Thursday, July 30, 2015

Jurassic World (2015)


      The Jurassic Park series has inspired an amazing fan base and it spawned two sequels since its 1993 release. It captured the elements of horror, science fiction, disaster movies, and the sense of adventure. The first film was truly legendary while its two sequels had a few problems with its fans (i.e. the "unfair" fight between Tyrannosaurus Rex and the new top predator, Spinosaurus in the third entry). Personally I believe that as a whole trilogy, it captured the true essence of feeling like a child again as you watched dinosaurs once more walk the Earth in a (disastrous) theme park setting. Jurassic World's presence recaptured that feeling in a whole new twist added to the franchise. The new theme park, Jurassic World; is bigger, badder, and louder in this direct sequel from the original. Its a wonderful place to visit: you can see a feeding show for almost all your favorite top predators (best in opinion was the Mosasaur); or even ride a baby triceratops at the petting zoo. You can take a safari with Gallimimus or take your own adventure inside a gyrosphere. The only problem is that the researchers of Jurassic World wanted something new and they had to "play God" in order to do it.

        The casting, in my opinion, was pretty good. You have Chris Pratt as Owen Grady, the park's resident raptor trainer turned hero. The stunning Bryce Dallas Howard as the park's director, and the aunt of her two nephews, Gray (Simpkins) and Zach (Robinson) Mitchell. You have great supporting characters including the original actor BD Wong reprising his role as head geneticist Henry Wu. Then you have the egotistical military man, Vincent D'Onofrio, playing a guy whom just wants to use the animals for biological weapons (and deserved his fate). Finally, you have the true stars: the Raptor Squad (Blue, Echo, Delta, and Charlie), Rexie the original park's T-Rex, and the genetically modified, killing machine Indominus Rex.

       There were mixed feelings for Jurassic World after its release. Some really enjoyed it while others disliked it due to reasons such as bad CGI, feminist responses against Grady's attitude toward Claire (B.D.Howard); and the last second Tyrannosaur Rex involvement at the end. Though these were valid points to be made, I for one was part of the people whom liked (or loved) it. I honestly cried at the end of the film from the fight scene to the victorious roar before the credits. I saw this film twice with my first experience being more magical than my second but, I still teared up at the end. The Indominus' design and behavior was truly unique since it was a totally new breed of monster. Like the films Carnosaur or Raptor, it re-established the horror aspect of the Jurassic franchise. Another cool factor this film had was the references it made toward the original film (i.e. the original door, or when the kids discovered the old theme park in the jungle). Though there were a few things I agreed with the people that disliked the film, I personally thought that it was pretty amazing to witness in theaters (and most likely for home entertainment).

     My all-time favorite scene in Jurassic World was the ending. After Grady's Raptor Squad decided to join with him against the Indominus to the last Tyrannosaurus roar, that was truly amazing to see with my very own eyes. The first time I saw the film, I was wearing an exclusive Jurassic World T-Rex shirt and I was extremely proud I wore it. The entire fight with two (no, three) unlikely allies against the Indominus made me realize that the true monsters are those whom act like monsters. The Indominus was a type of predator that shouldn't have existed in the first place but, the originals have shown that they themselves are at the top of the food chain. Though the Rex's late involvement in the film was either good or bad; I believe that the wait itself to finally see the true King of the Dinosaurs in action was greatly used to get everybody pumped up to see the final showdown. It was truly an unforgettable moment to witness.

    My rating for Jurassic World is a 4.5 out of 5. It was a truly amazing sequel to Jurassic Park but, I wished they allowed the other two sequels to be included in this version. Either it be Spinosaurus or a reference to the San Diego Incident, keeping something out of a great sequel was pretty insulting to the original trilogy (thankfully, the Spinosaurus did have cameo in Jurassic World but, he didn't move much). Though this idea may have overdone it but, having Blue teaming up with Rexie and the Spinosaurus against the Indominus would have been entertaining to watch. Probably would have most moviegoers walk out at the ending though. I also want to bring up that there were a lot of loop holes in the film that could have been solved from the sequels. For example, Grady training the raptors could have been easier if he used a whistle similar to that of their communication like in Jurassic Park 3 instead of training them like dolphins or dogs (credit goes to one of my friends whom brought this up). It probably would have made sense. Also, the film did gave us important questions about having a dinosaur theme park such as saying that these are animals, not profit; the dangers of creating advanced genetically engineered animals; and should we clone dinosaurs since we didn't learn from our past mistakes? Jurassic World is amazing, and it deserves to be viewed at least once. Hopefully its sequel would learn from their past mistakes but, apparently that's not the true essence of the Jurassic Park franchise.

"Lowery, you still there? I need you to open paddock nine."  

Interesting Thought:
                       There should be an Unleashed-styled video game for Jurassic World similar to that of Jaws Unleashed. Imagine having a sandbox game in which the player is the Indominus Rex, and they have the power to kill other dinosaurs and humans; buy upgrades like for example the Indominus' cloaking ability; and fight unique bosses like a helicopter or Rexie similar to that in the film. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My Top 10 Favorite Unmade Kaiju Films

        I'm a huge nerd for kaiju-films and the multiple television series that keep the genre alive. Just having the thought of gigantic monsters destroying cities, or fighting each other has greatly impacted my imagination since my mother bought me my first Godzilla VHS set. Though there are totally different fans (i.e. hardcore Godzilla fans that will verbally attack you if you even mention the year 1998, or fans like my father whom grew up with the original Ultraman), all of us can agree that ALL kaiju films are greatly inspirational throughout generations.

       The list below is ten of my most favorite unmade kaiju films which would have been awesome if they were made, or replaced the current standing films. Though most are from the Godzilla series, there are a few other great kaiju films and of course honorable mentions. Either you agree or disagree with my choices in this list, hopefully you'll learn something that may alter your thinking into guessing what should have been than what it is right now.

#10 - A Space Godzilla (1978-9):
       What if, Godzilla wasn't just an Earthly monster but, there were many of them somewhere in Outer Space? That statement basically summed up this unmade movie. A female Godzilla washes ashore in Japan and has an unborn Gojira inside her. The humans of Earth studies her body then sends both individuals back into space only to have the unborn embryo to hatch. After returning to earth, somehow, the infant would have met up with his father then, somehow, travels into space to fight a gigantic alien known as Gamora (essentially a giant, female space turtle) on an asteroid belt. Incredibly weird and probably would replace Godzilla's Revenge as the worst but, would of been entertaining to watch.

#9 - GODZILLA 2 (????):
      After the unholy failure of Emmerich's betrayal film, its sequel would of probably re-establish what it means to have a daikaiju movie: a fight. The baby Zilla at the end of the first film has hatched and made friends with Tatopoulos BUT, after making a full 360; it turns out "Junior" already had its young and were moved to Australia. Later on, the brood and the new adult Zilla would have been transported to Monster Island where they meet an opponent: the Queen Bitch, a termite-like kaiju. After pulling a Godzilla vs. Mothra, the QB travels to Sydney where it fights Zilla. Though this film would have probably solved most (not all) G-fans, it would have replaced the series which saved most of its fandom in the first place.  

#8 - Godzilla (1994):
     This film was the most reliable American adaption toward the King of the Monsters. Why didn't this film got produced and Emmerich's God(Zilla) did instead is a total mystery to me. Anyways, this film would have had Godzilla facing off against a chimera-like creature known as The Gryphon. The film was a combination of few Godzilla films such as '54, 2014, and '98. The film would have been focused in North America (namely Alaska, California, Kentucky, and New York) but, also the islands surrounding Japan hence the original homage. This version would have been a better substitute for the dreadful 1998 but, did not work out entirely as plan and it’s a shame that it didn't literally get off the ground.

#7 - Gamera vs. Garasharp (1972):
     Aside from unmade Godzilla films, Gamera had a few good and bad films in his series. This unmade film pitted everybody's lovable flying, fire-breathing turtle against Garasharp, a sea serpent-like cobra/rattlesnake monster. The fight between the monsters would have been amazingly epic since serpentine kaiju aren't that popular. The preferred ending was heart-warming too. After destroying the gigantic serpent, it was discovered to be pregnant with two offspring. Feeling guilty and fearing the incoming military forces, Gamera saves the two, and transports them to a secluded island. Talk about a warm, child friendly ending. Too bad Daiei filed for bankruptcy.

#6 - Giant Monster Momonra (1966):
    The Sixties was crowded with kaiju films and everybody in Japan wanted a piece of the stomping cake. The Nikkatsu Corporation wanted a piece as well, and was still debating on which monster they should introduce to the world. Enter Momonra, the gigantic, mutant flying...squirrel? Yes, a kaiju-sized flying squirrel was one of their choices. I'm sorry but, this would have been awesome to watch especially for a bad-movie night. Did you know that the word 'momonga' in Japanese means flying squirrel? Looks like Mothra would have some competition if they didn't go along with Gappa instead.

#5 - The Return of King Ghidorah (1972):
     This movie was one of the pre-production ideas before Godzilla vs. Gigan was made, and it introduced a new monster: Mogu, the space dragon. Plus, to add in the fun: Gigan would of had a wrecking ball-like right hand instead of his trademark scythes; Godzilla would have paired off with both Rodan and Varan instead of just Anguirus; and it would have been the first three-on-three fight in history. Though most of this idea became part of what we have today, I do believe this would have been a great idea since both Rodan and Varan (one of my favorites) were rarely used during this era after Destroy All Monsters

#4 - Godzilla vs. Berserk (1993):
      You can judge me if you want but, I dislike Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II. If it wasn't for Fire Rodan, I would have never watched it. Now this first idea of Godzilla fighting against a mecha-turned-monster would have been perfect. Imagine building a Mechagodzilla that becomes infected with a nasty computer virus then it begins to become horribly deformed. This was the idea of 'Berserk', and I believe it would have sold. Just the idea itself seems legit, plus it would had probably scared everyone during the Y2K mass hysteria.     

#3 - King Kong vs. Prometheus (????)
      Before there was Godzilla vs.King Kong, there was Prometheus. This hulking, golem-like monster created by Dr. Frankenstein's grandson would have made a great sequel to the original 1933 Kong. Just imagine that old Ray Harryhausen magic at work as Kong and Prometheus combated each other in San Francisco. Too bad it was stolen and switched out Prometheus with the true King of the Monsters. Oh well, great giant monster movie pitting two of the world's most famous kaiju against each other (unless you count the Toho Kong suit). 

#2 - Godzilla 3-D to the MAX (2008)
      I was incredibly excited for this film. The director from one of my favorite G-films, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, was going to oversee it, and it would of been a tie-in with the original. Though this film would have been short (40 minutes) but, it pitted Godzilla against Deathla, a Hedorah-like being that was red, slimy, and had a skull-like face (imagine if the Red Masque merged with the Smog Monster). The fight would have started in South America and ends in Las Vegas.The only problem with this film, if it was made; was that I'm not a huge fan in 3-D formatted films but, I was too excited to even care. Too bad though, would had been cool. 

Honorable Mentions:

-Operation Robinson Crusoe: King Kong vs. Ebirah  -  Ever wondered why Godzilla acted like Kong when he first faced the Sea Monster? Wish this happened though, just the idea of Kong fighting a giant lobster (plus terrorists) and meeting Mothra for the first time gives me the jitters to want to watch it.
-Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster 2  -   Being a direct sequel, Hedorah returns in Africa where Godzilla fights him once more. Personally, I'd rather have 3-D to the MAX but still a good idea.
-Gamera vs. Wyvern  -   Before settling on Garasharp, Gamera was originally going to combat against a two-headed dragon but, it never happened. Would of been cool though with Gamera facing a Ghidorah-like monster for once.
-Mothra vs. Bagan  -   Not a huge fan of Bagan but, this would of been cool to witness since it was going to take place worldwide. This film was later reworked into Rebirth of Mothra, and Desghidorah replaced Bagan. 
-Godzilla (2014) w/ Rokmutul & Pterodactyl  -   The concept art of these two looks badass plus are  homages on two other famous Toho kaiju (Anguirus and Rodan) but, this idea never happened since these two later were reworked into the MUTO.

#1- Nessie (1979):
     The Loch Ness Monster becomes a kaiju in this unmade Toho/Hammer production film. Nessie is accidentally awakened from her slumber and she rampages throughout the United Kingdom similar to that as Gorgo or the Giant Behemoth. Also not to mention that the Nessie prop was created by legendary special effects artist Teruyoshi Nakano, the man who brought all our favorite Toho monsters to life. This film would have made Hammer part of the popular kaiju films that were cherished throughout generations but, it never went as planned. Sadly, money and time played a huge part of this movie to become unmade but, do not fear; you can see the actual Nessie prop in the Princess from the Moon.

    I hope you enjoyed this list for my Top 10 Favorite Unmade Kaiju Films. I got all of this information from Wikizilla ( so all the credit goes to them (including the original sources) on providing me with valuable information/photos. Thank you for reading my list, and remember: "Let them fight".