Directed by: Ishiro Honda
Starring: Akira Takarada, Momoko Kochi, Takashi Shimura
Plot: A giant lizard monster, mutated by nuclear radiation, wrecks havoc on Japan
For: A not very subtle analogy for the devastating affects of nuclear weapons, Godzilla is a landmark film and classic of sci-fi. Serizawa is cool.
Against: Very slow to start.
Favourite Scene: Serizawa sacrifices himself to kill Godzilla and ensure his terrible weapon is lost forever
Rating: 4 Lukes
Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Mathew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo
Plot: Following a nuclear incident in French Polynesia, a lizard’s nest is irradiated by the fallout. Decades later this lizard has grown to gigantic size and attacks New York.
For: While not as cool as the original, the Godzilla re-design is not all bad / the SFX are also ok
Against: Everything else. This movie is an insult to the original film, as well as all other films. It is boring, nonsensical, over the top rubbish and should have been the point when people realised that Emmerich had no talent (but no, they still let him do 10,000 BC). It is also has the 2nd worst tag line I’ve ever seen – Size Does Matter. Need I say more?
Favourite Scene: Godzilla vs the submarine!
Rating: 0.5 Lukes
Winner: The original stomps all over the piece of crap remake (sorry about that, I had to go there)
Directed by: John Carpenter
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis
Plot: 6 year old Michael Myers kills his sister and is placed into an institution for life, but 15 years later he escapes and returns to his home town to kill again. His psychologist Dr Loomis follows in order to try and stop him.
For: Often cited as the original ‘slasher’ film (along with Black Christmas), Carpenter’s tale of holiday horror still holds up today. And despite its reputation for violence and gore, it actually shows very little, preferring to use the ‘what you don’t see’ method. And that poster is awesome!
Against: Some scenes a little boring / Pleasence over acts.
Favourite Scene: Laurie vs Michael round 2
Rating: 4 Lukes
Directed by: Rob Zombie
Starring: Tyler Mane, Roddy McDowell, Scout Taylor-Compton
Plot: 10 year old Michael Myers kills his family and a local bully and is placed into an institution for life. 15 years later he escapes and returns to his home town to kill again. His psychologist Dr Loomis follows in order to try and stop him.
For: Although not really necessary for the plot, I quite like the new scenes explaining Michael’s insanity. Also, McDowell is quite good as Loomis.
Against: Zombie throws ‘less is more’ out the window and revels in the gore. It’s a shame because otherwise this isn’t that bad.
Favourite Scene: The opening scenes.
Rating: 3 Lukes
Winner: The original has more class and is actually creepy.
Disclaimer: I know that there was an earlier version of Matheson’s novel – 1964’s The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price, but I haven’t seen it 🙁
Directed by: Boris Sagal
Starring: Charlton Heston, Rosalind Cash, Anthony Zerbe
Plot: Biological warfare between China and the Soviet Union wipes out most of the world’s population, leaving behind albino mutants called The Family, a group of young people who are slowly succumbing to the plague, and Robert Neville, the only person immune to the disease.
For: Heston is always over the top fun / Has one of the first on screen interracial kisses
Against: Deviates so far from the source material it might as well have not even bothered crediting it / The Family are terrible villains / I know it’s a classic but I just don’t like it 🙂
Favourite Scene: Neville slowly going mad in his apartment
Rating: 2.5 Lukes
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Will Smith, Alice Braga
Plot: A proposed cancer cure mutates into a deadly virus that wipes out the majority of the population, as well as mutating the few survivors into monsters. But Robert Neville is immune and is trying to find a cure before he goes mad from loneliness.
For: Will Smith is terrific and I’ll watch anything he is in / The first 30 mins are great – the sense of loneliness and isolation are well done
Against: Deviates from the novel even more than Omega Man does / The villains are terrible CGI creations / I like the dog, but having it takes away some of drama and lessens the impact of Nevile’s loneliness
Favourite Scene: Neville loses it in the video store
Rating: 3 Lukes
Winner: I Am Legend by a nose, and only because it has Will Smith.
Directed by: Tomas Alfredson
Starring: Lina Leanderson, Kare Hedebrant, Per Ragnar
Plot: 12 year old Oskar is bullied at school and leads a lonely life without friends and divorced parents. Then he meets new neighbor Eli and everything changes.
For: The young actors are terrific / Beautifully shot / More romantic and endearing than any of that Twilight rubbish
Against: The ambiguity of whether Eli is in fact a boy or a girl is a bit weird, and with the rest of that sub plot removed from the film it becomes pointless / The cat attack scene is pretty silly
Favourite Scene: I can’t have just one – Oskar meets Eli for the first time / Oskar taunts Eli into entering the apartment without being invited / the boyfriend/girlfriend discussion
Rating: 4.5 Lukes
Directed by: Matt Reeves
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Grace Moretz, Elias Koteas
Plot: 12 year old Owen is bullied at school and leads a lonely life without friends and divorced parents. Then he meets new neighbor Abbie and everything changes
For: An almost perfect remake
Against: Remaking a film just because a majority of your audience is too lazy to read is lame / The 2 stars of the original had no acting experience before making their film and I think it helps their performances, however both Kodi and Chloe are professional actors and it shows. Not a major problem, but an interesting difference.
Favourite Scene: Owen meets Abbie for the first time / Owen buys Abbie some candy / the boyfriend/girlfriend discussion
Rating: 4.5 Lukes
Winner: A tie! Both brings something to the table and are both excellent films
Next up, a special triple review!
Directed by: Merian C Cooper & Ernest B Schoedsack
Starring: Bruce Cabot, Fay Ray, Robert Armstrong
Plot: Carl Denham convinces actress Ann Darrow to accompany him and his crew to a mysterious island to film a movie. But when they get there Ann is captured by villagers and offered as sacrifice to a giant ape-man called Kong. Instead of killing her, Kong falls in love with her and takes her back to his cave. She is eventually rescued by the remaining crew and Kong is captured. Back in New York Kong is placed on display but breaks his bonds, grabs Ann and climbs to the top of the Empire State Building, where he is attacked by planes and killed.
For: The stop motion is great and once they get to the island the action is full on. It also has one of the best endings in cinema.
Against: Boring as hell before the island.
Favourite Scene: Kong vs the planes
Rating: 3.5 Lukes
Directed by: John Guillermin
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, Charles Grodin
Plot: An oil tycoon finds out about a mysterious island he believes is rich in oil. He sets out to claim it and on the way deals with stowaway Jack Prescot, and Dwan an aspiring actress, who they find adrift in a raft. At the island they discover the oil is useless and Dwan is captured by the locals for sacrifice to their god Kong. Kong is revealed to be a giant ape-man, who takes Dwan but instead of killing her is bemused by her rambling and falls in love with her. Dwan is eventually rescued and Kong is captured and taken to New York and put on display. During the commotion Kong sees Dwan being jostled by reporters, breaks free of his bonds and kidnaps her. Kong eventually ends up at the top of the World Trade Centre, where he is attacked by military choppers and killed.
For: Although very clunky by today’s standards, the FX was top stuff then and you can see why. Some cool scenes and always good to see Jeff Bridges / great score by John Barry / Better than 1998 Godzilla
Against: Seriously, ‘Dwan’ (I know she explains that it is really ‘Dawn’ and she changed it to be memorable, but come on) / The campness is sometimes over the top
Favourite Scene: Kong vs the military
Rating: 2.5 Lukes
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Andy Serkis
Plot: Carl Denham convinces actress Ann Darrow to accompany him and his crew to a mysterious island to film a movie. But when they get there Ann is captured by villagers and offered as sacrifice to a giant ape called Kong. Instead of killing her, Kong falls in love with her and takes her back to his cave. She is eventually rescued by the remaining crew and Kong is captured. Back in New York Kong is placed on display but breaks his bonds, grabs Ann and climbs to the top of the Empire State Building, where he is attacked by planes and killed.
For: Serkis’ performance as Kong is magnificent / Naomi Watts is lovely / very moving and some breathtaking cinematography
Against: Its way too long / Ann and Kong on the frozen lake
Favourite Scene: Kong vs the 3 T-Rexs & Kong vs the planes
Rating: 3.5 Lukes
Winner: It’s a tie between the original and Jackson’s remake! Controversy? 🙂
Next I’ll have the fourth and final part.