Friday, February 23, 2018

Gantz: O (2016) - FFF - Through the Eyes of Cat

By Cat

Number Rolled: N/A
Movie Name/YearGantz: O (2016)
Tagline: None 
Genre: Animation, Sci-Fi, Drama, Fantasy
Length:  95 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production CompaniesDigital Frontier, Netflix
ProducerMeng Hee Wee
DirectorsYasushi Kawamura, Keiichi Saitô
WritersHiroya Oku, Tsutomu Kuroiwa
Actors:  Chris Jai Alex, Saori Hayami, Mao Ichimichi, Shuichi Ikeda, Yûki Kaji, Tomohiro Kaku, Teruaki Ogawa, Daisuke Ono

Blurb from Netflix:  Teams of recently deceased people who've been revived and given high-tech weapons must cooperate to defeat an army of monsters in Tokyo and Osaka.

Cat's Point of View: 

I couldn’t resist the temptation to watch another anime for this penultimate installment of Foreign Film Friday. The thumbnail and blurb for this movie have been fascinating me and beckoning for me to watch ever since the title landed on Netflix.

Anime purists might not relish movies of this nature because of the animation style – but technology is pushing the boundaries and offering new challenges for animators. Traditional animation style will always have its place, but this new generation of anime is here to stay. It’s come a long way, even, since Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005), which are similar offerings within the genre.

The visuals were just absolutely stunning, and a few times I almost forgot that I was watching animation.

Action lovers will find plenty to enjoy in this movie. There’s hand-to-hand combat as well as quite a few pieces of interesting futuristic weaponry. It’s fast-paced but not so much that anything feels rushed.

I learned that this film is based on a popular manga. I haven’t read it before, though, so I’m afraid I’m unable to advise whether or not it follows the story accurately. There does seem to be a couple other Gantz-based movies out there in live action. I’m not sure if any parallel this film, however.

The story left me with several questions that went unanswered, but overall it was interesting and easy to follow with the subtitles. Now, this movie is offered in English audio; but I chose to watch it in Japanese, which was its original language.

I thoroughly enjoyed this anime and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it – though, it is definitely one geared to adults. There’s quite a bit of gory graphic violence as well as some bizarre nudity.

Hopefully Netflix will offer a sequel sometime in the future. I’d love to find out more about what happens with these characters.

Speech AvailableJapanese, English, French, German, Spanish
Subtitles AvailableEnglish, Japanese [CC], Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 68%
Metascore - None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 7.2/10

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5

Movie Trailer:

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Pressure (2015) Through the Eyes of Cat

By Cat

Number Rolled: N/A
Movie Name/YearPressure (2015)
Tagline: Hold your breath.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Length:  91 minutes
Rating: R
Production CompaniesBigscope Films, Pinewood Pictures
ProducersFarah Abushwesha, Nick Chopping, Steve Christian, Laurie Cook, Nicky Earnshaw, Ed Fraiman, Hugo Grumbar, Tim Haslam, Alan McKenna, Adam Nagel, Jason Newmark, Robert Norris
DirectorRon Scalpello
WritersLouis Baxter, Alan McKenna, Paul Staheli
Actors:  Danny Huston, Matthew Goode, Joe Cole, Alan McKenna, Ian Pirie, Daisy Lowe, Gemita Samarra
StuntsNick Chopping

Blurb from IMDbA group of men are trapped in a small pod on the sea bed, after diving down to fix an oil pipeline and becoming separated from their ship.

Cat's Point of View: 

So this is apparently my week for 2015 movies featuring people needing rescuing and something to do with water. Of course, the water thing is a bit of a stretch considering the last movie took place pretty much all on dry land – but the main characters were Navy SEALs, so that counts right? In any case, I hadn’t even realized my ‘eenie meenie miney moe’ version of random selection had drummed up the coincidence.

This film was a mixed bag for me. There were things I really enjoyed and then others, not so much.

Danny Huston (A Monster in Paris, American Horror Story, Game Night) and Matthew Goode (Leap Year, Downton Abbey, The Crown) certainly didn’t disappoint. The intensity of their performances helped sell the story. I definitely got sucked right into the emotional aspect of the characters’ plight.

Let me tell you – I am profoundly glad that diving just isn’t one of my things. Just saying.

There was a bit of shaky-cam in places, but it wasn’t a consistent issue throughout the movie. It was rather distracting when it occurred, however.  

The story was definitely something fresh and new, rather than recycling concepts from the genre as the film industry is developing a nasty habit of these days.

All told, I enjoyed this movie and wouldn’t have any issues with recommending it. 

Speech Available: English, Spanish
Subtitles Available: English [CC], Spanish

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore - None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.6/10

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3/5

Movie Trailer:

Monday, February 19, 2018

Navy SEALs: The Battle for New Orleans (2015) Through the Eyes of Cat

By Cat

Number Rolled: N/A
Movie Name/YearNavy SEALs: The Battle for New Orleans (2015)
Alternate Title: Navy SEALs vs. Zombies 
TaglineAmerica's most elite soldiers trained for every threat, except for this.
Genre: Action, Horror
Length:  97 minutes
Rating: NR
Production CompaniesHollywood Media Bridge, Media Circus, Throne Productions
ProducersGeza Decsy, Phillip B. Goldfine, Jason Hewitt, Robert Markovich, Jeffrey Reyes, Benjamin Sacks, Steve Shelanski, Robert Lane Sisung, A.K. Waters, Michael Wickstrom
DirectorStanton Barrett
WritersA.K. Waters, Matthew Carpenter
Actors:  Ed Quinn, Michael Dudikoff, Rick Fox, Chad Lail, Molly Hagan, Mikal Vega, Kevin Kent, Damon Lipari, Lolo Jones, Massimo Dobrovic, Stephanie Honoré, Geoff Reeves
Stunt CoordinatorsStanton Barrett, Matt Thompson, 

Blurb from NetflixWhen zombies descend on Louisiana, a team of Navy SEALs races to the rescue, using their war-tested skills to take on the hungry undead. 

Cat's Point of View: 

My random impulse for today’s movie called for some action. When I saw the title of Navy SEALs: The Battle for New Orleans, my curiosity demanded me to watch the film before I even read the blurb of what it was about. Then, of course, I saw the mention of zombies. OK, sure!

Realistically, I was pretty sure from the outset that this was going to be a B-movie. It’s only a couple years old and I don’t remember a thing about it getting any mainstream attention. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it was the caution flag that I was really taking a gamble on this one.

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite pay off.

My favorite sort of B-movie doesn’t take itself too seriously and has a bit of fun with the tropes of its genre. This film tried to be all too serious. While it followed the expected military extraction team recipe, the movie was attempting to sell authenticity way too hard and fell short.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t entirely abysmal. There were just too many inconsistencies, and moments that defied suspension of disbelief.

There was a wide range of quality in the film’s special effects. I was impressed with the shots featuring the planes and such at first blush; but as the movie progressed some moments looked like they could have been lifted from a high-end video game. This was especially so when the camera view offered what the SEALs were seeing through their rifle scopes.

I love a good zombie movie – though, this one didn’t really show consistency with its zombie behavior or even makeup effects.

I’m not quite sure why Netflix is using the title of Navy SEALs: The Battle for New Orleans, either. There isn’t a single moment of this film set in the Crescent City. It takes place entirely in the Louisiana capitol of Baton Rouge. We’re talking just shy of an hour commute from NOLA. The movie was even filmed on-location in the actual city of Baton Rouge. IMDb shows the film’s DVD release name of Navy SEALs vs. Zombies, which makes far more sense.

The stunt and vehicle work seemed pretty on-point, though. That would be expected, however, due to director Stanton Barrett’s (Bullet to the Head, Need for Speed, Logan) extensive experience both as a race car driver and working in various stunt department roles in the film industry. This was his directorial debut. I’d be interested to see what his work behind the camera looks like in the future.

If I’m being honest, I wouldn’t really recommend this one. There are far better action-zombie movies out there.

Speech Available: English, Spanish
Subtitles Available: English [CC], Spanish

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 8%
Metascore - None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 3.3/10

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 2/5

Trust the Dice Parental Advisory Rating: TV-MA

Movie Trailer: