Godzilla: King of The Monsters (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Godzilla: King of The Monsters (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Godzilla: King of The Monsters isn’t terrible.  It’s also just not that great.  I almost wish this had been a terrible Asylum style offering because at least that would have been entertaining.  Sadly Godzilla only manages being rather boring and average.  It’s muddy CGI monster fights muddy CGI monster (mostly in darkness) with little coherent plot or characters to care about.  Which is why I think this film would have been WAY better if they had thrown a few men in rubber suits and set them against each other WWE style.  At least then it would have been fun and held my attention longer than it did (by hour two I was starting to drift off). The cast deserve better, especially the talented Millie Bobby Brown who spends most of her time slack jawed or wide-eyed and the films odd habit of rolling out a ‘Oh it’s them’ actor cameo just gets distracting by the end (Joe Morton, David Strathairn and even the criminally underused Sally Hawkins).  So overall it’s not as good as Gareth Edward’s 2014’s Godzilla and both pail into compression with the original Japanese Godzilla films.

Best Bit: I guess the monsters doing stuff

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Godzilla (2014), Monsters, Kong: Skull Island 

 


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Grosse Point Geek – Kong Skull Island

Grosse Point Geek – Kong Skull Island

A Blog Grosse Point Geek

At the tail end of the Vietnam war, a scientist (John Goodman) working for the shadowy Monarch group, persuades the US government to fund an expedition to map and explore the mysterious uncharted Skull Island, wherein he hopes to prove his so called ‘Hollow Earth’ theory and discover the existence of a species of underground dwelling monsters. However, not all goes to plan as soon after arriving, the group comes under attack from the giant ape Kong and have to face off against a bunch of extremely nasty creatures known as The Skull Crawlers.

Kong: Skull Island is the second in Legendary Pictures new expanded monster universe that started with Gareth Edwards 2014 Godzilla reboot, and will soon carry on with the just announced Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which then leads to a Kong vs Godzilla mash up that hits cinemas in 2020.

I’ll start by saying that there are many things to like about this new Kong reboot.  To begin with it zips along at a rare old pace, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts camera never once kept idle, giving us fantastic sweeping shots of the island and some truly dazzling action set pieces – most notably a spectacular sequence where we first get to meet the eponymous giant ape, who, none too pleased at their arrival to his island home, proceeds to take out the expedition’s entire fleet of helicopter gunships by swatting them out of the sky one by one with his bare hands. Its also well acted – Samuel L Jackson does good work as a kind of Ahab/Kurtz military sort who becomes hell bent on killing Kong in revenge for the loss of his men. Then there is the ever reliable John C Reilly as a never-say-die former WW2 fighter pilot,  marooned on the Island since crash landing some decades earlier – to be honest i was pleasantly surprised at how much i liked him here, as the various trailers i had watched for the film made him look as if he was going to be a tad silly.

However despite these positives i did have a number of issues that stopped the film from being alot better than i had first anticipated.

For a start, whist i know that we are supposed to be in the midst of a shared ‘monster-verse’  – it was way too similar in structure and tone to Gareth Edwards Godzilla – sadly giving the whole thing a somewhat unoriginal  ‘been there, done that’ kind of vibe. Also, it simply isn’t a patch on Peter Jackson’s 2005 King Kong, which, despite being too long remains to be one of the greatest remakes of all time, and  for me it had far better action scenes, and most importantly  a  far deeper exploration of Kong, portraying him as a very sympathetic character who you really grew to love.  At its heart  – Kong: Skull island simply doesn’t get close to achieving this.

In addition the central performances from Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson barely register. Both are  fine actors, but here are forced to portray very thinly sketched  two dimensional roles that give them both almost nothing to do. For example Hiddleston’s James Conrad is supposed to be some kind of bad-ass ex SAS captain  – and whilst he does his best with what he is given, he simply cant carry off the role to any kind of positive effect  – the plummy English accent and  lack of any good  back story to his character letting him down badly throughout. Worse off though is poor Brie Larson, so great in last year’s Room – here she seems to have wandered in from another movie and appears to be completely out of her depth altogether.  Such a shame.

So, In summary id have to say that, whilst this film did have its moments and was certainly never less than enjoyable, my advice to Legendary Studios would be to try a little harder next time by investing in a better script and doing alot more with the human characters. Im certainly interested in seeing where this new franchise goes – but at the moment, its not doing it for me just yet.

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek

 

Kong Skull Island – A Quick Capsule Review

Kong Skull Island – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Kong Skull Island is a damn fun film.  It’s not going to trouble the Oscars (Okay MAYBE it’s Effects. Maybe) but I’ve had much worse times at the cinema and even found myself smiling on more than one occasion.  From Jackson’s Colonel Kurtz, to Hiddleston’s audition for Bond to the camp script, OTT monster vs monster smackdowns and stupid plans it ticks all the boxes you want from a Summer blockbuster and for once it’s lack of Michale Bay style editing means most of what happens can be seen and enjoyed.  So taken for what it is, I highly recommend Kong as a good way to spend time in the cinema.

Best Bit: Kongpocalypse Now

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Godzilla (2014), King Kong (2005), Jurassic World

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Grosse Point Geek – 2016 In Review (And a look to 2017)

Grosse Point Geek – 2016 In Review (And a look to 2017)

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Year In Review

2016 – in short, a terrible year for big movies – in fact i struggle to remember another time where the Hollywood studios produced so many blockbuster films as badly made, boring, and lacking in imagination as what we were subjected to over the last 12 months.

To begin with were subjected endless numbers of superhero films  – one of which (Captain America: Civil War) was so contrived it was painful, then there were the dull and at times terrible sequels to long dead franchises (ID4:2 Jason Bourne, The Huntsman, Blair Witch), crap comedies (Bad Moms) iffy fantasies (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) shoddy remakes (Point Break) and yet another godawful game to film adaptation (Warcraft).

Mercifully there were some shining lights among the inky darkness – mostly for which we have to thank the many smaller budgeted productions, such as Room, The Nice Guys, Hell or High Water, Spotlight etc. These were the films that probably struggled to get made for years because the likes of Michael Bay, Roland Emmerich and the other sell outs were hoovering up all the money that the studios could throw at them, just so they could vomit their shoddy, franchise prolonging, zero imagination celluloid turds on Joe Public – bastards.

To be fair though not all the biggies were rubbish  – Star Trek Beyond was pretty good, so was The Revenant, Deadpool was awesome,  Creed rocked, London Has Fallen and Doctor Strange were great fun  and Rogue One completely blew us all away to become one of the best entries in the Star Wars franchise since Return Of The Jedi.

So here it is then – my rundown of the best and worst of 2016 and a look at what I think will be worth seeing next year.

 

Top 10 best films of 2016

  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  2. Room
  3. Deadpool
  4. Creed
  5. Spotlight
  6. Eddie The Eagle
  7. Arrival
  8. Eye In The Sky
  9. The Magnificent Seven
  10. London Has Fallen (i’m gonna burn in hell for that one)

Top 15 Honorary mentions of 2016

 

  1. Doctor Strange
  2. Hell or High Water
  3. The Nice Guys
  4. A Street Cat Named Bob
  5. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
  6. Ghostbusters
  7. Conjuring 2
  8. Purge: Election Year
  9. Ben Hur
  10. The Revenant
  11. Jungle Book
  12. Star Trek Beyond
  13. The Siege Of Jadotville
  14. Bridget Jones Baby
  15. Midnight Special
The Top Ten Performances of 2016
  1. Brie Larson (Room)
  2. Jacob Tremblay (Room)
  3. Felicity Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
  4. Benedict Cumberbach (Doctor Strange)
  5. Ben Affleck (Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice)
  6. Luke Treadaway (A Streetcat Named Bob)
  7. Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
  8. Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
  9. Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
  10. Alan Rickman (Eye In The Sky)
The Top ten Best Action Scenes/on screen fights of 2016
  1. That utterly incredible, pant wettingly brilliant last 20 minutes of Rogue One – ive seen it twice now and i still cant believe it.
  2. The monumental, bullet riddled arse kicking that Gerard Butler and The SAS throw the terrorists in the climax to London has Fallen.
  3. Will Smith (guns and all) vs the Meta-Human mutants – Suicide Squad (i hasten to add it was that films one saving grace)
  4. Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman’s big face off against Doomsday in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.
  5. The edge of the seat finale to Eye In The Sky
  6. Little Jack’s escape from the room – Room
  7. The one take, no edit boxing match – Creed
  8. Leonardo DiCaprio vs The Bear  – The Revenant
  9. The Chariot Race  – Ben Hur
  10. The big finale – Magnificent Seven
Grosse Pointe Geek’s 2016 Hero of The Year
Gareth Edwards –  for finally giving us the Star Wars film we’ve all been waiting for with Rogue One – well done my son.

The Top Five Biggest Disappointments of 2016

  1. X-Men: Apocalypse (someone needs to grab this franchise and give it a bloody good shake)
  2. Suicide Squad (one of the best trailers of the year – just a shame it couldn’t translate into a better film – God this one had SO much potential!)
  3. Bone Tomahawk (how in the hell a western featuring Kurt Russell as sheriff going up against a bunch of psychopathic cave men could end up so dull beggars belief)
  4. 10 Cloverfield Place (another brilliant trailer  -and a complete sell out of an ending)
  5. The Hateful Eight (undoubtedly well made but Tarantino disappeared up his own arse with this one)

The Top ten Worst Films of 2016

  1. Independence Day: Resurgence (a message to Roland Emmerich –  Dear Roland, i and every film geek on the planet sincerely hope that you and Dean Devlin rot in the pit of direct to dvd hell for the rest of your miserable careers – yours sincerely – The Film going public)
  2. Warcraft (a CGI monstrosity and a complete steaming dung pile of a film)
  3. Hardcore Henry (i hated this so much i thought i was going to need therapy)
  4. Bad Moms (i’ve had more fun cleaning cat puke off the kitchen floor than i did watching this)
  5. Allegiant (a franchise killer that deserved to be the gigantic flop that it was)
  6. Point Break (pointless remake and an insult to the original -all i can say is that Patrick Swayze must be turning in his grave)
  7. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (good idea, utterly crap film)
  8. Gods Of Egypt (so laughably bad i cant believe it got a cinema release)
  9. Bastille Day (probably the most unoriginal and most torturous to watch “action” film i’ve ever had the displeasure to sit through)
  10. Blair Witch (total pants  – scariest movie of the decade my distended arse)

 

and finally..Will’s 2017 most anticipated films:

  • Star War Episode 8
  • Guardians of The Galaxy Volume 2
  • Wonder Woman
  • Justice League
  • The Mummy
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Manchester By The Sea
  • Geostorm
  • Ready Player One
  • Spiderman Homecoming
  • Thor Ragnarok
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Alien: Covenant
  • War For The Planet Of The Apes
  • Dunkirk
  • John Wick Chapter 2
  • Fate of The Furious (aka Fast 8)
  • Logan

 

So there we are  – my round up of 2016, overall a pretty poor year  – still never mind, Rogue One and the smaller films did alot to make up for it plus 2017 is looking very good indeed. As ever id like to thank anyone and  everyone who read my reviews (whoever you are!) and visited this fantastic website, plus a big thanks to the illustrious Mr Phillip Hobden for continuing to let me vent my spleen upon the movie going world.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous new year

 

My name is Will Strong and I’ve been Grosse Pointe Geek.

 

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek