Skip to main content

King of the Monsters


The first thing you need to know about Gareth Edwards' 2014 version of Godzilla is that it features a fairly small amount of the titular character. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, just... unexpected. Another aspect of the film that was unforeseen (at least by me) is that not all of the big names in the cast are in the movie very much. Perhaps the most notable observation of all, however, is that, despite the surprising turns taken with the characters and lack of huge screen time for the main monster, I found the film to be fairly predictable.

Godzilla opens in a flashback to 1999 (has that really been 15 years ago?), and Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) is an engineer living in Japan along with his wife (Juliette Binoche) and young son. Disaster soon strikes the nuclear power plant where Brody works and, well, I'll just say that the timeline skips forward to present day, where son Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is all grown-up and coming-off 14 months of active duty in the U.S. military. Joe is still haunted by the events of 15 years ago, and son Ford travels to Japan to be with him.

I won't continue on with more plot synopsis. At this point, I will simply say that if you're looking for a big, harrowing summer flick with monsters and humans duking it out, then Godzilla will satisfy you. On that level, it satisfied me. On another level, I felt slightly underwhelmed. It's not that Godzilla is a bad movie -- it isn't. I guess I've just seen this type of thing enough times that it comes across more like a coloring book where you dutifully fill-in the various aspects with the standard crayons.

You've got the requisite family-your-supposed-to-care about (Ford Brody and his wife and kid). Every character in these movies has a family, but we're supposed to only care about the family of the protagonist. Then there's the child-in-peril, this time a native Hawaiian boy who could stand in for Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. He is helped by Ford at one point. And, of course, they even threw in the dog-in-peril for good measure. It's always worth a chuckle to see a dog break its leash and run from disaster. I guess.

I saw Godzilla in 3D IMAX. The sound was great but, in case you weren't aware, putting something in 3D automatically dims the picture a little. Be prepared for this, as much of the film is already dark. Most of the scenes with monsters (the two MUTOS and Godzilla) take place at night, sometimes shrouded in fog, often times during rain. In his review of the 1998 Godzilla movie, the late film critic Roger Ebert notes that much of that film takes place at night and in the rain, likely to better obscure any detrimental elements of the special effects. So it goes in 2014.

Various outlets have likened this new Godzilla movie to 1975's classic Jaws, in which the titular monster doesn't really appear all that much. It worked okay for me, but if you're wanting more Godzilla than, say, Mothra (whom the MUTOs seem based upon), then you'll be disappointed. Overall, though, I felt like the movie delivered what it was supposed to. There were people, cities and dogs in peril, monsters fighting, and stuff got blowed-up real good. That's pretty much what these movies are about.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …

3/4

Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....


1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night


It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

Unbound

"Step out from the mask you stand behind Fearful lost and blind Time to take the time The pressure’s on you Hide away, hide away No tomorrow, just today"
- Brilliant, Ultravox
Today was National Coming Out Day, so of course it gives some pause for reflection on my own coming out story. It was in April 1993, my junior year of high school (go Chargers!). In the six years of writing this blog, I have alluded to how I came out, but never really delved into the intricacies of how it came about. What better day to do so than today?
My first (small) indications of homosexuality manifested in grade school. While in first grade, I thought a fifth grader looked cute. In fifth grade, I would stare, longingly, at a boy in class, until he caught me looking at him. There were some infatuations with boys in middle school, and a first sexual experience during freshman year of high school. Everything up to that point had been, for the most part, based in the physical realm. I liked the way certain…