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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ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – G – The Grandmaster (2013)

Director: Kar-Wai Wong

Writer: Kar-Wai Wong, Jingzhi Zou, Haofeng Xu (Screenplay) Kar-Wai Wong (Story

Starring: Tony Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Jin Zhang

 

Plot: The story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee.


Tagline –  In Martial Arts there is no right or wrong, only the last man standing.

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Watch IP Man

 

Story: The Grandmaster starts as we learn how the 40-year-old IP Man (Leung) life of luxury is turned upside due to the war in China, he loses everything including daughters to the effects, he moves onto Hong Kong to try to rebuild his life will being the excellent martial artists, we do follow a large amount of time in his life to get to where we do in the film.

 

Thoughts on The Grandmaster

 

Characters – IP man is the legend, arguable the greatest martial artist of all time, he trained Bruce Lee as his most famous student. This follows his life from riches, to rags and the rise of his dojo of training. We also follow Gong Er who wants to break boundaries in protecting her family’s honour and Ma San the man who uses his martial arts for evil in the world.

PerformancesThe performances here are fine, the fights between the different stars all click well making moments feel like edge of your seat, but after watching the IP Man I found those performances easier to connect too.

StoryThe story follows the life and times of IP Man, a legend in the martial arts field, we follow decades of his life which is fine, but it has been told before in three films, which gave them more time to develop the story. it feels like we gloss over too many moments that are much bigger in this life. The story just isn’t as interesting when it gets trimmed down this much.

Action/Biopic/Romance/WarThe action sequences are great fight sequences which is good to see, and they do feel brutal in effect. The biopic side of the story does seem to gloss over too much for us now we have a longer focus in the IP man films.

SettingsThe settings are fine throughout the film, they do seem darker than they need to be and quite often include rain for some reason.


Scene of the Movie –
Any of the fight scenes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact is that I have seen IP man films and this is the same story trimmed down.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic biopic on the IP man, you could watch the three and soon to be four films with Donnie Yen to get more in depth stories that this film covers in trimmed down time, the action won’t let you down though.

 

Overall: Solid enough, but not great.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – H – House of Flying Daggers (2004)

Director: Yimou Zhang

Writer: Feng Li, Bin Wang, Yimou Zhang (Screenplay)

Starring: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, Ziyi Zhang, Dandan Song, Hongfei Zhao

 

Plot: A romantic police captain breaks a beautiful member of a rebel group out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows, but things are not what they seem.


Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Visually Stunning

 

Story: House of Flying Daggers starts as we meet two police captains, Jin (Kaneshiro) and Leo (Lau) both have been assigned to locate the new leader of the group known as the Flying Daggers, the first lead is with blind showgirl Xiao Mei (Zhang) who is set to be tortured for the information.

Jin rescues Xiao because of his respect of the Flying Daggers and wanting away from the corrupt government system. With Captain Leo hot on their tails it isn’t long before we are on a race to safety but not everything is what it seems.

 

Thoughts on House of Flying Daggers

 

Characters – Jin is one of the captain’s in the police in China, he is a playboy with the women which helps as he goes against order to rescue a prime suspect in the search for the rebel group, known as the Flying Daggers. Jin uses his charm to get close to the truth but his status becomes difficult once the truth about his plan is revealed. Leo is the fellow Captain that is by the books to make sure everything goes to the plan with the torture of Mei. Xiao Mei is the blind showgirl that is a prime suspect in the search for the Flying Daggers. Once rescued from jail, he must decide whether to truth Jin or not in a world which is dark to her, her fighting skills are fantastic as she sounds around her to know where her enemies are.

PerformancesTakeshi Kaneshiro is great in this leading role, but this does go for the three lead roles Andy Lau and Ziyi Zhang, the three shine in the film with the combat skills required to handle everything they go through with the emotional moments too.

StoryThe story here starts out as any routine, save a prisoner to go against your government idea but soon goes in directions you wouldn’t have imagined as certain things are not what they seem and love consumes the characters and what they believe they stand for. This is a very good story to watch unfold, we get moments of breaking when we turn to the action but that offers us something as the action scenes offer a moment needed for the characters to develop in the bigger picture.

Action/Adventure/RomanceThe action through the film is breath-taking moments using nature and weapons is a blend of beauty. The romance side of the film comes on thick in the second half as we see just how far the people will go for love.

SettingsThe film takes place mostly in a countryside of China, this gives us the beauty needing for the fight sequences.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to help with the fight sequences look even more breath-taking.


Scene of the Movie –
Treetop battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We lose track of the bigger battle in the final act.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best-looking action movies you will see, it leads you one direction before throwing us into a new one too.

 

Overall: Visual experience for all.

Rating

 

 


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

crouchingDirector: Ang Lee

Writer: Hi-Ling Wang, James Schamus, Kuo Jung Tsai (Screenplay) Du Lu Wang (Book)

Starring: Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang, Chen Chang, Sihung Lung, Pei-Lei Cheng

 

Plot: Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically skilled, adolescent nobleman’s daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Visual Experience

 

Story: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon starts when Master Li Mu Bai (Chow) a warrior turned devoted monk medicates great sorrow leading him to ask Yu Shu Lien (Yeoh) to give up him sword to a trusted friend Sir Te (Lung). Putting the sword in safety Shu Lien meets a young governor’s daughter Jen Yu (Zhang) who dreams of being a warrior like Li Mu Bai and Shun Lien.

When the sword is stolen, it appears the Jade Fox (Cheng) has returned and this bring Master Li Mu Bai out of retirement to avenge his master’s murder at the hands of the Jade Fox. Li Mu Bai and Shu Lien go in search for the sword as the two get to face an enemy they didn’t see coming with powers unlike anything they have fought before, one that can be trained to continue their art of combat in Jen Yu who for now has been led astray by the Jade Fox.

 

Thoughts on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

 

Characters/PerformanceMaster Li Mu Bai is a character that we have come to identify in martial arts films for years, the one who has complete calmness in his action and always in control during combat. It is the two female lead characters Yu Shin Lien and Jen Yu that all reach the next level for the characters in a world that is often male dominated having these two character in a mix of good versus potential evil on Jen Yu is a character that could go either way through the film.

The performances from Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang are both brilliant as they both show their skills in the arts along with the men in this film. Yun-Fat Chow is also great through the film is the male lead at a time when we all wanted a new leading man for the martial arts film.stars

StoryWith the story we dive back into ancient China to see how the beliefs between the people with honour and training could create the moment you needed for peace. We do have an action story in here about how easy it could be to be led astray by the darker side of these abilities as we watch the two heroes of the story try to show the young soon to be master the right path to follow while she is being led astray by the villainous Jade Fox. The story is easy to follow and you can full understand how important it is to have both sides of the story being told to teach Jen Yu the right path.

Action/Adventure/Fantasy/RomanceThe action is unlike anything you would have seen before which is great to see because too many films just copy and paste action together. The romance side of the story is also strong because it tests the characters to push their honour for love with the fantasy coming from how the action is constructed.

SettingsThe breath-taking ancient China setting makes this one of the most visual treats you will see in any film.

Special EffectsWhile mostly practical effects with wires the effects captured between the character’s fight sequences are brilliant through the whole film.genre

Final ThoughtsEasily one of the best martial arts films you will see, based on more than just the fight sequences but the training to make it happen.

 

Overall: Nominated for Best Picture and you can see why it was.

Ratingrating

 

 

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

Director: Julius Onah

Writer: Oren Uziel (Screenplay) Oren Uziel, Doug Jung (Story)

Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Bruhl, John Ortiz, Chris O’Dowd, Aksel Hennie, Ziyi Zhang, Elizabeth Debicki

 

Plot: Orbiting a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis, and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Addition to Cloverfield Universe

 

Story: The Cloverfield Paradox starts as we come to the Earth as the people are facing an energy crisis, one of the last hopes is an experiment in space to product an almost infinite amount, the crew includes Schmidt (Bruhl), Hamilton (Mbatha-Raw), Kiel (Oyelowo), Monk (Ortiz), Mundy (O’Dowd), Volkov (Hennie) ad Tam (Zhang).

While performing their experiment something goes wrong and the crew finds their ship in the middle of nowhere in space, the Earth gone, what happened, the team must work together to keep the ship active before even considering looking for home and things only get more confusing when Jensen (Debicki) appears on the ship claiming to be part of the team.

 

Thoughts on The Cloverfield Paradox

 

Characters – Hamilton seems to be one of our main characters, because we follow her on Earth as she debates whether to be part of the mission, so she can save her family from the crisis on Earth, on board the ship we see how her first and most important thing to follow is communicating with her family. Kiel is the Commander on this mission, he knows how each member of the team can be used to get through the problems. Schmidt is the man behind the science, it has been his ideas which are being put into practice in the experiment. Monk is the medical officer on the ship, he faces the scientific decisions. Mundy is the engineer on board, he can fix any problem as fast becomes the funniest member of the crew. Volkov is the member of the team which easily gets hot headed through the situations the crew themselves in. Tam is a crucial part of the team when it comes to knowing the operations behind the experiment. Jensen appears on the ship after the experiment goes wrong, she seems to be part of the team, but no one else knows who she is. She knows the operations the crew want to follow too.

PerformancesThis has a star studded multi-cultured set of actors, this helps show us how the world is united with this plan. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is good in this leading role, her character is the only one that does seem to show any life outside of the mission though. Daniel Bruhl and David Oyelowo are two top performers and they both give us the good performances we expect. Chris O’Dowd nearly steals the movie, his characters wit mixed with his delivery helps the movie have moments of light-hearted humour. Elizabeth Debicki is good too but I do feel like we don’t get enough from the talents of Aksel Hennie and Ziyi Zhang.

StoryThe story follows an experiment to try and solve the problems the Earth is facing with energy supplies, the idea takes us into a scientific discussion about what would happen if scientists accidently ended up in an alternative dimension. We have characters that are smart in space, which follows the same lines as ‘Life’ and ‘Sunshine’ as they do come together to try to solve the problem over just panicking. This does tie into the previous films nicely too, which is just what we wanted to see.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-fiThis film doesn’t reach the horror element level it could have, but the mystery side of the film covers this weakness, the sci-fi side of things do offer big questions about where things could be going.

SettingsThe film uses two major settings, the first and best is the space station which is highlight of the film because every time we jump to Earth, it seems to slow up the pace of the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are flawless through the film, the space moments are wonderful and an incident with an arm is great.


Scene of the Movie –
Found the worms

That Moment That Annoyed Me Returning to Earth gets frustrating.

Final ThoughtsThis is a smart sci-fi film that throws up the questions about what could go wrong with an experiment that could help save the Earth. This does fit into the universe created with the Cloverfield movies too.

 

Overall: Hugely entertaining sci-fi thriller.

Rating