Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

In reviewing Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, I summed up my not-really-a-conclusion thus: “If the next two films are great, this will hopefully seem like an elegant piece of scene-setting. If they’re lousy, this will seem like a huge missed opportunity that wasted too much time getting to the good stuff”. As it turns out, […]

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a peculiar thing: it’s a sequel for people who didn’t like the original movie. Myself, I still think the 2014 Godzilla is a hell of a picture, capturing a sense of genuine non-humanity in its scale and scope: it’s a movie about things so big that there’s simply no […]

The pleasures of 2013’s Pacific Rim are not extreme, but they do exist, mostly because of the unstinting pleasure director Guillermo del Toro self-evidently took in his fantasy of giant robots squaring off against giant alien monsters. It stands to reason that the absence of del Toro means the absence of that pleasure and lo! […]

Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters might very well represent the largest shift in the Godzilla formula since 1964’s Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, and not just because Planet of the Monsters is the first animated Godzilla feature (there have been multiple animated Godzilla TV series produced in both Japan and the United States).* Though it’s unlikely […]

The concept of Colossal is so irresistible, it’s almost impossible to believe that a movie as fumbling as Colossal could have possibly been made out of it. Herein is the story of a woman named Gloria (Anne Hathaway), who has succeeded in fucking up her whole adulthood as a New York-based writer due to alcohol, […]

Over the 62 years of its existence, Godzilla has been anything and everything: metaphor for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, dangerous animal, force of nature, warrior for the environment, psychic hangover from of WWII, friend to all children, giant hermaphroditic iguana. There’s no such thing, really as a “normal” Godzilla or a normal Godzilla picture, and that’s […]

Seven years after Kaneko Shusuke put to bed his grand re-casting of goofy-ass ’60s monster Gamera as something like a force of nature over a trilogy of some of the best daikaiju eiga ever made, Kadokawa Pictures – the company that had ultimately gathered up the tattered remains of Daiei Film in the interim – […]

I don’t know at what point director Kaneko Shusuke and writer Ito Kazunori decided that their makeover of Daiei’s loopy turtle monster Gamera was going to be a trilogy, nor do I know if they had it in mind from the very beginning how they were going to end. But oh, how much 1999’s Gamera […]

A little friendly argument flared up in the comments of my review of Gamera: Guardian of the Universe about the relative quality of the movies that make up director Kaneko Shusuke and writer Ito Kazunori’s Gamera trilogy of the 1990s. And through this, I was amused to discover that, while there are only six possible […]

I wonder if 1995’s Gamera: Guardian of the Universe is without precedent in how massive a shift it makes in tone from anything that precedes it? The closest thing I can come up with is Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman, which brought a considerable degree of sharp-edged grimness to a property that most people still associated […]

Once upon a time, like, four days ago, I brightly and innocently declared that I knew what I was getting into with Gamera: Super Monster. I was incorrect. Based on the only things I knew about it, it seemed easy enough to figure out why people hated it: the 1980 one-off resuscitation of the franchise […]

Gamera vs. Zigra didn’t single-handedly drive Daiei Film to bankruptcy; but as one of the last handful of movies that company released before it did temporarily wink out of existence in December, 1971, it’s a rather clear example of what was going on at the studio that forced such a drastic step. It’s a dreadful […]