Tag Archives: Ken Watanabe

The King of the Monsters is back in this Godzilla review!

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and thank you for taking the time to read this review. Today I am going to review one of my most highly anticipated films of 2014, Godzilla. Now we all know who Godzilla is and the incredible presence he has in the world of pop culture, but outside of the franchise fan base he’s not that well-known. We had one attempt to bring Godzilla to life with the 1998’s Godzilla and we all saw how that one turned out (shit basically). So there has been some apprehension about there being another western adaptation being made, but all the trailers and interviews has suggested that this will be a different and better instalment. So how has Godzilla (2014) fared? Well read on and find out!


So the story goes something like this:

“The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.”

The story for the most part is very interesting, there’s a nice balance between the humans and monsters and while it is primarily about the humans and their means of uncovering the truth behind these monsters and how to defeat them, at the same time there is a lot of monster fun to enjoy too. While the story doesn’t reach the emotional, traumatic and melancholy levels of the 1954 original, this film is the first attempt in a while to create a serious story that harkens back to the earlier films and has a balance between the  humans and monster madness. The main problem is that human side of the story doesn’t hold up as well, while it starts off fairly promising in the 30 minutes, after a certain event in Japan, things really start to drift, drag and become not nearly as enticing as one would have hoped for and I wish the scriptwriters had written better material or used the older films as reference instead.


As for the cast they’re pretty good and their characters are pretty nice even if the actors talents aren’t used to the fullest. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is the main hero of the film and as Lieutenant Ford Brody I thought he was pretty good, he was heroic, courageous and had a nice presence throughout the film. Ken Watanabe as Dr. Ichiro Serizawa was really interesting as this scientist that knew the history of Godzilla and the nature of the monsters, and I really liked Watanabe but then I like him in anything because he’s awesome. Elizabeth Olsen as Elle Brody was nice, this is my first Elizabeth Olsen film and I thought she did well given the material she had to work with, she and Johnson had good chemistry together and I thought they had one of the better human elements about the film. And then of course there is Bryan Cranston, Heisenberg himself as Joe Brody, and I loved him in the film. Just liked in Breaking Bad this guy brings the intensity and badassery of his acting from TV to film in a way not many actors can. Unfortunately there wasn’t nearly as much Cranston in the film as I would have liked, there can never be enough of that man in anything.

Juliette Binoche as Sandra “Sandy” Brody, Ford’s mother, a nuclear regulations consultant at the Janjira nuclear plant. Sally Hawkins as Dr. Vivienne Graham, a scientist who works along with Serizawa was pretty cool and I didn’t expect her character to have as much screen time as she did but she was interesting. Juliette Binoche was nice as Sandra “Sandy” Brody however she was severely under-used. David Strathairn as Admiral William Stenz was good and enjoyed his role in the film but wasn’t used nearly as much I would liked because I really like the guy. Bryan Cranston as Joe Brody, Ford’s father, a nuclear physicist and former engineer at the Janjira nuclear plant.

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When it comes to presentation it is incredible. Visually the film is incredible, there is some beautiful cinematography, wonderful locations and an interesting use of colour too. But it is the CGI that is truly worth talking about. The way the visual effects artists have brought these monsters to life is very well done, all of them look cool and very detailed, but most importantly Godzilla was done SO well. The dude is BEASTLY! He’s huge in scale, totally badass and happens to have such an awesome presence on-screen. He is just a fanboy dream come to life. I guess the only disappointing aspect of Godzilla in the presentation department is that there should have been more monster fighting and Godzilla, however I’d rather have Godzilla in small amounts and be good, than in large amounts and be pants. As for the soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat I thought it was very interesting, it was moody and had several moments of awesomeness that stood from beginning to end.

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In conclusion Godzilla is honestly as good as I had hoped and then some, it takes the source material and reinvented things but still keeps a lot of the pure nostalgic elements intact. For me I haven’t geeked out and felt so much joy since Captain America: The Winter Soldier and this is definitely one of my favourite films of 2014. There could have been more Godzilla and Bryan Cranston, however for me this film was total satisfaction on a level that I don’t get that often. Anyone who wishes to argue against me comment below and fight you with words!

Rating: 8.5/10 (Pure fanboy fun)

So what did you think of Godzilla? Have you seen it or are you gonna watch it? And for the Godzilla fans out there, did you like this version and how do you think it fared when compared to the previous Toho films? Whatever your thoughts, be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! 😀


Posted by on May 16, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews


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Yurusarezaru Mono (Unforgiven) Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, today I return with my final review for today in the form of Yurusarezaru Mono, a Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven from 1993. I knew nothing about this film and just wanted to watch it because there aren’t that many Japanese films in the cinema and I wanted to see a foreign film in the cinema again so I jumped on it as soon as I humanly could.


Now normally when it comes to remakes they’re normally done from foreign language to english, not the other way around and I heard about this remake months ago and got really excited. But then I forgot all about it. The only reason I ended up watching this was for two reasons:

  1. Ken Watanabe.
  2. I couldn’t deny myself a chance to watch a good foreign film, especially one of the Japanese variety.

So now that I’ve gotten that little history lesson out of the way, how does Yurusarezaru Mono fare? Well read on and find out.

The plot in the film goes as follows:

“The Tokugawa shogunate has just collapsed and the Ainu aborigines strive to settle the land alongside the newly established government. Jubei Kamata is a relic of the Tokugawa shogunate, and during that time his name alone terrorized the whole of Kyoto as he killed countless loyalists in the name of the Shogun. After the fall, he vanished from sight. More than 10 years later, Jubei has fathered children with an Ainu woman and lives in a secluded hamlet, barely making a living. His wife – who succeeded in transforming him from a man who kills – had died, leaving him to a quiet life raising his children and tending her grave. However, poverty leads Jubei to abandon his resolve and once again turn to a life of violence.”

The story is pretty damn good as it is dramatic, fairly emotional for the lead characters involved, it is easy to get drawn into and get invested deeply. This film explores themes of justice, vengeance, killing and the moral and ethical codes that people live by. The film also feels like a bit of a road-trip film except instead of cars and roads, we have grassy fields and horses, it is an adventure-like film with a lot that takes place, a fair amount of it bit bad and tragic, but there’s also some great comedic moments too that lighten up the mood from time to time. The film seems to blend the codes and conventions of westerns along with samurai films for an interesting hybrid that feels like it has the best of both worlds in there.


When it comes to the cast there were all really good, for the sake of this review I’m only going to mention the three lead characters. Firstly Ken Watanabe as Jubee Kamata was amazing, Watanabe acts so well and is able to portray a man who has seen hard times and wishes to forget his past, though as far as he runs from it, he will never full get over it. Kōichi Satō has the most comedic parts as Ichizo Oishi, he’s a young man who wishes to join Jubee and Kingo on their quest. And Akira Emoto as Kingo Baba is another actor I really liked, he’s an old friend of Jubee and he’s like the seasoned warrior with the knowledge but also has some funny lines too.

When it comes to the presentation it is nearly flawless on both the visual and audio front. Visually the film is incredible to look at, the cinematography perfectly captures the beauty of Japan’s sweeping landscapes along with good-looking day and night scenes and vibrant colours. The action in the film is well-choreographed and nicely shot and all depictions of violence are pretty graphic and clearly visible. I also love the soundtrack for this film as it is very energetic, powerful, emotional and dramatic, it fit so many situations very well and felt like a mixture of cowboy western music along with traditional Japanese music too.


In conclusion Yurusarezaru Mono is a beautiful film that has a great and emotive story, wonderful cast and is shot very well. I’ve never seen the original Unforgiven so I can’t compare the two films, but I can say that if you enjoy Japanese films that involve samurai then look no further than this film.

Rating: 8.5/10 (A great piece of work from Japan)

So what did you think of Yurusarezaru Mono? Have you seen it or are you gonna watch it? Whatever your thoughts are leave them in the comment section below and I’ll see you on then ext film review. Laters. 😀

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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews


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Godzilla (2014) Trailer #2 Review

Howdy people and it is once again time for another trailer review. Today’s one was a trailer I didn’t know was going doing until around 20-30 mins ago. It is of course the second trailer for Godzilla (2014). Now I was already hyped for this film, but the teaser trailer blew me away when that first hit and now we have a brand new trailer to check out which only gets me more and more giddy about the upcoming film.

So check out this awesome trailer below:

If I had to some this trailer up in one word: cool.

I am really liking the way this film is shaping up, the footage from these trailers makes me feel like Gareth Edwards and the rest of the cast and crew understand the source material and know what it takes to update the original material for modern audiences.

So let’s start talking about the actual trailer. The introduction with Bryan Cranston’s dialogue used over the visual footage is powerful and totally cool, Cranston really sounds like he is channeling his inner Walter White. It sounds like he is talking to someone in charge, perhaps a government person? The only reason I suggest that is because in these kinds of films the government is always trying to cover up these kinds of incidents as nature disasters or something. After Cranston’s dialogue is done we move on to Ken Watanabe’s character talking about how they did tests in the past and awoke something and then tried to kill it passing it off as nuclear tests. But one of the key things that stood out to me about the story aspects was not only framing of one shot which had Watanabe in front of a projector (like the first film), but also the mention about 1954, the fact that they referenced the year when the original film came out was just a neat little point for me.

There is some gorgeous visuals in the film, not only in the CGI which is looking so much cleaner than ever before, but also in the locations, the use of lighting and the varied colour scheme that goes from some pretty colour scenes in the day to crazy dark and scary at night. This might be one of the most visually interesting films since Pacific Rim in the action/sci-fi/monster genre.

I also like how this trailer carried over the dark, grim and foreboding atmosphere from the last trailer with the visuals and eery music that builds and builds. From here there are more shots of the cast including Cranston, Watanabe, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and like one scene with Elizabeth Olsen who is pretty absent from is trailer. The rest of the trailer is destruction, dark skies, jet planes falling out of the sky, trains being smashed apart, helicopters on fire, some other shots from the previous trailer and a new small glimpse of Godzilla in the background looking nice with long-ass trademark roar playing over the footage.

If I have any gripes about the trailer is that I was left wanting more. I guess all I really wanted was a full shot of Godzilla, but I guess the studio and marketing people are gonna wait until the final trailer or near the film’s release to show off the king of the monsters.


In conclusion the second trailer for Godzilla gives a more detailed look at what we’re getting into with some  story elements coming to light, more screen time for Bryan Cranston and Ken Watanabe and the level of chaos and destruction Godzilla will be doing to America. While I do think this trailer is structured better than the last, I can’t say it was that much better. Maybe if there had been a full shot of Godzilla on-show I’d be so much happier, but as it stands, I’m still really hyped for this film, this footage just gets me more excited and May could not come any sooner yo! 🙂

So what do you think of the second official Godzilla trailer? Are you any more or less excited than before? Also did you want to see a full shot of Godzilla? Whatever your thoughts are, drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya later! 😀


Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Films, Media, Reviews


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Godzilla (2014) Trailer #1 Review

Howdy people, time to review another trailer and today’s one I’ve been looking forward to for a long while now, I am of course talking about the highly anticipated reboot, Godzilla. Now if you’re like me, then you happened to catch the Comic-Con teaser trailer when it was leaked online a few months back and that looked great and had a beautiful atmosphere and tone to it. So yesterday first official trailer dropped online, is it looking good or not Erm, heck yeah! 😛 Read on to fight out my thoughts.

But firstly have a look at the badass trailer below:

How can I put this is words… BEST. TRAILER. EVER! *In Comic Book Guy’s voice from The Simpsons)*

Okay maybe that is a bit far, but I’m loving what I’m seeing right now, sure there wasn’t that much of Godzilla himself in all his dinosaur glory, however this is just a teaser trailer and to be honest I’ve been interested in seeing where the humans come into play in this film and thankfully we got an idea of that in this trailer.

Firstly let’s just talk about that overall tone, my god is it dark! Everything is so grim, foreboding, bleak and sad. Everything is serious and there is not a smile or a light-hearted joke to be found, and that’s awesome. One of the things I immediately thought of when I saw the soldiers and everything after that was that this film is really trying to capture the essence of the 1954 film and that’s awesome.

I love the introduction scene will the soldiers getting that pep talk, then we see them jumping out of the plane with red flares, all of those shots are incredibly pretty, nicely angled and that large extreme wide shot of them falling through those dark clouds was just GORGEOUS. Then there’s the beautiful POV where the soldiers falling into the city and we get glimpses of Godzilla in shadow to the right.


From there we get a montage of clips of just pure tragedy, chaos and danger. Bryan Cranston looks sad, stuff blows up, shit gets torn apart, buildings have big holes through them, cities are on fire, nukes are being dispatched, Aaron Taylor Johnson looking badass with his cool haircut, Ken Watanabe is hanging in this cave, Elizabeth Olsen staring at the sky with a crowd of people. Oh man just a lot of shit is going down.


And then of course is the teaser money shot, where the filmmakers want to show up just how large this beast of monster is. It is a panning shot from the base to the top of the monster when we see a bit of his leg, tail back and finally his head with the iconic scream. Technically this the same shot used at the Comic-Con trailer earlier this year but now it is a lot cleaner and better because of the extra detail and buildings falling off of Godzilla’s back.


In conclusion Godzilla looks like the film us western audience wanted back in the 90’s and definitely rectify the problems with that poor Roland Emmerich version. This film looks like it is just death, destruction, drama and action displayed at such a large-scale with incredible special effects, damn I’m just keeping goosebumps thinking about it. I know a lot of people hoped to see more of the monster, but just like Amazing Spider-Man 2, this is a teaser trailer and the film probably still needs work so be patient and wait you greedy people! If this film is as good as I hope it’ll be then it could be one of the best films of 2014.

So what do you think of the first official Godzilla trailer? Are you excited or did you wanna see more of the story and the monster in question? Well whatever your thoughts are, drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya later! 😀


Posted by on December 11, 2013 in Films, Media, Reviews


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