I saw fourteen movies for the first time the past two weeks. I've been watching the Godzilla movies, the Showa and Heisei series. I'll list those movies first, then the others I saw.
Heisei series: "Godzilla vs. Biollanthe" (1989)--Godzilla awakens when a volcano erupts, and is threatened by a mutant rosebush. This is the craziest of the Heisei series that I've seen (two of six films). Highlights/lowlights--The Rosebush emitting green...goop that burns whatever it touches, Tokyo being destroyed again. The absolute low--a narrator at the end tells the viewer this was the viewer's fault. Film is still howlingly funny at times--recommended for lovers of the absurd.
Showa series: "Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster" (1966)--Godzilla takes on Ebirah, a giant lobster (one of the more amusing looking monsters in this series), and makes sushi out of him/her.
"Godzilla vs. Monster Zero" (1966)--Astronaut Nick Adams goes to visit a new found planet "on the dark side of Jupiter", and finds intelligent life. They are being terrorized by Ghidorah (a three headed flying monster). In exchange for beaming up Godzilla and another monster to kill Ghidorah, the people from the new planet will give away a formula for a new drug that will cure all diseases. Naturally, nothing goes as planned. Watchable entry in the series.
"Son of Godzilla" (1967)--On a remote island, Sonny Boy signals Godzilla psychically when he's ready to hatch out of his egg--Godzilla arrives just as giant praying mantises are about to have Sonny as a snack. Japanese weather scientists are doing experiments using radiation on the island. An irritatingly bouncy, happy, "Isn't he CUTE!" musical score just about ruined film for me. I"m allergic to "CUTE" horror films.
"Destroy All Monsters" (1968)--Seven or eight monsters are living amicably together on Monster Island. Outer Space technology takes over their minds, and the people assigned to keep the peace; Moscow. London, New York City, and Paris are attacked. Will the world be destroyed? Of course not--that would take away the possibility of further sequels.
"War of the Gargantuas" (1970)--Sequel to "Frankenstein Conquers the World" (1966) now has two of them; the bad monster is green and eats people: the good monster is brown and saves people. Oh yeah, Godzilla is in this one also. Features Awful miniature work and some of the most dimwitted characters in the series.
"Yongary, Monster From The Deep" (1967)--Korean ripoff of Godzilla takes 26 minutes of Boring talk to finally get moving. When Yongary appears, he looks motheaten and has a horn where his nose should be. He drinks tanks of oil (the tanks look like Dutch ovens) and gets a tummyache. Downtown Seoul is destroyed, and after much boring talk, so is Yongary.
"The Paleface" (1922)--Amusing Buster Keaton short has some hair-raising stunts.
"Fantastic Planet" (1973)--Winner of a Special Jury Prize at Cannes, this French animated sci-fi movie for adults has to do with resistance to oppression, that knowledge must be acquired before successful revolt. This applied to Apartheid, and other political issues if the time. Film's animation and musical score are both beautiful. Fascinating movie.
"Mark of the Renegade" (1951)--Ricardo Montalban and Cyd Charisse star in this knockoff of Zorro. Their charm, dance number, and Montalban's sense of humor elevate the movie from barely ok to a pleasant time passer.
"Castle of the Living Dead" (1964)--Low budget Italian shocker was partially directed by Michael Reeves, and stars Christopher Lee and Donald Sutherland in multiple roles. Reeves only directed four films before his death; this is the first of those films. Parts of the movie are genuinely scary, but the viewer must make allowances for the barely functional cinematography, and the obvious low budget. Film is worth a watch, especially for horror fans.
"Sea Wife" (1957)--Richard Burton and Joan Collins battle a badly written screenplay to a draw. Script sabotages both stars at every turn, by making Burton a fool, and by making Collins keep her religious calling a secret. Film throws away whatever credibility it has earned in the last five minutes of the film, when Collins is given a howler of a line to speak (If it had been modified to fit only Burton's character, it would have been a fitting line to end the film).
"Doctor Faustus" (1967)--Fine version of Christopher Marlowe's play. Burton is good, Elizabeth Taylor has a wordless cameo as Helen of Troy, the cinematography is beautiful--but 1967 critics ripped the film apart. Film deserves to be seen and reevaluated. Recommended.
"Staircase" (1968)--Film doesn't work, despite occasional good lines and effective scenes. Richard Burton and Rex Harrison seem afraid to even show affection for each other, much less touch each other. Film seems a stunt. Ben Mankiewicz said during his intro that the film's publicity focused on the heterosexuality of the film's stars, to the movie's detriment.
Most Favorite--Fantastic Planet (1973).
Least Favorite--Son of Godzilla (1967).