MCTW Podcast: Godzilla: King of the Monsters

godzilla-kingofthemonsters-japaneseposter-full-700x991Ralph and I saw Godzilla: King of the Monsters, so you better believe we’ve got a big, juicy, turgid new episode of the Monsters Conquer the World podcast ready and waiting for you! We’re on the Google Podcasts app now, so you can’t escape us! We’re everywhere!  But in a cool, fun way. Like cheeky prankster ghosts or helpful, centipede-eating spiders.

We dig into the great, the good, and the uh not-quite-as-good aspects of the film. We go frickin’ spoiler crazy starting at 14:50, so you’ve been warned! Ralph is as insightful as ever, but there is also a non-zero chance he may hail from a parallel dimension.  We also wax philosophical on the World’s Strongest Man competition, cinematic treasure Jason X, and  indulge in some extended Bradley Whitford appreciation.  Either hit us up on your pod-catcher of choice or click below and SMURSH that play button:

https://monstersconquer.podbean.com/e/godzilla-king-of-the-monsters-1559636457/

Digging it?  Liking it?  If yes, be sure to subscribe, rate us, tell your friends, whatever you can do! Anything you can do really does help, and you taking the time to do that means the (Monsters Conquer the) world to us.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters — Micro Review

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Just got home from Godzilla: King of the Monsters.  Here’s my spoiler-free micro-review:

HO-LEEEE FUCKING SHIT

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If you are reading this I can all but gurantee you will have a shit-ton of fun seeing this bad boy in the theater.  There is so much to unpack here, gang.  Fuller, deeper, spoiler-ier thoughts and content are on the way (after at least one more viewing 😉 ). Until then, check out this actual footage of me watching the movie:

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“Hahahah yay, horray!”

MCTW Podcast: Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster!

A1mC2faIfpL._SY679_Holy shit!  A full-blown, for-realsies podcast episode! I (a monster movie fanatic) yak with Ralph (a kaiju-curious new guy) about Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster! I’ve got the trivia nugs and industry secrets, but Ralph’s fresh eyes see a thoughtful, deeper meaning in the mayhem! Plus we frame the subs vs. dubs debate with the timeless classic Hercules in New York, reflect on the heart-wrenching father-son drama of A Goofy Movie, channel the wandering spirit of Don Knotts, get FUCKING PSYCHED about Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and more! Open the link below, slap that play button and join us!

https://monstersconquer.podbean.com/e/ghidrah-the-three-headed-monster/

Like it? If so, SICK! We’re gonna do more! You can find us pretty much anywhere you get podcasts (the iTunes store, Spotify, Stitcher, and coming soon to the Google Play Store). Bon appetit!… for your ears?!?!

Revenge of the Most Punchable Face in the Universe!

Godzilla_Anime_2_PosterSo the monthly reviews haven’t exactly been uh, monthly in a while, have they? A solid six months of the hiatus (starting last July) I can pin on getting, struggling with, and moving on from a job that was not a good fit.  The months after that are on me: adjusting to a new job, trying to make time for my people, balancing my other creative endeavors, and wrangling my stupid trash brain all left me without the normal level of chutzpah (and just, you know, time) I need to crank out reviews for your brain and eyeballs.

That stuff’s all true and accurate, but I couldn’t put my finger on why the holdup went on for so long after I worked out the job stuff.  Why have I had blogger’s constipation block? The big reason hadn’t dawned on me until VERY recently: IT’S BECAUSE I’VE BEEN SUBCONSCIOUSLY PUTTING OFF REVIEWING THE SECOND TWO GODZILLA ANIME MOVIES.

I wasn’t exactly crazy about Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, so the prospect of two more full feature films in that world didn’t have me champing at the bit to do more watching and writing.  I’m the one fucking bizarro-world film fan that would rather write about stuff I love than dunk on shit I hate (which to be fair, I don’t hate PotM, just its cruel narcissist protagonist). Big ups then are in order for friend of the blog Ariccio, who Anime_Godzilla_3graciously hosted a stream of Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle and Godzilla: The Planet Eater.  Powering through them both on my own wasn’t something I looked forward to, but knocking ’em out with a bud was a pretty fuckin’ fun afternoon. It also helps that the movies genuinely get progressively better!

Since both sequels were handled by the same creative team as Planet of the Monsters, and since they all collectively tell one big, over-arching story  in the same unique world, I’m rolling my reviews of the two movies into one slightly lighter than normal article. A lot of the behind the scenes/deep dive stuff I normally do was already covered in my PotM review, anyway, so there’s just less junk to ramble about. That said, there’s still plenty of junk to ramble about! Put on your spacesuit, slather yourself in bug-dust, and pray for the second coming of Ghidorah, because we’re finishing this fuckin’ trilogy!

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Don’t be a Gamera: Pooper Monster Check Out Gamera: Super Monster! (Part 2 of 2)

hqdefaultAfter a long and unplanned hiatus, I’m back! And yes, I’m back specifically to finish my long-delayed review of Gamera: Super Monster.

Yes, that Super Monster.  Yes, I’m serious. Its purported badness draws me in like a Mothra to a flame,  but I also really like how fucking weird and doofy (but still sweet!) this flick is. There’s enough unique, charming strangeness here to merit a deep dive.

If you haven’t already, be sure to give part 1 a read here.  Or don’t?  That might be an intriguing/hilarious social experiment!  If you haven’t seen this movie and haven’t read part 1 of my review, go ahead and read this and see if anything that follows makes any fucking sense at all.  If it does, congratulations, you’re either having a nervous breakdown or you’ve achieved total consciousness.

Even if you have seen the movie and/or read the first part of my review, it can still seem like a delightful fever dream: size-shifting Space Women sleep in an invulnerable lunchbox, they operate flying vans and dimensional portals with Casios and look upon Gamera as he relives his greatest Showa-era battles…  who in turn sometimes looks upon random clips of anime… all while a Star Destroyer bombards them with threats and orbital laser strikes! Ready for more?!  TOO BAD!

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Don’t be a Gamera: Pooper Monster, Check Out Gamera: Super Monster! (Part 1 of 2)

tumblr_ofl2y8k4wl1rwn81uo1_1280Ahhhh, Gamera: Super Monster, we meet at last! I had never seen the 1980 entry in the Gamera series until this last month.  Its reputation might lead you to believe I was avoiding it, but come on, you know me better than that!  I was saving this heaping helping of stock-footage fueled weirdness for a rainy (or Michigan-humid) day!

This is a good thing and a bad thing.  The good thing is that I had a lot of fun finally cracking this nut–I basically gifted myself a ridiculous cinematic dessert.  The bad thing is that by the time I snuggled in to watch Super Monster, I had already found out most of its best/strangest details.  In case you’ve never seen this thing and want to ensure you have the maximum WTF experience, I won’t spoil it by listing out all the madness here.  All you really need to know going in is that Super Monster was a blatantly desperate attempt to pump funds into the dying (now long-dead) Daiei studio and it was made on the shoestringiest of budgets (even by Gamera standards).

So fire up your electric organ, fly your magic van someplace safe, and start talkin’ to your watch, because we’re diving in to Gamera: Super Monster!

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Ultraman Review Part 8: Episodes 19 & 20

d17b65bc3cd82d6ba08157d1422ea621Reviewing more Ultraman episodes after a couple months of movie reviews (especially new zillion-dollar Hollywood movies) has weirdly started to feel like coming home.  One of the benefits of Ultraman being a steadily episodic TV series instead of a more disjointed film series like Godzilla or Gamera is its charming and consistent human cast.  I wasn’t so sure about these orange-clad action-scientists early on, but now I tune in for them almost (almost) as much as I do for the giant monster smackdowns!

This month’s duo of episodes load us up with demons, ghosts, and blood feuds that span time and the very barrier between life and death! If you haven’t read any of my Ultraman episode reviews, you’ll probably want to start from the beginning, or maybe just refresh yourself on the most recent round of reviews.  Grab your time capsule and look both ways before crossing Route 87, because it’s time to get ULTRA!

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Wham-page, Bam-page, Thank You Ma’am-page!

1675845.jpg-r_1280_720-f_jpg-q_x-xxyxxAnother month, another Hollywood blockbuster about giant monsters going apeshit on urban population centers! If you told me 5+ years ago that Hollywood tentpole movies were going to veer off into kaiju country this consistently I would’ve told you “I wish!” But yet here we are!

Rampage the movie deviates from its inspiration (the 1986 arcade classic of the same name) in big, obvious ways.  Gone are the cartoony monsters, replaced with more down-to-earth looking giant animals. The carnage and chaos are still there, but you won’t see Rampage’s big screen monsters eating people off of toilets or flapping their arms to stay airborne like their pixelated predecessors.

Even with these large-scale changes, Rampage the movie still takes the time to pay tribute to the beloved old kaiju-themed quarter muncher while delivering a satisfying and, no shit, surprisingly heartfelt monster mash.  It certainly doesn’t hurt that it stars Dwayne The Rock Johnson, one of the most insanely watchable human beings to ever live and a big budget special effect in his own right. HOW does Rampage come out of nowhere and pull all this off?  Stack up some quarters and keep reading!

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It’s not Pacific Rim Surprising that I like Pacific Rim Uprising

DUPoyAKV4AEM5TrIt’s crazy to think that it’s been nearly five years since Pacific Rim debuted in theaters.  While it got a middling-to-positive-ish reaction from mainstream audiences and critics, it spawned a small diehard cult following and made a big ol’ splash overseas (mainly China).

As for me, I loved it (with the exception of Charlie Hunnam’s inexplicably lame performance) and eagerly kept up with news of a sequel (or really any kind of follow-up–I take it the proposed animated series was shit-canned?).  As the years wore on, the sequel (temporarily named “Maelstrom”) looked less and less likely to happen, and with the excitement for Godzilla 2014 (and its associated MonsterVerse) building, I wrote a second Pacific Rim off as a potentially cool movie that we just weren’t likely to get. Fucking Grown Ups 2 beat the original at the box office, after all.

But Wanda Group and John Boyega have cancelled the apocalpyse, snatched Pacific Rim Uprising from the gates of Development Hell, and launched it into theaters last week! But is a Pacific Rim without Guillermo del Toro in the director’s chair really a Pacific Rim at all?  Find somebody that’s drift compatible, initiate your neural handshake, and make sure you’re war ready, we’re re-opening the breach!

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Ultraman Review Part 7: Episodes 16-18

ultraman_japanese_tv_series_title_cardWhoa I haven’t reviewed any Ultraman episodes all year! Time to fix that with a trio of titanic tales! If you’re new here or just need a refresher, be sure to hit up the six previous installments in my review series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Real talk: it’s a little disquieting to see that it’s been over a year since I started reviewing the original Ultraman series and I’m barely halfway done. A lot of that is because I take plenty of breaks–I don’t want MONSTERS CONQUER THE WORLD to become an all-Ultraman all the time blog–but still, damn.  Does it bug anybody, or are we all cool with my meandering pace? (For real, let me know in the comments) was cool with it until I started crunching the numbers… maybe I’m just impatient? There’s a lot of giant monster/kaiju content out there, and I wanna review as much of it as I can!

I might change how often I review Ultraman episodes, but I do NOT plan on lessening the depth I go into for each episode: this show is too influential and too iconic for a quick skim.

Speaking of episodes, we got three winners on the docket for this month! They’re all kinda spooky-creepy too! It’s an exciting change of pace considering the last two I reviewed skewed a little lighter and goofier.  The show in general feels like it’s getting more confident, telling bolder and stranger stories as it goes on.  This month we get a gaslighting asshole from outer space, mind-melting fourth dimensional fuckery, and the return of Ultraman’s most sinister villains! Strap in Science Patrollers, shit’s gettin’ EERIE!

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