Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

Director: Michael Dougherty

Writer: Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields (Screenplay) Michael Dougherty, Max Borenstein, Zach Shields (Story)

Starring: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance

 

Plot: The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.


Tagline – Long Live The King

Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Visually Beautiful

 

Story: Godzilla: King of the Monsters starts in the aftermath of the events in San Francisco in 2014, The Russell family is torn apart with the Godzilla attack, with parents Mark (Chandler) and Emma (Farmiga) losing a child, with only Madison (Brown) left in their family, in the years past they have gone their separate ways and the Monarch agency has continue to face consequences for the Godzilla attack.

Emma does work in one of the secret Monarch facilities where they are trying to hatch and contain the titans of the Earth, when the facility comes under attack by eco-terrorist Jonah Alan (Dance) who wants to take a device which could communicate with the Titans of the world.

With this attack Godzilla reappears from his years of hiding and Mark gets called in by Monarch to help the locate his ex-wife and daughter, Monarch needs to plan as the idea is to release all the Titans into the world, with King Ghidorah challenging Godzilla for the title of King of the Monsters.

 

Thoughts on Godzilla: King of the Monsters

 

Characters – Godzilla is the king of the monsters, he will only attack when he is attacked, which sees Monarch watching over him, when his position is put at risk he heads of to eliminate the threat in King Ghidorah, we know Godzilla will fight to the death and here we learn more about the mystic of Godzilla and what gives him all his strength. King Ghidorah is the latest discovery in the world of Titans, he is a three—headed dragon in the historic likeness of the Hydra with the head having the ability to regrow. He wants control over the world using his power to control the Titans to bring the destruction. Mark is a crypto-zoologist that has been hiding from the world after the Godzilla incident, he has become distant from his daughter because of this, which has seen him filming wolves understanding predatory nature. After Madison and Emma are taken, he gets recruited by Monarch to help relocate them using his knowledge of dealing with predators, even though his stance is to kill all Titans. Emma has remained working for Monarch, she has created a device which could communicate with the Titans, one she uses to control Mothra. She gets kidnapped with her creation being the weapon which could control and release all the Titans to the world. Madison is the daughter of the two scientists, she lives with her mother, not having any communication with her father, she gets to witness the great spectacle in person and learn what caused the drift between her parents. Dr Serizawa is one of the few returning characters that still believes that Godzilla is here for good, he will protect him from any attack, he works with the Monarch team to end the terror that has come to the Earth. Barnes is the lead soldier, he seems like he is mostly a replacement for the soldier in the last film, which doesn’t need too much other than military behaviour. Dr Graham is back working with Dr Serizawa to protect Godzilla from the world that wants destruction. Jonah Alan is the eco-terrorist that has been trying to end the Titan control for years, this attest attack is the one that will unleashing them on the world.

PerformancesKyle Chandler steps into the leading role in this outing, he brings us a character with a much more interesting backstory to why he is here and we want to support him making up for his errors. Vera Farmiga is wonderful to watch, we believe her decisions through the film which will give her time to shine. Millie Bobby Brown does everything asked of for a teenage character, we see how she must learn to grow up through the events in the film. Ken Watanabe is always an actor you can sit and watch talk science, he brings the strongest human performance in the film. O’Shea Jackson Jr, Sally Hawkins and Charles Dance complete the main cast all bringing everything to the role to make the film feel believable.

StoryThe story here sees how Monarch comes under attack with the hidden Titans of the world being released into the world, Godzilla must step up to regain control after King Ghidorah tries to take his throne, we see how the human side of the Titan outbreak starts to figure out a way to stop the destruction. When it comes to the story we need to break this down, first the human side of the story which does have a focus on grief of losing somebody in a disaster will go in different direction to search for help. The scientific side of the film shows just how the people in the film work together to figure out how to get through the events of the film. when it comes to the monster side of the film we are seeing the battle for control between Godzilla and King Ghidorah along with the fellow Titans choosing a side when it comes to the battle for control. We only really want to see the monster destruction which is huge, but it is interesting to look into the history of Godzilla and just where he has come from.

Action/Adventure/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe action in the film is truly brilliant, we have mega destruction scenes which show the strengths of each of the Titans and what they could do to the world if they come here looking for their own control. The fight sequences are just beautiful to watch too which goes on to show just how much was put into showing the monsters (which was one of the complained sides of the last Godzilla). The adventure takes our characters across the world to each different facility which will show us how the Titans will suit the location they are coming from. The fantasy does show us just how big the monsters could be, they start to play into the history of the world, teasing they could have been real. The sci-fi side of the film plays into the idea of the giant monsters that are here, fighting for power, we do have interesting military devices which seem like they are from the future too.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us the different locations the Titans are around the world, be it China, Mexico or Antarctica, each Titans comes from the environment which would suit them.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are truly breath-taking, the Titans look flawless, the battles outstanding and the wide shots of the Titans being the best scenes of the year.


Scene of the Movie –
Mothra hatching, it is just beautiful.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Last minute saves.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most beautiful monster movies you will ever see, it has some of the most beautiful shots ever put to film and giving everything you want from a giant monster movie, where they just fight to the death.

 

Overall: Beautiful Monster movie.

Rating

 

 

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Detective Pikachu (2019)

Director: Rob Letterman

Writer: Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Rob Letterman, Derek Connolly (Screenplay) Satoshi Tajiri, Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Nicole Perlman, Ken Sugimori, Junuchi Masuda, Atsuko Nishida, Tomokazu Ohara, Haruka Utsui (Original Content)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Suki Waterhouse, Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe, Karan Soni, Rob Delaney, Kathryn Newton

 

Plot: In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cuteness Can Only Get You So Far

 

Story: Detective Pikachu starts when Tim Goodman (Smith) a young man living in a small town where he is content with his job not wanting to leave like most of his friends, until he gets news of his father’s death in the big city. Once in the big city Tim meets a talking Pikachu that was his father’s partner and the two go in search for answers to what happened to his father and why Pikachu can’t remember a thing.

 

Thoughts on Detective Pikachu

 

Characters – Tim Goodman is the young man that once dreamed of being a Pokémon trainer, he has settled with the idea of insurance for his job, his mother died when he was young and his father has become distant. When his father is killed in an accident, Tim travels to the big city in search for answers and closure only to find himself involved in the big mystery with a new Pikachu partner. Tim feels like a character that is trying to connect to the audience of the people that once loved Pokémon that got hit by life as they grew up. Pikachu is the partner of Tim’s father, only for an unknown reason he can talk to Tim, he is snappy his lines which sees him trying to remain confident as he wants to learn what he happened to his partner and his memory. Lucy is an intern that dreams of being a reporter, she gets the heads up on the story and starts diving into trying to solve the story with Tim. Howard Clifford has built the city where Pokémon and humans can work together and is involved in a power struggle with his son for his company.

PerformancesJustice Smith is the stronger performer in this film, he does show the held in grief his character is feeling, while showing his character is on the verge of coming out of his shell. Ryan Reynolds lends his voice to Pikachu which does work for the most part, he gets the jokes, while handling the serious moments too. Kathryn Newton is strong, though it would have been nice to see more from her character. Bill Nighy is one that brings the calming presence to everything being the typical brains for change into the world.

StoryThe story here follows a young man that teams up with a talking Pikachu, to figure out what happened to his father only to learn about a bigger conspiracy that is going on in the world. The story does easily take a back burner for large amounts of time because we want to focus on the cuteness of the Pokémon. We do get a standard investigation story, which is meant to have twists and turns along the way like all mystery films. We do cut over smaller stories around the supporting characters which disappoints in Lucy’s mostly. We do get a few moments that just don’t make sense though because they go against other rules created in the film.

Action/Comedy/Mystery/Sci-FiThe action sequences are fun to watch which are mostly Pokémon battles which look brilliant, the comedy is fun enough, though we did get most of the best moments in the trailer. The mystery is everything you would expect without being anything new or need to be. The sci-fi world created shows us just how the human and Pokémon can live together in one world.

SettingsThe film creates a wonderful location for the big city which looks nature throughout the scenes there, outside the big city we get to see how the Pokémon would live in our own world.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are truly amazing, to create the world which sees Pokémon living next to humans, everything looks nature when they appear on screen.


Scene of the Movie –
The Pokémon in life.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story is pretty basic.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun easy to watch film about Pokémon, it gets everything it needs to right without trying to test the audience with the lengths of the story.

 

Overall: Fun and Over Cute.

Rating

 

 

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

 

 

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

Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)

logoDirector: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Iris Yamashita (Screenplay) Tadamichi Kuribayashi, Tsuyoko Yoshido (Book)

Starring: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase, Shido Nakamura, Hiroshi Watanabe, Takumi Bando, Yuki Matsuzaki

 

Plot: The Island of Iwo Jima stands between the America military force and the home islands of Japan. Therefore the Imperial Japanese Army is desperate to prevent it from falling into American hands and providing a launching point for an invasion of Japan. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi is given command of the forces on the island and sets out to prepare for the imminent attack. General Kuribayashi, however, does not favour the rigid traditional approach recommended by his subordinates, and resentment and resistance fester among his staff. In the lower echelons, a young soldier, Saigo, a poor baker in civilian life, strives with his friends to survive the harsh regime of the Japanese army itself, all the while knowing that a fierce battle looms. When the American invasion begins, both Kuribayashi and Saigo find strength, honour, courage and horrors beyond imagination.

 

Verdict: Just Brilliant

 

Story: Looking at how a small Japanese army managed to beat impossible odds against a juggernaut of American soldiers, we get to see how they use smart tactics to increase the chances of holding on longer, even though the whole army has been told they will not make it. They do all they can to make sure that the American invasion of their homeland is delayed as long as they can. We get a really feeling for all the characters that are full of soldier who simple shouldn’t be involved in a war. This puts a real impact on how we like to support those characters as we have all seen throughout history that we have put people into war who have never been trained. We also get to see the conflict with Japanese culture of honour in battle being battled by the lead General to prolong the battle. (9/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Ken Watanabe: General Kuribayashi the unconventional tactical master who plots to prolong the battle and treats all his soldiers equal regardless of rank as well as introducing punishments that do not harm a soldier that they will need in battle. Great performance from Ken, showing that if you want a lead serious actor who can perform in world cinema he is the man. (10/10)

 general

Kazunari Ninomiya: Saigo the simple baker who is recruited to war, he sums up every man in battle who doesn’t want to be there but has no option but to fight for his country. Great performance from him, showing all the emotional levels needed for a desperate soldier just wanting to get home to his family. (9/10)

saigo

Tsuyoshi Ihara: Baron Nishi the famous Olympian who leads a unit into battle but has a much more human side in battle. Good performance showing real emotional depth throughout. (9/10)

 baron

Ryo Kase: Shimizu upon arrival he is a man of mystery who soon shows he is just as scared as the rest, even though he came from a specially trained group of soldiers. Ryo shows how some people just can’t handle the war perfectly. (9/10)

 shimzu

Director Review: Clint Eastwood – Brilliant from Eastwood showing he really can direct delicate subjects. (9/10)

 

Drama: The drama of the soldiers battling everything not just the enemy while struggling with just basic surviving. (9/10)

History: Beautifully told historical tale of the battle. (10/10)

War: Shows the horror of war wonderfully with clash of culture. (10/10)

Settings: The settings are beautifully used to recreate the battle. (10/10)

Suggestion: This is one to be watching, it is a great look at war from a different culture that most people will be used too. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The simple flashbacks to the soldier’s normal life moments.

Worst Part: The suicide scene is hard to watch.

Believability: Based on the letters found. (9/10)

Chances of Tears: You do start to feel for the characters by the end of the film. (4/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won an Oscar and nominated for another 3.

Box Office: $68,673,228

Budget: $19 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

Tagline: From the director of ‘Flags of our Fathers’ comes the completion of the Iwo Jima saga.

 

Overall: An Unsung Masterpiece

Rating 93