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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Movie Reviews

Alien: The Definitive Interstellar Creature Feature

by Ken Newquist / July 29, 2013

Alien isn't just a monster movie. In many ways it is the definitive interstellar creature feature that spawned dozens of half-baked imitations (including some that had the Alien moniker) Thirty-four years after its release, the movie remains one of the best monster -- and science fiction -- movies ever made.

Pacific Rim: Giant Robots vs. Giant Monsters

by Ken Newquist / July 28, 2013

Pacific Rim is a movie that delivered exactly what it promised: giant robots fighting giant monsters on the eve of the apocalypse. It's not great drama, it's not mind-bending storytelling, it is giant robots fighting giant monsters, with enough story to keep the whole thing moving forward.

Sinking Battleship

by Ken Newquist / December 24, 2012

Every year for 20 years I asked for Electronic Battleship for my birthday. I never got it, and instead made due with the standard, analog iteration that didn't have cool sound effects. Flash foward: I'm 41, and I still don't have Electronic Battleship, but I did get to watch the cinematic disaster movie based on the game of the same name.

My 9-year-old self never saw that one coming.

Lake Placid: Monster vs. Cow

by Ken Newquist / August 2, 2010

 Lake PlacidBack when the Blackrazor Guild still played D&D, we had a list of standard battle tactics. They were things like "spring the ambush then fight your way out", "lightning bolt in a short corridor", "fireball at your feet" and the classic "stake out a cow to lure the monster into the open".

Lake Placid is our kind of movie. Set in Maine, the movie involves a monster taking up residence in a lake. The creature starts killing people, including Fish & Game agents counting beavers, which leads an eccentric band of monster hunters to descend on the lake. They consist of Fish & Game agents led by Jack Wells (Bill Pullman), Sheriff's offices led by Sheriff Hank Keough (Brendan Gleeson), a palentologist from New York City named Kelly Scott (Bridget Fonda) and Hector Cyr (Oliver Platt) rich-but-crazy mythology professor who loves to swim with giant reptiles.

Cloverfield: The monster movie Godzilla should have been

by Ken Newquist / July 31, 2010

 CloverfieldIn 1998 director Roland Emmerich released a remake of Godzilla starring Matthew Broderick and featured a monster heavily inspired by the designer Patrick Tatopoulos' pet iguana attacking New York City. It failed on multiple fronts, starting with uninspiring Godzilla design, continuing with the half-assed Siskel and Ebert knockoffs as government antagonists, and ending with a surprise twist that no one wanted.

It was a bad movie. Cloverfield is what happens when J.J. Abrams looks at Godzilla and asks ... how can we make this not suck?

Deep Rising: Cyclopean tentacles vs High Tech Cruise Ship

by Ken Newquist / July 28, 2010

 Deep RisingDeep Rising is one of my favorite monster movies, and there's one reason why -- it's the perfect RPG adventure. We've got our hardcore mercenaries hired to hit a cruise ship, a ragtag team of freelancers in over their heads, and a tentacled deep sea horror that intends to devour them all.

Far better than the twin late-1980s deep see flicks Deep Star Six and Leviathan, this film takes place above the ocean, but has similar nautical challenges. To begin, the setting is a huge, ultra-modern cruise ship packed with monster snacks, err, passangers. When our heroes arrive they find all but a handful of people (including the ship's owner, the captain, and a beautiful thief in a red dress).

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