Godzilla (2014): Godzilla is back! The world's most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity's scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.
Ah.....Godzilla. Finally. A Godzilla movie that can be comparable to that of the classic Hollywood renditions of the beast. We can finally FINALLY put that terrible 1998 movie that no one wants to remember to bed. There is a real a REAL big-budget Godzilla movie out there that is actually good. But is it anything more than good?.......no. No it is not sadly. Not at all. There are a lot of flaws with this movie. A lot. First off, I don't like the fact that GODZILLA ISN'T EVEN IN HALF OF THE FILM. When he finally shows up in act THREE don't get me wrong it's cool! I had some serious chills going down my spin when he first roared. That initial roar was easily the best part of the movie. And his fight scenes are right there in badassery with Pacific Rim. The problem is that there's also about 80 minutes of setup in the 124 minute film. Even that would be ok given the fact that this cast is very staked with talent. However, for whatever stupid reason or another, they decided to give the most development to the LEAST TALENTED ACTOR AMONG THEM. Damnit! So let's do a pro and con thing shall we? Probably the best way to tackle this.
Ok pros. Godzilla is awesome. He is freaking cool. His fight scenes are incredibly well done, and anyone and everyone who watches this movie will come to root for I mean LITERALLY cheer for Godzilla because he is (obviously) the best thing about this movie. Far and away. Nothing else is even on the same f*cking planet let alone in the same ballpark. The third act of this movie is absolutely the most fun I've had in a movie theater thus far this year. Seriously. The third act is what all summer blockbusters should be like. Someone needs to sit Michael Bay down and tell him that's how you film action and explosions with actual emotional weight behind it. Because while I didn't really care about any of the humans at all I did care about Godzilla. I felt emotion! As I said I was actually rooting for Godzilla rather than just marveling in the beauty of the CGI porn unfolding in front of me. This movie heightens the dread of having to watch the upcoming Transformers 4. But that's for another conversation in a month or two. The CGI here is awesome, obviously.The Godzilla fights are breathtaking, and he looks realistic and awe-inspiring. The sounds are great, and the cinematography is great as well. The score has some cool moments and some forgettable moments, but I will say the halo jump used the same music as we saw in the trailer and it was really chilling, just like in the trailer.
But then there's the first two acts of the film. With no Godzilla. As I said I don't mind some character development in a summer blockbuster. And don't get me wrong the character development in here is still better than all of the character development in the Transformers movies combined. Of course that's not saying much at all. But when you have Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, and Sally Hawkins in your movie, could you please explain to me why the people who get the most development are Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen? WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA????? I hope that person got fired, because those two actors are far and away the weakest actors in this cast. They could not sell their characters, and as a result most of the attempted character development was completely wasted. As in I sat there for about an hour just waiting for Godzilla to appear. Great decision, guys. Nailed it. (Sarcasm) Oh ya, wondering if Cranston, Watanabe, and Hawkins get to show off their considerable acting chops at least during their limited screen time? Well, Cranston does a little in the first act, but Watanabe not-so-much, and hell I could've played Sally Hawkins character. That was probably the saddest part of this movie. Sally Hawkins, fresh off her deserving Oscar nominated supporting actress role in Blue Jasmine, follows up that great performance with a role where she basically gawks at Watanabe's character and says a few words at some point. A cash grab for all three of these guys if I ever saw one. Excuse me I'm going to go cry now. Sigh.....
So I saw the movie in IMAX 3D. I did that so I could report back to you, my lovely lovely readers, on whether it's worth it or not. First off, the 3D was awful. I barely even noticed it. Yay post-conversion cash-grabs! And honestly there are so few fight scenes that it's not even really worth it in IMAX too. If you want to IMAX it, definitely see it at a matinee and save a few bucks. But otherwise, just check it out in standard 2D. It's definitely worth seeing in a theater, just not an IMAX theater. You have been warned. Ok! Now I'm going to go watch Cloverfield again. That may not be an "official" Godzilla movie, but it's close enough. Oh! Here's how you can make this Godzilla movie better! Watch the 1998 piece of sh*t excuse for a Godzilla movie then watch this! You'll be like, HOLY CRAP THS MOVIE IS A CINEMATIC TRIUMPH. Well, it is, just not the triumph I was hoping for. A triumph in the Godzilla genre. Ya there we go. A good start for the summer blockbusters, sure, but if this is the best we get for the next few months I'm going to be really sad.
The Critique: The Godzilla movie everyone has been waiting for with one small problem: too much development, and not enough Godzilla. Woops.
The Recommendation: there may not be a universal recommendation from me for a while, so everyone go see this if you're bored one afternoon and want to check out a movie. It is worth the time, and it's Godzilla. It's f*cking Godzilla man.
Where to see it: In a standard 2D movie theater. Don't waste your money on the 3D or IMAX unless if you really really want to. And even then, go to a matinee showing.
The Verdict: 7/10 Good. Were it not for the third act this movie would come in at like a 2. Of course if the third act wasn't there it would not be a Godzilla movie nor would it be a summer blockbuster. So basically what I just said was a complete waste of time and energy. Oops.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014): Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of supervillains against him, impacting on his life.
Wait, what? That's the IMDB synopsis. Is that a typo at the end? Or am I the only one who thinks that's grammatically incorrect? Whatever. Moving on. If you were looking for someone who's favorite superhero is Spider-Man, you've come to the right place. Ever since I was a little kid I've been utterly fascinated by this hero. I still am. So it's with a heavy heart that I say this: Dear Sony. For the love of God, give up the rights to this franchise. Let Spider-Man get included in The Avengers storyline. Please. PLEASE. It's been too long since you made an awesome Spider-Man movie! Let someone else take a whack at it! Oh wait, this franchise generates hundreds of millions of dollars for you still? Damn you, logical business decisions.....
So, the action sequences in this movie? Outstanding. Even though all of the scenes with Electro were purely CGI porn, they were still great to look at. Here's the problem though: there's only about 30 minutes of action in this movie. In a 142 minute film. Damn, 142 minutes???? Wow felt longer than that. The other 110+ minutes of this film? Unnecessary and rather generic setup. Ok, the storyline between Gwen Stacey and Peter Parker was great. I'll give them that for sure. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have phenomenal chemistry, but it definitely helps that they are a thing off the screen too. Honestly I prefer Garfield's charming and witty Peter Parker over Maguire's nerdy and awkward Pete. He's really won me over with his performance, and Stone's performance as Stacey is MASSIVELY better than Dunst's damsel-in-distress Mary Jane (though that was in part due to the writers of the original trilogy) but the problem with this movie is that everything else about it is sooooooo generic. Jamie Foxx is incredibly forgettable as Electro, and there's a huge backstory for him that could be summed up with one sentence: generic comic book villain. There. Just saved you about 45 minutes of movie time. And sadly Foxx did little to improve the situation. Dane DeHaan tried to make Harry Osborne a bit more interesting, but he too was pretty generic. Really he was just very poorly written. They both were, but at least DeHaan got to channel his apex predator self (WHOA CHRONICLE REFERENCE) in the third act of the film. And Paul Giamatti? He was nothing more than a few grunts at the beginning and then end of the movie. Ya, if you haven't heard yet, you know that big battle with Rhino that's in all of the trailers? Ya you've already seen the entire battle. So don't be looking forward to a big showdown with him until The Amazing Spider-Man 3! YA! F*CK YOU SONY!
Ok, there was one awesome thing this movie got right though. And that was showing off the citizens of NYC. As I think about it, really all of the Spider-Man movies have had at least one moment where they show the citizens standing up and helping out Spidey. But I don't they've gotten involved as much as they have here. One scene involving a small child actually made me cry. Seriously! The tears legitimately came out of nowhere because the scene was so fast but damn! All Marvel movies need to take Spider-Man's lead. I mean after all they all level NYC somehow so might as well show the civilians being awesome right? Also while the movie did mostly stay in the world of generic there was one thing that happened that was anything but generic. A twist, so to say. Obviously I'm not going to give it away but I will say that I didn't think they were going to do it until they did it and it led to one of the best moments of the movie.
In conclusion, I'm still waiting for any Spider-Man movie to rival Spider-Man 2. And from generic villains with generic backgrounds to spectacular CGI action sequences, I can safely say that this movie is not it. However, was it enjoyable? Yes. Is it worth the price of admission? Maybe matinee price, but definitely not full price. You should see it a theater, just.....temper your expectations a bit. Sigh.....
The Critique: A wildly mixed bag. Spectacular but brief action sequences surrounded by overly generic setup of villains make this movie above average at best. I'm gonna go cry now.....
The Recommendation: The action is worth seeing in a movie theater, but save some money and see it at matinee price.
Rewatchability: Moderately Low
The Verdict: 6/10 Above Average
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