Disclosure – I was invited to a Press Screening of this film.
Godzilla vs. Kong Review –
There have been several attempts to create Cinematic Universes across modern cinema, but most of them have fallen flat. However, one of the few rays of light in this space has been the visual delight that has been the MonsterVerse. It has been bombast on the big screen, as giant monsters battle each other for supremacy as we watch on. Today, we look at the next film in that franchise that pits our two heroes from the previous movies against each other.
So to set the scene, it has been several years since Godzilla became the alpha at the end of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. In that time, Godzilla has kept the other titans in their home areas, much to the joy of the humans living in the world. However, one day, Godzilla surges out of the water near Pensacola, Florida. The titan makes a beeline for the Apex factory tearing apart everything in its way. In the factory, a whistleblower Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry), is trying to find what Apex is up to because they are up to something shady. Meanwhile, on Skull Island, King Kong is taking his daily walk when he comes across a little girl, Jia (Kaylee Hottle), in the forest. However, as they bond, Kong feels a threat coming and sharpens a tree javelin, ready to take it down.
One of the benefits of film is that it is a visual media, and that means that it can do in a frame what it might take a book several pages to pull off. Where we see this the most is in its ability to build worlds in front of our eyes.
These worlds could be great space operas that explore galaxies, or a small period piece that looks back in time, or anything. But when every part of the film is being used to tell a story, you know it is good.
So without further ado, these are films that showed excellence in Worldbuilding 2019. Be warned that there may be some slight spoilers ahead for the films in question, also you can click on the banners to go to the full reviews.
Cinematography is an art form that can be as bold as a gong crashing after a moment of silence, or as subtle as the tide coming in. It is something that elevates a film to the heights of accolade or turns a film into a frustrating mess when it misfires.
While at the heart of cinematography is the Director of Photography or Cinematographer, to get something from the script to the final shot takes a whole team of professionals, and it is their talent that we champion today.
So without further ado, these are the moments of cinematography that took our breaths away in 2019. Be warned that there may be some slight spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, click on the banners to be taken to the full reviews.
TL;DR – The action in the third act is some of the best monster action I have ever seen, however, the story is so incredibly dull that it is a slog to get to it.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is some mid-credit important information and a post-credit scene
It is odd to see a film that has two such disparate parts that are almost in
conflict with each other. Where one part of a film is so amazing that you feel
it could be a game changer for the industry. However, there is another part of
the film that works so poorly that you wonder how it made it off the drawing
board. This is something that actually makes reviewing this film quite difficult
because you have to ask how much you should let the story side just because the
visuals were so good. Well, today we will try an unpack this all, as we explore
Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
So to set the scene, we open the film on the attack in San Francisco in the
first Godzilla as we see Dr Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) and Dr Emma Russell (Vera
Farmiga) desperately look for their son amount the rubble of their house. In the
years that passed since it is clear that the tragedy irreparably damaged their relationship
as Mark is now charting wolves in Colorado and Emma is working for Monarch in
China with her daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown). Emma is working on ORCA an
interface that uses biodata to communicate with the Titans. The first trial of
the device works as they can control a newly born Mothra caterpillar. However,
just when they think it is all going well eco-terrorist Alan Jonah (Charles
Dance) attacks the lab killing everyone and taking Emma, Madison, and the ORCA.
Which is a problem because if the ORCA can control the Titans, what damage can
TL;DR – Fantastic action, amazing visuals, interesting characters, and the best rendition of King Kong in a long while, this is a must watch film
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
P.S. There is a post-credits scene
The more and more we heard about Kong: Skull Island, the more I had a feeling that Kong was either going to be a masterpiece or a heaping pile of trash, I just could not see a middle ground happening. Well, I was right, Kong: Skull Island is not a mediocre film at all, and thankfully it is not a pile of trash either, instead it is an epic film that makes the most of the characters whilst setting it away from the traditional narrative. The effects alone make it a film you have to see, but it is so much more than just a technically brilliant film, it has a strong narrative, characters you relate to, and one of the more interesting island set ups I have seen since I read Dinotopia, quick aside, can we actually get that Dinotopia film now please and thank-you. Ok so let’s go break down why I think you should go see Kong: Skull Island.