Movie Reviews

Recommended! Godzilland – Learning How To Count (Review)

March of Godzilla 2019

Recommended! Godzilland – Learning How To Count

aka すすめ!ゴジランド – ~かず1・2・3
Recommended! Godzilland – Learning How To Count
1994
Recommended! Godzilland – Learning How To Count
Do you know how to count? Of course you don’t! It’s hard! Numbers are bad! They each one is a different amount, who has time to count all these numbers? Luckily, Gakken Video and Godzilla are here to help you learn things like numbers and what to do with them. So prepare to get numb, people!

These Godzilland episodes have opening credits with lots of stuff not in the two episodes. Was this all planned but abandoned videos or just a highlight reel to make the series seem more like an actual thing with the monsters going on constant adventures? Buddy, your guess is as good as mine! Confused by Godzilland? Check out the Splash Page!
Recommended! Godzilland – Learning How To Count
Anguirus has made hot tea and cakes for Godzilla’s birthday party. Rodan smells them and demands cake even though Anguirus says to wait. Wow, is this the Rodan from Godzilla: King of the Monsters?

Meanwhile Godzilla bumps into Baragon and they discuss going to Anguirus’s for the party. Mothra also is on the way, while King Ghidorah has already arrived and the party begins.
Recommended! Godzilland – Learning How To Count
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - August 6, 2019 at 12:14 pm

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Recommended! Godzilland – Learning Hiragana (Review)

March of Godzilla 2019

Recommended! Godzilland – Learning Hiragana

aka すすめ!ゴジランド – よめるよ かけるよ ひらがな
Recommended! Godzilland – Learning Hiragana
1994
Recommended! Godzilland – Learning Hiragana
First up is Godzilland video Learning Hiragana (よめるよ かけるよ ひらがな)! Are you cool enough to learn hiragana with Godzilla? Of course you are! Also you are probably a young Japanese kid, or else this would be really weird, like some sort of adult watching these decades after he should have. As these are weird and watching them may rot your brain if not prepared, I’ll be overly descriptive and include a bunch of images.

Godzilland theme has Godzilla jumping up and down on a slot machine, he hits the jackpot and thus all the kaiju flood out as prizes! Godzilla! Rodan! Baragon! Mothra! Mothra! Mothra! (three Mothras, one adult and two larvae) Anguirus! King Ghidorah! It’s monster time, baby!
Recommended! Godzilland – Learning Hiragana
Godzilland is a cool place to explore, please do so. It is required. You can’t leave if you don’t explore, citizen. Please explore only in the clearly defined zones, if you explore in a Red Forbidden Zone, you will be sent to the Judicator to be processed into protein feed. Have a pleasant stay on Godzilland!

For the Monster Roll Call, please check out the complete cast list for these educational Godzilland episodes!!

Ms. Mothra has grown some nice strawberries and invites all the monsters to come try them via letters she drops off. She knows these kaiju are greedy for food and will surely come to pig out. King Ghidorah takes a break from showering (by spitting on himself!) to read the letter. Anguirus is so eager to get a letter he trips over a stump. Godzilla is interrupted from practicing breathing fire by the letter. Rodan immediately shoots off to get strawberries first, but King Ghidora and then Baragon pop up to eat as well. The others arrive, except for Godzilla and Anguirus, who are nowhere to be found. The monsters that did arrive soon eat all the the strawberries.
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - July 31, 2019 at 11:21 am

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Babysplitters (Review)

Babysplitters

Babysplitters
2019
Written and directed by Sam Friedlander
Babysplitters
The final flick of the 2019 CAAMFest evening was Babysplitters, complete with actors Danny Pudi, Emily C. Chang, and writer/director Sam Friedlander in attendance. It was also the best film of the night! Babysplitters is about a modern American couple trying to weigh their aging biological clocks, desires to have children, yet apprehension of giving up their free time and lack of savings. It’s like a laundry list of all the reasons why people claim Millennials aren’t having kids.

Jeff and Sarah Penaras (Danny Pudi and Emily C. Chang) are getting older and making excuses for why they aren’t with kids yet. Jeff is stuck at a great paying job he hates, while meter-maid Sarah spends her time getting into arguments with angry parkers. Their social circle has dwindled as their friends all have kids and disappear, to the point where their only regular hangout partners are fellow childless couple Don and Taylor Small (Eddie Alfano and Maiara Walsh). Jeff comes up with an idea about a startup that lets people split babies. We’re not going King Solomon on this baby, it’s more like a time share. This idea starts to grow on him, and mix one part a couple with reservations and one part a couple with a medical impossibility to have a baby, and you got yourself a baby sharing arrangement!
Babysplitters
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 15, 2019 at 9:03 am

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Go Back To China (Review)

Go Back To China

Go Back To China movie
2019
Written and directed by Emily Ting
Go Back To China movie
Next up on the 2019 CAAMFest slamfest of movies is Go Back To China, a movie about someone who goes back to China. Hold on, because we also have unexpected Richard Ng! Go Back To China has homespun indie cred and delivers a well-trod story (spoiled girl learns responsibility) with new and exciting settings and characters. The film is at its best when Sasha Li (Anna Akana) is still in fish out of water mode, but it unfortunately fails to stick the landing and just sort of ends, which is a darn shame considering the potential it had.

Spoiled trust fund kid Sasha Li can’t get a job and is blowing through her money on parties and shopping, until she is blackmailed by her father Teddy (Richard Ng Yiu-Hon) to return to China to help out at his toy factory, or she’ll be cut off from the rest of the money. Once there, Sasha has to adjust to both a new culture (she was raised in California) and dealing with her cranky father and her many half-siblings. She has an older half-sister, Carol (Lynn Chen – Saving Face), who already had to go back to China and work with dad, as well as two younger siblings from her dad’s next upgrade wife (since divorced, and dad now has a live-in girlfriend with whom he has an “arrangement” with that is the same age as Sasha)

The different aged family members even becomes a plot point, as they both have their own layers of resentment for the families that they were replaced by but also see the same new families get replaced in turn and the kids get filled with the same resentment. Sasha and Carol spar due to both seeing the other as the favored daughter, Carol longing for Sasha’s freedoms while Sasha seeing Carol as just a goody-goody who does whatever dad wants. Teddy shows he still hasn’t learned to be a real father yet when he upsets the next generation of his kids, leading his daughters to have to lead in picking up the mess. As someone with disappointing family members, this is sadly truer than it ever has to be.
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 13, 2019 at 11:56 am

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The Dragon Painter (Review)

The Dragon Painter

The Dragon Painter
1919
Written by Richard Schayer (as E. Richard Schayer)
Based on the Novel by Mary McNeil Fenollosa
Directed by William Worthington

The Dragon Painter
It’s CAAMFest time again, so Tars must chart out a bunch of film he wants to see vs. the actual amount of real world time that he has to go to see the films. This year there was a few Sophie’s Choices among films playing at similar times where I was unable to go to the other shows, so in the end I ended up with three screenings, all in one day! So I’ll make sure all three reviews get put up in one week! First up is 1919’s The Dragon Painter, a silent film presented with a live score!

The Dragon Painter was a production of Haworth Pictures Corporation, which box office star Sessue Hayakawa formed with actor/director William Worthington (hence the name of the company!) This is an important piece of film history, as the big deal is we have Japanese characters being played by Japanese actors, and they aren’t playing stereotypical villain characters, which was the style of the time (and partily how Sessue Hayakawa gained fame!) Hayakawa’s life was amazing, and deserves more focus than just the intro paragraphs of a review of one of his film.

It is easy to see in The Dragon Painter why Hayakawa was so popular, he’s a fountain of pure talent. He begins as a manic madman named Tatsu, obsessed with painting the landscapes, which he claims are paintings of his lady love, a princess who was turned into a dragon by the gods 1000 years earlier. He sleeps in the wilderness and the local villagers largely avoid him (the few who try to cause trouble are easily shook when he threatens them) This is all presented straight, and Hayakawa both sells that a man would live in the wilderness and be obsessed with a dragon princess with a compulsion to paint, but that this is an actual person with the emotional turmoil that the scenario in his mind is causing him painted all over his face.
The Dragon Painter
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 11, 2019 at 6:55 pm

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Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Review)

March of Godzilla 2019

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Godzilla King of the Monsters
2019
Story by Max Borenstein, Michael Dougherty, & Zach Shields
Screenplay by Michael Dougherty & Zach Shields
Directed by Michael Dougherty

Godzilla King of the Monsters
Roaring into theaters is Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the follow up to 2014’s American Godzilla that stays in the same universe but ditches most of the cast. It’s now a few years later, the world knows about monsters, and the Monarch group is besieged by people who want to kill the monsters and people who want to set them all free.

This film is in theaters as I publish this, but it’s the kind of movie that is easy to classify. If you loved the first one, you will love this. If you love giant monsters fighting each other but were disappointed by the lack of monsters in the first one, you’ll probably love this one, as there is lots of monster action. If you want a movie with a good story and don’t care about giant monsters, go see Booksmart or something. Godzilla and other monsters smash stuff up! The humans do questionable things in between being boring! It’s a couple of allegories, some more intentional than others. No reason to get all worked up at the RottenTomatoes score like some people were, this isn’t a movie for everyone, it’s a movie for people who like giant monsters smashing things!

And everything after this paragraph is…..

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!!!!!!!
Godzilla King of the Monsters
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 2, 2019 at 8:44 pm

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