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.
Paddington, now happily settled with the Brown family and a popular member of the local community, picks up a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only for the gift to be stolen. (IMDb)
Keeps the cute British humour of the first film, with another delightful villain and some added Wes Anderson-esque flair (see the opening character updates; prisoners’ introductions), and within this quirky framework floods you with overwhelming emotion (see the lovely tie-in of Mary’s training at the climax, and of course that beautiful bear with the most selfless of souls showing the radical power of kindness: Knuckle’s first taste of marmalade was his first taste of love and I’m sobbing).
A young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven. (IMDb)
I knew this was going to be a delight right from the opening “archival footage” when the narrating explorer mentions bringing along a “modest timepiece” and it’s a grandfather clock being lugged through the jungle. This wonderful British silliness is found everywhere in the film, from the exaggerated villain to the outrageous slapstick to the quirky scene asides (see the orphanage bit). Beautifully animated and colourfully shot, with a predictable story that’s heartwarming nonetheless.
At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity. (IMDb)
Any shallowness or slight weirdness of the central romance is swept away by the film’s superbly engaging storybook feel. Tasteful bits of narration (the ending poem is lovely) bookend a satisfyingly spun (and lovingly scored and shot) fairy tale of charming outsiders (Elisa’s the perfect “strong and silent” protagonist-see her “FU” to Strickland) and menacing monsters (the prejudice of the 50s setting adds an effective dramatic element). Whimsical humour and poignant recurring motifs top it off.