King Kong vs Godzilla (1962)

Director: Ishiro Honda

Writer: Shin’ichi Sekizawa (Screenplay) Paul Mason, Bruce Howard, John Beck, Willis H O’Brien (Story)

Starring: Tadao Takashima, Kenji Sahara, Yu Fujiki, Ichiro Arishima, Jun Tazaki, Akihiko Hirata

Plot: A pharmaceutical company captures King Kong and brings him to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles a recently released Godzilla.


Tagline – The Battle of the Century!!

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Monster Battle

Story: King Kong vs. Godzilla starts when the Americans disturb the resting place of Godzilla releasing him upon the world to attack Tokyo. In Japan Mr Tako (Arishima) has discovered a miracle cure berry which he wants to profit from, this sees him sending a team including Osamu Sakurai (Takashima) and Kazuo Fujita (Sahara) to the island of King Kong to retrieve more.

With Godzilla now terrorising mainland Japan, the only hope is to let King Kong loose after he is captured from his home island, which will see the two monsters face off.

Thoughts on King Kong vs. Godzilla

Characters – Godzilla is the monster of legend in Japan, he has once again been awoken and heads to Japan to take control of the land, he destroys everything in his path. King Kong has been taken from his island where he rules, once he gets free, he heads to Japan which will see him go head to head with Godzilla to see who is the king of the monsters. Osamu Sakurai is part of the team that go in search for the berries which will offer the miracle cure, he does need to help control Kong once he is free. Kazuo Fujita is in search of his girlfriend after she ends up in the path of Godzilla.

StoryThe story here follows two different scientific teams that accidently bring King Kong and Godzilla to mainland Japan and must use them to defeat each other to stop Tokyo getting destroyed by the monsters. This is mostly mad to let the two giants fight, both sides of the story are showing signs of greed with the motivation for reaching Kong’s island being around being able to cure disease for profit, while the Godzilla discovery is about gaining power from the unknown in the ocean for military reasons. The way the story is told, feels like a large media report with a guy filling in the gaps for us whenever something is happening or between the incidents too, before sending us back to the live action. I understand this is one of those creature features that isn’t going to need a deep story which is why it does everything it needs to without being complicated.

Action/ Sci-FiThe action in the film is the destruction by the two monsters which is massive in scale, with the sci-fi elements of the film showing how the monsters have come about.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to try and show us the Japanese background for the monsters to travel through.

Special EffectsThe film was made in the 1960s which wasn’t the biggest time for special effects, what this movie achieves does impress throughout too with the big monsters just being people in costumes.


Scene of the Movie – The final fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The first meeting feels like something of nothing.

Final Thoughts This is one of the fun easy to watch Godzilla fighting another big monster in King Kong.

Overall: Simple and Easy to watch.

Rating

ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – K – The Keeper (2018) Movie Review

Director: Marcus H Rosenmuller

Writer: Marcus H Rosenmuller, Nicholas J Schofield (Screenplay)

Starring: David Kross, Freya Mavor, John Henshaw, Harry Melling, Michael Socha, Dave Johns, Barbara Young

Plot: The Keeper tells the extraordinary love story between a young English woman and a German PoW, who together overcome prejudice, public hostility, and personal tragedy. While visiting a PoW camp near Manchester at the end of WWII, Margaret Friar, the daughter of the manager of the local football team, notices young German soldier Bert Trautmann. 


Tagline – He came as an enemy… And became their hero.

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Outstanding

Story: The Keeper starts with the war ending, the English are putting their lives back together and the German Prisoners of war are helping with the rebuilding process. Jack Friar (Henshaw) a local shopkeeper who wheels and deals with the soldiers, while noticing one of the prisoners, paratrooper Bert Trautmann (Kross) has goalkeeping skills.

Jack offers Bert a place in his shop and being the goalkeeper for his local struggling football team, soon the teams fortunes turn around and suddenly the locals including his daughter Margaret (Mavor) learn that just because he is German, he didn’t have a choice but to fight. Bert builds a reputation which will make him one of the greatest goalkeepers of an era, one whose story will change football in England forever.

Thoughts on The Keeper

Characters – The characters in this film are based on the real people, Bert Trautmann was a paratrooper for the Germans in World War II, he was captured by the English becoming a prisoner of war, waiting for his chance to return home, he must serve around the village where his goalkeeping skills are discovered seeing him sign for Manchester City. Outside of football he must prove that he was a solider with little choice, but to fight for the Germans, he must overcome all the hate that is thrown his way, while falling in love with an English woman, breaking the boundaries of post war feelings. Margaret is the local woman that isn’t happy about having a German around the village, but slowly gets to learn that he didn’t have a choice, as the two slowly start to fall in love, showing how people need to learn to forgive, instead of holding on the hate. Jack Friar is the man who gives the Bert a chance to go in goal for a local team, a place to work away from the camp and lets him into his life, he is a typical wheeler and dealer. Jock Thompson is the Manchester City manager who offers Bert a chance at a major team, he has a bigger job at bringing a city together to support a man that could change the team’s fortunes.

PerformancesDavid Kross is brilliant as the solider turned goalkeeper, he shows us the pain a war soldier would have been through, just showing the hope he wants a new life after it. Freya Mavor is wonderful too in her role, which shows us how somebody would stand up for a change. In the support roles we have strong work from everybody through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the life and career of former prisoner of war, turned professional goalkeeper Bert Trautmann, how he found love and had to build bridges after the war to make history. Before watching this story, I only knew one major part of Bert’s career, the FA Cup final he won with a broken neck, this is shown and is very scary to watch, when you think about the safety in sport now. Outside of this we get to dive into how the English must learn to forgive the Germans for what happened in the war, something that was never going to be easy, but it was the only way to move forward, this is show through the different levels of acceptance Bert must achieve, his personal life is also very interesting to see, with the ups and downs which could have broken any man, showing the horrors war did to him too. This story is a must watch for any of the sports fans out there, it is told in a way that does show people can be good, not everyone is considered to be bad.

Biopic/Sport/WarWe do follow Bert’s time from his POW days to his return to football after his own personal tragedy, seeing this shows how the war can create a divide that needs to be broken and with sport, it gave him a chance to build the bridges.

SettingsThe film uses the settings well, they are kept simple for the most part, with it being focused on the small village and the football stadiums.


Scene of the Movie – The cup final.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Certain hate filled characters, are just basic with why they are created, a little bit more about them would have given them more reason to hate.

Final Thoughts This is a brilliant biopic about one of the most iconic men to every play football, we see his life which was filled with so much to overcome, he still managed to make history.

Overall: Brilliant Biopic.

Kaleidoscope (2016)

Director: Rupert Jones

Writer: Rupert Jones (Screenplay)

Starring: Toby Jones, Anne Reid, Sinead Matthews

 

Plot: A psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between a middle-aged man and his mother.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Starts on a High, Falls Downhill Afterwards

 

Story: Kaleidoscope starts as we meet lonely middle-aged man Carl (Jones) who has been trying to put his life back together after a stint in jail, he goes on a date with Abby (Matthews) which ends in a disturbing way, a way he can’t explain, all this when his controlling mother Aileen (Reid) is planning to visit him. Carl must figure out what is real or what is in his mind before he gets himself into trouble once again.

 

Thoughts on Kaleidoscope

 

Characters – Carl is the middle-aged man trying to keep his life together after spending time in jail, we don’t learn what he did to end up there, though he does keep himself to himself, he doesn’t have many belongings and lives in a housing estate. He goes on a date which sees the lady return to his flat, but what happens here is stuck in his head, forgotten and with his mother’s visiting his life becomes to come undone in his mind. Aileen is Carl’s mother that comes to visit, she has had a strange relationship with her son, she wants to rebuild their relationship. Abby is the woman that Carl has a date with, she is bubbly and been through a difficult relationship, she wants Carl to loosen up and enjoy their time together.

PerformancesToby Jones is unsettling through this film, his performance shows us that this single age can become difficult to get through without having problems in your life. Anne Reid brings a disturbing presence to go with her desperate need to rebuild the relationship with her son. Sinead Matthews brings the energy to the film.

StoryThe story here follows a middle-aged man trying to put his life back together only for it to come crashing down around him as he needs to figure out what is real or not. This story starts on a high with the discovery in the bathroom, which does drag you into wanting to see how this story unfolds, the problems soon mount up though because the non-linear storytelling makes everything difficult to keep on top of, along with not being able to tell just what is real or not, even with subtle hints, we also focus too heavily on the colours he sees, which being colour blind is hard to pick up certain hints. Th story focuses too heavily on the idea that Carl isn’t right mentally, rather than showing us just how calculated he would need to be.

ThrillerThis film does start very impressively, it gives us a mystery as to what happened and makes us want to see how it unfolds, only it just doesn’t reach the heights that are shown early on.

SettingsThe film is set in a housing estate which is meant to show how much of a mediocre life Carl is living doing nowhere.


Scene of the Movie –
The morning wake up banging.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How everything unfolds.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that just doesn’t reach the potential it showed, it just seems to drag along without doing anything it promises from the opening sequence.

 

Overall: Fails to launch.

Rating

 

 

Kinsey (2004)

Director: Bill Condon

Writer: Bill Condon (Screenplay)

Starring: Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Chris O’Donnell, Peter Sarsgaard, Timothy Hutton, John Lithgow, Tim Curry, Oliva Platt

Plot: A look at the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose 1948 publication “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior.


Tagline – Let’s talk about sex.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: History Lesson 101

Story: Kinsey starts as we meet Alfred Kinsey (Neeson) has started to teach his students about how to ask the neutral questions to their candidates, we dive into his past where his father Alfred Seguine Kinsey (Lithgow) didn’t want him going anywhere needed around science, which his son Alfred learns, he meets his wife Clara (Linney) and when they have their own sexual problems, it inspires Alfred to open up the idea of teaching sex in school.

Professor Kinsey starts a marriage class with Clyde Martin (Sarsgaard) becoming his assistant in the class, as the students and married couples learn more about how to open people can be sharing their sexual experiences and preference, changing how people study sex.

Thoughts on Kinsey

Characters – Alfred Kinsey Jr breaks his family traditions by heading into the field of biology, he soon sees his worked praised, but nothing coming from it, it is when his wife and himself struggle in the bedroom, that he learns not enough research has been done in the field of sexual activity which sees him change history and the field of its study. Clara is the wife of Alfred’s, it is their problem which opens up the eyes, as they work together to learn about sexual choices, she supports from home for the most part. Wardell, Paul and Clyde are three of the assistants that work with Alfred learning as they discover more about everything in the sexual world. We do meet the professors that will support Kinsey’s work along with the ones that go against him.

PerformancesLiam Neeson is wonderful in this leading role, he gets to follow through many years of Kinsey’s life which shows the different moments of success and struggles he faced trying to open the eyes of the world. Laura Linney is great in the supporting role showing the supportive side to Kinsey’s work, with the whole supporting cast being strong through the film not putting a foot wrong anywhere through the film.

StoryThe story does follow Professor Alfred Kinsey as he went to onto change the mindset of the educational system that has shied away from for years, he pushes the limits and educates the generation about sex. This is an interesting look at how the education system was used to open up the world of sex to a new generation, we get to see just how difficult the fight to get everything through a system that wouldn’t accept anything outside the traditions and wanted to put an end his research. For a history lesson this is interesting and well worth watching because the story does show different ages opening up in ways that we would consider almost normal now.

Biopic/RomanceWe do get to see most of Alfred Kinsey life and career, how his work changed research already the world and educated people to be safer when engaged in sexual activities. The romance is mostly about how Alfred and Clara are open to working together and show how they are going to exploring themselves along with others.

SettingsThe film is set through different times of history from how the small classroom to the full department being used for research.


Scene of the Movie – The first class.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We don’t get to learn just how much he changed everything.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting history lesson that shows us just how sex was needed to be taught from everyone to everyone.

Overall: Interesting history lesson.

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – K – Klute (1971)

Director: Alan J Pakula

Writer: Andy Lewis, David E Lewis (Screenplay)

Starring: Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Charles Cioffi, Roy Scheider, Dorothy Tristan, Rita Gam, Nathan George

 

Plot: A small-town detective searching for a missing man has only one lead: a connection with a New York prostitute.


Tagline – You’d never take her for a call girl. You’d never take him for a cop.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Thriller

 

Story: Klute starts when a man goes missing with one of the last people to see him alive being a New York prostitute Bree Daniels (Fonda) a woman that is trying to get into acting, she has had many clients through the years and has now started unsettling phone calls. Detective John Klute (Sutherland) is still trying to get to the bottom of the missing persons case, which sees him returning to Bree for more information.

As Klute spends more time learning how Bree operates, he starts to meet the other people in the sex underworld of New York city including her former pimp Frank Ligourin (Scheider) and fellow prostitute Arlyn Page (Tristan), with each leading him to the answer in his missing persons case.

 

Thoughts on Klute

 

Characters – Bree Daniels is the New York prostitute that has been trying to become an actress, she has stop taking as many tricks as before and is the key witness in a missing persons case, she is being watched over by Klute who starts to help her see life in a different light, one which makes her happy, though she is always fearing about how he will judge her for her past. John Klute is a detective trying to locate a missing person, he keeps watch over Bree become romantically involved with her, he shows her a different way to see life, while seeing how this underworld operate. Frank Ligourin is Bree’s pimp that is always trying to get the best for his women, no matter what that means for the women, if they get paid, he gets paid.

PerformancesJane Fonda is wonderful in this leading role, she brings the upfront confidence you would expect from a call girl, with the ability to show change through the film. Donald Sutherland is brilliant too, he keeps his character straight down the line like he needs to through the film. the rest of the cast are flawless and let the leads take the centre stage throughout.

StoryThe story here follows a police detective that spends time with prostitute that might hold the answers to a missing person only to find himself involved in a bigger mystery about who she is. We do spend plenty of time following Bree and seeing how she operates her off the record career and how she is trying to go straight, while being stalked, we get the unsettling feeling that she is going through during the film. seeing how the investigation unfolds is interesting because we see how he doesn’t worry about how many different illegal activities he finds himself going into. This is a tense thriller that does keep us on edge just to see what will happen next to the characters.

Crime/MysteryThe crime side of the film does show us how the prostitute world operates and how the answers for the case will come from what Klute learns.

SettingsThe film is set in New York City which will is always a busy city for any crime story to unfold in.


Scene of the Movie –
First meeting with Frank.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It doesn’t seem to give us enough clues to what happened to the missing person.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that does keep us guessing to just what will happen next and what is going on in this world.

 

Overall: Intense Thriller.

Rating