The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. (IMDb)
The massive scope of the worldwide adventure plot and the monster lot is great and it’s pretty cool rooting for Godzilla as the film’s superhero of sorts–a reclusive and proud personality taking on all the big bads even when he seems down and out. The human side of things is a harder to engage; props for effort but the family drama is a bit convoluted, the environmental discussion is one and done, and overall it bloats the film. Dr. Serizawa’s emotional monster moment was a nice touch though.
A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969. (IMDb)
Immersive and boldly chosen visuals and sounds on the ships (blurry, claustrophobic, loud) are paralleled by more shaky-cam close-ups and tense drama on earth, leading to stunning physical and emotional release on the bleak, vast, and silent lunar landscape (Gosling is solid throughout). The blip on the radar is how the great “Whitey on the Moon” critique (“I can’t pay no doctor bill, but Whitey’s on the moon”) is only followed up with, well, more movie about white guys going to the moon.
A group of friends who meet regularly for game nights find themselves entangled in a real-life mystery. (IMDb)
Keeps things fresh, to its credit–the plot and humour don’t rely solely on the initial premise of dramatic irony, the characters are funny but develop depth too (see dumb, cocky Ryan’s vulnerability in the van; big shot Brooks’ pavement penitence), and the cinematography takes creative turns (see the game-board zoom-ins, one-take egg exchange)–even if the choices don’t always work (the third act has one or two too many twists; the dark comedy isn’t always funny–see Annie’s “Oh no, he died!”).
During the summer of 1979, a group of friends witness a train crash and investigate subsequent unexplained events in their small town. (IMDb)
With its nostalgic setting and strong young cast playing a loveable group of adolescent boys (with a tragic lead) caught up in a very “adult” situation, the film recalls “Stand By Me”, but with a sci-fi mystery twist–and while this results in less character depth than that of the 1986 classic, it also gives the plot more drive and intrigue, although that in turn is fumbled in a shoddily-written conclusion. Flaws aside though, this is still a unique, great-looking, and highly enjoyable flick.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
A hard-partying high school senior’s philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical “nice girl.” (IMDb)
Buttery cinematography, crisp editing, and intoxicatingly good turns from Woodley, Teller, and Chandler here present an incredibly realistic, nuanced, and heart-wrenching tale of young love and life. The characters are truly human: complex and dynamic, their language (spoken and unspoken) stuttering, imperfect. The story similarly aches with the subtleties and drama of authentic teen life, building to a fittingly unresolved ending. Sad and endearing, sweet and torturous, this film is a must-see.