Godzilla the Series: An Exercise in Over-Analysis – Part IX

Episode 10 – Bird of Paradise

Inside the sweaty jungles of what the title card tells us is the Yucatan, a red-headed backpacker finds himself face to face with an Aztec pyramid, built into the side of a volcano. “There you are,” he says, as if greeting an old friend. Inside the pyramid, our Dollar Store Indiana Jones discovers a secret passage into the volcano’s crater, complete with sacrificial alter and emerald-eyed bird statue. Because Aztec engineers were just that cool, touching said statue makes the emerald eye glow and sets off a small eruption. A screaming, red shape escapes from the resulting blast of lava and noxious fumes. Cue credits.

Meanwhile, back at H.E.A.T. Headquarters, all’s right with the world. Godzilla’s eating fish, Dr. Nick’s making notes, and Randy continues to labor under the delusion that he’s funny. Dr. Elsie Chapman and DGSE Agent Monique Dupre are caught up in that great American pastime: watching television. (Some scientists you all turned to be.) Good thing, too. Otherwise they might never have learned about the, “mysterious wave of destruction sweeping across southern Mexico.” Continue reading Godzilla the Series: An Exercise in Over-Analysis – Part IX

The Island (2005)

Parts: The Lens Flare Horror
Parts: The Lens Flare Horror

I expected to hate The Island. But 2005 was a real bi-polar year. We all learned what it means to miss New Orleans, but look on the bright side: Batman came back to unexpectedly-viable life, I was enjoying all the benefits of dating a Reed College student, and Michael Bay directed a film that doesn’t totally suck. It’s not good…but it fits in with the general tone of this site a whole hell of a lot better than, say, The Rock. I’m a Sci-Fi geek through and through. Gave up making apologies for that sometime in the early-90s, around the time Star Trek started rocking my world.

As such, I could care less about frat boy circle jerks, like the Bad Boys duology or Pearl Harbor. This film faced longer odds then a sailor on the U.S.S. Arizona on December 7, 1941. And yet it…kinda…sorta…beat them. Continue reading The Island (2005)

Godzilla the Series: An Exercise in Over-Analysis – Part VIII

"A $60 wet bar? Screw you, package tours! Godzilla SMASH!"
“A $60 wet bar? Screw you! Godzilla SMASH!”

Episode 9 – Hive

On the vaguely-Pacific island of Santa Marta, a species of enormous, animate plant disturbs a band of youthful-looking looters come to scavenge the island’s hastily-evacuated luxury resort. So, in five seconds we have a deserted island, a grumbling volcano, and plants trying to build up their Hentai street-cred. Just another day in Godzilla: The Series.

And, like any other day, H.E.A.T. arrives after the credits, and team lead Nick Tatopolus is quick to claim the moral high ground. “We’re not just here on their word,” meaning the word of those damned looters. “The resort company also asked us to check it out.” The increasingly-annoying Randy, for once, delivers some useful information with his follow-up quip. “And he asked in the universal language: moolah.”

So there’s one groovy mystery solved. We know now that H.E.A.T., like the Ghostbusters before them, works on spec. Probably offering “professional megafauna investigation and elimination.” Or, in the managerial argot of the late-90s, “innovative, giant monster relocation services and solutions.” Continue reading Godzilla the Series: An Exercise in Over-Analysis – Part VIII

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

"Round 1: FIGHT!"
"Round 1: FIGHT!" Portrait of a film critic and this godforsaken franchise.

Or, The One Everyone Hates. And I mean really, really, really hates. That’d be Part V for me, but I understand why everyone pretends that false start of A New Beginning never happened. And I understand the hatred of this…thing.

Seriously, this is Friday the 13th Lite, a cringing, half-hearted attempt to shift the series toward (of all things) respectability. It ended up disappointing everyone from casual movie watchers to the stuffed suits at the top of Paramount’s food chain by exceeding even the most cynical critic’s lowest expectations. Bucking a trend for the series, turned out to be derivative and dull. How did this happen? How did one of the most iconic horror franchises in history sink so low? Continue reading Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

Bad Boys II (2003)

And here's everything you need to know about this film in ONE image.
And here’s everything you need to know about this film in ONE image.

Instead of doing my normal thing, I thought I’d summarize this film from the perspective of an actual Michael Bay fan. So I went and kidnapped one: Mr. Daniel Ichluguer. After a few days of torturous medical experimentation by my Mad Scientist alter-ego (some of us had one back in ’99, before it was cool) I think I’ve finally got him to the point where he’ll do pretty much whatever I want, so long as I use his control phrase. So, Daniel…would you kindly summarize the film for my reading audience?

Dude! So there’s like, this guy, right? And he’s all like, tryin’ to be all that in the Miami drug scene, know what I mean, playah? He’s like, smuggling ecstasy outta Amsterdam (cuz that’s where drugs come from) in like, coffins and shit, cuz he own this funeral home as a front, right? Like those queers on Six Feet Under. But it ain’t like, a gay thing: it’s a man thing. Martin Lawrence even says so. Continue reading Bad Boys II (2003)