Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

godzilla-king-of-the-monsters-2019-movieDirector: Michael Dougherty

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 132 Minutes

Main Cast: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds

Plot: Following on from the events of 2014’s Godzilla, crypto-zoological agency Monarch are left defending themselves against criticism from the government as well as a bigger threat in the form of the three-headed King Ghidorah.

My Thoughts: I knew I would regret not seeing this in the cinema. Not because it was a cinematic masterpiece, in fact, it was far from it, but the monster scenes are just so damn cool. Yes, they’re quite dark – although not nearly as dark as I expected after all the reviews, or maybe I was remembering that GoT episode where I could see naff all – but I’d rather that than be able to see too much CGI.

Where it falls flat however are the humans. I’m quite happy to have a story arc there, it’s needed to be honest otherwise the movie would be an assault on the senses, but I just didn’t care enough about any of the characters other than Madison, played by Millie Bobby Brown. Also, it could well be because I’m a big fan of hers because of Stranger Things, but I felt like she out-acted everyone else there without even trying. She’s too good for this movie.

At the end of the day though, I watched King of the Monsters because I wanted to see destruction and monsters, and I got plenty of that. I wasn’t bored at any point (although I did keep checking Twitter to see who won Love Island) and so really…my expectations were met! Am I crazily excited for the next Godzilla movie? Not really. Will I go and see it anyway? Absolutely – and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

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Best Bit: I’d heard that Mothra was a fan favourite but wow – isn’t she just stunning? In fact, all of the monsters are stunning. I also loved how in the credits, the monsters are listed with the other characters and are credited as playing themselves. That made me chuckle.

Worst Bit: Was I meant to laugh when that pilot ejected himself from his jet to avoid being eaten only to fly up into the monster’s jaws and get devoured? Because I did. That was hilarious. Also – anything that came out of Dr. Rick Stanton’s mouth made me cringe. What a gross character.

Fun Trivia: On the map showing the monarch sites for all the found titans, there is an area over Scotland as a nod towards the Loch Ness monster.

My Rating: 3 and a half moths fluttering around your bedroom at night. Just be glad they’re normal-sized…

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First Man (2018)

first-man-movie-poster-review-2018Director: Damien Chazelle

Genre: Biography, Drama, History

Runtime: 141 Minutes

Main Cast: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Patrick Fugit, Christopher Abbott, Olivia Hamilton, Ciarán Hinds, Pablo Schreiber

Plot: The real-life story behind Neil Armstrong, and how he found himself leading the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the moon on 20th July 1969.

My Thoughts: Not gonna lie, I had to really push myself to go and see First Man. It had great reviews, it’s directed by the amazing Damien Chazelle, it stars Ryan Gosling, it’s in the running for the Oscars – it was ticking so many boxes for me. But it’s a long movie, and it’s a subject I honestly don’t have much interest in. As usual, I’m really glad I went in the end!

First Man probably takes 3rd place in Damien Chazelle’s movies for me, but it’s still a fantastic movie. I didn’t expect it to have so many ‘space-y’ moments, and the opening in particular quite literally took my breath away. Then you have the heartbreaking family moments that had me openly sobbing in the middle of the room – not embarrassing at all. So – it almost takes the dramatic elements of Whiplash (2014) and the heart-crushing elements of La La Land (2016).

Ryan Gosling was great throughout in a calm, and fairly quiet role, with a much bigger personality bubbling on the surface. I don’t know Neil Armstrong at all well enough to know how well Gosling matches up, but still. Claire Foy didn’t get as many moments as I thought she would, but the scene where she tells Neil to explain to his kids that there’s a chance he won’t survive the mission was powerful as hell.

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Best Bit: No surprises here, but the best moment was watching Neil first walk on the moon. Especially when you find out what he brought with him…I felt it coming and I was a wreck! A moment that I wish I’d been able to witness in IMAX to be honest.

Worst Bit: Not a ‘bit’ in particular, but it felt like the first hour or so raced by, and then the pacing fell to a snail pace, which really doesn’t help when the movie is 20 minutes too long to begin with!

Fun Trivia: In the breakfast scene just before Apollo 11 launched, the artist sketching Armstrong is Chris Calle, son of the NASA artist Paul Calle. Chris was playing his father who actually sketched the crew that morning.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 wooden-beaded bracelets…don’t make me explain why…*sobs*.

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Review: Game Night (2018)

game-night-movie-review-2018Have I ever mentioned how much I love Jason Bateman comedies? Horrible Bosses and The Change Up are 2 of my favourite movies of all time, and I’m also a big fan of board games and game nights in general so you can imagine how gutted I was to miss the cinema release of Game Night! It was just one of those incidents where plans were made, the showtimes didn’t work, and then by the time the plans are made again, it’s not in the cinema anymore.

Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) met at a quiz night, fell in love, and hosted a weekly game night for their friends ever since. Things get tense when Max’s extremely successful brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) comes to visit, and suggests hosting the ultimate game night at his rented accommodation. It’s a murder mystery night where one of the group will be kidnapped, but things take a strange turn…

Sadly if you’ve seen the trailer you’ll know what that turn is, but although it gives away far too much of the story (in my opinion anyway) there’s still a lot of fun to be had, and plenty of surprises along the way. There’s always that fear with comedies that all the good jokes are in the trailer, leaving nothing left, but I found loads more to laugh at this time around.

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If you’re a fan of American sitcoms like I am then there’s also a lot of familiar faces to spot which I always find fun. Jason Bateman gives you exactly what you would expect, but the show-stealer this time round was without a doubt Max’s weird neighbour Gary (Jesse Plemons Am I the only one who had to do a double take to check he wasn’t actually Matt Damon?

Anyway, Gary used to be a part of Max’s weekly game nights but when he split from his wife the group started to avoid him (because he’s quite weird), leaving the gang having to creep into the house so as not to make Gary suspicious.

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Despite all of this though, there’s just something stopping Game Night from being up there with the ultimate comedies for me. Perhaps its a movie that will grow on me more and more, as I’ll definitely be rewatching it at some point, but maybe it’s just that I had to wait so long to see it. It’s still a great comedy by all counts of course!

I feel like the last 20 or so minutes is where most of the real enjoyment is, and if you’ve already seen Game Night you’ll know why. I wondered how many times the movie was going to turn the tables on us! It gets a solid 4 out of 5 squeaky dog toys from me.

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