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

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005)

Director: Mary Lambert

Writer: Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris (Screenplay)

Starring: Kate Mara, Robert Vito, Tina Lifford, Ed Marinaro, Michael Coe, Lillith Fields

 

Plot: On a prom-night dare, a trio of high school friends chant an incantation, unleashing an evil spirit from the past with deadly consequences.


Tagline – Mary’s Evil is Beyond Legend

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Better Than I Remembered

 

Story: Urban Legends: Bloody Mary starts as we follow three high school students including Samantha Owens (Mara) who are playing with the ideas of urban legends and the Bloody Mary myth, which sees them disappear for a couple of days.

When they return Samantha’s brother David (Vito) believes it had something to do with the football team that she exposed, but soon the Mary ghost starts putting the students through their own nightmares.

 

Thoughts on Urban Legends: Bloody Mary

 

Characters – Samantha Owens is on of the high school reporters, her latest story exposes the football team which leads to her being exiled from the school dance, victim of a prank she is put through the same ordeal that three student years before went through, which unleashes a vengeful spirit. She must figure out what is going on before too many people start dying. David is the brother of Samantha, he always watches over his sister and will stand by her to stop anything happening to her. Grace Taylor was one of the survivors that was involved in the first kidnapping that took place, she doesn’t remember who was involved and has spent her life avoiding the truth. Bill is the step father of Sam and David, thy have never been fond of him and we learn early on that he was around during the first incident.

PerformancesKata Mara is the lead in this film, this is one of her first leading roles and you can see she does have the little bit extra about her that will make her standout in the future. The rest of the cast is solid enough, certain smaller supporting roles do have weak performances, but once they are killed off it isn’t a problem.

StoryThe story here follows high school students that unleashes an urban Legend on the world only for them to get picked off, they need to solve the mystery of the whereabouts of the murdered teenager to bring about the end of the curse. This does use connection to the first two films, mostly by pointing out who the killer in the second one was, showing that people will use Urban Legends to kill. By using the students names we learn who the killer is too early which is a shame because it could have been a good twist, when it comes to the kills the idea they are based on Urban Legends once again ends up mixed because some are just crimes which take advantage of the situation over being a legend. This will also fail by the fact that it decided to go supernatural on us for no reason what so ever.

Horror/MysteryThe kills continue to use the Urban Legends which is fine, we have learnt about these in previous films, but the supernatural side of everything only lets things down, the mystery behind the film is easier to solve once we look at the people in the opening sequence.

SettingsHaving a high school setting does make this feel too big, it also leaves us to wide spread for the kills mostly taking place in homes.

Special EffectsThe effects the biggest weakness of the film, anything practical works fine, but those CGI moments mostly the spider scene look terrible.


Scene of the Movie –
The fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Those spiders.

Final ThoughtsFor the third in a franchise this is fine, it works and will make for a good late night movie we can enjoy as horror fans.

 

Overall: Late night viewing.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Krampus (2015)

krampusDirector: Michael Dougherty

Writer: Michael Dougherty, Todd Casey, Zach Shields (Screenplay)

Starring: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Emjay Anthony, Stefania LaVie Owen, Krista Stadler

 

Plot: A boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a Christmas demon to his family home.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Christmas Cracker Nightmare

 

Story: Krampus starts with the opening credits showing the chaos of Christmas shopping before moving to meet the Engel family father Tom (Scott), mother Sarah (Collette) and children Max (Anthony), Beth (Owen). They are preparing for family visiting Howard (Koechner), Linda (Tolman) along with their children and Aunt Dorothy (Ferrell). What looks like a normal horrendous family holiday together takes a turn when we learn that Max’s letter to Santa is very personal about wanting things to come back to normal.

When a blizzard hits the family find themselves with no hot water increasing tensions and Beth leaving the house finds out that something terrifying is lurking outside their house. When Beth never returns Tom and Howard go searching and find themselves having to fight Krampus and all of his demons of Christmas to protect their own families.

Krampus is a horror fantasy comedy that is set at Christmas much like Gremlins did back in the 80’s. We get to see how a family Christmas is really just like normal with different parts of family coming together. I did like how this took a Christmas wish idea and take a twisted looking at how you need to be careful what you wish for. We get to see things happen we wouldn’t normal see in a Christmas film because the only characters we meet are the family making any victims being close to home. I really didn’t know where it was going which is always good in a horror movie making this one to add to the list of horror Christmas films.

 

Actor Review

 

Adam Scott: Tom Engel is the father of the household, he does spend a lot of his time travelling but this year has promised to stay home with his family. He doesn’t get along with Howard but deals with him to make Christmas work. He must step up when his own daughter Beth disappears and they have to fight Krampus and his helpers. Adam is good in this leading role even a slightly generic father character.tom

Toni Collette: Sarah Engel is the mother of the household, she is a neat freak and has to deal with her sister’s untidy family at Christmas. She will do anything to protect her son after her daughter goes missing. Toni makes for a good supporting character as always.sarh

David Koechner: Howard is the brother in law who is very loud and gun happy. He has never really seen eye to eye with Tom but the events of this night bring them closer than they have ever been. David gives what is the trademark supporting performance you get from him.howard

Allison Tolman: Linda is Sarah’s sister who has bought her family to stay for Christmas, she comes off soft as she deals with what is happening with everything before the events of that night. She comes off as the push over parent compared to the over the top husband Howard. Allison is good as the supporting character.

Support Cast: Krampus has a big supporting cast that is only family which helps add the peril side of the story.

Director Review: Michael DoughertyMichael continues to take over the holiday horror scene with this addition to Christmas horrors.

 

Comedy: Krampus has good comic moment through the film without turning to it every time.

Fantasy: Krampus puts us into a world of fantasy creatures that all come off original with the terror through the film.

Horror: Krampus brings us a new Christmas horror that could easily stand next to Gremlins.

Settings: Krampus keeps us in a small setting with everything in and around the house.
Special Effects
: Krampus uses great special effects to create the demons terrorising the family.

Suggestion: Krampus is one for all the horror fans to enjoy. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Attic scene.

Worst Part: Not much.

Funniest Scene: Gingerbread time.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yeah

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Gremlins

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $42.5 Million

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good. So be good for goodness’s sake.

 

Overall: Christmas Horror Comedy that is one of the best in recent years.

Ratingcard

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

casting cardDirector: Bryan Singer

Writer: Simon Kinberg (Screenplay) Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris (Story)

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Rose Byrne, Evan Peters, Josh Helman, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Luca Till, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Hardy

 

Plot: With the emergence of the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse, the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappoint Sequel

 

Story: X-Men: Apocalypse starts as we see a fail ritual to bring Apocalypse alive in ancient Egyptian, move forward to 1981 we get to meet our fresh set of mutants with Scott Summers/ Cyclops (Sheridan), Nightcrawler (Smit-McPhee), Angel (Hardy), Jean Grey (Turner) and Storm (Shipp). Scott being the brother of Havok (Till) gets enrolled in Professor Xavier’s (McAvoy) school while Magneto (Fassbender) is living a normal life back in Poland.

It isn’t long until Apocalypse is being raised from the dead with the higher power mutants being able to sense him rising. With Magneto driven to the man he didn’t want to live anymore he unleashes his rage, while Professor Xavier seeks an old friend Moira Mactaggert (Byrne) for answers to the rising of Apocalypse.

Apocalypse builds himself an army of mutants with increased powers as he searches for the most powerful mutants to help him reclaim the Earth that was once his with Magneto, Storm, Angel and Psylocke (Munn) by his side. It is up to Professor Xavier to take his student into battle to stop the end of the world.

X-Men: Apocalypse is yet another restart timeline X-Men movie that for some reason tries to reference future outings but also erasing other moments. This just confuses the timelines but as for it being a solo story you do need to have seen the previous films to understand certain moments. The introducing of younger versions of the mutants we have known in previous films but they all seem suddenly powerful enough to handle themselves in a fight. We get the same odd Professor X and Magneto dealing with what they want without agreeing. In fairness this is just another wildly over the top X-Men movie that can be enjoy from a casual point of view but for story telling it’s just not up to the standard we are used to.

 

Actor Review

 

James McAvoy: Professor Charles Xavier is now just trying to just teach the young mutants to deal with their mutant powers trying to keep peace between the two kinds. He ends up having to come face to face with an enemy that is controlling his closest friend/enemy Magneto. James is solid but just doesn’t give us the character we fully enjoy.

Michael Fassbender: Magneto is now trying to live a normal life in Poland, he has started a family but when his identity becomes apparent tragedy strikes and we see Magneto want vengeance against the human race as he stands next to Apocalypse. This is the best and most tragic back story Magneto has ever had making him the best youngster version we have seen before. Michael is one of the stars of the show with his performance but the character does seem to get forgotten in the second half of the movie.

Jennifer Lawrence: Mystique is now a lone soldier trying to help mutants from around the world, she isn’t being bad just continuing to want to make sure all mutants get treated equal. Jennifer continues her paycheck franchise performances here never really being stand-out.

Oscar Isaac: Apocalypse is the first mutant and the all-powerful one at that, he has the ability to enhance the powers of other mutants. He wants to destroy the world bringing it back to the place where people respected and worshiped him, he puts together a team of what he sees as the strongest mutants to make this happen. Oscar is solid in this role but it could be fair to say anyone could have had this role.

Support Cast: X-Men: Apocalypse has a massive supporting cast with Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Evan Peters and Kodi Smit-McPhee all gives us good performance but most of the rest struggle to make an impact with a lot playing the younger versions of the pre-existing characters and simply not hitting the levels of the previous outings.

Director Review: Bryan SingerBryan goes bigger yet again with this outing with more characters and more timelines to pull together but I do feel this goes one step too far.

 

Action: X-Men: Apocalypse has plenty of wild over the top action moments but the destruction just seems too much and unnecessary.

Adventure: X-Men: Apocalypse throws our characters into an adventure defend the world like we have seen before.

Sci-Fi: X-Men: Apocalypse has all of the different mutant powers to give us the fight we are sitting through.

Settings: X-Men: Apocalypse has the dam setting for one setting which is good connecting back to previous films but otherwise it is jut cities randomly being destroyed.
Special Effects
: X-Men: Apocalypse is filled with the special effects you would expect without being anything really fresh.

Suggestion: X-Men: Apocalypse is one for the fans of the series to watch, this isn’t one you can just pick up without knowing previous version of the film. (Franchise Fans)

 

Best Part: Quicksilver, give this guy his own movie.

Worst Part: Poor young casting of the popular characters.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Most likely.

Post Credits Scene: Yes

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hour 24 Minutes

Tagline: Only the strong will survive

 

Overall: One sequel too far that is just too much explosions and poor casting.

Ratingcard

 

 

Trick ‘r Treat

logiDirector: Michael Dougherty

Writer: Michael Dougherty (Screenplay)

Starring: Dylan Baker, Rochelle Aytes, Quinn Lord, Lauren lee Smith, Moneca Delain, Tahmoh Penikett, Brett Kelly, Britt McKillip, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox

 

Plot: Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Little Stories

 

Story: Trick ‘r’ Treat starts with couple Henry (Penikett) and Emma (Bibb) returning from a party when Emma removes her costume prompting Henry to question the superstition. Emma tries to take down the decoration only to be attack by something leaving her dead with her head on the very same decoration. This is how you start a horror film short and sweet story.

I am not going to give away too much about each story because they are short and sweet I will just look at the basic outline of them all.

For the next chapter of the story we meet Laurie (Paquin) and her friends as they are preparing for a wild party dressed in fairy tale characters, we learn that Laurie is a virgin and will be looking to lose it at this party.

The next major story involves a kid who is smashing Halloween decorations before he gets interrupted by Steven (Baker) who teaches the boy about respecting the dead on Halloween. Steven has his own tradition for Halloween.

The next story involves a group of children who are collecting Jack o lanterns to understand an urban legend that revolves around the town. The story goes that a school bus filled with special children whose parents wanted to get rid of them crashed into the quarry. The story is that the lost souls still haunt the area and the Jack O’ Lanterns gets placed there in respect every year.

The final story follows Mr Kreeg (Cox) an old lonely man who prefers to be on his own, playing tricks on anyone kid brave enough to come in his yard, but when he gets a taste of his own medicine he gets trapped inside his own home against the trademark sack boy lurking through all the stories.

Trick ‘r’ Treat is filled with little stories surrounding Halloween, all told over one night in one small town. The fact the stories all have dark twists to them all work really well and like most multiply stories we do have certain ones that out shine the others. The only one that seems to run through the whole film is the group of girl mates who are out for a party, I do feel by doing this we lose the impact of a couple of the other stories because even though the outcome of their story is great the other ones needed that little extra moment to shock. Overall the stories all come off very nicely and can be enjoyed. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Dylan Baker: Steven is the high school principal who has a secret dark side he likes to let out on Halloween when it comes to making his own personal jack o lantern. He appears in all the stories with difference size parts but if his involvement in Laurie’s is that is the real twist. Dylan does a great job to perform as the creepy member of the community that looks friendly for the most part. (8/10)

 steve

Anna Paquin: Laurie is the early twenty year old out for a party with her friends, the party is designed to help her lose her virginity but not in the way we would expect. Anna does a good job and ends up involve in one of the sexiest transformations in the genre. (7/10)

laurie

Brian Cox: Mr Kreeg is the loner of the neighbourhood, he hates Halloween and spends most of the holiday chasing the kids away from his house. He gets taste of his own medicine when he gets a visit from the films iconic sack boy. Brian does a good job in the survival in the house but it doesn’t last long enough. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: Trick ‘r’ Treat has a big supporting cast that all mix into the stories of each other, they all help with the final outcome of the stories though.

 

Director Review: Michael Dougherty – Michael puts together a great little horror mix of stories with some of the best twists in short story horror. (7/10)

 

Comedy: Trick ‘r’ Treat doesn’t come off as full blown horror but I did like the dark comedy in the Steven storyline. (7/10)

Horror: Trick ‘r’ Treat tries to give us a mix of different horrors, but my only complaint would be that we don’t stick to the types of horror long enough. (6/10)

Settings: Trick ‘r’ Treat keeps everything happening in one small town which makes certain aspects of the story feel all that scarier because you never know your neighbours. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Trick ‘r’ Treat uses great effects with the highlight being the brilliant and original werewolf transformations. (8/10)

Suggestion: Trick ‘r’ Treat is one for the horror fans out there to watch, it is a fun size horror classic really. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The final twist.

Worst Part: Too much focus on the girls party.

Favourite Quote: ‘Charlie Brown’s an Asshole’.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

Tagline: They were started to protect us

 

Overall: This is a brilliant collection of horror tales that doesn’t hit home as well as it could but still entertains.

Rating 70