Elizabeth Olsen Weekend – Godzilla (2014) Revisited

Director: Gareth Edwards

Writer: Max Borensteing, Dave Calaham (Screenplay) Ishiro Honda, Takeo Murata, Shugeru Kayama (Character)

Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, Carson Bolde

 

Plot: The world is beset by the appearance of monstrous creatures, but one of them may be the only one who can save humanity.


Tagline – The world ends, Godzilla begins

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Godzilla Movie

 

Story: Godzilla starts the Brody family, Joe (Cranston), Sandra (Binoche) and son Ford living in Japan where the parents work in a nuclear reactor when a disaster strikes that Joe believes he sees coming, Sandra is killed and the town is evacuated.

15-Years later Ford (Taylor-Johnson) is married to Elle (Olsen) with his own son Sam (Bolde), he serves in the military and finally under leave, when he must bail his father out of a Japanese prison and reluctantly goes into the quarantine zone in search for answers. The Brody’s learn about that something is being covered up by Dr Ishiro Serizawa (Watanabe) and that secret is about to escape becoming a threat to the world with MUTO and Joe is assigned to try and help bring the creature under control with a little help from Godzilla.

 

Thoughts on Godzilla

 

Characters – Ford Brody was raised in Japan where he lost his mother, now a solider he is used to being away from his own family, giving his father one last chance to forget about the past. Ford finds himself on a mission and journey to get from Japan back to his family in San Francisco, he somehow always ends up in the location of the attacks, doing the right thing without wanting any thank you from the people he saves. Dr Ishiro Serizawa is the man leading the investigation into the first appearance of the creatures, he has studied the cocoons they have emerged from and has ideas on how to stop them. Elle is the wife of Ford’s who is a nurse that stays in town when the attacks start in an attempt to save lives where she can, she doesn’t really do much more than this. Joe is the father of Ford that worked at the nuclear power planet which saw his wife killed, he believes there is more to what happened and is determined to figure it out, risking his life too often.

PerformancesAaron Taylor-Johnson is an actor who has gone onto do bigger projects that have tested his acting, this isn’t a film that will show off much acting, mostly because his character is so painfully average. Elizabeth Olsen suffers from this too which brings both their performances down to solid. Ken Watanabe and Bryan Cranston bring the best performances with characters we just want to see more from.

StoryThe story brings us the first chapter if the universe, without needing to make a big point about it, which is the weakness in other films, such as 2017 The Mummy. By doing this we get an introduction to Godzilla the one creature that can save humanity from another deadly creature that is using radioactive material to grow. We do have a human side to this story as we follow the military try to do battle against the creatures that are killing millions. Unlike the 1998 Godzilla we do keep the beliefs of what makes the original brilliant in the story behind their origin. The weakness in the story comes from the idea that our main human character just happens to always be in the location of the latest attack surviving against all the odds.

Action/Adventure/Sci-fiThe action in the film plays into the less is more, we get teased early on about the giant creature battles which could frustrate the fans because they will want to see them fight, but the wait for the final battle is worth it as Godzilla gets involved in one of its biggest battles to date. The adventure side of the story must be the focus on Ford and his journey home, just being unlucky when it comes to being in the middle of the battle, with the sci-fi side of the film uses the idea that the giant creatures have been created through our own human errors.

SettingsThe film does go for iconic locations which is understandable with the final battle being in San Francisco providing the watery side for Godzilla’s entrance.

Special EffectsThe film uses the effects that Gareth Edwards is most known for, the less is more idea which makes the film feel like it has the original motivation behind the attack making the fights feel real.


Scene of the Movie –
The big battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The blandness of our human characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant monster movie, that action is giant destructive and worth the wait for, while the human characters could be considered slightly bland, the beginning of this universe is worth the wait.

 

Overall: Must watch monster movie

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – G – Green Book (2018)

Director: Peter Farrelly

Writer: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly (Screenplay)

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Maniscalco, Dimitier D Marinov, Mike Hatton

 

Plot: A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.


Tagline – Inspired by a True Friendship

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Story of Friendship

 

Story: Green Book starts when Italian-American Tony Lip (Mortensen) sees the club he is working at close down for a couple of months, needing to find a job, he gets connected to Dr Don Shirley (Ali) who requires a driver for a tour of the deep south in 1960s America.

While on tour it is clear the two have their differences, with Tony not being fond of black people and believing Dr Don should know about black musicians, and Dr Don wanting to see Tony learn to be more accepting to people and carry himself more professionally in everyday life.

 

Thoughts on Green Book

 

Characters – Tony Lip has been a hired hand in the nightclub scene for years in New York, he has opinions on people that he holds in which does include his racist side, he is facing a couple of months without work which leads him to become a driver for a black musician going on tour in the deep south, Tony must put his opinions aside to get paid working for a man that will give him finically security. Dr Don Shirley is the musician that has built up a reputation for his ability on the piano, he hires Tony to be his driver, he carries himself proudly never letting the racist behaviour drag him down, as he looks to improve Tony’s behaviour. Most of the film follows the two on their journey with the problems they are facing along the way. Dolores is the wife of Tony that stays home while the journey is happening, supporting her husband with his decision.

PerformancesViggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali both give wonderful performances, which when you see the calibre of actor you are dealing with, you would expect, they both show the characters the weaknesses and strengths, so we can understand the struggles they must get through during the film. when it comes to the supporting cast everyone is good, though they don’t have much to do.

StoryThe story follows two men from different backgrounds going on music tour as they teach each other life lessons as they become lifelong friends. We go through the segregation problems that were still going on through America in the 1960s and how both men dealt with the problems in their own ways.  This is another example of just how behind America was about treating people equal no matter what their skin colour or talent is. While this is a personal story between two men, it is slow paced and might not be for everyone to enjoy.

Biopic/Comedy The biopic ide of the story shows us just how the two men became friends even though they came from different backgrounds, while the comedy is basic without being as good as it could have been.

SettingsThe film takes us through the South of America where the racial segregation was still happening, which gives us a road trip feeling through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Bar performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is the same sort America was behind with racial segregation again.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good friendship movie, it has wonderful performances without being anything overly fresh with its ideas.

 

Overall: Simple friendship movie.

Rating

 

 

Glass (2019)

Director: M Night Shyamalan

Writer: M Night Shyamalan (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson, James McAvoy, Sarah Paulson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Luke Kirby, Spencer Treat Clark

 

Plot: Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.


Tagline – You Cannot Contain What You Are.

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Concept

 

Story: Glass starts not long after the events from Split where Kevin (McAvoy) and his multiple personalities on the run from the law, continuing his hunt for the Beast, David Dunn (Willis) branded the Overseer works with his son Joseph (Clark) to locate him. Once he locates him the fight, before becoming interrupted by Dr Ellie Staple (Paulson) and the authorities.

Ellie takes the two to a hospital to study their belief they are from comics, with Elijah (Jackson) joining them as they must learn the truth about what they are capable of and what is in the world.

 

Thoughts on Glass

 

Characters – Kevin being the first identity of the multiple personality man, he has mixed amount personalities, who are trying to gain control for moments as he is just trying to deal with his own personal problems, with The Beast being the most deadly of all of the personalities. David Dunn is now wanted by the authorities because of his vigilante behaviour, he works with his son now and they help people indeed, including the latest victims of Kevin. He remains super strong and becomes the first person the Beast can’t defeat instantly. Elijah or Mr Glass remains locked up for his actions, he is too intelligent to keep awake, but he is always planning, he puts everything into motion as he gets to play the puppet master once again. Dr Ellie Staple has bought the men together as she searches for the truth about their beliefs, she wants to help them and stop them believing they are form a comic book. Casey returns and it is her relationship with certain personalities of Kevin that helps us learn more about him.

PerformancesThe performance from James McAvoy does shine through, he does get to bring even more of the personalities out in this one, being able to switch between them all effortless. Bruce Willis gives one of his best modern day performances, with this character feeling like an older version of the one we saw in Unbreakable. Samuel L Jackson shines to with his character doing a lot of his acting through his facial expression, while get the cold delivery of his lines when it is his time. Sarah Paulson is a welcome addition to this universe and never looks out of place, though it does feel like Anya Taylor-Joy doesn’t get enough screen time in this film.

StoryThe story brings the three figures from Unbreakable and Split together in what is a superhero movie about not being superheroes, just being genetically different or it being in your head. The idea that we are trying to cure these men does seem to borrow heavily from X-Men and many of their storylines. One of the biggest problems with this story is that you HAVE to see the previous two films to truly understand everything that goes down, though it does seem to forget certain things that happened in the past too. The going through the could this be in their head is interesting, only for it to not be possible because we have seen what they are capable of, it feels like this aspect is a film behind. We do get the trademark from M Night which we know is coming, we are waiting for it and the question is can you figure it out? In a Superhero heavy market this does feel original enough bring a human touch to what has been happening.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery in this film comes from just why have they been bought together, which does get solved, which will surprise, the sci-fi side of the film comes from just seeing how the world has reacted to these advanced people.

SettingsWe stay in Philadelphia for this story, which is great because it contains the action to one city through the films, we spend most of the film in the hospital as the world unfolds between them all.


Scene of the Movie –
Beast vs Overseer 2.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The over used of the comic book metaphor.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful competition of the trilogy that we didn’t know was coming, it ties everything together, has brilliant performance and keeps us guessing throughout.

 

Overall: Tense conclusion to the saga.

Rating

 

 

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)

Director: Ari Sandel

Writer: Rob Lieber (Screenplay) Rob Lieber, Darren Lemke (Story)

Starring: Wendi McLendon-Covey, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Caleel Harris, Ken Jeong, Chris Parnell

 

Plot: Two young friends find a magic book that brings a ventriloquist’s dummy to life.


Tagline – Halloween comes to life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not as Fun as it Should Be

 

Story: Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween when college bound Sarah (Iseman) is left to look after her little brother Sonny (Taylor) and his friend Sam (Harris) who have their own business known as the ‘Junk Bros’, the two discover Slappy while on the job and must deal with the psychotic dummy.

The three soon find themselves needing to fight off Slappy and his creations, leading to them needing to uncover the book by R.L. Stine which can stop his reign of terror, bringing to life the creations from the books.

 

Thoughts on Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

 

Characters – Sarah is the older sister, she is about to head off to college if she can figure out how to write her application letter. She must reluctantly babysit her younger brother and his friend, while dealing with her own personal problems, even if this could bring her the answer she requires. Sonny is the younger brother that gets himself into trouble a lot, when it comes to his creation, along with his best friend Sam. Sam is the wise talking of the two he offers the business, he must help solve the problem of Slappy. Kathy is the single mother forced to work longer hours to make sure her kids have the future, she remains calm through the chaos going on through the film.

PerformancesThe performances are simple enough, the younger stars, Madison Iseman, Jeremy Ray Taylor and Caleel Harris are good for what they have to do, only to not be on the same level of the previous film. Wendi McLendon-Covey gets the basic parent role done without bring too much new to the character.

StoryThe story here sees the creations of R.L. Stine coming to life causing chaos in a city once again. This is where the story falls flat quickly because the story feels like just a remake of the first, the Goosebumps books are an amazing source of stories and maybe instead of just throwing every monster made into one story, we should think about making one of the stories into a movie, or even as an anthology. We try to have some family bonding put into the story and even elements of coming of age, with Sarah needing to decide her future. In the end this story just isn’t that interesting and by the end you won’t have missed much.

Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe adventure takes the teenagers into a battle that only they can solve, which is basic to say the least, but they must save the town. The comedy is hit or miss without being much laugh out loud material. This plays into the family side of the film because more of the younger audience will be enjoying this one.

SettingsThe film is set in a town which is considered small where the people need to get out of if they are going to make something with their life.

Special EffectsThe effects in this film are good for the most part, the creations all look like they could be in the world.


Scene of the Movie – 
Gummy bear fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story not being original.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic sequel that just copies the original too much, it offers nothing new and is just passable watch for the younger audience.

 

Overall: Simple and not original.

Rating

 

 

Godzilla: The Planet Eater (2018)

Director: Hiroyuki Seshita, Kobun Shizuno

Writer: Gen Urobuchi (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Mamoru Miyano, Takahiro Sakurai, Kana Hanazawa, Tomokazu Sugita, Yuki Kaji, Reina Ueda

 

Plot: Humanity, their alien allies, and Godzilla all enter their endgame as the powerful destructive entity known as Ghidorah arrives on Earth.


Tagline – This Gold will burn even Despair 

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappointing Conclusion

 

Story: Godzilla: The Planet Eater starts where the last film finished, Mecca-Godzilla was defeated, Haruo is feeling the guilt of losing Yuko in the battle with her holding on with the metal infused with her body, Godzilla is left in a dormant state with Metphies turning to religion to bring the monster back to life.

The next threat is coming from of planet who want to destroy the technology that could bring Godzilla back, only for a new threat to arrive, Ghidorah who can only be defeated by using the power of Godzilla, who will take the endgame?

 

Thoughts on Godzilla: The Planet Eater

 

Characters – Haruo Sakaki is lead soldier that made the difficult decision in the last film, he is still recovering from losing Yuko and must go into hiding until the military side of the war have moved on, only he learns about the bigger plan and must stop Metphies from total destruction. Metphies revealed himself last time out, he was a victim of the global destruction off his own planet, he wants to continue the destruction of the people not worthy of being part of his big plans for the universe. Godzilla is the iconic figure who is now dormant, he is barely used in this film which is a massive disappointment. Ghidorah is the creature that comes to Earth only to become the most difficult opponent for Godzilla, this creature looks wonderful, as it consumes planets.

StoryThe story continues the trilogy of the Godzilla anime films, we pick up right back where we finished the last movie, as the battle has ended for now, only the next threat to come, one that could destroy Earth forever and Haruo must come to face his own emotions if he can stop the destruction. Now with this one you do need to have seen the previous two films which are crucial to understand the struggles Haruo faces. If you do come here to see Godzilla in action you will be disappointed because he is barely used in the film. the story does seem to fizzle out for the scale of the battles we have seen too.

Sci-FiIn the world of sci-fi Godzilla is a big figure, this film is set well into the future with the iconic monster facing off against one of the biggest opponents ever.

SettingsThe film is set on the modern era Earth which is still filled with the destruction of the previous battles and the lack of technology the future offered.

AnimationThe animation standard is strong through the film which has been on the same through the series.


Scene of the Movie –
The appearance of Ghidorah.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of Godzilla action.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing ending to the franchise which has built up well and different enough from live-action series.

 

Overall: Trilogy that fizzles out.

Rating