Tag Archives: Netflix

High Score episode 6


We have arrived at High Score episode 6. The last episode of the first season. I say first season because I remain hopeful that there will at least be a second season. More on the episode later, of course, but let’s talk about why there should be at least one more season for a bit. Naturally, the first reason is because the show was very good. Honestly, do you need another reason? Fine, way to make me do my job.

Except this isn’t my job. It’s my hobby. And I might not even be all that good at it.

Aside from the fact that the series was entertaining and I’d like to continue to be entertained by nostalgia, they stopped with the advent of the 3D era. The last game they talk about is DOOM. That game came out when I was in high school. I’m not going to go into how long ago that was, but I often talk about being an old man gamer, so you can do the math. No mention of the N64 or Sony vs. Microsoft. Granted, that wasn’t as exciting as Nintendo vs. Sega, but it bears mentioning at the least.

Heck, they only gave passing mention to some of the greatest games of the era and missed the boat on others, like Metroid. Maybe there will be a special episode or season 3? That’s probably asking too much.

Into…the 3rd dimension! (On Game Boy?)

We start our journey on the Game Boy. Yes, that Game Boy. The very same one that you remember (or probably don’t unless you are old like me) from your childhood. The green and black monochrome dot matrix screen. 8 bit graphics and midi sound effects. Also, like I mentioned in a previous article about episode 3, it had one of the best Final Fantasy games in the series.

Speaking of Tetris, this was actually my introduction to the game.

Well, this company was attempting to show that you could do 3D graphics on current technology. I’m not sure why they chose the Game Boy. Hey, I was watching while working out. So, some of the details are missing. The point is that they got a working demo on the Game Boy.

They so impressed Nintendo with their work that they offered them a job to bring a similar experience to the SNES. I may be missing critical information. However, the overarching theme is there. Argonaut begat Game Boy 3D which begat the SNES and Pilotwings. In turn, Pilotwings begat Wolfenstein that begat…

Can you play DOOM on this thing?

The majority of the episode revolved around DOOM. I even got a bit of a nerdgasm when they revealed that they talked to the man, John Romero, for pretty much the whole segment. You young nerds might not know. But, for us oldbies, John Romero is a legend.

Some of y’all have grown up with consistent broadband internet on which to embarrass your friends and enemies. Not so for us. We had to “dial in” on a “phone line” and were excited when the speed increased almost two fold from 33.6k to 56k. None of us knew what those numbers meant, but we knew that 56 > 33.6.

And, we liked it! Yep, really leaning into that old man demo with a relevant cultural image here.

Aside from ushering in the age of online gaming, DOOM and id Software helped to popularize other trends like shareware. They gave you part of hte game for free, got you hooked, and then made you pay for the rest. No, they’re really not doing much for the old video games as a proxy for drugs narrative.

But, on a more positive note, they did open the code of the game. I know I’ve talked about this before. But, if you’ve ever played DOOM or its various clones or even World of Warcraft, you know that the games can be modded. (Can’t forget about my favorite recent moddable game, Minecraft.) Having that sort of control over a game gives it infinite replay value.

Heck, entire new games have been developed as mods to existing games.

The Verdict (High Score episode 6 is an awesome conclusion to the season)

Yes, you can tell from that subtitle that I’m tipping my hand yet again. I want another season of this show. I mean, who wouldn’t? Other than episode two, which was a bit slow (and I now understand that might have been a by design), the show was solid from beginning to end. Sure, High Score episode 6 ended it with DOOM, which is right in my wheelhouse. Nevertheless, if you are an oldbie nerd like me, you will enjoy this series. If you haven’t already.

High Score episode 5


For some reason, I forgot the topic for High Score episode 5. I guess there’s just a lot on my mind with the start of school. When I saw the teaser at the end of episode 4, I was excited. Then, it just left my mind completely. And, so it was when the episode started, I said, “Oh yeah!”

Once upon a time, there were these things called “arcades”. They were kind of like stores. Except they didn’t sell anything. You traded your bill money for quarters, which you then put into a machine that let you play a video game. “Okay, Grandpa, why are you telling us this?” Well, the subject of High score episode 5 was fighting games. During the height of the fighting game renaissance, I spent an obscene amount of time and money in these “arcades”.

Yes, much of it was due to Mortal Kombat. More on that later.

Street Fighter – “That old grey mare…”

I can’t remember if I used the old grey mare metaphor in one of the other articles. I know I was considering it for the Atari article, but went with Grandpa instead. Even if I have, it is apt in this case. Many these days say that Street Fighter sure ain’t what she used to be. But, let’s focus on the positive.

Like Final Fantasy, Street Fighter got its inspiration from anime. When they talked to the artist for the game, he mentioned how anime is not viewed as art. Or, it wasn’t. He wanted to help people see the potential of the art form. Apparently, he and his contemporaries succeeded. At least in my case. I certainly consider anime to be an art form. Then again, I’m easily impressed by any creative process.

Seriously, though, if you can’t appreciate the beauty of this picture, then there’s no hope for your soul.

Takahiro Nagano – “Living the Dream”

One side note before moving on. I forgot to mention in the previous section, mainly because my notes only said “Chun Li – Madden” and I couldn’t figure out what that meant. What it meant is that they put a female character into Street Fighter II (and then expanded the female roster with future editions) similar to adding different skin tones to Madden. Gaming is supposed to be inclusive, mad nerds.

Now, for Takahiro Nagano. His life mirrored mine in many ways. I mean, other than winning a gaming championship and starting his own esports team, we are basically kindred spirits. He found himself in a dead end job that he didn’t find much inspiration from. So, really, when you think about it, I’m basically him. Another note from this section is “training montage”, a reference to the introduction to his esports team, which took on the form of the old 80s training montages a la Karate Kid or Rocky. I got a good chuckle out of it.

Since we have so much in common, I will give a shout out to my brother from another mother. Link. <–Green “Link” that isn’t trying to save Zelda.

Night Trap – “Where’s the Naked Ladies?”

I’m doing these out of order, but that’s intentional. Always save the best for last. I’m not sure if you will agree with my assessment, but I have good reason for it and you can’t change my mind! I remember Night Trap. I might have even had a friend who bought the game. See, it was supposed to be this risque horror game, but production issues caused it to be neutered beyond belief into a not quite campy enough imitation.

That didn’t stop Congress from trying to neuter the game and the industry further. As games started to become more “realistic” and feature more violent content, folks like Tipper Gore and Joe Lieberman (If you don’t know him, say his name like Droopy the dog. If you don’t know Droopy the dog, Google him, then say Joe Lieberman’s name like him. Then, Google Joe Lieberman and have a good laugh.) got their panties in a bunch. And that, boys and girls, is why we have ratings on our video games today.

Never ones to pass up an opportunity to (a) star f**k and (b) look like complete idiots in the face of advancing technology, think the Facebook hearings but with Nintendo execs instead of the Zuck.

Mortal Kombat – “Or, should I say, ‘MORTAL KOMBAT!'”

So, I said I was saving the best for last. Similar to Street Fighter, you might say that Mortal Kombat hasn’t been good since (insert your favorite version here) and that’s fine. Up until recently, I might have even agreed with you. However, Mortal Kombat 11 is a ton of fun and I wasted many an hour over the last year trying to collect as much as I could in the game.

MK also helped to usher in the “video games are warping our kids’ brains” era. But, I come here to praise John Tobias (who is interviewed for the series!) and Ed Boon. Given the limited resources that they were working with at the time, they made a game that has been with me for over 25 years and has been passed on to my kids.

And, it was able to survive whatever the hell this is.

The Verdict

High Score episode 5 has come a long way from the low of episode 2. I regained my faith in the series and even had it boosted by the Sega episode and this one. The entire series is an amazing walk down memory lane. In addition, we have met some new faces along the way. I’m feeling a bit melancholy that there’s only one episode left, but it should pave the way for some actual factual retro content that’s been promised for weeks now.

Umbrella Academy Season 2 Appreciation


Welcome to my Umbrella Academy Season 2 Top 10 list. Sort of, but not really. I’m not much for lists, especially not top 10 lists. However, I wasn’t sure what to do about this article. Originally, I was going to have it be a review. The problem with that is (and I know I’m overwhelmingly positive to begin with) there wasn’t much that I didn’t like about the show. So, instead of calling it a review, I figured I’d just list everything I love about the show and this season.

I could have just cheaped out and listed all of the characters as 1-7. But, I respect you all far too much to pull that kind of nonsense.

I do love this show. I’ve watched Season 1 three times. I think I might have fallen asleep at times during the first viewing (mind you, that’s not an indicator of the quality of the show, just that I was working 60 hours a week and very tired) because I saw things the second time around that I’d missed. Then, I watched again because I thought that Aiden would enjoy the show. Spoiler Alert: He did.

And, so, we continue our travel through retro articles for the anniversary of the page with a brand new television show. Hey, I said I respected you too much to phone it in. I never promised that we’d actually stick to the topic at hand. Do stay tuned, though, because retro content is coming. I know I said this week. But, it’s getting pushed to next week. For now, let’s discuss Umbrella Academy Season 2!

The Hargreeves

I never read the Umbrella Academy comic. I never even knew it existed until I saw it on the Netflix menu. So, I took a chance on it. Completely sight unseen. I told everyone I knew about it after the first two episodes. I described it as a f***ed up X-Men. And, who are these f***ed up X-Men?

They are seven children, adopted by an “eccentric billionaire” shortly after they are born. They all have powers that are revealed through various vignettes and flashbacks in the first season. Moreover, they are all richly entertaining characters by themselves and in their interactions with one another.

At different times in the first season, I had a different favorite. As with most of you, I’m sure, number five remains my absolute favorite even if he was way more of a dink in the second season. However, I loved Klaus’ Vietnam story. I relate far too well to Diego as the one who always has to clean up the mess. Luther’s and Allison’s romance was great in the 2 “Days” episodes. Ben provides much needed comic relief and Vanya steals the show at the end.

Umbrella Academy Season 2 gives us more of all of it. Ben plays a huge role and gets one of the most emotional send offs I’ve seen in a television show. Vanya gets to be happy. Allison gets the socially aware storyline of the season. Diego is still cleaning up after everyone. The only stories that had minor quibbles with are Luther and Klaus. Especially Luther. I feel like he got robbed this season. Maybe he will get redemption in Season 3.

The Setting

My lifelong obsession with the Vietnam war and an appreciation of the hippie movement plus enjoyment of the music all notwithstanding, I’m not as much of a fan of the 60s as a decade. I mean, they’re better than the 80s and I liked the 90s, which were basically the 60s redux. Okay, maybe I like the 60s just fine.

However, I was born in the 70s. So, I guess it makes sense that I relate more to that decade than the 60s. Growing up, I loved Saturday Night Fever and I railed against anyone who would listen that disco wasn’t dead. 90s rap vindicated me on that one a bit when they sampled many disco beats. Speaking of retro, I also like 80s and 90s video games better. What do you mean they didn’t have video games in the 60s?

What’s the point? Who the hell knows anymore? Oh, right, the choice of the 60s as the setting for season 2. If I had any questions about the setting, I was wrong. For the most part, the stories were fund and entertaining in spite of the fact that they were simply trying to stop the apocalypse again. Heck, they even made the “Save JFK” story entertaining even though it’s been done many times before.

The Stories

So, other than JFK, what are the stories? Well, without going into too much detail, Luther is an underground fighter with ties to the mob (that already gives away a lot if you know history), Five is still dealing with the commission (and if you remember season 1, very familiar faces from the past/future/both?), Klaus is a cult leader, Ben learns that he can possess people, Vanya is working as a live in babysitter (it’s more interesting than it sounds), Diego finds love in the nut house (again, there’s more to it, but that about covers it), and Allison…

Allison finds herself in the middle of the racial strife of the time. Again, this isn’t a particularly original story. But, given the current political environment, it hit me pretty hard. Even Aiden said, “Why are people so dumb?” And, I never have an answer to that question.

I mean, I understand racism from a “scientific”point of view. However, I will never understand how things break inside of people’s brains and make them so angry, bitter, and hateful. Actually, that’s not entirely true. What I don’t understand is why people can’t change their beliefs when presented with contradicting evidence. No, wait, I get that, too. If I’m being honest, even though I understand each component individually, I don’t actually understand any of it. Does that make any sense? Probably not. Then again, neither does racism.

With all of that being said, the story was interesting. And, if can help some people learn that racial injustice didn’t start in the last year, or decade, or even century, then that can only be a good thing. I don’t know if a super hero show on Netflix can have that kind of impact, but I remain hopeful.

The Villains

Spoiler alert? Perhaps not because nobody is ever truly dead in a show like this.

One of the great things about this show is the moral ambiguity of many of its characters. You don’t truly know who is a hero and who is a villain in most cases. Sure, a guy like Diego runs counter to this theory. But, there will always be exceptions. What about someone like Hazel? Is he a villain because he is a hit man? Is he a hero for giving all of that up to be with the woman he loves?

Even one of my favorites, Number Five. He’s on the side of the heroes most of the time. However, he does fall in with The Commission and becomes one of their best assassins. Plus, as I said earlier, he’s just a dink overall. Some of that can be attributed to time travel “madness” or whatever, I suppose.

The point of it all is that characters that I would universally define as a villain like our lady friend that I used as an example up there are still compelling and worth watching. Yes, she is detestable. She is manipulative. Her only agenda is herself. And, yet, when her fate is revealed in season 2, I cheered because I genuinely like having her around. Maybe that says something about me as a person. But, admit it, you cheered, too.

The Verdict

Umbrella Academy Season 2 is an absolute success. Someone asked on Facebook if it was better than season 1. I responded that I wouldn’t say better, but a different energy and still fun. I haven’t watched it a second time to see if I missed anything. But, winter is coming and coronavirus has halted all production, so season 3 won’t be around for a while now. I have time to watch a second, third, and then binge the whole series a 4th and 5th time if I want.

In Support of Cloverfield Paradox


When discussing this article with Chris, I initially told him that I was going to write a defense of Cloverfield Paradox. After thinking about it for a minute, I amended that to support. First, I’m sick of defending things that I like from people who don’t like them. You don’t like something? Fine, but at least come up with a reasonable defense of why you don’t like it. We live in a culture that has glorified hate simply for the sport of it.

It has most recently coalesced around the release of Black Panther. I knew from the beginning that the release of the movie was going to be an epic crap storm of racists posting, tweeting, and outright lying about both the movie and the events surrounding the movie. True to form and the human condition (of which I am both amazingly inspired and terrifyingly suspect), things were much worse that I could ever have expected.

The fact that these idiots had to go to Twitter and YouTube to backlash with their “Wakanda isn’t real” nonsense proves just how running scared they really are.

But, this article isn’t about Black Panther. There will be an article about Black Panther once I get around to seeing it. I’ve been so busy with my 3 jobs that I haven’t had a chance. This article is about Cloverfield Paradox specifically and the Cloverfield “franchise” in general. I put franchise in quotes because nobody is entirely sure if these movies actually share anything in common other than the fact that JJ Abrams has chosen to take movies, insert out of context plot elements into them, and let people argue over what those out of context elements might mean.

“Okay,” some of you are saying, “you are making our argument for us. I thought you said this was going to be an article supporting the movie.” Well, you can interpret that last statement as a negative if you want. I think that says more about you than I ever could. I was simply stating a fact. As of right now, there is no judgement in that statement. The judgement comes next.

The Good

Marketing: If there’s been one consistent in the three movies that can loosely be called a franchise, it is that they have mastered marketing. The first one was involved in a ridiculously intricate viral web campaign back when that was a thing that led people chasing wild goose after wild goose. Not being one to be in the loop on these things, I had no idea about any of it until after I saw the movie and went searching for some background information. For some reason, I don’t care all that much about the origins of Godzilla or King Kong. But, this movie left just enough unsaid that I wanted to know more.

Plus, they technically didn’t lie and they showed the monster, but just enough to leave you wanting more. Such teases.

The second movie was so under the radar that I only peripherally knew about it because it used the word Cloverfield in the title. Huh, I thought,that’s weird that it is called 10 Cloverfield Lane. For some reason, though, this curiosity didn’t lead me to explore further. Probably because they marketed it as a completely different movie. It was a closed house thriller along the lines of Panic Room. Or, so I thought.

It wasn’t until the third movie that I realized that there were three. Netflix released this movie after the Super Bowl ended, showing that they can basically just beam stuff into your brain, or they will be able to once they figure out the technology, truly on demand. Well, at least on me (someone who isn’t often affected by ridiculous gimmicks), it worked and I stayed up until almost 2 o’clock in the morning watching the movie even though I had to be up at 7 for work. Furthermore, I wasn’t upset that I had given up sleep.

Science?: For a science fiction movie, the science of the movie wasn’t the focus. While that isn’t unusual, this seemed like the type of science fiction movie that wanted to focus on the science and have the option for fiction due to the science. Does that make sense? Probably not, so I’ll try to explain.

Sure, but what does the purple button have to say?

I don’t go into Star Wars expecting exact, or even accurate, science. Nerds are constantly trying to point to the fact that hyperspace can’t possibly be real and that lightsabers are physically impossible, but I simply don’t care. The latest nerd rage came when (spoiler alert), the ship jumped to lightspeed and blew up the other ship. That’s not why I’m at Star Wars. I’m there for the pew, pew, the vwoom, vwoom, and the music mostly. The plot is basic and some of the characters are cool, but for me Star Wars is just the comfy blankie from when I was younger.

Other science fiction stories try to get it right. They mostly fail, but at least they put some science stuff in there to make it seem like they know what the hell they’re talking about. I’m referring to the disaster movies like Twister or Armageddon. They throw all kinds of smart stuff out there for what they believe is the benefit of the audience to keep them in the fiction. Ultimately, though, they just end up sounding foolish and like theater people that failed science in high school.

At the beginning of the movie, I thought that the Cloverfield Paradox was going to be like the second type of movie. Because JJ Abrams made Star Trek more like that type of movie with the dark matter explanation. I should have known better. JJ Abrams likes to think that he’s one step ahead of people and zig when they expect him to zag. I wasn’t exactly zigged or zagged. Just a bit surprised.

Mostly, I just Zug.

The movie starts with some discussion of physics and the physics of alternate realities. Past, present, future, distorted time and space, that sort of thing. Then, it gets real quiet about it and just lets the science sort of tell the story. There is some mention later in the movie, but they don’t keep hitting you over the head with what is happening. Really, in my opinion, this is the best way to do things. Give the science and then just get the hell out of the way.

Weird: As a result of the introduction of quantum physics into the movie, they can make it weird and have a reason for it being weird. Because people, including those like me who only study it as a hobby, don’t completely understand the science behind it, you can do almost anything and it becomes plausible in the fiction.

While this kind of story can make some people uncomfortable, I absolutely love it. It gets my brain moving and causes me to think. Since most entertainment is just about turning off our brains and marveling (pun fully intended) at the two freaks of nature punching each other, I find it refreshing when something comes along and challenges me to be a little more active in the process.

This movie kept me up until 1:40 am watching and then another 20 minutes to a half an hour falling into a Google trap. Well played.

Just Dumb Fun: I had a conversation with a friend on Facebook about the movie. See, I posted there that I had watched it the night of the Super Bowl and then suddenly, I started seeing posts about it in my feed. It’s built into Facebook’s mind reading…er, algorithms. You get stuff that they think you want to see. It’s not that I didn’t want to see other opinions. It’s just a little unsettling anytime that Facebook gets that far into your brain.

He was one of the people who didn’t particularly care for the movie. I had no idea that there was such a backlash to it until I noticed that he didn’t like the movie, so I went in search of other opinions counter to my own. I saw that there were, in fact, people who didn’t like the movie. And, it wasn’t just that they didn’t like the movie. They really didn’t like the movie. That was how his post came across. He really didn’t like this movie.

Well, armed with this new information, I decided to show my support. I responded, “I liked it. It was just dumb fun.” He replied, “Is that what we’ve come to expect from this franchise?” I was dumbfounded. Suddenly Cloverfield is a venerated franchise that we’ve come to expect things from? I mean, it was ultimately revealed that the first one was about a giant baby monster destroying Manhattan in a temper tantrum because he missed his mommy. That’s a fairly ridiculous premise. I know what you’re probably thinking right now. This movie both made you think and was just dumb fun? What the hell?

Well, they did say the movie was a paradox. Perhaps that’s what they meant. I’m also starting to understand why my students hate me so much.

The Bad

Note: I’m going to change the format a bit for this article. I couldn’t argue anything negative about the movie. That’s not to say that it is a perfect movie. I wouldn’t even argue that it’s a great movie. But, it was a good movie and that’s how I want to remember it. Since I am mostly a positive person, instead of arguing my own bad, I will argue against the negatives that I’ve seen online and elsewhere. Besides, the article is supposed to be in support of the movie.

Not related to the other movies: I have seen and heard this argument made more and more in the weeks since the movie was released. Most recently, I’ve heard it argued as being a movie that was another movie that got bought out by JJ Abrams production company, slapped some Cloverfield paint on it, and released it straight to Netflix. This argument goes on to say that the “Netflix Exclusive” label is starting to lose some of its shine and starting to become this generation’s “Straight to cable/DVD”. I won’t argue with that. Netflix has had some strong original programming, but they are starting to get a little lazy with their originals lately.

This movie might be an extension of that and the fact that JJ Abrams seems to have created this “world” in which he can just drop some monsters or aliens, put the “Cloverfield” label on the movie, market it with some intrigue, and people will watch. I certainly did. But, I will argue that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve had a discussion with a few people, including those who are involved in creative careers and they all agree that every now and then you just have to shut off your brain and have fun. Not everything needs to be a life changing experience. So what if Abrams has demystified the Cloverfield mystique? Honestly, if it could be taken away that quickly, was it really even there to begin with?

The Blair Witch made 3 (?) movies from something that they never even showed on screen. Surely, ol’ Clovie has a few more in him.

Confusing: The other argument that I’ve heard against the movie is that it is confusing. Honestly, if this is a complaint that you have about the movie, I can’t really help you. As I mentioned earlier, it is weird (even campy), but that weirdness gets an explanation almost as soon as the movie starts. Again, some have pointed to this explanation as evidence of the previous point. Again, I won’t argue against that. Clearly, Cloverfield isn’t a franchise in the traditional sense of the word. Instead, every few years, we will get another “Cloverfield” movie.

Back to the explanation. Donal Logue, who I know as the stoner guy from VH1’s “I Love the….” series, is a paranoid YouTube personality (Maybe? It was very late/early in the morning when I watched it) that explains that by doing what they are about to do, they can affect multiple dimension, past, present, future. Call it lazy. Call it irresponsible. Call it whatever else you want to call it. I call it genius. In one reshoot, they explained the whole damn thing and set it up for whatever the hell they want to do going forward.

Jolly good show, old chaps. Here, here!

The Ugly

I’ve written several times of the toxic influence of the internet and how quickly things can spread. I had always hoped, perhaps naively, that would mean that information could become so ubiquitous as to make it irrelevant in the constant power struggle that we seem to have set up for ourselves and our species. I never considered that it is just as easy to spread misinformation and disinformation and lead to an increase in that struggle. I suppose I should have. I also suppose that I should be grateful. As an educator, I am a professional mythbusters, so the more myths, the more busting I have to do.

As a result of the ease with which information travels over this superhighway, fringe elements have become just as “reliable” as the general consensus for a lot of things. People who shout that they are mad about a black stormtrooper in Star Wars might only be a couple of dudes in their mom’s basement posting the same message over and over on message boards and social media. Due to the overly reactionary news cycle, someone picks it up, and then it becomes a platform upon which people are willing to fight and die.

I don’t know if this Cloverfield Paradox reaction is indicative of the majority or simply a fringe element. I do know that it hasn’t been met with the same vitriol as some of the other movies that have become a target recently. People are mostly just disappointed, which makes me think that it is a genuine reaction. However, the fact that there were such high expectations going into the movie that those expectations would not be met is puzzling to me.

Note: A visit to Rotten Tomatoes shows that it has a 17% with critics and a 48% (with a 3.1 out of 5 star average, so not sure how that works) score with fans, so it appears to be more or less not great by most standards.

I find it interesting that a Feminazi and racist against whites George Soros funded project would give such a diverse cast a bad rating like that.

The Verdict

Is Cloverfield Paradox a great movie? Not by any stretch of the imagination. Is Cloverfield Paradox a good movie? Not by many traditional measures, no. Is Cloverfield Paradox an entertaining movie? Yes, I can confirm that my sleep deprived brain got full entertainment from the movie.

And, honestly, that’s all I’ve come to expect from the movies. The first one was silly, dumb fun. I never saw the second one, but it sounds like it might have been the one to set expectations so high for this one. Although, from the sounds of it, the ending should have drawn the battle lines pretty clear for people. There are no rules in these universes. Anything goes. Be prepared for good, bad, ugly, and the just plain silly. Have some fun with it. Or don’t. We’ll keep on doing our thing.

Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters Review

A couple of months ago I nearly dropped my phone out of shock. I had received an email from Netflix announcing a handful of Netflix exclusive future releases and while that’s not noteworthy, the fact that there was going to be a Godzilla anime movie was. Yup, Godzilla. Hold on a second while I get this rubber monster suit on…

I love Godzilla!

I’ve seen every Godzilla movie there is, as well as every spin-off movie that Toho has released. Ahem. Toho is the studio that makes all of the Japanese monster flicks like Rodan and Mothra. Hey, don’t say you don’t learn anything by visiting our site. Anyways, back to my confession of my love for cheesy sci fi monster movies. I have a region free DVD and Blu Ray player just so I can watch the Japanese imports, yeah, ok, maybe that’s not the only reason, the wife does likes to watch foreign thrillers, but to her I say this: is there anything more foreign than a Japanese guy in a rubber Godzilla suit beating the bajeezus out of another guy dressed in a rubber monster suit with 3 heads ( King Ghidorah, A.K.A Monster X, the lessons keep coming guys, try to keep up)? I say thee nay! Little Thor talk for my comic nerds out there.

So needless to say, I almost soiled my pants on the spot. I sniffed out a trailer for it online, told my boss I’d get the budget reports to him when I was done watching godamn Godzilla, and hit play. I was blown away by the art immediately and grew excited, this was the real deal! Although a short trailer, it looked amazing.

Fast forward to last weekend. Netflix finally released Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters Part 1 (of 3). I grabbed a beer and some snacks and plopped down on the couch ready to be transported to a world of monster magic. I was a little disappointed knowing that I was going to have to wait for the other 2 parts since this surely was going to be amazing. The movie started and right away the animation grabs you. It’s really, really, good guys. Probably some of the best anime work I’ve seen. Interesting tidbit for you: this was animated by the same studio who animated Street Fighter V.

The story goes like this: Godzilla as well as other monsters , graduate from just stomping Tokyo to taking over the entire friggin’ planet. The last group of humans left are forced to leave the planet on a spacecraft and travel through space looking for a new planet capable of sustaining life. Unfortunately, this doesn’t pan out and they are forced to go back to Earth but it’s 20,000 years later. It must be safe by now? Right? Right?! Uh no, not by a long shot. They send an expeditionary group to the planet to see what’s left and discover that the Big G is still around. FYI these are not spoilers, did you really think Godzilla wouldn’t be on the planet in a movie called Godzilla: Planet of Monsters?

Where this movie separates itself from all of the other Godzilla movies, besides being an anime, is that Godzilla isn’t the aggressor here, the humans try to hatch up a plan to take him out and he just defends himself. It’s a very interesting plot point and essentially the main focus of part 1. I was disappointed when it ended because it really felt like the story had just started to hit its stride and the end was surprising to say the least.

Final verdict:

As with my comic book and game reviews, I will be rating this on the trusty 0-10 scale. With 0 being the absolute worst (Godzilla 1998), to 10 being the best (Godzilla: Final Wars). The voice acting on this movie was spot on and as I’ve gushed about a couple of times now, the art is really well done. They used a cool CG technique on Godzilla that translates nicely on the screen and the images of a barren Earth are creepy. The story did lag in parts but as I mentioned found its pacing towards the end. That said, I give this movie a 7/10.