Tagged: Ken Watanabe

Summary: A deadly threat from Earth’s history reappears, and a hunt for a lost artifact takes place between Autobots and Decepticons, while Optimus Prime encounters his creator in space.

Year: 2017

Australian Cinema Release Date: 21st June 2017

Australian DVD Release Date: 4th October 2017

Country: United States, China, Canada

Director: Michael Bay

Screenwriter: Matt Holloway, Art Marcum, Ken Nolan, Akiva Goldsman (story)

Cast: Erik Adahl (Bumblebee voice)), Daniel Adegboyega (Saebert), Gil Birmingham (Chief Sherman), Steve Buscemi (Daytrader voice)), Santiago Cabrera (Santos), Jerrod Carmichael (Jimmy), Jim Carter (Cogman voice)), Gemma Chan (Quintessa), Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime (voice)), John DiMaggio (Nitro Zeus/Crosshairs voice)), Josh Duhamel (Colonel William Lennox), Dino Fazzini (Alden), Marcus Fraser (Gawain), Rebecca Front (Aunt Marie), Liam Garrigan (Arthur), John Goodman (Hound voice)), Minti Gorne (Young Viviane), Laura Haddock (Vivian Wembley), Jess Harnell (Barricade voice)), Richard Hills Jnr. (Cheldric), John Hollingworth (Tristan), Sir Anthony Hopkins (Sir Edmund Barton), Tom Kenny (Wheels voice)), Jason Matthewson (Spenser), Martin McCreadie (Lancelot), Isabela Moner (Izabella), Glenn Morshower (General Morshower), Phoebe Nicholls (Aunt Helen), Allen Phoenix (Luke Reynolds), Jade Quon (Cogman), Trent Seven (Hengist), Omar Sy (Hot Rod voice)),  Stanley Tucci (Merlin), John Turturro (Agent Simmons), Mark Wahlberg (Cade Yaeger), Ken Watanabe (Drift voice)), Frank Welker (Megatron voice)), Reno Wilson (Mohawk/Sqweeks voice)), Rob Witcomb (Percival)

Runtime: 154 mins

Classification: PG

 

OUR TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Kyle McGrath’s Transformers: The Last Knight Review:

Despite his negative reputation as a filmmaker I consider myself to be a fan of a lot of Michael Bay’s films. Bad Boys, Pain & Gain, The Rock, 13 Hours and even Armageddon are all films I have enjoyed. He’s drawn the ire of some film fans however with films like Pearl Harbour (which I’ve not seen) and the incredibly popular Transformers franchise.

Transformers The Last Knight is the fifth film in the live action Transformers film series. Continuing on with new series protagonist from the previous film, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), this film sees the good autobots still lumped together with the villainous decepticons and outlawed by mankind in the wake of collateral damage which they seem to have brought to earth. Leader of the autobots, Optimus Prime, upon completing his long journey back to the Transformer’s home planet of Cybertron is captured by a new enemy with plans to use him in her plan to destroy earth.

The film proceeds more or less as anyone who has seen any the previous 4 films might expect. Having not fully enjoyed the series up til now I found myself once again disappointed in the development of the story, characters and the comedic relief which still comes off as inappropriate either in timing or in content (although perhaps not quite as bad this time as cutaway shots to dogs humping or John Turturro talking about robot testicles as we saw in the franchise’s second instalment).

The over the top action which Bay and this series are both known for of course returns as well. I must say that the mixing of CGI and live action which has always been impressive still excels if you stop to appreciate the movie on such a technical level.

That is if you can actually keep track of what is going on. I’m not sure if this has something to do with the film having 6 different editors but I felt like I was inside the head of a schizophrenic at times with how the movie is shot, edited and jumps from one plot thread to another.

Something I’ve noticed with the story of each of these films is that every single one of them presents a new revelation on how long Transformers have actually been on earth. They were here building the pyramids, they were the true reason for man walking on the moon, they were here with the dinosaurs and now they were instrumental in the legend of King Arthur. I believe these revelations are to make the audience not think that the world would be a much better place, and avoid periodical catastrophic events killing thousands, if the Transformers would simply leave. Each film needs a new reason for them to be here and after a while they’re starting to pile up on each other and conflict.

On top of that it means every film feels too heavy with exposition as this new reason needs to be explained though in such a way which won’t completely bore the fans who are there for the action. This is where the inappropriate timing of humour comes in as the movie can’t go too long without the equivalent of a pie in the face gag.

Characters both human and robotic are introduced and dropped frequently. Rather than focusing more on key players we’re aquatinted with more supporting characters who don’t appear to serve much of a purpose and disappear from the film before they do. John Turturro & Josh Duhamel both series regulars who were absent from the previous film round out the cast but again don’t do much.

This wouldn’t be too much of an issue but as a result the role of major characters like Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock) seem rushed or are flat out absent from most of the film in the case of Optimus Prime or the leader of the decepticons, Megatron.

Optimus in particular whom I’ve never thought was handled well in any of the films barely makes an appearance til past the halfway mark then 10 minutes later he’s back to making these forced rallying speeches to motivate the troops to go into the final battle when he hasn’t earned the right to take on that leader role.

I think a problem with the Transformers film franchise for a lot of people has been the lack of genuine passion for what was going on. The films are visually stunning and often exhausting to watch as the staggering amount of man hours which have gone into creating them is clear to see. But at the same time they can feel hollow and boring.

When the recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action films, themselves produced by Michael Bay, were announced the details of changes to the established ideas of the property caused an uproar. In time this led to the decision to shift gears and so the sequel from the ground up was crafted with die hard fans of TMNT in mind. Familiar villains, heroes, monsters and even the theme song which any fan would know off by heart were included and I believe this made a much more enjoyable film in the process.

The Transformers films have never had this reinvention because they never really needed to being the franchise was always so popular despite negativity from some audiences. This sums up my thoughts on Transformers The Last Knight. If you have enjoyed the franchise up till now then you will definitely enjoy this latest addition. However, unlike with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, I can’t think of a reason to recommend this sequel to anyone who has felt let down by the series up till now.

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:  

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Transformers: The Last Knight Reviews: N/A

 

Trailer:

Godzilla

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

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 15th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, Japan

Director: Gareth Edwards

Screenwriter: Max Borenstein, Dave Callaham (story)

Cast: CJ Adams (Young Ford), Juliette Binoche (Sandra Brody), Carson Bolde (Sam Brody), Garry Chalk (Stan Walsh), Bryan Cranston (Joe Brody), Jake Cunanan (Akio), James D. Dever (Captain Freeman), Catherine Lough Haggquist (PO #1 Martinez), Sally Hawkins (Vivienne Graham), Richard T. Jones (Captain Russell Hampton), Hiro Kanagawa (Hayato), Eric Keenleyside (Boyd), Anthony Konechny (Thach), Brian Markinson (Whelan), Gardiner Millar (Fitzgerald), Elizabeth Olsen (Elle Brody), Ty Olsson (Jainway), Victor Rasuk (Sergeant Tre Morales), Patrick Sabongui (Lieutenant Commander Marcus Waltz), Al Sapienza (Huddleston), David Strathairn (Admiral William Stenz), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Ford Brody), Ken Watanabe (Dr. Ichiro Serizawa), Ken Yamamura (Takashi)

Runtime: 123 mins

Classification: M

OUR GODZILLA REVIEWS & RATINGS:

Adam Ross: You can check out Adam’s Godzilla review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #79

Stars(3)

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Godzilla review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #79

Stars(3)

David Griffiths:

Fans of Godzilla films want and deserve a good Godzilla film, after all the poor suffering souls have nothing but a bad taste in their mouth after the 1998 Matthew Broderick led disaster. Well now comes the 2014 update and on the surface it seems that in a rare oddity Hollywood has finally picked the right director to be at the helm of a major project. Anyone that can remember just how good Monsters was will attest to the fact that Gareth Edwards knows how to make a damn fine ‘monster flick.’

This time around we find Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston – Get A Job, Cold Comes The Night) alarmed at the seismic activity going on around the Japanese nuclear power plant where he works. To his surprise nobody seems to take him seriously and the result is a catastrophe that results in the death of many other workers including his wife.

Flash-forward to fifteen years later and Joe’s son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Kick-Ass 2, Anna Karenina) is now a bomb expert in the military. He is also married to emergency room nurse, Elle (Elizabeth Olsen – Oldboy, In Secret) and has a young son that his military service takes him away from far to often. It is therefore understandable that he is frustrated when on a rare time at home he receives a call from Japanese authorities informing him that Joe has been arrested entering into a quarantined zone.

After bailing his father out Ford learns that his father believes that the authorities are keeping something secret inside the ‘zone’ and he wants to get inside to find his old data and to see what is going on. Reluctantly Ford follows his father and soon learns that experts, including Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins – The Double, Blue Jasmine) and Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe – Unforgiven, Inception) have been keeping a very large secret that is about to unleash itself onto the world.

It is easy to see Edwards’ handy work all over Godzilla. His monster sequences are well worth the price of admission, especially the ‘monster fights’ and at times he isn’t afraid to pull the focus away from these battles to show what the humans such as Ford are doing at that time. However while these sequences do look impressive as a whole Godzilla is held back from becoming a great film because of several reasons.

One of the major flaws of Godzilla is the characterisation. While you hardly go into a ‘monster flick’ expecting an epic back story for each character it is disappointing to find that a lot of the characters here in Godzilla are dangerously one dimensional. For example Dr. Serizawa is one of the more interesting characters although very little is learnt about him, then there is the massive under use of Elle, which results in the crime of seeing an award winning actress like Elizabeth Olsen become little more than scenery as she simple watches monsters go by with her mouth open like a Laughing Clown. The lack of characterization causes a problem later on in the film when the audience begins to realise that they really don’t care whether some characters survive the slaughter or not.

Of course though one of the most important things for a film like Godzilla however is what do the monsters actually look? Well Godzilla himself looks fine, Edwards’ team has actually done a pretty good throw back to the Godzilla of old. The same however cannot be said for the other Kaiju monsters that appear in the film, call me an old-fogey but somehow they seem just a little bit too metallic and robotic like for me. Their look makes them look very fake while on the other hand Godzilla’s natural look makes it almost believable that such creatures do live somewhere out there under the sea.

The decent storyline however does allow some of the actors to show their worth though. Bryan Cranston is given some moments to show his dramatic range, a welcome relief after the teaser footage they showed us a couple of months ago made it look like he might have been going for a comedic portrayal of his character, while Aaron Taylor-Johnson pulls on a serious face and actually shows that he may have what it takes to become an action hero in the future. As previously mentioned though some of the cast – especially Elizabeth Olsen and Ken Watanabe – are completely wasted in their one dimensional roles.

Godzilla is certainly far from a bad film. The good storyline and decent action sequences make it a worthy watch and Gareth Edwards should be congratulated for that, but sadly some elements of the script will still leave some serious film lovers wanting more.

 

Stars(3)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3)

IMDB Rating:  Godzilla (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Godzilla′: Nil

Trailer: