Tag Archives: monsters

Monsters: Nothing Happens.

As much as I loved the premise of this movie and the idea of another Spielburg-like sci-fi alien film, it appears as if they progressive plot that should occur in this film is absent. Gareth Edwards had a great idea in posing a film in a world that has gotten used to a monster invasion, but this has been explored to a further degree in District 9. The aliens/monsters are still unknown in this film and are avoided at all costs. This creates a sense of mystery, but the end of the film leaves nothing learned. We still haven’t discovered the big twist that sets this apart from just a setup of a film. So close, and yet so far.

So the premise of this film is quite simple. Andrew Caulder (Scoot McNairy) is an investigative reporter in search of the next big story about the aliens that landed along the U.S./Mexico border. He has come the

Very interesting locations and commentary.

safe route into Mexico in order to retrieve his bosses’s daughter, Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able). After some complications and a wild night in Mexico, Andrew and Samantha miss the last boat before the season of the monsters activity. For a lot more money, the two are able to illegally and dangerously obtain a ride through the river and jungles of the contaminated zone.

The actual couple, Scoot and Whitney.

From this big buildup, we expect some really awe-inspiring and weird things to go down in the jungle. The make their way down the river, Anaconda style, and then Jeep their way through the jungle. Things go South for the assisting party, but Sam and Andy make it out scratch free. They make their way to a pyramid, have a moment, and become intimate after only spending a few days together. They head into America, desolated at the point of impact around the border, and spend the rest of the film in a gas station. You get a bit of monster interaction and a disappointing Quentin Tarantino ending. And that’s it. I didn’t reveal anything you would want to avoid in a spoiler alert of a review. That is literally it.

The entire film you learn nothing and don’t grow along with the main couple. (And they are a couple, interesting to find Scoot brought along his girlfriend for the ride.) The monsters appear violent, although the tone of the film suggests they are just living in the place they’ve found. They kill, they are attacked, and it

A bit of symbolism that shows nothing is going on, ever.

seems to be a mutual hostility between the two. I did like the political undertones of the “aliens” landing on the border of the U.S. and Mexico, but that’s about all I took away from this film. Yes, visually striking at parts, but those parts are about 5 minutes of face time the monsters get on camera in a 90 minute film.

Ah, is this the map that shows where our plot went?

I was impressed at the lengths that Gareth Edwards went to film his movie on a small budget. Filming without permission, actual locations, small crew. That’s the way movie are supposed to be made. Show the world you are depicting for what it’s worth. Pull no punches, never apologize for a things. I’m in admiration of Edwards guile and ambition, and just wish this film was better and more interactive. Maybe his version of Godzilla will be better. But for this film, I’ll give it a 4.1 out of 10.

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Soul Eater: The Nightmare Before Anime

Ever since my girlfriend and her sister cosplayed the Thompson twins from Soul Eater, I had developed a growing

Liz and Patty. Yes.

interest in watching Soul Eater. I didn’t realize at the time what this show would hold in store for me. (Added bonus if Christopher Sabat does any voice in an anime.) As I began watching this 51 episode anime, I found myself falling in love with the characters and caring for what would happen to them (although I had the ending ruined for me by complete accident.) It didn’t detract from the pulse-pounding episodes of battle after battle that ensued, and I found a new love in this Halloween-type anime that sent chills down my spine and laughs throughout my body as I spent a week watching this amazing anime. I was enraptured.

This anime follows the story of three “Meisters” and their “Weapons.” These duos of weapon and wielder take on what are known as Kishins, the tainted souls of creatures that have become monsters and feed on other people’s souls. Once 99 Kishin souls are collected, and one witch’s soul, then the weapon is deemed worthy of being used by Lord Death. This grim reaper is the essential Headmaster of the DWMA, also known as the Death Weapon Meister Academy. He installed this school to battle Kishins, and it has done a good job up to this point.

The doom and gloom of Death City.

It is at this point that things begin to go downhill. The evil witch Medusa (Luci Christian) and others have made plans to bring down the DWMA, and it is up to three brave Meisters, Maka Albarn (Laura Bailey), Black Star (Brittney Karbowski), and Death the Kid (Todd Haberkorn) to defeat the evil plot of the witches and Kishins. Teamed up with their weapons, Soul Eater (Micah Solusod), Tsubaki (Monica Rial), and the Thompson twins Liz (Jamie Marchi) and Patty (Cherami Leigh).

So it may seem weird that Meisters, who are people, are fighting using weapons who are also people. But these people are born with the ability to change into weapons at will. These weapons are special as well. A Meister and its Weapon have a special bond known as Soul Resonance. This bond allows Meister and Weapon to combine into one soul and creates a higher power in which to defeat enemies. But these three are not on the level of the Professors or Lord Death himself at the DWMA. And it is the school’s purpose to train these Meisters and Weapons in order to make them formidable opponents against Kishins.

The one thing that stands out about this anime, to me, is the style in which the plot is set. The doom and gloom of death and souls is combined with the comedic

Soul Eater. With some pizazz.

drawings of the artists. This gives it an anime meets Nightmare Before Christmas feel to it. The grinning Sun and Moon with blood dripping from their teeth give it that comedic element, mixed with the morbid. The grim reapers and monster encountered, drawn in what appears to be Jack the Ripper Whitechapel area sets up one of the best environments I’ve ever encountered in an anime.

Black Star. Badass.

And there are some great english voice actors that are in this anime. It would take too long to give a whole list, so I’ll just highlight a few. I thought Micah Solusod gave a great performance as Soul Eater, Maka’s weapon scythe. His grave voice and determined attitude comes across great through Micah, although I’ve never heard of him before. Brittney Karbowski was amazing as the cocky Black Star, my all time favorite ninja child and all around badass. John Swasey was great as Lord Death. His goofy voice gave the anime a Jack Skellington element with his personality and outlook. Vic Mignogna was hilarious as Maka’s father and Death Scythe Spirit. His obsession with seeking his daughter’s approval was always worth a laugh. Chuck Huber was fantastic as the madness induced Professor Doctor Franken Stein. His tormented character fought back and forth, and this was amazingly done by Huber. Maxey Whitehead was great as the insecure, gender-bender Crona. The duo of Crona and Ragnarok against the world and the lack of acceptance was heart wrenching to say the least. And yes, Troy Baker was amazing as Excalibur, the useless, fool dueling weapon of legend and lore.

And that’s about it. To get too much into the story might ruin the anime with spoilers, so I’ll leave you with this. If you’re looking for a light-hearted shonen with gore, guts (courage/bravery), and glorious fighting, this anime is for you. I give Soul Eater a 9 out of 10.

And here’s a taste of the show with a tribute to Death the Kid and the sexy Thompson Twins. Hooray.