Thursday, August 16, 2018

Go Go Godzilla! The Anime Trilogy Continues

By Cat

I had a hankering to watch an anime to share with you all, and so the 2nd installment of the Netflix Godzilla anime trilogy felt like a natural fit. I’d given the first movie the Foreign Film Friday spot back in February of this year. Godzilla: Planet of Monsters (2017)  set the stage well for the story to continue.

The way this trilogy is shaping up reminds me of the way The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) trilogy was released. These movies fit together as a single story broken up into three segments. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not necessarily comparing the two movie franchises. That’s like comparing apples to watermelons. Each of the first two Godzilla anime films set the stage for the next chapter in after-credits scenes. I am super excited to see where this story goes from here.

Now, we here at Trust the Dice don’t like giving spoilers. Though, if you’re interested in this movie; you really want to watch the first movie before you start this one. This is mostly due to the reason I just mentioned. This story picks up where the last film left off. In discussing this movie, however, it may reveal some spoilers from the prior one so consider this your warning. All the same, I’ll do my best not to let any cats out of the bag.

I’ve seen where a lot of prominent geek and gamer culture sites have generally panned this film – but they weren’t exactly fans of the first one, either. I have entirely the opposite reaction to these films. I absolutely adore them. Not only is the animation quality exquisite and breathtaking, I’ve also enjoyed the story.

The team sent to deal with Godzilla on Earth encountered some issues – namely the 300 meter tall Godzilla. This film picks up with what happens next to the stranded battle teams. They face mysteries and surprising revelations which were both engrossing and head-scratch worthy. I won’t say that the plot is without flaws. There are some holes in the story which I haven’t wrapped my head around – but I am willing to believe that there were explanations in the first movie that I’ve simply forgotten. It’s really no matter in comparison to the rest.

This installment of the story is partially a think-piece where the question of the price of victory and what it means to be human come into play. When you put that together with the existing emotional baggage carried along from the first film, this movie gets into some dark and heavy stuff if you look past the visuals and the giant lizard’s heat ray.

Mecha-Godzilla does play a role in the film, but not quite in the manner I expected. It was still rather interesting and does lead into the use of an anime staple. The mechs used are very apt in their naming and there’s some rather powerful imagery when you connect those dots.

As with the first movie in this trilogy, there wasn’t any flashy or cutesy intro song or recurring tune within the body of the soundtrack as quite a lot of anime films and series employ. Instead, there’s another excellent song from the band Xai during the credits. It’s an epic way to pass the time until that final teaser scene at the end. I’ve linked the video for you below.

As I said before, I can’t wait to find out what happens next – and you can believe that I’ll share with you what I think when this trilogy comes to a close. The next film’s title is shown as Godzilla: The Planet Eater. I’ve seen some translations as “star eater” as well. Movie #3 has been teased for release in Japan in November 2018. We can likely expect a 3 or 4 month time difference for when it hits Netflix, if it follows this most recent installment’s pattern.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Internet Famous (2016)

Number Rolled: 4
Movie Name/Year: Internet Famous (2016)
Tagline: Love them. Hate them. Follow them.
Genre: Comedy
Length: 87 minutes
Rating: TV-14
Production Companies: Cinemand, Entertainment 360, Maker Studios, Off The Dock
Producer: Michael J. Gallagher, Steve Greene, Ryan Kirby, Mark Korshak, Marc Reid, Adam Riback, Ross Siegel, Evan Silverberg, Jana Winternitz, Michael Wormser
Director: Michael J. Gallagher
Writer: Michael J. Gallagher, Steve Greene
Actors: Shane Dawson, Steve Greene, Wendy McColm, Amanda Cerny, Richard Ryan, Christian Delgrosso, John Michael Higgins, Roger Bart, Missi Pyle, Adam Busch, Jason Horton, Tay Zonday

Blurb from Netflix: Five viral internet celebrities travel to a competition that will award one of them their own television series in this ensemble comedy.

Selina’s Point of View:
I went into this movie with some bias. I not only wanted it to be good, but I was ready to forgive a hell of a lot.

I’ll give you some context, I believe that YouTubers are capable of putting out better quality content than the regurgitated plots we get on most of our TV shows. There are exceptions, of course, but most of our daily entertainment intake is made by the few people in Hollywood that anyone will listen to. YouTube offers creative people the chance to be heard by a mass audience – without bending to the lowest common denominator.

Markiplier, for instance, put out a few videos recently that have been incredible. You had his interactive A Date With Markiplier (2017). Not only were the plots decent, but that ‘choose your own path’ method of storytelling is basically reinventing the wheel that is visual entertainment.

Following that, he put out Who Killed Markiplier? (2017), which was a who-dun-it murder mystery with some dark humor and an origin story for his alter-egos. He followed that up with Wilford ‘MOTHERLOVING’ Warfstache (2018), which continued on that story, in a way.

Granted, the quality of the aforementioned works isn’t on the level of Game of Thrones (2011-), but it’s like watching a pilot. It’s an introduction to his ideas, which are engrossing and different from what we’re used to seeing.

That’s just an example, but we’ve seen others. There have even been movies created by YouTubers that are very good. Like Riley Rewind (2013) and Eighth Grade (2018) – among others.

It’s these small glimpses of proof that there’s still good new ideas out there that force me to keep my eye squarely focused on YouTube.

Whenever a new movie comes along that includes, or is fully made by, YouTubers – I’m on it. I’m all about supporting it. Especially since the mainstream media trashes them every single change they get.

So, I went into this movie, excited and ready.

I’m so angry.

I’m not just bored or grumpy because I watched a bad movie, I’m angry.

The media latches onto every bullshit piece of YouTube that it can. It latches onto the Logan Pauls and the Daddy of Fives. Each of the articles written about the creators on YouTube focus on the worst of the worst… and it greatly affects the way people look at the entire platform.

I thought, “Hey, Shane Dawson’s a big name. He’s involved in this. It’s gonna show a much broader perspective of things and really get people to pay attention.” Holy hell, I hope no one paid attention.

Yes, I understand that this movie was meant to be a parody, but it comes off as a condemnation of the platform. You see each cookie cutter dark spot of YouTube hailed as the best. In fact, Shane Dawson himself plays a Logan Paul-esk character.

You can’t parody something before it gets respect. It just undermines that attempt at getting respect in the first place.

There was one likeable character, played by Wendy McColm. If the story had solely followed her and concentrated on that semi-redemption arc that explains how important some of these creators are to people and then juxtaposed her against the Pauls of the platform, there could have been something important there. And it still could have been over-exaggerated enough to make it a caricature-type film.

Instead, they decided to throw all of YouTube under the bus.

Fuck you, Internet Famous.

Cat’s Point of View:
This movie was atrocious.

I really do try to find something positive to say about everything that we watch. Sadly, there’s very little involved with this particular film that I could even remotely find positive. I recognized a few of the actors – 4 to be precise – but that doesn’t really count.

It seems like the filmmakers tried to pull off some sort of spoof or parody about internet fame. It ended up coming across as one big joke at the expense of those that make a living via social media and the internet. The movie crosses into borderline offensive territory for me. It was just that bad. I almost felt like they just handed a bully a camera and told them to go find people to make fun of from the internet.

I suppose that my positive note could be that at least it wasn’t a long movie. My recommendation? Skip this one. There are better internet related movies out there.

Speech Available: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Subtitles Available: English, French, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 40%
Metascore - None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 3.6/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating0/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating0/5

Movie Trailer: