Also known as “Hercules and the Conquest of Atlantis,” and “Hercules Conquers Atlantis,” Vittorio Cottafavi’s is not a total disaster of a Hercules installment. Surely, it’s a weird, bizarre, and occasionally dull picture, but if the sword and sandal films (or “Peplum”) are your bag, this might whet you’re appetite. With its American title, The Film Detective releases Reg Parks’ Hercules debut from Italy in its full form, restored from the original 35mm negative and in crystal 4K clarity.
After the travesty that was the 1998 Roland Emmerich reboot of “Godzilla,” the king of the monsters went in to hiding from the states for a long time. It was until Legendary came along to hop on the expanded universe band wagon to finally give Gojira and his merry band of monsters and allies a chance to win a new generation of fans. Despite some bumps and tumbles, Gareth Edwards’ “Godzilla” is a giant step up from the 1998 embarrassment and still manages to travel well, with or without the impending “Godzilla vs. Kong.”
After relentless caterwauling from fans for four years, director Zack Snyder is allowed to return to the DCEU once again to offer his original vision (or a very close facsimile) of what he had planned for the “Justice League” and the DCEU. While I don’t miss Snyder and his involvement with the DC movies (the man loves his slow motion), his “Justice League” is, shocking enough, an infinitely superior adaptation than the 2017 Joss Whedon lemon. I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece, but if pushed in to a corner, I’d happily rewatch the “Snyder Cut” again, with warts and all.
If you don’t remember that there were two movies prior to “Paws Unite!” then I personally don’t blame you. The first two movies basically took a painfully derivative premise and did a pretty okay job creating a talking animals’ action movie for the whole family. The third film in the series that no one asked for, “Paws Unite!” pretty much works as a loose sequel. It’s loose because it’s apparent that the screenwriter never actually saw the original films.
You have to appreciate the giant balls on Gravitas Ventures and their release of (long thought lost, but now completed) 1983’s “Grizzly II: Revenge” (aka “Grizzly II: The Concert”). Not only have they centered their marketing on the fact that the movie features a very young George Clooney, Charlie Sheen, and Laura Dern, but the aforementioned trio even get top billing in the opening (and closing) credits. As expected, the trio is in the movie, sure. But for about four minutes, tops, and then we’re thrown in to the silly narrative.
Movies that are based on or around youtube personalities usually, for lack of a better word: suck. They’re awful, they’re terrible, and only mostly just vanity projects for the creators. So imagine what a shock it was to see “Ashens and the Polybius Heist” and find out that it’s actually quite good. I genuinely giggled during most of the film and loved how it all felt like a hilarious mutant amalgam of “Spaced,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” and “The Hot Rock,” in the end.
Chris De Pretis’ indie horror scifi film has its heart in the right place, but at the end of the day, I can’t say he re-invents the wheel here. I was never quite sure if “Death Blood 4” was intended as a meta-horror movie or not, as it puts up this gimmick of it being a sequel to three movies that never quite existed. It goes about this “Grindhouse” novelty until the introduction of the actual narrative where it’s played fairly straight faced and with a stern tone bereft of any notable satirical content.
When Robert Rodriguez is in kids movie mode, he tends to create some of the most syrupy sweet, loud, tepid movies for his intended audience that though they have a lot of the good intention behind them are pretty much destroyed by the climax. That’s the case with “We Can Be Heroes,” a movie so derivative and tired that it destroys a lot of the charming characters and conflicts in the process.