BLADE RUNNER (Final Cut)

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not the final cut poster, but this is better

 

With the release of my most anticipated movie of the fall season (in fact it’s the last one i really care to see other than The Last Jedi for the year), i figured it would be best to get a review up of the classic Blade Runner before i went to see 2049.

To dispense with the pretense of objectivity in this review (which i rarely care for anyway) in prefacing this entry i have to say simply: that i love this film. In fact i regularly cite it as the movie that got me through the summer of 2005. I don’t know exactly how many times i have watched the film, but there was definitely a week in that summer where i watched it every day.

But much like i have with other movies that i easily consider my favorite, i haven’t watched it in some years. In fact it must be almost 10 since i have, as i don’t recall watching the Final Cut of the film more than once or twice since it came out in 2007. But even with the weight of so many viewings, i was surprised at how fresh the film felt; how evocative its imagery and themes were to me now as they were ten years or twelve years ago.

Lastly i have to give a word of direction for people who may not know where to start with the series, given the existence of 4 separate cuts of the film. Just get the final, it’s a spit shine and polish of the superior Director’s Cut.

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Logan Noir

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I picked up Logan on bluray recently and i highly suggest to anyone reading this that they do the same, or at least watch it now if they missed it in the theatres.

That bit of news alone wouldn’t prompt any post on here, and i’m not going to make it a habit of reviewing home releases; but a curious addition accompanied the bluray in the form of Logan Noir. A black and white version of the film, where they (as the name would suggest) remove the colour from the film for a different version of the same film.

So i figured i would take the opportunity to look at the film in a different light, and address some things that i hadn’t in my original review.

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Alien Covenant

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I figured i should get this out while Alien Covenant is still playing in theatres, considering its rather troubling tumble in the box office it might not be around for very much longer and i think that’s a shame.

There are spoilers within this review, so in short my recommendations are:

Go see the movie, i’ve seen the movie twice and it holds up, and i think it’s better than Aliens.

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GODZILLA TOKYO SOS

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I feel kinda bad for talking so lowly of Godzilla 2014, after all it’s not Big G’s fault that the producers weren’t interested in him enough to make the movie about him. So lets put that behind us, lets look at at a good Godzilla movie, and there’s plenty to be found. Also if 2014 gets people interested enough to watch some of his older movies who normally wouldn’t be interested then i say amen to that.

 

THE STORY

In this follow up to Godzilla against Mechagodzilla Big G comes back to Tokyo for some payback, and he’s using a big spade to dig the hole …. …. ….

 

THE GOOD

THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

None of this bullshit 7 minutes of screen time for Big G to stomp around, no uninteresting side shows, and none of this making the guy on the poster a supporting character crap. Godzilla makes his big appearance 1/2 hour into the movie and the destruction doesn’t stop for almost an hour. Big G is on screen for close to half of that, and in that we get explosions and kaiju action galore.

A welcome addition to Mecha G and Godzilla throwing down has Mothra and her children aiding the Japanese military in dealing with the chaos. Particularly interesting is how it shares continuity with her original appearance 1961’s Mothra and piques my interest in wanting to watch her own trilogy.

While the obligatory human characters are present and can be a chore to sit through, thankfully the various subplots are sidelined almost completely the moment Godzilla makes land fall. They also have the benefit of having their motivations connected directly to the problem at hand. The subplot of the Grandpa and Grandchild calling up Mothra to help isn’t given more screen time than it needs and directly affects the larger action, as does the Mecha G’s conflicted mechanic’s actions (as he goes out to repair the damaged robot).

The SFX are comprised of some cheesy CGI and even cheesier men in rubber suits stomping around cardboard buildings. While this might not be acceptable for some, i personally find it truer to the character and tone of the franchise. What really stands out here are the explosions, some of which are really quite large and glorious. Add to this the best Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, and Mothra costumes and effects and you got a recipe for greatness.

 

THE BAD

I will admit that i was a bit disappointed that they replaced Akane Yashiro with a douchier pilot for Mecha G. I actually found her involvement in the previous film to give it a lot of heart, and its a shame that her character wasn’t involved more in this production (which is a bizarre choice actually).

The only other thing i can mention is that the cheesy nature of the movie might not sit well with some audiences who are looking for something similar to Godzilla 2014‘s serious tone. I myself don’t have this issue, but it must be said that these types of movies aren’t going to satisfy everyone’s tastes.

 

THE UGLY

Godzilla Tokyo SOS delivers the goods. Its got destruction and giant monsters fighting each other galore, and is head and shoulders better than either of the American productions that Big G has received. So pick it up as well as it’s predecessor Godzilla against Mechagodzilla to see what i think a great Godzilla movie should be.

 

4 starsOUT OF FIVE