Aisle of the Damned: 06/02/17- Beaches Ain’t Shit

Beaches ain't shit but hos and tricks

In the wake of the 40th anniversary of Star Wars and Smokey and the Bandit, Bryan and Kent have a discussion about how growing up in different parts of the country affected their childhood entertainment options as well as the generational shift towards “introducing” kids to the classics they grew up on.

They also discuss some movies that are out right now: The Lost City of Z and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword are quite the Charlie Hunam double feature (if you’re into that sort of thing) and Baywatch is in serious need of rescue.

Plus, we discuss Godzilla developments and the upcoming Wonder Woman film. All this and less on Aisle of the Damned!

Music:
The Aquabats- Stuck in a Movie
The Lifeguards- Everybody Out’ta the Pool

Aisle of the Damned: 03/22/17- Logan’s Heroes

This is the worst photoshop you will ever see.

We’re back after a medical hiatus to discuss the latest that Hollywood has dumped on us! Just kidding; March apparently doesn’t suck anymore as we have some pretty damn good movies to geek out about, including X-Men outlier Logan, giant monster movie Kong: Skull Island, indie horror wunderkind Get Out and the latest in the Matt Damon series, Matt Damon Goes to China.

We also discuss some new trailers, like Wonder Woman and Baby Driver, finally crap on the Oscars, talk about Joe Carnahan’s good decisions and Sony’s stupid-ass decisions and talk about Disney’s battle with their own history.

All this and less on Aisle of the Damned!

Music:
The Aquabats- Stuck in a Movie
Big T. Tyler– King Kong

Aisle of the Damned: 10/31/16- Patrick Stewart Eating from the Trash

Better than the Magnanimous Six

Bryan Lip-crypts and Kent Holle-ween are having you set your podcast dial to spooky as we shamelessly jump on the bandwagon and give our Top 10 favorite horror films of the 21st century. Before that though, we talk about Ash vs Evil Dead, the new Magnificent Seven, Storks and Shin Godzilla. We also discuss the Logan trailer, a couple of major hits losing their directors for the sequels and the possibility of a third Cloverfield coming soon. Oh, and JACK FROST IS COMING TO BLU RAY.

All this and less on Aisle of the Damned!

Music:
The Aquabats- 
Stuck in a Movie
John Zacherle- Coolest Little Monster

Aisle of the Damned: Episode XXIII- It’s your kids, Professor X! Something’s gotta be done about your kids!

Time for a new episode, humans and mutants! YES. ALREADY. This time, Kent talks about Godzilla, Bryan waxes X-Men: Days of Future Past and we both like Neighbors. Then we wonder bewilderingly about Edgar Wright leaving Ant-Man and David Goyer being a total dick. Join up, will not you?

Music:
The Aquabats– Stuck in a Movie
Huey Lewis and the News– The Power of Love

Go-Kart Godzilla! Woo-ooo-oooo-ooo!

Kent’s Damned Movie Reviews: Godzilla

Godzilla

“Oh, no! There goes Tokyo! Go go Godzilla!”

I am a fan of the big-G, and I’m not speaking in a Judeo-Christian sense in this instance. Godzilla (or “Gojira” if you insist on being a pretentious douche) is one of the biggest movie stars in the world, metaphorically if not literally. Starting with the breakthrough hit in 1954 and it’s subsequent Raymond Burr-ized edit becoming a sensation in America a couple of years later, he has stomped his way into our hearts. He has been a monster, a nuclear metaphor, a savior, a Japanese symbol, a googly-eyed muppet and finally, a monster again. This marks the fourth time that the Godzilla films have been jump started, though the two in Japan both began their continuity anew as direct sequels of the first and best film, proving that no matter how goofy America has gotten with sequels, reboots or any other entertainment buzzword being thrown around lately, we still lag behind the land of the rising sun.

With the exception of the 1998 American crapfest which was so bad that it has been rumored to cause syphilis from casual contact, he’s up to now been portrayed by a man in a suit which, let’s be honest, is as it should be. The excellent trilogy of Gamera films which saw release in the 90s proved that if a suit is well made and used in conjunction with modern effects technology, it is just as effective as CGI ejaculated on the screen by a bunch of Hollywood technowizards. Unfortunately, the new Godzilla, directed by Gareth Edwards (who until recently I was confusing with Gareth Evans of The Raid fame) by fiat became a computer generated extravaganza. We’ll try to forgive this indiscretion, however. After all, Revolutionary and Warner Bros., the studios behind the film, are the same folks that put out Pacific Rim, a similarly themed giant monster slugfest which ended up being one of my favorite films of last year.

So here’s the real rub that most fans will acknowledge; of all the Godzilla movies, only the first one is really more than just a fun flick where you sit through the human stuff to get to the sweet monster fights. The original is a true horror film. It was one of the first to do the anti-nuke song and dance, but it hit on a deeper metaphorical level due specifically to what the Japanese had experienced in the second World War. Otherwise it would be just another of the anti-science “sci-fi” flicks that have told us how everything from atomic research to cloning to robots are going to kill us and we should seek entropy as a species lest we destroy ourselves by playing God. These films are often fun, but also pretty stupid. With the trailers, it seemed the current Godzilla was trying very hard to evoke the same kind of response as the original by being “about something.” But does it say anything new? Is there anything besides the sound of credit cards swiping at the box office and the excuse of having new technology at our disposal to warrant yet another American-centric remake of one of the best-regarded horror films of all time?

The answer to these questions are “not really.” Is that a death knell to it? No. It still has it’s moments that should satisfy a lot of fans. It’s far from a bad film. What the dirty little secret is, which we didn’t get a hint of until the last trailer, is that this film has much, much more in common with the Godzilla sequels (and even the cartoon) than the ’54 original. Heck, it actually feels a lot more like the aforementioned Gamera trilogy than the original Godzilla. It also feels ready made to spawn a dozen more films as a franchise, though it is not nearly as obnoxious about this as The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I don’t blame the filmmaker for the misdirection in the advertisements. I put that squarely on the marketing arm which often acts under its own discretion. And the only reason I really am disappointed in the blatant set-up is that I am suffering from mythmaker fatigue. I know there have already been 30 Godzilla movies. What’s a few more?

I’ve watched a lot of Godzilla movies, so I can recognize that this one fits the pattern of at least a dozen of them. We are given glimpses of monsters while following some boring humans around, wondering when we’ll get the good stuff. In this case, the boring human is Aaron Johnson’s Lt. Ford Brody, a soldier living in San Francisco who is trained in bomb deactivation and whose family was destroyed by a nuclear incident fifteen years before in Japan. Johnson has proven he can be an interesting actor (even if he was upstaged by Hitgirl in the KickAss movies) but in this case he actually makes a bombtech feel dull somehow. For one thing, the movie is played mostly as seriously as possible. There are some funny in-jokes that will bring about a titter in fans who are paying attention, but most of the characters are played so straight that they don’t even have personality and there isn’t enough tension to offset the problem. The two exceptions to this are Bryan Cranston as Ford’s father and the great Ken Watanabe as Dr. Serizawa (which you may remember is the name of the character that destroyed Godzilla in the original film.)

Cranston, despite being the lynchpin of the ad campaign, is only featured in a small portion of the running time and that is a terrible shame. His character is the most engaging of everyone in the movie and if he’d been the focus, perhaps this thing could have gone from “pretty good” to “great.” He has a real arc, a real drive and motivation and he is able to flesh things out and make his character three dimensional. He is a shell of a man and there is a great scene in which we see an outward representation of how his life has rotted away since the fateful day he lost so much of what meant something to him. Watanabe, meanwhile, starts the film looking harried and lost. He’s been at the front lines, researching these types of creatures for a very long time and he seems to be genuinely shaken and without hope over what’s going on. As the story progresses, we see him slowly develop a new tone, built on what he seems to think is a new understanding of the world.

The “money shots” of the film are surprisingly few. There are many instances when we think we’re about to see something great only to have it pulled away like a cookie being taken from a kid who has been caught trying to raid the jar. Though I’ll admit that the destruction of the world’s most hippie-fueled anti-atomic city due to nuclear-driven monsters is deliciously satisfying. The thing is, we’ve seen so much of this sort of thing in the last couple of years that it is a bit numbing, no matter how much one may enjoy it. There’s nothing particularly new in Godzilla and it doesn’t make up for that in volume. I’d go so far as to say that Pacific Rim and Man of Steel both did wide-spread destruction better and gave you more of it. As for Godzilla himself, he works. They got the scale down, at least. I honestly wasn’t overly impressed by the effect though. I couldn’t tell you exactly what it is that seemed off to me aside from his movements striking me as more cartoony than suit-zilla does, which ironically feels more at odds with the seriousness of the film.

All in all, I’m sure this sounds like I am complaining. And I suppose I am. I just found the film somewhat underwhelming. But the thing is, it still has the same charm that the old films had going for them, despite what seems like a sense of self-importance missing from the monster smackdowns that used to pop up on a regular basis from Toho. If nothing else, it is miles ahead of the previous American version. And we do finally get a knock-down drag out between the big lizard and something that looks like the Cloverfield monster (reasserting his dominance, I guess.) There are a couple of moments that did make my eyes bulge a bit in how awesome they were. Sometimes that’s all you can ask for. Is this a great film? I say no. But it is a competent film that delivers the goods. And I do plan on seeing it again, this time in a better theater with the sound cranked to infinity so see if I don’t end up more pleased with it now that I know what to expect.

(Three and a half damns given out of five)

*author’s note: The film was viewed in its 2-D format.

Aisle of the Damned Episode II – Attack of The Clones

Welcome back! In our second episode Bryan and Kent start off by reviewing some DVD’s/Blu-Rays: Dumbo, Winnie The Pooh, The Rocketeer, Godzilla/Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Flash Gordon, Superargo vs. Diabolicus, Golden Bat and Poltergeist. We then run down each of our “Top Five Movies of All Time”! Finally in our theatrical reviews we review Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Music: The Aquabats – Stuck In A Movie, Skavoovie & The Epitones – Batman Movie Theme

Golden Bat Trailer

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