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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Rogue One (2016)

rogueDirector: Gareth Edwards

Writer: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy (Screenplay) John Knoll, Gary Whitta (Story)

Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen

 

Plot: The Rebel Alliance makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Franchise Filling

 

Story: Rogue One starts Galen Erso (Mikkelsen) and his family hiding on a planet from the Empire with Orson Krennic (Mendelsohn) hunting them down. Jyn (Jones) rescued by Saw Gerrera (Whitaker) grows up to be captured by the imperial guards.

With Jyn broken out of an Imperial labour prison by the rebels who want to use her to find her father who could be working on the Deathstar. Cassian Andor (Luna) is leading an attempt to stop the final preparation of the Deathstar with the connection with Saw Gerrera being important to finding her father.

What follows is the adventure before the saga begins, as the unlikely rebels must steal the plans for the Deathstar to stop the empire from rising to complete power in the universe.

 

Thoughts on Rogue One

 

StoryThis is the prequel to the loved trilogy that is actually a sequel to the disliked trilogy. We only get a snippet into the world of Star Wars with mentions of the force but nothing much going on around the force which is a good plus. This is does feel like a darker story to anything we have seen before with it feeling like a gritter side to the battle rather than the lightsabre action we are used too. Now I don’t want to be a negative person but if this was the first story in the saga I feel it wouldn’t be up to scratch with where the franchise goes, but if this was just a standalone space film it would feel empty of the final impact needed.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is all grand and what you would expect from the Star Wars universe with the adventure being something we are also used to seeing. The sci-fi world is all fine even though the film tries hard to stay serious and down to Earth throughout.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters do all feel like they are from the middle of a rebel fight all coming from different worlds to fight which is all good, the lead character Jyn well she is strong but she is no Rey so don’t go in there expecting a character that strong. The most annoying character to me was voiced brilliantly so nothing against Alan Tudyk but the robot character felt like it had been stolen from Interstellar’s Tars.  When it comes to the performances everyone does a good job throughout so I can’t complain or criticise them in anyway.

SettingsThe settings do all feel gritter making us feel like we are in the war without the force powers going on later in the saga but we do have too many planets to keep on top of which are relevant to later chapters in the story.

Special EffectsYou can’t fault any of the special effects because it is all brilliant like you would expect from a film of this reputation.

Final ThoughtsStretching the universe once more filling in the gaps that didn’t need filling to cover up the wait until the next chapter in the main saga. This is an easy watch but in the end, will struggle to make the top 3 of any Star Wars fans list.

 

Overall: Franchise filler that didn’t need to be made that doesn’t capture the spirit of this franchise.

Ratingcard

 

 

Godzilla (2014)

logoDirector: Gareth Edwards

Writer: Max Borenstein (Screenplay) Dave Callaham (Story)

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

 

Plot: The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

 

Verdict: Great Monster Movie

 

Story: We start by follow a group investigating a collapse at a mine leading us to see how something big was there. Next we meet our hero who works at a nuclear power plant who has worries about seismic activity around the plant and while a team investigate the power plant has a breech leading to his wife dying. Fast forward 15 years and he is still trying to figure out what caused it, while his son has joined the armed forces and has a family of his own. After our hero gets arrested his son has to fly to Japan to bail him out and in the end joins the investigation to what caused the evacuation. Our hero gets bought into what was once his place of work only to discover that it has been taken over where a creature breaks out of its hiding causing the military to come in to try and stop it. They have to stop the Muto creature before it causes more damage around the world. The powers that be in the military have to let the battle between the creatures and Godzilla happen before it is too late.godzilla

Godzilla is one of those all-time classic monster movies and it is always been down to the beliefs in Japanese culture and after the 1998 film we never saw even a mention of those said beliefs. This time we go back to square one and focus on the idea that Godzilla could well be the saviour of the human race against other monsters. The basic film plays out very easily to follow adds in plenty of conspiracy theories ideas which keep things ready for any potential sequels. The only thing that really annoyed me was the fact Ford just happened to always seemed to be in the right, well in his case wrong place at the time to be involved with the next mission without actually being on active duty. In the end it is a very good story that will be easy to follow for all the fans and pays a lot of respect to the source material. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Aaron Taylor-Johnson: Ford Brody son of Joe who has grown up to start his own family as well as being a solider, he gets caught up in the middle of his father’s theories and has to face off against both the creatures while trying to get back to his family. He ends up getting caught up in every single mission against the creatures. Aaron does a good job but ends up looking like a very standard solider instead of an over the top action hero, which was good. (8/10)

 ford

Bryan Cranston: Joe Brody seismic expert working on a nuclear power plant, who is trying to investigate why a seemingly identical activity happening but after his wife is killed during the attack he becomes a conspiracy nut. He ends up being correct about what is being hidden and helps offering some of the answers to the government’s problems. Bryan does a good job in the role but I feel we could have seen a lot more from his character. (8/10)

joe

Elizabeth Olsen: Elle Brody wife of Ford who has spends the first half of the film looking after their child while Ford is trying to get back home. She does a good job but really doesn’t end up doing anything to help the story only offers motivation for Ford. (7/10)

 

Ken Watanabe: Dr Serizawa the man trying to understand the creatures and after years of asking questions he might final understand what is happening, and has to race to stop them spreading all while believing that Godzilla will stop the other creatures. Ken does a good job but ends up coming off as a stereotypical character. (7/10)

 dr

Sally Hawkins: Vivienne Graham assistant who tries to help protect the people from what is happening but it is up to her and Dr Serizawa to get the message across to the trigger happy Americans. Sally does a good job in the supporting role but fails to really make an impact. (7/10)

 vivine

Support Cast: Each member of the supporting cast adds to the story as it unfolds giving information to our main characters.

 

Director Review: Gareth Edwards – Gareth shows why he got picked to direct this by showing his brilliance at masking the idea of monsters instead of just having over the top battles. (9/10)

 

Action: Plenty of action going on during the film even with a lot only showing the aftermath we have plenty to enjoy too. (10/10)

Thriller: Keeps you guessing on what will happen and where it will happen next. (9/10)

Settings: Each setting selected adds to the story as we see the destruction being created by the creatures. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Brilliant special effects used to create the creatures and the destruction made. (10/10)

Suggestion: This is one of the block buster that has to be watched because it is near perfect for a modern monster movie. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Godzilla final fight.

Worst Part: The very end is a bit cheesy.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final fight.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It has one being talked about.

Opening Credits Rating: The opening credits fill us with backstory on how the nuclear tests had been causing mutation. All good for helping explain the idea of how a ‘Godzilla’ like creature could appear. (10/10)

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: I would expect it to get some Special Effects nominations.

Box Office: $525 Million

Budget: $160 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: The king arrives

Trivia: Juliette Binoche, Bryan Cranston, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe,Elizabeth Olsen, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson were all Gareth Edwards’s first choice for their respective roles. According to Hawkins, “He comes from the performance first, rather than how it looks. I never expected I would be cast in a film like this – and that’s all thanks to Gareth. His cast is really unusual and interesting and people you wouldn’t normally see in this type of film, and I hope it makes for a different type of monster film.”

 

Overall: Monster Movie That Salutes Its Source Material

Rating 90

Top 10 Films I Am Looking Forward To In 2014

2014 is here and I think it would be a great idea to start a new feature for the site, with my first Top 10 list. This list will be looking at the Top 10 films I am looking forward to seeing in 2014. This may have some that came out overseas in 2013 but in England until 2014.

10. Resident Evil 6

10

This won’t be one for everyone and many people will question my choice here, but I have never played the games so I just enjoyed the films and this looks like it might finally be the final one this could be the best after improvements with Paul W. S.  Anderson’s return to the franchise.

9. See No Evil 2

9

I did enjoy the first film and it has been way to long waiting for this sequel, but it is here and with the Twisted Twins directing we might get a very special slasher film.

8. The Wind Rises

8

This is Hayao Miyazaki retirement film, it looks breath taking and with his previous films being masterpieces this could very well become another one on the master’s list.

7. Edge Of Tomorrow

7

Time travel, Sci-fi action and epic battles this could be a huge flop but it is more than likely going to be a mega hit. You have Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt both stars in their own right, right now.

6. Godzilla

6

Gareth Edwards gave us Monsters one of the best creature feature type film in recent years and he gave it to us on a micro budget, now it is time for him to give us the long awaited modernisation on a classic

5. X-Men Days Of Futures Past

5

After the confusing outcome of The Wolverine end credit scenes we have so many questions and the story’s outline looks brave and interesting mixing the new cast with the old cast, this will only go two ways. Brilliant or awful and it is as simple as that.

4. Jupiter Ascending

4

Wachowski siblings return to give us something that looks like a mix of Cloud Atlas and The Matrix in a space opera, yeah sounds like too much but these two know how to make it work.

3. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

3

After the brilliant Rise of the Planet of the Apes the franchise is officially back on the right tracks. Years have passed since then and we are left with what looks like the finally showdown for control of the planet.

2. Transcendence

2

What would happen if you could create a computer with a collective intelligence greater than every human being put together? Add Johnny Depp you got what must be a sure fire hit.

1. Interstellar

A

Christopher Nolan gets his hands on this and with a rediscovered Matthew McConaughey this has many questions around it much like Inception but the mystery will be uncovered and we will see what Mr Nolan has been keeping up his sleeves.

Honourable mentions

  • The Amazing Spiderman 2
  • Divergent
  • Expendables 3
  • Sabotage