl (seriously, that part never stops being creepy) to do?!

Oddly enough, Krix and I both had fun watching Alita. Though its boiled-down-to-basics “coming of age” theme is overdone and skews for a YA audience, we geezers found Rosa Salazar and her big ol’ weird-ass oculars charming as all get out. Her delivery is just the right amount of naivety for a cyber-person in her position. Waltz plays Ivo with the penchant of a pensive parent and treats the titular tin can with the love of someone who knows what it’s like to suffer serious loss. As with any Rodriguez film, part of the fun is spotting the friends he worked in cameos for, like Jeff “Planet Terror” Fahey, who plays a bounty hunter whose dogs’ iron jaw bites are worse than their barks. Odd that Danny Trejo didn’t make an appearance though. Hmmmm.

RR’s direction has spots of epic scale that work great for the subject material, but I can’t say the same for the CG work, which sure as shit would’ve benefited from some of Cameron’s Avatar buddies. If I’m being honest, the infamous uncanny valley distractions I had throughout my viewing relocated immediately from Al’s saucer eyes as soon as any instance of bots battling started up or any scene with android juggernaut Grewishka, whose weird face and entirely CG body looked like their effects could’ve used a bit more time in the figurative oven. Speaking of time, that makes for a fair segue into my dislike for the movie’s final act. Despite being unfamiliar with the illustrated adventures of Alita, I have a sneaking suspicion that the last 20 minutes or so of the movie tried to squeeze a WHOLE LOTTA adaptation into a very limited amount of time. The fluidity afforded the rest of the movie to move comfortably from scene to scene suddenly became overly lubricated as everything seemed to run in Fast Forward. I almost thought I’d sat on my BluRay controller by the time the flick had been wrapped up in its hastily thrown together package. Feels as if half a sequel was lubed up and squeezed in before the credits just so there would be a better tease to end on for a possible future installment. As Krix will tell you, rushing to the finish line just leaves your partner (or in this case, the audience) disappointed.

Before I take my flight on the razor steel wings of my own Battle Angel, I’ve got one more little gripe to ripen: changing the title from “Battle Angel Alita” to Alita: Battle Angel makes my brain itch. Supposedly it’s something to do with Cameron’s greatest successes coming from movies titled with ‘T’ or ‘A’ (make your own “tits and ass” jokes among yourselves) so the name swap may be contributed to some personal superstition. If anything, the “Battle Angel” moniker should’ve been cropped and saved for a sequel since its basis in the movie proper comes off as sloppily inserted (giggity) just so the audience can have their “They said the name of the movie!” spot. It’s all starting to feel like a conspiracy to annoy me personally. Or maybe that’s just the schizophrenia whispering in my ear again. No, damn it! I told you, I’m not going to burn down any (more) Hardeeseseses!

Moral of the Story: The way to a woman’s groin (even if that groin is made of titanium and powered by a 9 volt Eveready) is through chocolate. Go with it.

Final Judgment:

Four Brains in Jars out-of-Five

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Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

Quickie 21 – Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

or “Friday Night Kaiju Lights”

Back in June, I was so excited for the impending release of this movie that I declared the entire month to be a celebration of giant monster movies we knew and loved, along with ones very few knew and likely very few cared about, let alone “loved”. In the words of Socrates though, “shit happens” and DaikaiJune was not one such proverbial bowel movement. Instead, my personal hype boner for the event was salt petered into the center of the (hollow) Earth when news of Godzilla: King of the Monsters‘ opening weekend intake was more red than green. Red enough that its sour box office performance convinced Legendary to rethink the 2020 release of their much anticipated Godzilla Vs. King Kong, opting to push back to a later date in the hopes that the fallout from GKotM‘s atomic bombing won’t contaminate its own ticket sales.

“We opened Pandora’s box and there’s no closing it now.” – Alan Jonah

[X-Men cartoon voice over] Previously, on Godzilla…[/XMcvo] we met the newest American iteration of the great skyscraper destroyer. The “thicc daddy” of kaiju, Dad Bod Godzilla defeated a pair of giant insectoids called M.U.T.O., leveling half of Las Vegas and San Francisco in the process. Despite leaving two major American metropoli uninhabitable from heavy nuclear radiation, Big G was generally hailed as a hero by humanity. “Generally”, because plenty of people who lost loved ones in the colossal conflicts chose to hold grudges against these “Titans” (as they came to be known) and want nothing more than their total elimination.

Dr. Ishiro Serizawa, member of the mysterious monster studying organization Monarch, is back to fight for kaiju rights, working to convince the US government big wigs that Godzilla is a protector of mankind, not a threat. Here’s to hoping he’s right, since the story’s antagonistic militant group of bio-terrorists are plotting to release the Titans on mankind in a global extinction event! Nothing short of an Infinity Gauntlet is going to sweep these gigantic Jehovah’s Witnesses from our collective front door either, so go go Godzilla!

5 years ago, the biggest complaint I heard about Godzilla was director Gareth Edward’s focus on human drama at the expense of mammoth monster smackdown action. When King of the Monsters stomped onto screens, its detractors denounced writer-director Michael Dougherty’s emphasis on too much monster mashing in lieu of compelling human characters. The lesson? You can please most of the critics some of the time and some of the critics most of the time, but there’s no such thing as a universally loved Godzilla flick.

As for me? I liked it. Equally as much as I liked the previous one, in fact. 2014 was a great “less is more” human-level tale, KotM is a great “more is more” blast in the face from a popcorn shotgun of epic monster brawling with a respectable roster of world ravagers that makes me wish it could be a weekly wrestling show! The beasties each have their own moments of personality, especially Ghidorah, whose trio of craniums are frequently snapping at each other like siblings doing that obnoxious “I’m not touching you” torment. Mucho fun.

As for the supposed malnourishment of quality drama? I was happy with the human cast. Sure, some of their characterization wasn’t the best (again, it’s a Godzilla movie, what the fuck do you expect?) and Bradley Whitford’s role was borderline cheese grater-ing my brain stem half of the time, but Kyle Chandler (whom my Evil Dead Bride refers to only as “Friday Night Lights dad”) was a pleasant surprise, while Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown and Ken Watanabe brought their respective acting chops to the table as always, not skimping on the applesauce.

The inevitable throw down between Goji and Kong can’t get here soon enough for my tastes, nor the teased other sequel that baits us after KotM‘s end credits. Mayhaps the Pacific Rim crossover that a sadly diminutive percentage of the populace has prayed for since Legendary acquired the Big G license? Given that the Hollywood machine runs on the fuel of dead presidents, it’s gonna take a LOT of media sales, physical AND digital, to get us up that mountain. As such, get out there and rent it, buy it, download it, and then do all three all over again with someone else’s credit card! Do your part! Make it happen! Godzilla or Die!

Moral of the Story: Mankind has fucked around on Mother Nature long enough, and she’s taking back Earth in the divorce. Oh, and her lawyers are all 30 stories high and spew atomic napalm from their orifices.

Final Judgment:

Four Godzookies out-of-Five

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Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

Feature 114 – Kaiju Mono (2016)

or “Yano Shrugged”

Featuring: Eiichi Kikuchi ; Miki Kawanishi ; Ryu Manatsu ; Kota Ibushi ; Minoru Suzuki

Director: Minoru “Executive Koala” Kawasaki

Writers: Minoru “Executive Koala” Kawasaki & Takao “Amorous Ninja” Nakano

Origin: Japan

Review_____

“Father, your wrestling lingo is so outdated!”

My kids! It’s “Choose Your Own Adventure” time!

  • Turn to page 5 to find out why Anubis has been AWOL.
  • Turn to page 17 to read from the book bound in human flesh titled “Kaiju Mono Review”.
  • Turn to page 23 to walk around the pit full of crocodiles.
  • Close out your browser window to return home and leave “The Mystery of Uncle Kyle’s Steamer Trunk” forever unsolved.

    Page 5
    So, shortly after declaring DaikaiJune to be a thing that I intended to do, I was half way through my first review when an ancient curse put upon me during the Middle Kingdom Age by a pissed off vizier (who found my dick hieroglyphs under his sister’s bed) flared up. Known as “the Elephant’s Grudge”, it involves two long hangnails forming on either side of the talon of my right index finger, resembling the tusks of an elephant. Cute, right? No. It’s not. It fucking hurts! And it makes typing with my dominant finger impossible. Though it finally did clear up and I’m able to type again, this means that Kaiju Mono will, ironically enough, be the solitary review for DaikaiJune… and is being published in the dead ass last day of DaikaiJuly… better luck next year?

    Seriously kids, I’ve been going though a typical case of the Summer Slumps, not to be confused with the Fall Flops, the Winter Woes or the Spring… Slumps… uggh, I can’t even alliterate creatively! Maybe it’s time I tried jamming a metal skewer up my nose and forcing my frontal lobe into action. Anyway, save your tears folks, as there are much worse things going on in the world right now (dying children in makeshift concentration camps at the southern border of the US, for one) and only so many salty drops of eye-water to go around. Instead, be happy that I’ve gone out of my way to conjure this giant monster romp from the farthest reaches of eastern far, going to such lengths as to spend my last $15 to acquire a copy. The things I do for you, my dears, the things I do for you. I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that. Let’s do it like they do on The Discovery Channel. Gettin’ horny now.

    Page 17
    Welcome the world of Kaiju Mono, where long extinct plants grow freely and dormant volcanoes let their magma flow like Hi-C. Where “paranormal investigators” go into the woods despite the warnings of the local Crazy Ralph, never to return. Where one of the greatest scientific minds Japan calls her own resides in the body of an elderly cross-dresser. It’s here that a giant dragon-like dinosaur-ish lizard-esque superbeast known as “Mono” has risen from the broken earth to rain terror upon the citizens of the Seitama prefecture!

    But before we get into that, we’ve got protagonists to meet. Miwa (Miki Kawanishi) and Nitta (Eiichi Kikuchi) are a pair of young science prodigies (neither known for starting fires nor smacking up bitches) whom, while exploring the strange no-longer-extinct flora popping up in the area, come across what they surmise to be a egg. The proposed ovarian expulsion in question appears more like a loaf of bread out of one of Tim Burton’s fever dreams. This “egg” also has little protruding spiky bits that make my urethra groan with empathy for whatever birthed it. And I thought kidney stones were terrifying!

    With the fluid extracted from their little discovery, Miwa’s father Professor Saigo (Ryu Manatsu), finally has the last ingredient he needs to complete his miracle concoction – the Setupp X Cell! What does the extra “p” stand for? I’d hazard “pro-wrestler”, since injecting the formula into Nitta transforms the emo boy scientist into New Japan Professional Wrestling star Kota Ibushi!

    Actually, this version of Japan doesn’t recognize the boyishly handsome, sexually ambiguous grappler by name, so he’s just standing in as the representation of Nit’s peak physical condition as induced by SXC. Not to be confused with MXC, which tended to leave its participants in battered and broken condition. How anyone ever managed to make it to the end of that sick fuck Takeshi Kitano’s courses I’ll never know. Just thinking about it causes me massive facial swelling and moderate spinal bruising!

    The titular terror of the town appears in all of its person-in-a-rubber-costume glory, eschewing modern computer graphic technology in favor of the much more practical (and affordable) means of suitmation. Colored red and green and bearing a big star-like horn on its nose, Mono looks kinda like a Cthulhumas Tree from a Jigoku Black Friday sale! Being a comedy, Mono’s unblinking eyes and total lack of mandible autonomy can be considered a net positive in terms of self-depreciating humor, but Dagora damn me if I don’t genuinely enjoy this rubbery return to form of the Japanese terrors of the ’60s and ’70s, lockjaw and all.

    Despite his hesitations to become a guinea pig for an untested experiment (also, because hypodermic needles hurt), Nitta is convinced to take the monster-fighting vaccination only because Professor S bullies the lad about his wimpy physique. See, Saiga drops some sledgehammer blunt hints about how Miwa’s lady volcano gets “active” to magazines of oiled up muscle boys… keep in mind (as much as we’d all be better off not to) that this is his daughter whose sexual proclivities he’s talking about… Damn it, Japan!

    And so, as most milestones of science are met, SXC’s success is brought about by a guy’s need to attract his mentor’s pimped-off daughter. Let the skyscraper skirting skirmishes begin!

    … Which will have to last about as long as I do between the proverbial sheets, considering Nitta’s only able to maintain his maximum girth for a few minutes per injection. However, if it lasts for more than 4 hours, he’ll need to contact his doctor immediately. And yes, similar penis jokes are made in the movie too.

    Kaiju Mono is your basic “loser becomes a hero becomes a celebrity becomes an asshole becomes a loser only to discover the power of love and training montages before finishing up as a hero again” feel good-bad-good story projected through the satirical lens of a very special episode of “Ultraman”. Like that episode where the leader of the Science Patrol got addicted to caffeine pills or the the time Ultraman insisted on flying home drunk after a party and disintegrated that busload of school children who were field tripping at the Observatory.

    The overall formula skews about 70/30 in favor of comedy over science fiction. It leans heavy on the laughs like E. Honda leaning on a velvet rope. If the absurdity of watching real-life wrestling personalities practice their ballet of violence on a rubber monster suit isn’t wacky enough, there are scenes with pro-kaiju tree-huggers protesting the military’s attack on Mono, a joke-off to determine the fate of the world, a plot by the Yakuza to steal Nitta’s magic underwear (no, he’s not Mormon), a weird Dr. Phil-ian culture clash out-of-nowhere, and cameos by a plethora of former Ultraman actors shoehorned in for geek appeal. The gags only permeate the plot further so when you switch on the English dub, which tries desperately to appeal to a more “Ridiculousness” style of “lowest common denominator” audience that needed somewhere to go after “America’s Funniest Home Videos” was canceled. If you ever wondered where washed-up skateboarders retired to when their counter-culture cool factor goes room temperature, just ask Rob Dydreck.

    In this case, I suggest sticking with subtitles. Not because of some imagined “preservation of the artist’s vision” film historian horse shit, but to preserve any IQ points you’d rather avoid losing to the aforementioned English dub’s script revulsions, I mean revisions.

    In summation, I had fun catching this case of Kaiju Mono. It’s a fun fling of retro style camp that doesn’t dump a full can of creamed corn on our heads when we’re not looking. The Evil Dead Bride and I are big fans of New Japan Pro Wrestling, so knowing who Ibushi and the cameo-ing Minoru Suzuki are (also how we found out about the movie in the first place!) added to my personal experience. Meanwhile, your personal mileage may, as the kids say, vary. Speaking of, in case the alternate title to this review fell foul in your ballpark, here’s an example of how my brain fires – in the movie, Nitta is often called “the Titan” by the public. Generally recognized as the most memorable of the Titans in Greek mythology is Atlas, upon whose shoulders the entire planet rests. ‘Atlas Shrugged‘ is, in the most general of terms, a book (and a movie, but not yet a musical I don’t think) that I don’t want to go into the details of here. Ibushi and Suzuki are co-workers of fellow New Japan wrestler Toru Yano – a comedy character (and my spirit animal) also known as “the Sublime Master Thief” and whose signature pose is an “oh fucking well” level shrug. And so, “Yano Shrugged”.


    (That’s Yano. Now ya know.)

    Aside from the hit or miss humor, my only real disappointment from the feature is its nigh appalling lack of property damage! For a “giant monster vs. giant wrestler” flick, there’s oddly little (well, ZERO) building smashing, with minor vandalism being the extent to which our over-sized combatants (combat ants?) resort to. I appreciate the effort that the constructors of this minute metropolis no doubt put into its detail, but what giant monster movie doesn’t include architectural obliteration!? For Fuckenstein’s sake, the BluRay cover explicitly cites “A GIANT MONSTER EATS THE CITY!” and there isn’t an ounce of blockbusting to be had! Not a single bit of mangled masonry, not one crushed car, nary a broken window in sight! A missed mashing opportunity for sure.


    (From Burning Angel, because of course it is.)

    Good news though, for anyone that’s ever wanted a closer look at Kota Ibushi’s nethers without going full-on R rated: in addition to moments of implied public nudity, the Golden Star gets his own gratuitous shower scene! That one’s for you, ladies… or approximately 95% of you… and maybe 10% of the guys… and another undetermined number of dudes who swing both ways? The math’s not really solid. Neither am I.

    On that note, keep pushing that rope until next time, ladles and germs! And keep your fingers crossed that DaikaiJune 2020 ends up being a bit more lively than its inaugural outing. Sayonara, kemosabes!

    The Wrap-Up Totals_____
    3 Dead Bodies
    6 breasts (all male)
    Bra Padding
    Pseudo-Science
    Body Shaming
    Mecha Denouncing
    Daughter Pimping
    Old Lady Placating
    Minoru Suzuki-ing
    Graphic Cellular Division (in that it’s an animated graphic)
    Bite-Size People Snacking
    Gratuitous Blair Witch-ing
    Geriatric Sailor Moon Cosplay Crossdressing
    Science-Fiction Underwear
    Monster Eroticizing
    Gratuitous Male Shower Scene
    Literal Monster Vision
    Kung-Fu
    Wrestling Fu
    Hypodermic Needle Fu
    Radio Tower Fu
    Paparazzi Fu
    Global Warming Fu
    Kaiju Kung-Fu
    Accidental sexual assault Fu

    Page 23
    The thong of your flip flop breaks and you fall into the pit, where the ravenous teeth of a massive crocodile leave nothing behind to identify your remains but the name tag on your underwear. Your mom takes the owners of the “Smiles on the Nile Summer Camp” to court over claims of negligence in what turns out to be a long and fruitless trial that leaves her financially devastated. Penniless, she marries your Uncle Kyle out of necessity and spends the rest of her days grieving over the mysterious death of the man she loved and the brutal dismemberment of her only child. All this because you chose to wear flip-flops instead of hiking boots back in Chapter 1 because you were too lazy to put on socks. You make me sick.

    Moral of the Story: If a creepy old weirdo dressed like he raided the discount bin at Claire’s asks you if you want to become a big, strong man, YOU SAY YES!

    Screenshots_____

    “What does ‘Service Engine Soon’ mean? Like, sexually? Is my car a Transformer trying to seduce me?!”


    [Shakespearean Tommy Chong]: “Oh, what blunts this hand has held. What pipes and bongs and joints hath passed between yon fingers, man.”


    Mono, your high beams are on… DAMN IT, TURN OFF YOUR HIGH BEAMS!


    “Wait a minute… This isn’t my Moon Prism! It’s a Swedish deodorant crystal!”


    “Are you sure you followed the instructions correctly, grandpa? I mean, I appreciate you baking me a birthday cake, but that doesn’t look right.”


    Earth Defense Force boot camp doesn’t prepare the new recruits for their first exposure to kaiju genitalia.


    “Dude, it’s not a homophobic thing, I just feel really uncomfortable struggling with you while you’re in your underwear!”
    “What?! You’re not wearing ANYTHING, you hypocrite!”


    Not to be a perv, but I’ve definitely seen that position somewhere in the Kama Sutra!


    “My niece has ‘poked’ me… ‘Poked’ me? What in the burning halls of Jigoku does that mean?! You bring dishonor to my family, Facebook!”


    Kota Ibushi – Now available in new “Minty Fresh Blast” flavor!


    Yeah, that’ll happen when you put the wrong kind of oil in your kaiju.


    “I’ll have you know this IS my grandmother’s cardigan! I wear it every year on this day to honor her passing from breast cancer, you dick!”


    “Listen, lady. I can smell counterfeit Pokemon cards from a mile away. Now take your box of lies and get out of here before my guards go Hitmonlee on your ass!”


    I do the same thing any time my family knocks on my door to see if I’m still alive. It almost worked one time!


    “Damn, son! You clearly hit the genetic jackpot for Beach Body Bingo! Shazam!”


    Ladies and gentlemen, please clear the floor so the Prom King and Queen can have their spotlight dance.


    “You got my two thousand yen, Shiro? I see you got money for shiny gold head horns, but you ain’t got MY MONEY?!”


    “Damn it, if you’re not going to burst that zit, I’ll do it!”
    “Hey! Stop! I’m trying to grow it big enough to get an appearance on ‘Dr. Pimple Popper‘!”

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    Anubis will return next time in
    “SLVB”

    Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

    All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

  • Quickie 20 – Godzilla (2014)

    or “Baby, Don’t Fear the Kaiju”

    The last time the lord of irradiated city stompers was in the hands of Hollywood movie-makers, Godzilla wound up as an atomic iguana that laid more eggs than a barn full of chickens on Four Loko and Spanish Fly. It was a multi-year clusterfuck that went from something potentially amazing to something… awful… that I saw twice in theaters because, well, I wanted it to succeed. I was… in a bad place in the ’90s. Anyway, nearly two decades later, Legendary convinced Toho that they wouldn’t abuse the property the way Sony did previously, and put Gareth Edwards in the director’s seat. Not bad when your sophomore feature is a $160 million tent pole for a whole cinematic universe-to-be.

    “Nature has an order. A power to restore bounds. I believe HE is that power.” – Dr. Ishiro Serizawa

    Our story begins during Prince’s eponymous year of party style, 1999. A Japanese nuclear power facility is devastated by unnatural shockwaves (and not the Y2K bug, as doomsday theorists would have had us believe), leading to its total destruction and a quarantine of the surrounding area for the next 15 years. One of the scientists lost in the disaster was American scientist Sandra Brody, wife to fellow scientist and plant employee Joe Brody, and mother to their wiener son, Ford, whose name I’m surprised they didn’t change to “Isuzu” to help him fit in in rice burner country. To say that Sandy’s death may have traumatized the pair a little would be like saying that the Conjuring movies are a little overrated.

    15 revolutions around the sun later, Ford is a US military meathead married to Scarlet Witch and the two have a son of their own. No sooner does he return home from active duty, the booty call the couple’s last 14 months has been building to gets blueballed all to Hel when he’s forced to return to the home of the (sushi) whopper. In the time since Sandra’s radioactive demise, Joe’s mental state could be politely described as “criminally obsessive”, which gets him arrested by the authorities for violating the quarantine zone for the umpteenth time. When Ford comes to bail him out, dad is ranting that recent seismic activity in the area is mimicking whatever it was that caused the meltdown of ’99.

    Despite his apartment being wallpapered with news clippings and pages out of a high school biology book, it turns out Poppa’s obsession is NOT evidence of insanity, as intrusion into the zone shows not a single Geiger to be counted! While there, dad and spawn are picked up by a security patrol and taken to the remains of the nuke factory, which now serves as a research base for a group called Monarch. Much like movie crazies before him, it turns out that Joe was on point about the environmental abnormalities and the wonky readings are actually being caused by Electro Magnetic Pulses launched by a big weird cocoon thing that looks like something out of H.R. Giger’s sketchbook. Of course, because movie physics, this is the exact time that the egg hatches and unleashes… Godzilla! Oh, never mind, it’s… the Cloverfield monster? Remind me who’s name is on the marquee of this thing again?!

    The resultant destruction brought on by the Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism’s (or M.U.T.O.) birth claims the life of Joe, now leaving Ford as our de facto main character. Well, Monarch big wig Dr. Serizawa is pretty important to the plot too, but Ford is our everyman emissary for the ride, which includes being educated on Gojira, the origin of the M.U.T.O. (which becomes an M.2.T.O. When the original’s mate is introduced) and why Monarch didn’t just abort the big parasite in the first place. Though military forces proves ineffective against the creature, Dr. S believes that Mother Nature will correct this radioactive abomination herself, with none other than Godzilla serving as Her scale balancer! To quote the good doctor, “Let them fight”.

    The biggest criticism levied against G2K14 is its lack of giant monster action. Despite the movie being named after Him, Godzilla proper doesn’t pop his head into the proceedings until well into the second act, and it’s only after the M.U.T.O. have started to rampage. He also doesn’t get a big, glorious reveal at that, just randomly popping up in Honolulu to throw claws. Meanwhile, Mutie gets the glory of being the monster behind the human protagonists’ collective storylines! Ever hear someone complain that Tim Burton’s Batman put too much emphasis on The Joker? Same goes here. As far as there being too much human story and not enough monster-a-monster? Godzilla movies are always about the human characters. It tends to make the movie flow better when you have talking characters pushing the story. Then again, there was that time in Godzilla Vs. Gigan (or Godzilla On Monster Island if you’re nasty) where G and his sidekick/buddy/bitch Anguirus actually spoke to each other (with word bubbles in the Japanese version and actual English dialogue in the US dub), and that’s something that never needs to happen again.

    I’m going to be “one-hundred”, as the kids say, and approve of the end result movie we get. Sure, I was a tad peeved that the modern Brody family must eat Lucky Charms for every meal and have their pockets stuffed with four-leaf clovers given how impossibly fortunate the trio are throughout the devastation (Ford’s plot armor keeps him from being corpsed no less than FOUR TIMES), but I found myself greatly appreciating the awe-inspiring pedestrians’ eye view of the kaiju carnage. It wasn’t the nauseating shaky-cam shit parade we were shafted with in Cloverfield, and we were treated to wider shots of the colossal confrontation when the moments called for it, both big positives in my book (which is actually a collected omnibus of the entire ’70s Godzilla Marvel Comics series). Besides, after Monster, we’re lucky that Edwards gave these beasties as much screen time as he did!

    Go watch it and you’ll get the joke.

    Moral of the Story: Mother Nature can take care of Herself! Except, you know, when it comes to pollution and poaching and strip mining and clear cutting and global warming and… you get my point.

    Final Judgment:

    Four Godzookies out-of-Five

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    Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

    All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

    Quickie 19 – Death House (2017)

    or “Jason Goes to Hell”

    Kane Hodder. Dee Wallace. Barbara Crampton. Tony Todd. Bill Moseley. Sig Haig. Michael Berryman. Lloyd Kaufman. Felissa Rose. Brinke Stevens. Camille Keaton. Tiffany Shepis. Debbie Rochon (under a mask). Adrienne Barbeau(‘s voice). Gunnar Hansen(‘s hologram). And I’m sure other names that I don’t recognize off of the top of my doggy head. The ultimate horror convention lineup, or the solitary redeeming factor of Death House? Hope for the former, loin gird for the latter.

    “I will fuck you in Hell.”

    Kane Hodder (and his pimple… come on dude, Stridex) plays a dirty wannabe Nazi Branch Davidian cult leader type whose capture by the gubmint lands him in a high tech prison called, you guessed it, “Death House”. In this colorfully named containment facility the occupants are studied with the ultimate goal of having the psychotic tendencies brainwashed right out of their gray matter. As one character so bluntly kicks any trace of subtlety in the taint, “it’s like Clockwork Orange“… Blaaaaaaart.

    In another smashing of “look how witty we are!” into the collective face of their audience, this purgatory consists of 9 levels with the occupants being more monstrous with each floor you descend. As such, the bottom is for the evilest of evil-doers, called “The Five Evils”, who… turn out to be some of the weirdest deus ex bullshit I’ve ever seen. No spoilers, but… yeah.

    We learn all of this via the audience’s avatars, Toria and Jay – two government agents that also happen to have personal connections to a pair of the place’s unwilling tenants. We tag along as they’re given the $10 tour by HBIC Dr. Fletcher, who shows them the processes by which her staff uses to plumb the depths of the demented denizens of this Area 51 for serial killers. This includes a heavy reliance on no-budget virtual reality tech that, rather than using anything even remotely resembling VR headsets, utilizes safety goggles with old circuit boards duct taped over the front of them! I fucking kid you not, I would’ve preferred Dollar Embargo sunglasses with Cthulhumas lights glued to them over these… these… ABOMINATIONS! Isis’s girdle, I’m not mentally equipped to scale a mountainous cornball garbage pile of this magnitude today. Fuck it.

    Look, this is a terrible, wretched, “so bad it’s bad” movie. The only thing it does for anyone is pay a few bills for the who’s who of horror that were somehow convinced (possibly blackmailed) into signing up for it. NO ONE applies any discernible effort to their roles either, so at least they didn’t need to put any major work into what I presume were scanty paychecks. Their inclusion 100% makes up the composition of Death House‘s single ratings point, in what’s possibly the truest form of appreci-hate (thank my Evil Dead Bride for that one) a movie has received from me since Andrew Divoff was the lone redeeming factor of Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation was back in The Tomb’s first review. I could go over this steaming heap with a fine-toothed comb (or Spaceballs novelty-sized afro pick) for several more viewings and not manage to fish out anything else to recommend it on… with the possible exception of showing it to prisoners of war as a way around violating the anti-torture protocols of The Geneva Convention.

    Sadly, Gunnar Hansen himself is credited as the originator of the idea the story was based upon, but a more accurate credit would be likely be “Guy who watched the Fortress and The Expendables movies and made the mistake of telling a friend of his who used it as the foundation for a terrible screenplay”. Now it will sadly be yet another stain on the rib bib-of-a-resume that belonged to the first Leatherface. May his hologram rest in peace.

    Oh yeah, and WHAT THE FUCK WAS THE POINT OF TONY TODD’S CHARACTER!? I couldn’t find one with both hands and the thrice damned Staff of Ra, so I’m presuming it’s some horseshit metaphysical nonsense. You know what? If that is the case, don’t tell me. I don’t want anything else to do with this rancid fart excuse for a movie.

    Moral of the Story: Even the most delicious bounty of foods can be left devoid of appeal when the cornucopia it sits inside is a length of sewer pipe drenched in alligator piss and encrusted with CHUD churds.

    Final Judgment:

    One VHS copy of Fortress out-of-Five

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    Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

    All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

    Quickie 18 – John Wick (2014)

    or “The Butcher! The Breaker! The Candlestick Maker?”

    As usual, I’m 5 years behind the trends, so I’m just now seeing Keanu Reeves shoot-bang a bunch of KGBitches. It’s good to see him sticking with the action stuff though, because as great a guy as I’ve hear he is in real life, that doesn’t change the fact that he both sucks AND swallows as a “legitimate” Hollywood actor guy. Big budget b-movies are the man’s forte and he should stay that way.

    “What happened, John? We were professionals. Civilized.”

    John is our titular protagonist. John is madly in love with his wife, Helen. Sadly, Helen’s only in the movie for Fridging purposes (look it up), so she immediately dies of brain cancer. Helen’s death leaves John in mourning. Before she kicked the bucket, Helen set up a gift to be delivered to John after her passing. John’s gift is Daisy. Daisy is NOT a surrogate wife nor is she a sassy orphan. Daisy is a puppy. John bonds with Daisy faster than Neo learned Kung-Fu, and through the adorable beagle he learns to love again. John and Daisy run into some douche nozzle (who looks like a junkie version of the guy who runs my favorite comic book shop) at a gas station who wants to buy John’s sweet ’69 Charger. John says no. Douche Nozzle and his gang of pricks somehow figure out where John lives, ransack his home, steal his Charger, and kill Daisy to solidify their status as the worst type of cheap-heat bad guys. What is our hero to do in the face of such tragedy? Will he compartmentalize his anger and sadness and learn to live on despite his loss? Perhaps he’ll open his own Yankee Candle franchise and parlay his surname to become the highest earning store in the tri-state area!

    No. Despite his name, John is not a born candle salesman. As it turns out, John is actually a retired mob assassin and the sole meaning to his existence now is to exact revenge on the sapient sandwich baggies of human excrement that have wronged him. Unfortunately for John, it won’t be an easy train ride to Revengeville, because Douche just happens to be the offspring of one of John Boy’s former employers, Viggo – the head of the Russian mob that basically runs the New York City underworld. When said head hears what the half-witted fruit of his loom has been up to, the only hope of keeping bitch boy alive is to put an open $2 million bounty out on John. Can our hero enact his vendetta to its finale, or will Daisy and Helen not be the only members of the Wick family who won’t live to see the end credits?

    … Nah. He lives. He has to. There are two sequels to this movie!

    With a little help from his friends, revenge is had and JW guns down enough Ruskies to fill the St. Remy Cemetery twice over! Granted, that’s in Russia Ohio and not Russia proper, but you get the point of my pickelhaube… which is a Prussian reference and not Russian proper, but you don’t have to be King of Prussia to know that. I am, of course, referring to the Pennsylvania township, King of Prussia and not an actual Prussian king proper, but… I’ll stop now.

    My problems with this movie are minimal. The whole “one man murders dozens with relative ease” action trope doesn’t bother me anymore in the least. If Stallone and Schwartzemuhneijer could do it every few months in the ’80s, why the fuck not? Hell, even if you discount America’s steroid juiced dreams, every John Woo (John Woo? John Wick? Hmmm) movie since The Killer has desensitized us to the logical frailty behind the 1 vs 100 scenario in favor of taking another dove poop covered Gunkata bullet ballet directly into our oculars. Besides, after watching Keanu Matrix his way through a thousand low-res Hugo Weavings, I can totally buy him (and his snappy new facial hair) emptying enough bullet cartridges to recycle into TWO full-sized brass statues of Gaston Glock!

    (He’s the guy who invented the Glock)

    My issues with the kickstart of what is a trilogy as of this weekend are instead as follows: like I mentioned earlier, how the fuck did Douche Nozzle find out where Wick lives? Also, if Wick is such an infamous boogeyman figure in the criminal underworld, how did neither DN nor any of his goons know who he was? This is made all the more infuriating when dear daddy tell his spermatic waste product that Wick is basically responsible for handing them all of the criminal power they now wield! Speaking of, fuck Viggo for not killing John when they have him unconscious at their feet and instead opting for a bullshit “we’re not so different, you and I” cookie cutter scene from which John is deus ex Dafoe’d away, allowing him to CONTINUING HIS SLAUGHTER MISSION. Finally, yeah, Keanu Reeves can’t do dramatic. I started off the review saying so and thinking of his big “I’M THINKING I’M BACK!” speech in this same said scene, I need to reiterate – do not give this golden hearted gent severe lines of dialogue. You set him up as the strong/silent/violent type, so don’t issue him any groan inducingly hammy shoutliloquies!

    In a perfect world, I would use my Midas-like wealth to fund a crossover film between John Wick and Shoot ‘Em Up‘s hero, Mr. Smith. It’d be your typical comic book scenario where they’re pitted against each other by insidious forces, each fails to put down his opponent until they realize that a brief exchange of words rather than bullets solves their problem, leaving them to now team-up and murder every member of the criminal empires involved. The twist? Deadpool is the one behind it all. Biggity-bam, motherfuckers. Double tap that ass. Makes more box office than every Police Academy combined.

    Moral of the Story: IF YOU HAVE THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN ON EARTH TRYING TO KILL EVERYTHING YOU LOVE AND HE ENDS UP KNOCKED OUT AT YOUR FEET, JUST CRUSH HIS SKULL WITH A CINDER BLOCK AND CALL IT A DAY.

    Final Judgment:

    Three-and-a-Half John Woos out-of-Five

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    Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

    All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.