TL;DR – A bombastic visual spectacle that explodes on the screen and never lets up.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene.
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.
A couple of years ago I stumbled upon Upgrade and thus discovered the wonderful work of Leigh Whannell. Since then, I have been waiting to catch his next film, so I was really excited to get the invite to see The Invisible Man. This was also a film that was going to reframe an old classic monster film and bring it into the modern age, which also intrigued me because that is my jam. However, while watching the film, I found myself feeling very conflicted with the subject material. All of this left me very unsettled in a way that I have spent the past two weeks wondering if the film approached it in an appropriate way or not.
So to set the scene, we open in on a mansion on the top of a cliff, waves crash against the rocks on a cold winters night as we zoom in on the isolated house. In the house, there is a couple asleep in a bed, Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) and Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), but only one of them is actually asleep. We watch as Cecilia slowly slips out of the bed, at first you think it is just that she does not want to disturb Adrian, but soon you discover there is something more to it than that. In fact, she is leaving him in the middle of the night, the only time she could, which means that when every sound could be her undoing. The moment she grabs her hidden go bag you immediately understand why she is leaving. As she escapes over the high walls of the house everything starts to get better, that is until things start moving in rooms that should be empty.
TL;DR – A solid horror film, with a good premise that meanders a bit in the middle before coming back strong in the end.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
I have to admit that I am not as big of a horror aficionado as a lot of the
critics out there. I prefer the tension and suspense of a film like Get Out
over a horror gorefest. However, I have made it a plan to try and broaden the
films I see and also if you ever want me to see a film having the story by Guillermo
del Toro is a great way to do it. With that in mind let’s have a look at a film
that champions what goes bump in the night.
In 1968 a lot of things are happening, the Vietnam War is in full swing, Richard
Nixon is up for re-election, and in a small town called Mill Valley in
Pennsylvania, the local residents are getting ready for Halloween. Stella (Zoe
Colletti) does not want to go out but is coaxed out by her friends Auggie (Gabriel
Rush) and Chuck (Austin Zajur) because this might be their last Halloween
together. After running into local bully Tommy (Austin Abrams) who is on a date
with Chuck’s sister Ruthie (Natalie Ganzhorn) they hide in Ramón’s (Michael
Garza) car. Ramón is from out of town, so Stella suggests they take him to the
Bellows’ House, the town’s local haunted house. Legend says that the family
that founded the town locked their daughter Sarah (Kathleen Pollard) in the
basement but she would tell stories through the wall to local children and then
the kids would die. Everything is going fine until Stella finds a book, a book
of Sarah’s stories, a book that is still writing more stories one by one.
TL;DR – This is an
interesting take on the End-Of-The-World genre
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
When I say to you Zombie Apocalypse, I think for many people the first thing
you would do is suppress a sigh. As a genre, it has been used multiple times
and these days one could say that it has been done to death as long as they immediately
followed it up immediately with ‘pun not attended’. However, every now and again,
a new show will use the setting to explore something new and today we get to
look at just such a show.
So to set the scene, we open in on Day 42 with Jack Sullivan (Nick Wolfhard)
the only known survivor in his town. 42 Days ago portals opened up over his
town and monsters and zombies came flooding out attacking the town. Some escaped,
some were rescued, but more still were turned into zombies to roam the streets.
Abandoned by his foster family, Jack survives by hiding in his foster brother’s
treehouse and using that as a base of operation. He is trying to find his best
buddy Quint (Garland Whitt) and rescue his flame June (Montse Hernandez), but
first he needs to survive being hunted by a monster angry because Jack poked
its eye out.
TL;DR – A film with some good ideas that is unfortunately bogged down some truly frustrating elements
Score – 2 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene
This is one of those films that is really difficult to review for a number of
reasons. First I feel that I am far from the target audience also I am not an
expert in Ozploitation sub-genre of horror films. However, while I might not be
able to be as sophisticated in my critiques as usually, I’ll give it my best.
So to set the scene, we open in on Sophie (Sophie Thurling) as she sits in a
hospital waiting for treatment for cancer. While she waits a man comes up to
her, her father Harrison (Brendan Bacon) and it is clear from the first moment
that their relationship is very estranged. Three-years-later and Sophie have
beaten cancer enjoying a life of alcohol and drugs and living every moment. She,
Kyle (Lucas Pittaway), Dave Eddison (Martin Astifo), Chad Blavinski (Sunny S.
Walia), Brad Barns (Daniel Facciolo), and Nina Hancock (Lorin Kauffeld) head
off into the countryside to Orange Lodge to have a quiet weekend only to find
themselves in the crossroads of different warring parties.
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 – A film that knows how to be a bit silly while still playing it mostly straight about a shark that suddenly not extinct.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Last year there was a film that came out about a killer shark destroying the
world, and not just a shark but a megalodon. I wanted to go see it, but the
timing never worked out and I think I was going through Jurassic
World fatigue at the same time. Well, this week with the release of Godzilla and after playing Sea
of Thieves I had been interested to give it a look and what would you
know the very day I was pondering The Meg
popped up on Netflix. Well never one to look a gift horse in the mouth I knew
now was the best time to check it out and wow, it did not disappoint.
So to set the scene, off the shore of China a billionaire Morris (Rainn Wilson)
has built Mana One a purpose built deep ocean observatory. Its goal is to study
the life in the oceans around the Mariana Trench but to also investigate a
theory of chief scientist Zhang (Winston Chao). He believes that the trench is
actually deeper and there is a layer of cold water creating a thermocline
(barrier) protecting an undisturbed ecosystem underneath. So they send down
Lori (Jessica McNamee), Toshi (Masi Oka), and The Wall (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson)
in a submarine and lo and behold Zhang was right. However, just as they start
to explore this new region they are attacked by something large and fast,
sending them crashing into the ocean floor. With time being on the line and few
people qualified they call in Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) a rescue diver who
is now out of the game after a rescue went wrong and people blamed him for the
deaths of his team.