Let Them Fight – Godzilla vs. Kong Review

Godzilla vs Kong – come for the monsters, forget about the humans.

The important point first: Legendary’s Monsterverse mash-up is a HUGE amount of fun. The storyline is enjoyable, and while scrupulously avoiding spoilers, I’m happy to announce that the monster action is bug nuts crazy. And there is a LOT of action, and there are a LOT of monsters.

Kong and Godzilla are the final remaining apex predators among Earth’s titans, so the stage is set very simply to bring the two into conflict. And those conflicts will absolutely not disappoint: huge, ear-shattering, eye-popping battles that really deserve to be seen on the biggest possible screen, with the best sound system you can find.

Then there’s the plot. Well, that’s gossamer thin but a heap of fun too, pure sci-fi pulp, involving the search for a power source that ties together threads from previous entries in the franchise.

So that’s the good news. The bad news is the human protagonists: the Team Kong gang (Alexander Skarsgård, Rebecca Hall and Kaylee Hottle) are written almost entirely without character, very nearly complete blanks. But at least they carry their section of the plot by sheer force of likeability, thanks to the actors. The real problem comes with Team Godzilla.

A returning Millie Bobby Brown is pretty much wasted (particularly so considering the easy shorthand she should have provided from our previous encounter with her character), while her partners-in-exposition, Brian Tyree Henry and Julian Dennison, are two of the most absurdly irritating, charm free zones to grace the screen in quite a while, whose every attempt at humour falls resoundingly flat. I felt them derailing the film every time they appeared, which thankfully isn’t too often. Demián Bichir props up part of the plot reasonably but not memorably, while Kyle Chandler pops in and out briefly without affecting much of anything. They’re all shockingly poorly written, so let’s quickly move on…

Without a doubt, the strongest characters are the title stars; Godzilla takes more of a secondary role, but that works effectively in providing a suitable threat to Kong, whose arc here builds on the mythology in a curiously compelling way.

I had a great time with Godzilla vs Kong – particularly in the climax, as the titans go to town on each other in a neon-drenched Hong Kong, a quite beautiful sequence of which director Adam Wingard can be rightly proud. But it does feel like this should probably be the, mostly satisfying, conclusion to the Monsterverse.

You’ll enjoy yourself as much as I did if you go in knowing this is ALL about the monsters.






Get Ready To Rumble – Godzilla Vs Kong



Now that Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures have settled the spat they had concerning the release of Godzilla Vs Kong, we finally (after many delays) have a trailer, and here it is:



Originally meant to be released in November 2020, the Covid pandemic saw the film’s release pushed back with nary a teaser trailer to be seen.

When Warner Bros announced it would be released directly to HBO Max, a rumble of Godzilla vs Kong proportions brewed between the studio and Legendary, the production company, since the studio forgot to run that decision by their partners first.

Presumably ruffled feathers have been smoothed (by a shedload of cash, no doubt) and now the titans will clash simultaneously in theaters (pandemic rules permitting, see your local government for details) and on HBO Max.

The fourth film in Legendary’s Monsterverse, Godzilla vs Kong stars Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry and Kyle Chandler, and is directed by Adam Wingard (who previously helmed You’re Next and Death Note).

Since the film is unleashed on March 26th, you have just two short months to decide whether you’re on Team Godzilla or Team Kong because, as the trailer promises, One Will Fall (expect tears from me whoever that ends up being).  

Criterion Release Trailer for Awesome Godzilla Collection Box Set

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The Criterion Collection, a boutique company which releases “important classic and contemporary” films to home video has just released the trailer for their forthcoming 1000th set:

Godzilla: The Showa Era Films, 1954 – 1975, will collect in one glorious-looking box, the first fifteen movies from Toho’s long-running kaiju eiga series:

Godzilla (1954), Godzilla Raids Again (1955), King Kong vs. Godzilla (1963), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965), Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966), Son of Godzilla (1967), Destroy All Monsters (1968), All Monsters Attack (1969), Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972), Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), and Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975).

The Criterion set is the first such collection released in the West, tracking Godzilla’s journey from the wrath of atomic power through to kooky world-saving hero, and also features Japanese and U.S. versions of both Godzilla and King Kong vs. Godzilla, audio commentaries, audio essays, new translations, new and archival interviews with the casts and crews and a deluxe hardcover book full of notes on the films and a slew of gorgeous new illustrations, along with much more.

If that trailer has your radioactive breath set to full blast, you’ll be pleased to know Criterion’s Godzilla box set will be released on October 29th.

For The Love Of Godzilla – King Of The Monsters Review

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There has been a great deal of bad press surrounding Godzilla – King of the Monsters. Ignore it. If you’re a Godzilla fan, ignore it more vehemently.

In 2014, Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros unleashed Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla into cinemas, to good box office and mixed reviews. Time seems to have revealed it very much as a love it or hate it affair – I fall squarely into the former camp (despite acknowledging some big issues with it).

Now comes Michael Dougherty (director of Trick ‘R’ Treat) with his sequel (and third film in Legendary’s Monsterverse, after Kong – Skull Island), and what an awesome movie he brings with him.

Unashamedly, unabashedly pulpy fun, Dougherty throws just about everything he can into the demented plot-line: secret underground bases, mad scientists, aliens, lost undersea civilizations, and moves things along at such a breathless pace that you have to submit to the gleeful, everything AND the kitchen sink approach. And that’s even before we get to the monsters!

And you’d better believe we get monsters – Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah (all beautifully adapted from their Japanese movie origins) and a whole slew of new beasties. Plus, the title star himself, the King of the Monsters (with a fabulous and hilarious reveal as to why we should grant him that title).

And if you’re looking for monster battles, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Toho’s Kaiju do massive battle with each other in a number of locales, from the Antarctic to Boston, and Dougherty and co. present them with the enthusiasm of someone who has all the toys to play with.

So, what haven’t we mentioned yet? The humans in this monstrous toybox. The performers (including Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe, and Zhang Ziyi) give their all, and play with just the right amount of tongue in cheek, but character arcs take a firm third place to plot and action. But who cares when the action is this much fun!?

And for long-time Godzilla fans there are a ton of extra treats, Easter eggs and references both sly and unsubtle, to a treasure trove of past Godzilla movies, none of which I intend to spoil here (but do stay all the way through the titles for a lovely touch just before the obligatory post-credits scene). It’s already widely known that composer Bear McCreary has used some classic Toho monster themes, and those are the icing on the Kaiju Eiga cake.

In fact, the further you progress into this film, the more it becomes clear how much of a Godzilla and Kaiju fan Dougherty must be, his love for Japan’s biggest export shines through every frame. The whole thing has the feel of some of Toho’s maddest entries for Godzilla, with the same freewheeling approach as films such as 1972’s Godzilla vs Gigan or 1973’s Godzilla vs Megalon.

Godzilla – King of the Monsters is quite obviously Dougherty and co.’s love letter to all things Godzilla, a gift from Godzilla fans to Godzilla fans.

 

“My God…” “…zilla.” King of The Monsters’ Final Trailer

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“This is Godzilla’s world. We just live in it.” Legendary & Warner Bros have just dropped the final trailer for Mike Dougherty’s Godzilla: King Of The Monsters and the Godzilla-ness has been dialled up to 11.  Feast your peepers on this…

Featuring a slew of other monsters (including fellow Toho mates, Mothra, Rodan and ultimate baddie, King Ghidorah) this looks set to firmly cast the Big G in a more heroic light and promises some mighty kaiju-on-kaiju action. Oh, and there are a bunch of good actors in it, but you probably don’t need to know that.

I will go to my grave defending Gareth Edward’s 2014 Godzilla (despite its obvious faults) and I’m super excited to see where Dougherty takes things up in this seemingly amped-up sequel (which is also a sequel to 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, and a set up for next year’s Godzilla vs Kong).

Grab your popcorn and get ready to rumble, as Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is released on May 30th.

Let Them Fight! Godzilla: King Of The Monsters Promises Monster Mash-Up!

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Alongside the reveal of the awesome new poster, “Let them fight!” seems to be the message from the brand second trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters as it promises one almighty monster mash-up.

The film has quite the impressive cast on new and returning actors, including Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Ken Watanabe, and Zhang Ziyi.

Several of these good people will obviously survive their encounter with the big guy this time and will be returning for the already-in-production Godzilla vs Kong, which is due to stomp everything in its path on on May 22, 2020.

Meanwhile, the King of the Monsters gets ready to do battle with Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah on May 31, 2019. Get ready to rumble…

Godzilla: King Of The Monsters Trailer Is Badass!

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Before we go any further, here’s your trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Let’s meet back here straight after…

Well, what can I say? Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah… mankind as a virus and the last titans of Earth the only way to save us? Yep, that looks batshit crazy and I’m completely down with it.

There’s a lot of nuts looking stuff in here and it looks like the film will fully embrace the monsterverse Legendary Pictures have long been promising. With the promise of appearances from even more Toho monsters than revealed here, plus the reintroduction of the classic Godzilla theme music, this film just keeps looking better all the time.

Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters opens May 31st, 2019 and I’ll be holding my radioactive breath until then.

Stranger Things Calling Godzilla

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Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown stars in what is likely to be the first of several new teasers for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, attempting to make contact with Monarch. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:

Monarch is the shadowy agency seen in Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla and Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ 2017 Kong: Skull Island, and if you were patient enough to stay through the end credits of the latter film you’ll have seen the reveal of an element tying the two films together, one which will presumably be expanded upon in Michael Dougherty’s forthcoming sequel to both.

As regular readers of this site will know, your intrepid writer is a major Godzilla geek, so you can be sure I’ll be bringing you all the news on King of the Monsters as it arrives.

UPDATE: Legendary Pictures removed the video from their YouTube account, so I’ve re-uploaded from another source. View it while you can, I guess, dear readers…

Godzilla: King Of The Monsters Blasts Free!

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Go-go, Godzilla! Japan’s mightiest monster blasts free in a new image revealed exclusively by Entertainment Weekly today.

We’re big fans of all things Godzilla in these parts, and have held our own in many geek arguments about Gareth Edwards’ 2014 take on the beast. Incoming director Michael Dougherty’s forthcoming sequel, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, promises even more excitement as the Legendary Pictures Monsterverse introduces Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah.

Long-time fans of the original Japanese series of films will know these variously as Godzilla’s allies and enemies and the prospect of these creatures doing battle in a big budget Hollywood film is utterly delicious.

Dougherty has produced some interesting work (particularly 2007’s Trick ‘R’ Treat) and his new story sees the creatures under some kind of human control.

The very intriguing cast is led by  Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown and Zhang Ziyi, it scheduled to be released on May 31, 2019 in 2D, 3D, and select IMAX theaters.

Bring on the monsters and let them fight, I say…

Godzilla R.I.P. – Sayonara, Haruo Nakajima

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Haruo Nakajima (中島 春雄 Nakajima Haruo) the Japanese suitmation actor best known for portraying Godzilla from the original movie in 1954 through twelve consecuctive films until Godzilla vs Gigan in 1972, has passed away at the age of 88.

Alongside his physically demanding role as the King of the Monsters, he performed suitmation roles as monsters in an unprecedented number of kaiju eiga including Rodan (1956), Mogera in The Mysterians (1957), Varan the Unbelievable (1958), Mothra (1960), Matango (1963), Baragon in Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965), Gaira in War of the Gargantuas (1966) and even the Eighth Wonder of the World himself, King Kong in King Kong Escapes (1967). He would also work with Godzilla special effects genius Eiji Tsuburaya in a number of the popular Ultraman TV series.

Nakajima’s impressive career began at the age of 33 in Sword for Hire (1952), before taking on roles in The Woman Who Touched the Legs (1952), Eagle of the Pacific (1953) and Farewell Rabaul (1954) – both for original Godzilla director Ishirō Honda, which led directly to his casting as the beloved monster – and then Seven Samurai for Akira Kurosawa in 1954.

After his retirement from film and television work in 1973, Nakajima would become a popular and much loved figure at many Godzilla conventions around the world.

In the short film The Man Who Was Godzilla, Nakajima said: “In the end the Godzilla I played remains on film forever. It remains in people’s memory, and for that I feel really grateful.”

Rest in peace, Godzilla.