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Shaky Cam Movie Week Movie 3 – REC (2007)– Infectiously Awesome

Rec_posterIf you’ve seen the movie Quarantine and wish you had the time you wasted on that back… well I can’t help you there, but I can suggest you watch REC, as this is what Quarantine was supposed to be, as this is the movie that it was based on.

2007’s REC is a Spanish horror film that follows a reporter, Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco), and her camera man as they document the goings on of a Spanish Fire Hall for her show, While You’re Sleeping. At first it’s regular stuff, talking to the Firefighters about how they spend their time, what and when they eat and sleep, what they do for fun while waiting for a call and such. But when they tag along on a call of an old woman trapped, and possibly injured in her apartment, everything changes. Arriving at the apartment building, they find a police vehicle there already. The officer explains that the lady is in her apartment in the upper level of the building and that screams were heard from the suite. Breaking in the door and entering, they find the lady, distressed, and bloody, wearing her night clothes (or a slip). Approaching here, calmly and talking, trying to get her to relax, she attacks and bites the hell out of one of the fire fighters in a fit of manic rage.Everyone quickly retreats from the apartment. though one firefighter stays behind on the upper floor, and the bitten firefighter quickly falls gravely ill… Meanwhile, the residents of the building, who have been gathered in the foyer of the building are getting nervous, and tense, demanding answers. When the department of health shows up and seals off the building, preventing anyone from leaving, the tensions grow even higher. You see, there is a disease going through the place and the authorities obviously see t as a severe threat, treating it on par with a chemical, germ or nuclear threat. As time passes, the threat grows, with the already bitten and injured rising up, zombie like and attacking the non-injured. Add to this a cop that has obviously been put into a situation that is above his pay scale, things really start to fall apart, and with no end obviously in site for the trapped.  The fearful remaining unaffected people are starting to throw blame around… eventually, when a health inspector enters (dressed in a hasmat suit that makes the already frightened residents more upset), he is compelled to reveal that one of the residents dog, brought to the vet as ill, was carrying an unknown, extremely viral disease. The dog, showed the same aggressiveness as the people did once fully sickened. As time goes by more and more fall to the disease or the attacks of those already afflicted… all the while Ángela keeps filming, capturing everything, while trying to find a away out of the infected building… Trying to escape the growing hoard, they make their way frantically to the Penthouse suite, reported closed up for years by it’s owner. In the suite the reporter and her cameraman discover what may lay behind the outbreak… and something much more terrifying.

This movie, was so good. I had no idea as to what it was about, but my movie watching buddy thought it would be a good choice for this week’s theme and he was right. If you haven’t seen this gem then you should. It’s pretty short (only an hour and fifteen minutes), but so packed with tense action that it feels longer (in a good way). So, as stated at the beginning of this write up, if you were dissatisfied with the movie, Quarantine, and want to see the way it should have been see this film. Or, if you just want to watch a god movie, also watch this film.

Check out the trailer below:

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Escape From L.A. (1996) – Snake Plissken Is Back In A Parody Of His Own, Old Adventure

Escape_From_LAEscape From LA is the 1996 unnecessary sequel to the classic 1981 action film, Escape from New York. In Escape From New York, Snake Plissken (played by Kurt Russell), is enlisted to rescue the President, who’s plane has crashed in New York. New York, once a bustling metropolis, has been turned into a giant prison without guards, and run by different factions of criminals. Plissken goes in, and against all odds, rescues the President. In the 1996 sequel, Snake is back (and still being played by Kurt Russell). This time he is expected to retrieve a control for a space based nuclear weapons platform that was stolen by the new, President for Life’s daughter in an act of defiance, and brought to LA, now also a prison, separated from the rest of the continental United States by an earthquake, and given to Cuervo Jones (Georges Corraface), an ex Peruvian Shining Path rebel, and leader of the most powerful faction of criminals in L.A. Snake originally turns down the job… that is until he finds out he has no real choice in the matter, and only has about a day to complete the task…or else. Once in L.A., Plissken goes about the task of locating the President’s daughter and Cuervo. At first it seems like he may get some help from "Map to the Stars" Eddie (Steve Buscemi), but maybe…. just maybe Eddie has his own plans.

Anyway, Plissken gets captured, gets loose, gets into some fights (with and without weapons), and of course, gets the job done. But with almost all movies, things just aren’t that simple. Who is the true bad guy?

This is a silly, parody o the original Escape From New York. I could see some true fans of the original possibly hating this movie, but if you watch it with the mindset similar to mine, where you were looking for some silly action entertainment, then you might like it. Just don’t go in expecting a serious, action movie and you should be okay.

Check out the trailer below:


Eastwood Week Movie 3 – Any Which Way You Can (1980)–Clint’s Great Follow Up To Every Which Way But Loose

Any_which_way_you_canIf you read my review of Every Which Way But Loose, then you know I like that movie. Well, this is the sequel to that movie, and you know what? I like this one too.

Any Which Way You Can is the 1980 follow up to the block buster comedy, Every Which Way But Loose, and it is damned funny. Clint Eastwood returns as the Truck Driver/prize fighter, Orangutan owning Philo Beddle, as well as Geoffrey Lewis as Orville Boggs as Philo’s best human buddy, and Manis the Ape as Clyde, Philo’s best non human buddy. Also returning is Ruth Gordon as Philo’s cantankerous mother and Sandra Locke as Philo’s love interest, Lynn Halsey-Taylor. In this movie, we find Philo has continued his side line as a tough son of a bitch prize fighter. Only he’s decided to retire, having noticed he was starting to enjoy the pain. Unfortunately, the Mafia wants to setup a match between Philo and Jack Wilson, a new style of fighter that mixes boxing and martial arts together, and has managed to kill three opponents and scramble the brains of a fourth victim. Approached by the Mafia, hoping to setup this fight, Philo initially says no, but when the mob ups it to $50,000, win or lose, Philo changes his mind and accepts the fight. When Philo and Jack actually meet, it turns out that they actually get a long. They decide there is no real reason for the fight and mutually decide to call it off. The Mafia, seeing that they are about to lose the biggest grossing illegal prize fight ever, decide to kidnap Lynn Halsey-Taylor, Philo’s returning (and redeemed), love interest in order to force the fight. Frank and Philo take care of that situation, but both realize that they can’t leave the question of who would have won the fight open, so they decide to battle it out. Oh! Also returning the is Black Widows: a comical outlaw biker gang that really have it in for Philo, despite the fact that when ever they come into conflict with him, he ends up kicking their ass and they end up with less bikes. This time though, things end on a high note for them and their relationship with Philo.

This is such a fun movie, and watched back to back with Every Which Way But Loose would make for a great evening of movie watching. I heartily recommend this film and it’s predecessor. Check out the trailer below:


Godzilla Week Movie 3 – Godzilla Vs. Hedorah (1971) – Godzilla Takes Out The Trash!!!

Godzilla_vs_Hedorah_1971Most people in North America would know this movie as Godzilla Versus the Smog Monster, though it’s original release title is Godzilla Versus Hedorah. That said, they are both the same movie.

In 1971’s Godzilla Vs. Hedorah , Japan has a new enemy: a new creature that has evolved to live on the pollutants of our modern society. Not only that, but it is producing deadly pollution itself, incapacitating and humans that may get close. This is a disaster!!! Oh, and guess what? Godzilla doesn’t like to see other monsters on it’s own turf. Yeah, Godzilla and Hedorah are heading for a showdown. I pity the Japanese that get caught in the middle!

So, this is a time when the Godzilla character was transitioning from a bad guy who seemed to get kicks from beating the crap out of Tokyo and other Japanese cities, to a protector of the Japanese people. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be injured or killed if you get too close: Godzilla is a Big Picture kind of monster, and may stomp the occasional person or building on the sidelines. Heck – you might even get drowned in a big piece of polluted monster if you are not careful – should have stayed away from Godzilla, idiot…

Godzilla Vs Hedorah is actually one of my favourite Godzilla movies, and I really like the three stage design of the Hedorah – pretty cool, and add a neat, cheezy transition effect between the stages and you’ve got gold. Add to that the hippiness of the movie – lots of trippy music and psychedelic gels, and some trippy animated series really reminds you of when this movie was made – and that in my opinion is a very good and neat thing. Without a doubt, I would say that this is the most unique Godzilla movie that I have watched (so far, at least). Should you watch it? You should watch ALL Godzilla movies (with the exception of the Mathew Broderick version), but you should especially watch this Godzilla movie.

Check out the trailer below:


Godzilla Week Movie 2 – King Kong Versus Godzilla (1963) Gorilla Versus Lizard Madness

King_Kong_vs_Godzilla_1962I am so damned glad we are doing Godzilla Week because I am getting to relive some great childhood memories along the way.

1963’s King Kong vs Godzilla is a movie that I saw as a very young child and I tell you, it stuck with me through the years. Heck, I thought this movie was in black and white – turns out I watched it on a black and white TV back in the day! Well, this movie is in glorious colour.

So, a Godzilla has escaped from a frozen chunk of an iceberg, and recently King Kong has been discovered to be a real thing. Okay, he’s a bit of a lush (or junkie), having become addicted to a narcotic berry juice that the locals on the the south Pacific island that Kong calls home. Back to Godzilla: Of course Godzilla is bent of some big time Japanese destruction. From their previous encounters with Godzilla, the Japanese know they are in trouble. Why not play Godzilla off against Kong and maybe the two monsters will destroy each other and Japan can go back to it’s daily normal schedule? Well that is just what is done, in this epic meeting of two iconic movie monsters.

King Kong Versus Godzilla is a fun monster mash of Japanese destruction, tied together with and interesting concept: The action is being described and reported (between scenes), by what appear to be reporters working for the United Nations. Fun stuff!

So, check out this amazing monster movie!

Here is the trailer:


Godzilla Week Movie 1 – Gojira (1954) – Godzilla Makes It’s Debut And Japan Is Screwed

Gojira_1954_Japanese_poster1954’s Gojira (the Japanese name for Godzilla, and not some cheap knock off of the Godzilla licence) if the first appearance of Godzilla in film, and it’s a good one.

A Japanese film, through and through, Gojira tells the tale of an ancient beast, a creature of legends, that has been released from it’s lair beneath the ocean when it’s home is destroyed by atomic tests being conducted in the Pacific ocean (this is the early to mid-1950s, after all). At first a few boats go missing with no clues. When a few survivors are found, they speak seemingly gibberish about the ocean exploding. Seems only an old and grumpy man, knows what’s happening when he starts talking about the old legends of a giant lizard beast that would emerge and wreak havoc, and how they used to appease the beast by setting the occasional girl adrift on a raft for the creature’s snacking pleasure. Finally enough sightings and reports of the creature start coming through that a scientific research team is put together to study the beast. Once they discover that Godzilla is real, it’s then up to the military to destroy Godilla, who is now working it’s way towards Tokyo. As usual, (though not “as usual” for the audiences of 1954), traditional tactics do nothing but piss the monster off, and just causes more destruction. It’s not until a physically and emotionally scarred scientist is convinced to use his discovery, a device that destroys oxygen and liquefies living flesh, that Japan has even a slim hope of surviving the monster’s attack.

Gojira is as good as an introduction to a movie beast as any I’ve seen. The creature design has proven solid, as this 1954 Godzilla still looks like the same Godzilla that you would find in the 60’s,70’s and beyond (except for that crappy American Godzilla movie). Also, the creatures iconic roar is there, right from the start. It’s also interesting to watch this film with the knowledge that this was made in a Japan that is very different from today’s Japan. This is a Japan that was still healing from a World War that almost decimated them. The war is mentioned, and the testing of nuclear weapons are highlighted as a bad thing. If you like Godzilla, then you have to watch this film. If you are unsure if you like Godzilla, then you have to watch this and a number of other Godzilla movies if you really want to decide if you are a fan or not. I know I am.

Check out the trailer below:


Godzilla Week!!!!

Godzilla_'54_design

You read that right: This week of movie watching is dedicated to everybody’s favourite, reptilian destroyer of Japanese cities, Godzilla (a.k.a. Gojira).

Why Godzilla? Well, it started after watching Dragonslayer – I was talking to my buddy and thought that perhaps a week dedicated to movies about Dragons might be a cool idea… Until I started searching out movies about Dragons – there aren’t many, and for the most part, the ones that do exist I am not interested in. Except one thing: I consider Godzilla to be a Dragon, and there are a lot of Godzilla movies to choose from, and I just happen to like Godzilla. I think this is what is known as a Win/Win situation folks. Over the next week I will write up the Godzilla movies I watch and share them with you, as usual. But take note: I will not be watching the travesty of a Godzilla movie that starred Mathew Broderick – to me that is not a true Godzilla movie.

So… Welcome to Godzilla Week my Internet friends!