Kong on Skull Island

Just reviewed Kong on Skull Island at MonkeysFightingRobots.com. I’m calling it essential reading for all fans of the 8th Wonder of the World. Click the link and give it a read.

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Son of Godzilla

Son of GodzillaMonsters have often shown they are not too different from people. They often have feeling emotions, hopes, and goals. Sometimes they even have children. Today we look at one of the most famous monster children in existence, The Son of Godzilla.

On a supposedly deserted island, a group of scientists are working on a device which will control the weather. Unfortunately their work has caused radiation to leak out and have an effect on the environment. The most notable of these changes include the large mantis creatures called Kamacuras appearing and stumbling upon a discover, a large egg. When the egg hatches a new born member of Godzilla’s race emerges. Adopting the small creature as his own, Godzilla must protect and teach his young son Minilla the ways of the world. Still, will this new father be able to protect him from the looming threat of the giant spider Kumonga?

Son of Godzilla

Ill be the first admit Minilla has never been one of my favorite monsters. I had seen him in Godzilla’s Revenge so many times I had associated him with his incredibly dopey dub voice and mannerisms. He’s cute enough but in a more “he’s so goofy look he’s cute” kind of way. Frankly a much cuter monster was Little Godzilla with his Chibi like proportions. Minilla, other than being adopted by Godzilla really doesn’t have anything distinct going for him.

The other monsters introduced into this movie are far more memorable and intimidating than Minilla. The giant mantis Kamacuras became symbolized with being the cannon fodder character of Toho thanks to how many of these characters are introduced and destroyed in this film. Kumonga, the giant spider was also introduced. Surprisingly, despite my arachnophobia his appearance had never bothers me. Instead I rather liked watching Godzilla kick he large eight legged butt. 

Son of Godzilla

This film isn’t without its redeeming qualities. The human characters are entertaining enough and the love story blossoming between Goro and Saeko is cute. Also, one of the biggest moments in this film comes with its ending. After a combined father son effort to defeat Kumonga, the pair try to escape the effects of the weather control device which is causing the island to become buried under snow. Minilla falls behind and instead of leaving his son to die, Godzilla comes back for him and holds him close to keep warm. This scene of the two of them being put into some type of natural suspended animation as they hug one another is a very touching scene which always tugs on the hearts of many fans. 

The best way to wrap up this review would be to compare it to another film featuring a spawn of a Giant Monster, Son of Kong. Son of Kong is the better film but it is sadly not nearly as well known as this film. Thought this film does have the redeeming value of actually showing a father and a son interacting, it just isn’t as nearly as entertaining as watching the young ape try to step up and be the new contender on the island his father once called his kingdom. Sorry, Son of Godzilla, you did okay but there is far better Kaiju films out there and this is what hinders you most as a film. 

RATING: C+

Mobile Suit Gundam

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My original intent with the Gundam Franchise was to do some kind of month long celebration. Unfortunately, I find myself out of time and in need of pulling something out of the reserves. So, here it is, my first of many Gundam reviews. Not as elegant as I thought they would be but at least I’m getting them out. Today we will begin by looking at the show that started it all, Mobile Suit Gundam.

As people leave Earth to start a new future in space colonies, the Principality of Zeon announces their independence and begins a war with the Earth Federation. As war between these two forces spreads, it soon comes to the peaceful colony of Side 7 which has been secretly developing mobile suits for the Earth. The son of the chief designer, Amuro Ray finds the manual for the new machines. Hopping into the cockpit of a suit called the Gundam he is is able to fight off the invading Zeon forces. Now thrown into war Amuro will find himself having to soldier on with piloting the Gundam to protect the new war ship the White Base and the friends he has on board. Unfortunately he will also have to face the ace pilot of the Zeon Forces, Char Aznable, the red comet.

The original series set the themes that would become synonymous with the franchise. Themes such as war is hell, human nature won’t change once we are in space, the enemy is a person too, and intense giant robot combat would echo in the different series that would follow. The enemy is a person too was probably one of the most unique aspects of the show. Before this the enemies in mecha shows were members of evil organizations whose only goals were destruction and mayhem. There are moments where individuals from both sides were shown as being just people who were fighting to survive or to advance but under different circumstances may have been friends with those from the other side. The staples of the franchise would be introduced in this series as well. The cylinder space colonies called sides, the giant robots called mobile suits, and those with mental powers called Newtypes that would be a regular occurrence for the series all originated from this show.

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The mecha of this series are iconic. The original RX-78 Gundam is such a recognizable part of the Japanese culture that a life sized state of the machine has since been constructed in Japan. The Zaku-II and various others suits of the Zeon forces had such a unique design that it helped to cause the fans to obtain a close bond with the enemies. Sadly it was the extreme variety that I feel led to the Zeon’s defeat. If they had only found a single mobile armor they could have mass produced instead of having so many prototypes that were defeated on their first appearance they may have had a better chance at victory. A fleet of Big Zams would have helped them to win the war.

The two main characters of this series, Amuro and Char really are two characters from opposite sides and I don’t just mean which team they are fighting on. Amuro is a man who never wanted to fight but once in the war discovered he was a natural prodigy for combat. Meanwhile Char used war to his advantage to exact his revenge and fight for his own personal agendas. Yet throughout the series the two go toe-to-toe causing their skills and their blossoming abilities as Newtypes to increase exceptionally. Their rivalry and relationship would continue through not only this show but also through Zeta Gundam and Char’s Counteracttack.

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Despite the influence and impact that this show has made in the anime community its not without its flaws. For starters the show’s animation has not aged well and is hard for some fans to sit through. This makes the series not as easy to approach for those who aren’t used to older animation. Also the series did suffer form cancellation and its ending does wrap up a bit fast. Still, these problems don’t make the show totally unapproachable. And any true Mecha fan should find the time to sit down and watch this classic anime series all the way through.

And that’s the original mobile suit Gundam. The show that launched a plethora of sequels and spin offs.  Stayed tuned Mecha fans for more. Until then, FLY GUNDAM!!

RATING: B+

Jafax 2016

Jafax

Attention Crew, I will be attending Jafax 2016 this year and hosting a few panel. The panels include:

Transformers: The IDW Universe: Friday from 10:30 to 11:30 in Screening Room 3 (Emerald B, Amw.)

Godzilla: Still King Of The Monsters: Sunday from 9:30 am to 11:00 am in Panel Room 2 (River Overlook)

Are you killing your Fandom?: Sunday from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm in Panel Room 2 (River Overlook)

I hope to see some of you there. Don’t be afraid to come up and talk after the panel is over.

Beast Wars: Season 2

Beast Wars: Season 2

The celebration of the 20th anniversary of Beast Wars continues as we move into the second season. Though shorter than the first, season two finds a way to deliver more in the short amount of time the creative team had to work with.

After the intense ending of the first season, the Maximals find themselves without a leader. They don’t have long to mourn as the energy wave brought on by the destruction of the doomsday device which killed Optimus Primal hurtles towards the Earth. When it hits, it causes many to turn into a new form of Transformer, the Transmetal, a mixture of animal and metal which allows them to have vehicles modes. The wave also causes new threats to awaken all across the world and will lead both teams closer to the their origins. Back to the original war between the Autobots and the Decepticons. Beast Wars: Season 2

This season is full of great moments. Each episode is dedicated to moving the plot forward with no room for filler. Thanks to this aspect the show doesn’t let up for a moment in its intensity. From the introduction of the Fuzors, to the lose of Airrazor and Tigertron, and Cybertron finally discovering their location, every episode is full of action, drama, and references to the Transformer mythology. This really was the season where fans came around and realized just how much this show had to offer.

The season also introduces some very interesting and entertaining characters such as Silverbolt, the noble knight, Rampage, the experiment gone wrong, and the malfunctioning Transmutate, an innocent creature with destructive power. The show also found way to top the previous season’s cliffhanger by introducing one which was far more intense than fans ever thought to be possible. Beast Wars: Season 2

Hands down the best episode of this season was Code of Hero. In it, Dinobot comes to terms with his destiny and realizes the future he saw when he researched the golden disc was coming true and there was no way around it. He would have to fight in order to protect blossoming humanity from the Predacon forces. The battle would be fought on his own and he would lose his life in the process. The episode became infamous as one of the most powerful and well crafted episodes ever in the Transformers franchise.

With this review two seasons are down and one to go. The review of the third season of Beast Wars will be coming sometime later this year. Hopefully these write ups are convincing others to go out and check out this series. The computer graphics may not have aged well but the show is still filled with elements which make it necessary viewing from anyone who calls themselves a true Transformer fan.

RATING: A