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The One Where Joe Says Like a Lot

The One Where Joe Says Like a Lot
Kaiju Curry House

 
 
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Kaiju Curry House is the brand new podcast series launching under the Heroes Podcast umbrella. It is designed to focus on all aspects of kaiju fandom, for those who grew up with it, or have just discovered it.

Welcome to episode 3! In this episode we are discussing the Monsterverse created by Legendary pictures which has delivered Godzilla, Kong Skull Island and will soon be releasing Godzilla King of the Monsters. We share our thoughts on what went right and what went wrong with the films, before discussing what we hope the future will deliver.

We’d love to hear if you had similar thoughts to ours, or if you had a different perspective! We have created this podcast not only because it’s fun for us to talk kaiju, but also because we want to engage with other fans of these monster movies. What did you think of the movies released so far? What are your biggest hopes and fears of future releases??

Comment below or hit us up @UKKaiju on Twitter!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the show now on Spotify and Spreaker! The links are below!

Stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

Not ready for that kind of commitment? No problem! Buy us a coffee over at ko-fi.com/heroespodcasts because every dollar truly does help.

Kaiju Curry House Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Hosts
Paul Williams
Joe McIntee
Alex James

Executive Producer & Editor
Derreck Mayer

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Kong: Skull Island – Quick Movie Take

Ryan of the Screen Heroes podcast and Buster Props bring us an early take on the monster movie reboot Kong: Skull Island. The new incarnation of the giant gorilla takes place at the tail end of the Vietnam war and stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Goodman.

Have you seen Kong: Skull Island yet? What did you think? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for even more fun videos.

A diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers unite to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong. source

Kong: Skull Island is rated PG-13 and has a running time of 118 minutes.

Kong: Skull Island – Quick Movie Take

In Defense of…Warcraft

In my latest column, I’ll be defending movies that were not received well, did lousy at the box office, critically panned, or altogether forgotten about. Most of them will, probably, be fairy tale movies. You’ve been forewarned.

The first film I plan on tackling is one that is still in theaters. You may have heard of Warcraft by now. But you may have not.  The current film is directed by Duncan Jones (Moon) and stars Travis Fimmel as Lothar, Paula Patton as Garona, and Ben Foster as Medivh.  The budget was an estimated $160M and has since made only $38M back domestically. However, international box office numbers take the total gross to over $308M, making it the most profitable video game film to date.  It has received the following ratings:

IMDB: 7.6 out of 10
Rotten Tomatoes: 29%
Metacritic: 32 (out of 100)

Why Warcraft is failing (at least in the US)?

Warcraft and it’s numerous successors, including industry giant World of Warcraft have been pinnacle in PC gaming.  Over the years, they have transformed gaming into what it is today, creating rich characters, backgrounds, and mythologies as well as stunning visuals.  That’s not what American cinema is used to, though.  It’s not always looking for a bigger picture, which is just what Warcraft is doing.  If Blizzard was interested in making only one film, the story would have been much more concise and linear. Certain characters would have fallen in love while others would have lived to see the end.  Since Warcraft is trying to build a cinematic world and not a one-time cinematic experience, they’re thinking of movies 2-6 here instead. American cinema is often short sighted and the universe building doesn’t plan for the future past the next film (Marvel is guilty of this).

Warcraft - Garona

That’s not the only reason why the film isn’t doing exactly well, either. While sitting in the movie, I had no idea what was going on. The movie assumes that you either already know the backstory to Warcraft or that you’ll pick it up eventually. For me, it was latter. It took awhile to figure out certain characters or be invested in the plot, but it got me there.  I don’t feel like it’s such a stretch if American audiences didn’t immediately cling on to it because of the aforementioned reasons.

Where Warcraft Succeeded

Warcraft - Lothar and Khadgar

Warcraft is visually stunning if nothing else. The technology used to portray the world of Azeroth is absolutely incredible. At no point does something look “off” or as if they cut corners at any time.  Because of this, it’s easy to get sucked in. If you’re not worried about why this effect didn’t match this one from earlier, you’re more willing to grab on to the rest of the story and Warcraft’s consistency assists in this.

The acting was outstanding as well. With fantasy films that have a niche following, it can be difficult to bring in outsiders who care and understand the world as much as the original creators do and the fans that have grown it. Yet Warcraft did a superb job of bringing in actors who would care just as much about the subject matter as the others involved. Ben Foster was perfectly cast as Medivh, slipping seamlessly into the role so that I hardly recognized him. Paula Patton was a beautifully tragic Garona, successfully splitting her character between two worlds. Considering most of the time the actors were talking to tennis balls and MOKAP suits, I’m pleased with how much depth each person was able to bring into their stories.

Why You Should Give it A Chance

The movie is fun. It’s a great beginning to, what I hope, will be a continuous adventure. Within a few minutes, I felt captivated to learn more, and by the end, all I wanted was for the story to continue.  I was never into Warcraft before, but now I have no choice but to continue to feed that new interest of mine. I want to know the stories of Lothar, Garona, and Khadgar.  I want to read the books, play the games, and see more stories on the big screen. And that, is the point of any new series: draw in new fans to love what so many others do already.

Catch the latest TV spot below and find out more at WarcraftMovie.com.

Do you agree with my assessment? Do you have other thoughts? Comment below or our on Facebook page!

In Defense of…Warcraft

Warcraft – Blizzard’s First Feature Film & Fan First Event

(Updated: May 7th, 2016 to include Fan First Even details)

Warcraft. For those in the gaming world, the name has stood the test of time. The MMO World of Warcraft set the bar for the genre and now, Blizzard Entertainment along with Legendary and Universal are bringing the world to the live action big screen.

“From Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures comes Warcraft, an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict based on Blizzard Entertainment’s global phenomenon.

The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another.  As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction.  From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home.

So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.”

Warcraft Movie Poster

The film is directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) and stars Travis Fimmel (Vikings), Paula Patton (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Deja Vu), and Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma, Lone Survivor).

Many, myself included, are excited to see an epic such as this from Blizzard. The company is internationally known for their incredible in-game cut scenes from games like Diablo III and even the animated short for the announcement of Overwatch, the company’s first FPS (first-person shooter) set to release on May 24th.

Warcraft is slated for a June 10th release which is good news since it was originally slated for March. The move to the summer puts it right in the spotlight of major blockbusters, especially with Independence Day: Resurgence and Star Trek Beyond set to hit shortly after.

AMC Theaters announced this week that there will be a special Wednesday, June 8th 7PM showing in IMAX 3D for their “Fan First Event”. This event will allow people to see the movie a full day before anyone else in the States. It includes about 10 minutes of behind the scenes footage plus red carpet premiere footage. In additional to extra footage, viewers will also receive a special lanyard and mini one sheet in celebration of the special event. It’s only playing in a handful of AMC’s around the country and prices do vary. My theater, for example, is $27.20 per ticket. Get details here.

Are you a WoW fan? Are you excited to see Warcraft on the big screen? Will you be attending the Fan First Event? Comment below with your thoughts.

Oh and FOR THE HORDE!

Warcraft – Blizzard’s First Feature Film & Fan First Event

Godzilla Resurgence And Why It Will Melt Your Face

Guess what folks….there is going to be another Godzilla movie, and it is not the one you are thinking about. Toho Co. Ltd,  the company that created the character originally in 1954 is releasing a new Godzilla movie this summer and they are pulling no punches.

Following the worldwide success of the Hollywood 2014 remake, Toho saw an avenue to capitalize on the character’s newfound popularity. Make another movie.

Between the latest 2014 movie and the Hollywood sequel Gareth Edwards is directing for a June 2018 release, Toho will be releasing Shin Gojira in Japan this summer. But why would anyone want to watch yet another Godzilla movie, let alone another Japanese one? After time travel you think the bottom of the idea bin would have been scraped clean.

The answer is well yeah, the idea bin is pretty empty but a new take on some old material goes a long way. Shin Gojira (which is Godzilla Resurgence to us English speakers) is not going to be like any Godzilla movie that has come before it bar one: the original, Gojira.

Every single Godzilla movie that Toho has produced up until now has had one thing in common, it is either a sequel or in a line of sequels related to the original film.  What gets me excited is this latest film is a remake of the original, being done by the original studio. For those of you who don’t know or have not seen the original Gojira, it’s dark. Like a mother telling her two small children in a burning alley that they are all going to die dark. Poisoned water dark. Flesh melting off bones dark. Darker than Batman’s cape dark – especially considering the time which was 1954.

So what we essentially going to be expecting, the rest of the Godzilla fans and I, is a very grim movie relative to the Hollywood remake, and quite frankly, any other Godzilla movie to date.

In addition to the general aura of darkness that comes from restarting the series, Toho has sprinkled a few hints to the media at large as to what to expect. Firstly, they are not being shy with their Godzilla. So far he is the biggest yet, just a hair larger than the Hollywood version as if to say to Legendary, “We will not be outdone.” The other thing is the way he looks – and if I could describe him in two words: NOT FRIENDLY.

Matt Frank - Godzilla

Matt Frank’s Godzilla

A special thanks to artist and avid kaiju fan Matt Frank for allowing us to show his rendition of the newest incarnation of Godzilla! Check out his website for more of his amazing work.

Godzilla’s origins haven’t really changed much throughout his career, and with the exception of the Hollywood remake, he is generally considered a mutation. This time around someone at Toho got tired of him looking so nice. Godzilla is supposed to be a generally cranky sea monster who had an atomic weapon dropped his head, and then decided he wasn’t going to stand for that kind of mischief any more. Our new Godzilla looks like a bomb was dropped on him. It looks like it hurt, and it looks like he is not enjoying the recovery. This actually hearkens back to the original design of the character, right down to the beady white eyes and the undersized, almost skeletal hands. The original design of Godzilla’s skin is supposed to look like keloid scarring, and in this film’s incarnation you can tell that has been emphasized. So, from a perspective of making Godzilla look honest to his origin, this film is pretty on point.

The only thing that could possibly detract from the film, or at least one meant to be this serious (or this important to the studio) is the person in the director’s chair. Luckily enough, this film is getting not one, but two directors, and they are both very intriguing choices. The first of the directors, and the one who wrote the script is Hideaki Anno who is known from the anime hit Neon Genesis Evangelion (think anime Pacific Rim). His style is regarded as being postmodern and what he excels at is fleshing out characters, something that monster movies generally don’t do well, but something that the original Gojira is known for. The co-director Shinji Higuchi is a veteran of the kaiju (Japanese giant monster) genre having worked on the Gamera (if Godzilla was a turtle) films of the 1990’s which were all very well received.

So, in essence, we have the makings of a character driven, gritty, dark Godzilla that should be a good reboot of the original classic film. All of this accounted for, when Godzilla Resurgence rises out of the Pacific for an American audience this fan will be among those at the front of the running crowd to see it.

Shin Gojira will be released July 29th, 2016 in Japan. Godzilla Resurgence which is the English version of the film has yet to have its release date announced.

Shin Gojira poster

Are you excited for the latest incarnation of Godzilla? Are you looking forward to a new Japanese version? Comment below!

Godzilla Resurgence And Why It Will Melt Your Face

Crimson Peak: A Spoiler-Filled Review

Crimson Peak is a new horror film from famed Director and Writer Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pacific Rim, Pan’s Labyrinth). I, for one, am a huge fan of Pacific Rim and can’t wait for the sequel. Crimson Peak stars Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland (2010)), Jessica Chastain (The Martian, Interstellar, Zero Dark Thirty), and Tom Hiddleston (Thor, Avengers, and the upcoming Kong: Skull Island), along with Charlie Hunnam (Pacifc Rim, Sons of Anarchy).

Crimson Peak Summary

The film takes place during the late 19th century, beginning in the United States and then spending the second half of the film in England. In short, Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) joins Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) at their old, run down mansion in England. The whole story is odd to me, but here’s the basic rundown with spoilers. Edith comes from money, lots of it. Her father was a hardworking man who has made something of his life and in turn, Thomas Sharpe comes to America in search of money. The Sharpe family had money at one point but it long since gone, their home literally falling apart back in England. Thomas Sharpe has a plan to get money rolling back in using the red clay under his property but he needs funding for his excavation machine. Crimson Peak EdithEdith’s father turns down his proposal. Meanwhile, Thomas takes an interest in Edith. Things seem nice at first but, long story short, Edith’s father uncovers incriminating evidence against Thomas and tells him to break Edith’s heart and leave, even paying him a decent sum of money to do so. Then, not surprisingly, Edith’s father is murdered in the wash room by an unknown figure… we are to assume it’s Thomas or his sister Lucille. Edith quickly marries Thomas. In fact, it seems that she does so before the funeral even occurs but either way, she moves to England, selling off everything she and her father owned and is in the process of transferring his family’s wealth into Thomas’s name for use on the excavation equipment, theoretically.

Now that we are at the mansion, creepy things happen. Edith sees ghosts, terrible ghosts, which are portrayed in a very unique way. We quickly figure out that a lot of murder has occurred in this home and Edith is becoming ill, likely due to some kind of poison. Meanwhile, back in the United States, Crimson Peak Thomas SharpeDr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam), who had taken an interest in Edith, is not convinced that Carter Cushing’s death was an accident but apparently no one else cared to investigate. More on that later. McMichael leaves the U.S. to find and presumably rescue Edith. During this time, Edith discovers that she is in fact being poisoned via her tea that is prepared by Lucille and that Lucille and Thomas have been planning this murder all along. What’s more important is that we finally find out that this mansion is Crimson Peak. Why is this important? When Edith was a child, the ghost of her mother came to her and warned her to beware of Crimson Peak. She doesn’t discover this nickname until it’s far too late and she is quite ill.

Thomas begins to have doubts about the murder because he has fallen in love with Edith. We find out that Thomas was married before and that at least three other woman have been targets of this nature, all now dead. THEN we find out that Thomas and his sister Lucille have an intimate, sexual relationship between the two of them, even producing a child at one point… which Lucille murders. Alright, so Dr. McMichael shows up, tries to take Edith away but is stabbed by Lucille. Thomas then takes advantage of the situation to pretend to kill McMichael to he can save Edith. Thomas is killed by his own sister in a fit of rage. The final battle, so to speak, takes place out in the snow between Edith and Lucille, with McMichael slowing bleeding out in the mines. Edith is victorious thanks to a timely appearance of Thomas’s ghost, which distracts Lucille long enough for Edith to bash her head in with a shovel.

Okay, so that’s what happens.

What I Liked About Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak is a beautiful movie. The colors, the costumes, the digital effects of the ghosts, all beautiful. I love the time period and the style of the film. I truly felt part of that era and the characters felt at home in that time. The state of the mansion was never questioned. It was ready to fall apart. All of the sets were designed perfectly, though overly dramatic at times.

Crimson Peak Lucille Sharpe

The acting was also pretty solid. I thought Jessica Chastain stole the show with her character being the most consistent and threatening. I also truly enjoyed Jim Beaver’s performance as Carter Cushing, as short as it was. He was perfect for the role and I’d wished he had survived if only to see him in another scene.

What I Disliked About Crimson Peak

I did not like this movie. I did not enjoy it and I would not watch it again. Why? There are several reasons. First, the whole plot is thin and illogical. Thomas Sharpe travels the world pretending to look for money and then winning over daughters from rich families. Then his sister dispatches with those families, forcing the daughter to be the heir to the fortunes. Thomas marries the woman and waits out Lucille to murder her in some way, usually poison. Let’s put aside how expensive it is to travel the world (the siblings had been to Italy, France, and the United States among other places), wouldn’t it be infinitely easier for Lucille, as a woman, to win over a single male with money? Second, they are only in this situation because they refuse to leave their family house which it turns out they hate anyway? All this while the siblings have a romantic relationship. Okay, let’s put that aside for a minute and focus on the murder of Carter Cushing. This is a decent sized man, nearing 60. He is preparing to shave in a fairly large wash room that has several attendants. While alone… completely, 100% alone for some reason, with no attendants anywhere in earshot… Lucille sneaks in (a woman in a men’s room in the 19th century) and is able to slam Cushing’s head against a sink not once but several times, literally crushing in the skull in more than one spot. Then, he is left dead on the floor, blood everywhere. She magically slips out. Then, no one wants to investigate the death. Everyone, except Dr. McMichael, believes Cushing slipped and hit his head….. half a dozen times and hard enough to not just knock himself out, or split his head open, but to literally crush an entire chunk of the skull, exposing the brain. Alright, let’s put that aside. Then, Edith quickly sells everything she and her father owned, marries Thomas and moves across the Atlantic, when not a week before, she was desperately trying to get her memoir published using every connection she had. Why did she give everything up so quickly? She was hurt and sad, of course, but she seemed very conscious and alert by the time she arrived in England. This decision seemed completely inconsistent with a character we are to believe is intelligent and level headed, though stubborn.  Finally, everything is so contrived. They sell clay which turns the snow red which is why it’s called Crimson Peak. It’s the dead of winter, so the Post Office is closed and that’s the only building anywhere near Crimson Peak. No police officials or lawyers want to investigate the violent death of one of the most prominent men in the city but the doctor who just got back in town is a resident Sherlock Holmes… which is also referenced early in the film for, I suppose, foreshadowing. Everything is so heavy handed. Edith’s memoir includes ghosts but it’s not a ghost story. The ghosts are just a metaphor for the past. Guess what? That’s actually the synopsis for the film she is in. Crimson Peak has ghosts but it’s not a ghost story. They are there to warn about the past.

Crimson Peak Conclusion

Crimson Peak Sharpe Family

In the end, it’s a wonderfully beautiful film that falls flat for its contrived, heavy handed, ridiculous plot. The actors are solid with Chastain stealing the show. If you love horror films, you might enjoy some aspects of this movie but if you take a minute to think about the plot and everything that it takes to get you to the climax and resolution, you’ll realize that this is a poorly orchestrated story.

I give it 2 poisoned cups of tea out of 5.

What did you think of Crimson Peak? Comment below with your thoughts!

Crimson Peak: A Spoiler-Filled Review