Dallas Movie Screening

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Friday, April 30, 2021

Godzilla vs. Kong

This is what going to the movies should be about. As part of its wotld of monsters and aliens universe, here dubbed the Monsterverse. The two titans oif the planet, Godzilla and King Kong square off against each other.

I am going to do my best to not give away too many spoliers, but in delvoing out the dynamics o the story and everything within, I'll try my best to not give away too many tidbits.

Of course, the audience would not be here if it wasn't for our pesky humans driving the plot along. Even Bradley Whitford's Dr. Dr. Rick Stanton commented on our planet containing a "hollow Earth," something that actually turns out to be true. That is only a portion of what happens here, so that is my spolier allotment for the week. Whitford, however does not make an appearene in "Kong vs. Godzilla," since his part was just subjected to the last part of the story in that 2019 entry that was "Godzilla: King of the Monsters." Also returning to this spectacle are Kyle Chandler and Millie bobby Brown. The pair are part of the father daughter duo that aided Godzilla the big green guy in "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" in 2019.

New to their team is also Julian Denison's Josh Valentine who is part of team "Godzilla."

This time, however, the additional measures of King Kong are thrown into the mix. Like the unexpected idea of good guys going gainst ech other with Ben Affleck's Batman squaring off against Henry Cavill's Superman, the notions in "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" (2017) and logic are tossed out the window completely.

With Recca Hall's primatologist, Ilene Andrews and Alexander Skarsgård's Nathan Lind who are on King Kong's side to keep the giant ape alive and in good health. Kaylee Hottle is Jia, an orphaned girl who speaks via sign language. That is the way she interacts with Kong as well.

Kong has been living on Skull Island for many a year and does not like the fact that has been retrofited to study his behavior and evertthing else in his life. Even he acknowledges the way in which the scientists observe him via broken down expensive exipment that has intruded is life.

He faces the big green guy a couple of times here, but that is irrelevant since the pair do not really need to desttroy eaach other in order to survive. Viewers need to realize that King Kong has been around for many years. Just go back to "Kong: Skull Island" since it was set i the tail end of the Vietnam conflict in the late 1960s.

Directing chores for "Godzilla vs. Kong were handled by Adam Wingard. He has been in the business for many a ear with "You're Next," (2011) "The Guest" (2014) and "Blair Witch" (2016) as his nild victories. He also recently directed the Netflix original "Death Note" in 2017.

I think Wingard shot for the big screen and it shows in the depth and angle for most of his shots.

Part of the subplot involves the man made "Mechagodzilla," which runs on multibillainre technology that involves the two beasts teaming up to dismantle the new adversary. All in all, "Godzilla vs. Kong does what its supposed to do and give fans a fun time at the movie. I had high expectations for this movie, and it delivered in virtually every single department. The pacing is never really slow, save for a couple of necessary storyline set ups. I'm old school, and I actually want this in my blu ray collection.

So readers know, if you have a subscriptio to HBO or Cinemax, ot is currently sctreaming for free on HBOMax.

Grade: B+

(Review by Ricky Miller)

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Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse

Director: Stefano Sollima

Studio: Amazon Studios/Paramount Pictures

Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse is a film the world should see without regrets!

Partnered with Paramount Pictures, Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse is an action thriller film that primarily serves as a potential spin-off of the Jack Ryan franchise. Of course, as the franchise keeps on going, new cast and crew have replaced the old actors due to either scheduling conflicts with their projects, salary disputes, or just creative differences beyond their control. Having been directed by Italian filmmaker Stefano Sollima, the film is heavily based on the 1993 novel written by Tom Clancy and stars Michael B. Jordan in his main leading role, alongside Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Guy Pearce.

Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse tells the story about a man named John Clark, a U.S. Navy SEAL, who uncovers an international conspiracy while seeking justice for the murder of his pregnant wife by the Russian soldiers. When Clark joins forces with fellow SEAL team member Karen Greer and the shadowy CIA agent Robert Ritter, the mission unwittingly exposes a covert plot that threatens to engulf the U.S. and Russia in an all-out war.

Actor Michael B. Jordan (Marvel’s Black Panther) portrays John Kelly (who is later named John Clark) in this film. If the name sounds familiar, he basically knows all the tips and tricks he used based on his character roles from action-packed movies he starred in, including Creed and Black Panther, the latter of which he portrayed a villain in the film, co-starring with opposite Chadwick Boseman. Actress Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim) receives her meatier role as Clark’s fellow SEAL member Karen Greer aiding with him while English actor Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, The Adventures of Tintin) plays as CIA agent Robert Ritter. And lastly, but more importantly, actor Guy Pearce (The King’s Speech, Iron Man 3) made his onscreen supportive role as Secretary of Defense Thomas Clay.

The director in the film is Stefano Sollima who helmed his first Hollywood film Sicario: Day of the Soldado, featuring fellow MCU actors Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin. Utilizing his wits and expertise from his directing duty in Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Without Remorse does what it is supposed to do like the previous Jack Ryan films. Sollima takes the viewers on a life-and-death journey to John Clark’s solo mission on fighting the bad guys on a consequential level. The story also takes on the fans and viewers back to their normal world when everything is safe and prosperous for our country.

The key to any Jack Ryan storyline is to film several parts at any location in any country as well as increase usages of gun violence shown in the film. Not to mention taking advice from any action-adventurous films that can make this story and the characters easy to follow through the perilous jungles along the way. The film also contains some Indiana Jones colors and comedy ingredients for that depth. And speaking of Jack Ryan and Indiana Jones, this film was completed at the time of Sean Connery’s passing in October 2020. He played Soviet submarine captain Marko Ramius in The Hunt for Red October, which was the first film in the Jack Ryan franchise, co-starring Alec Baldwin who played Jack Ryan in that film.

Some awkward scenes are given in the film despite the fun-filled action sequences being offered from the director, some of the villains in the film’s climax sounded flatter and weaker as the director. Small parts of the story threw me off from the some characters and the cringey screenwriting dialogue given by Taylor Sheridan and Will Staples. The film, however, did provide some steady cliffhangers for the future sequel as mentioned by Jordan himself.

Also appearing in the film are actors Luke Mitchell (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Jack Kesy (Deadpool 2), and Brett Gelman (Adult Swim’s Eagleheart). Here we have Mitchell who appears as Rowdy, Kesy as Thunder, and Gelman as Victor Rykov, an escaped operative and an ex-Russian officer. And lastly, we have actress Lauren London (ALT) who has her small screentime at the beginning as John’s pregnant wife Pam Clark.

As far as revenge plots go, Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse has some moments, it clocks in at almost 110 minutes which it's supposed to have for its lengthy time constraints. Jordan did a great job focusing on his character as he tries his best not to disappoint his fans and critics out there. While the film did have some minor improvements and some flaws, this film is not a bust, but rather a tale that saves the franchise from being a critical disaster like the previous films being released beforehand. I honestly don't know if I’m going to like this film or say if this film will be a hit, but I do miss going out to the theaters as this deserves a theatrical release more than ever. This may sound like a hard pass but, if you love this film the same way as the previous Jack Ryan, you will have no regrets on this.


(Review by Henry Pham)

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Mortal Kombat

Director: Simon McQuoid

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

Mortal Kombat swings and clangs but misses their targets.

There were official plans for the next Mortal Kombat film after Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, but those plans have never been materialized following the critical and box office disaster of that said sequel, which was dated back in 1997. But now, this new Mortal Kombat film serves as a reboot of the franchise and a mortal comeback after years of onscreen absence. Based on the video game franchise created by Ed Boon and John Tobias, this reboot becomes Simon McQuiod’s directorial debut after periods of making commercials and stars Lewis Tan in his main leading role, alongside with Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Chin Han, Joe Taslim, and Hiroyuki Sanada.

This Mortal Kombat reboot focuses on a MMA fighter named Cole Young who has been summoned to seek out the Earth's greatest champions in order to stand against the enemies and the threats from the Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe and for the whole world.

This film features the new character named Cole Young, having been portrayed by Lewis Tan (Netflix’s Wu Assassins, Deadpool 2), while the majority of the actors are given character roles from the video game franchise. Here we have Jessica McNamee (USA’s Sirens) as Sonya Blade, Josh Lawson (House of Lies) as Kano, Tadanobu Asano (MCU’s Thor films) as Lord Raiden, Mehcad Brooks (Supergirl) as Jax, Ludi Lin (2017’s Power Rangers) as Liu Kang, Chin Han (The Dark Knight) as Shang Tsung, Joe Taslim (Fast & Furious 6) as Sub-Zero, and Hiroyuki Sanada (The Last Samurai) as Hanzo Hasashi who is later revealed to be Scorpion.

With McQuiod’s direction, the picture quality, the story, and color palette are a massive improvement from the 1990s action film era, making this installment look fresh, new, and improved. Even when he put this team to conceive the idea of putting many camera shoots in many places for its action sequences. The director and the crew have provided some great action sequences for the film and that strong “fight” choreography, which gave the film higher points, are something to be mostly expected all out of all the director has offered from a movie within its title.

In addition to his directing, the colorful old-school special effects regarding the characters and their abilities are also very well done as if the team wants their foods to be cooked to their desired temperature. The special effects do consider how the budget constraints this movie had. McQuoid, the cast, and the crew knew all the drills, the nuts-and-bolts, and the ups-and-downs to see how a regular Mortal Kombat movie or a video game is supposed to look like.

While this flick is fun to watch, there are some unenjoyable downfalls on this film. The villains are given weak personalities as they are very flat, unthreatening, and chemically unbalanced along with small numbers of those main characters given the same treatment. Another one is the dialogue and the script-writing are very flat, confused, and horrible as well. Third thing is there are so many Mortal Kombat characters being underused and wasted for that opportunity since the filmmakers wanted to focus on newer characters instead of turning their heads towards the franchise characters. And lastly, what is surprising is that this new main character Cole Young becoming the center of attention on this film and being billed on top as opposed to the Mortal Kombat characters, who are given the roles as supportive characters. My main guess is that the director wanted to take on a newer, refreshing approach on the franchise.

Mortal Kombat is a fun, but cautious flick for both fans and audiences out there who are looking forward to this movie based on what anyone saw on the trailer. I feel like movie trailers these days become the best thing lots of people watch out of any film but later, the entire film will be either a critical success or a failure when it comes out to the general public. McQuiod did a good job directing. If you love Mortal Kombat so much, then I say you can watch it, but you need to take proper precautions on that as I might have some struggles if I ever saw this movie again.


(Review by Henry Pham)

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Tiny Tim: King For a Day

Director: Johan von Sydow

Studio: Juno Films

Review: Tiny Tim: King For a Day

People may not know who Tiny Tim is, his real name was actually Herbert Khaury, but for a period in the 1960s, he was a huge star who is known for his ukulele-playing skills while singing in a high-pitching falsetto voice. Of course, people in the late 90s recognized him as the man who sang the famous song "Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight,” which was shown on the very first episode of Spongebob Squarepants dated back in 1999. This film takes the audience and Tiny Tim fans on a journey to see the real life and career of this fabulous musician. With the exclusive access to Tiny Tim’s diaries and archive footage plus interviews with his family and friends, the film is a fascinating portrait of one of the oddest stars the world has ever seen, directed by Johan von Sydow and narrated by the inner-voicing “Weird Al” Yankovic.

Tiny Tim: King For a Day centers on the outcast named Herbert Khaury whose rise to stardom as Tiny Tim becomes the ultimate fairytale of his life and his downfalls. Considered either a freak or a genius, Tiny Tim has left no one unaffected by his successes and downfalls. With his famous ukulele-playing career and television appearances begin to increase his popularity, there were plans and hopes that Tiny Tim would be a lasting star, not only as a novelty act, but as an inspirational human being to the whole-wide world. But the main problem is only one man ruined those plans and that is Tiny Tim himself.

Sydow’s direction and the organization of putting the footages together from his harsh beginnings to rousing successes really brings a whole lot of richness to see how the audience can gently digest the horrors and the colors of the life of Tiny Tim, even with all the interviews of several well-known musicians who took much influences on him. Especially on the animation sequences being used for more focal points of the plotline and the musician from start to finish. When it all comes down to crafting such a finery feature, the director, producers, and his editing teams managed to put all of the newsreels, interviews, and stories about Tiny Tim in one showcasing display of the man’s enduring legacy.

Though, there are some unsavory documentary bits to his life that became a target to his childhood trauma, his collapsing career, and the younger audiences. Of course, he (Tiny Tim himself) have come to his sexual attitudes and advances towards women, which later became the flavor of the MeToo movement being introduced in late 2017, as well as his association with Mafia gangs, which was rather unfortunate and completely odd for a singer or musician to get involved in such an heisty activity that also lead to another downfall of his happier dream.

Overall, Tiny Tim: King For a Day is a good documentary film, it clocks around 78 minutes for its length, which is kinda short to meet the documentary film criteria, but nonetheless, it’s great. The "inner voice" narrative, fittingly provided by Weird Al Yankovic, really comes along to understand better from Tim's own diaries, adding even a greater acknowledgement and pathos to this unique individual. Regardless of what anyone says to Tiny Tim from the past or present, I think this film is a must watch on your list, really worth a look for both Tiny Tim fans, musicians, and audiences out there who enjoyed listening to his pieces.


(Review by Henry Pham)

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Four Good Days

Director: Rodrigo García

Studio: Vertical Entertainment

Review: Four Good Days

People admired Glenn Close based on her arousing popularity and her acting professionalism. But as any ordinary film director out there in Hollywood, having Close to star in their films can be a tough challenge. This film was heavily based on a true story by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post writer Eli Saslow and was featured as one of the showcasing film selections for the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Director Rodrigo García takes his role as director of the film while Close and Mila Kunis team up in this project as their main-leading roles.

Four Good Days centers on a young woman named Molly who enlists her mother Deb for serious help while fighting a fierce battle against the demons that have derailed her and her life. Though one of her biggest problems is Deb refuses to help her unless she comes clean. Despite all the attempts Molly has been going through with grief and rage, Deb forces herself to recover and save her beloved daughter from her deadly addiction in just four days.

Actress Mila Kunis (Family Guy) portrays Molly, a thirty-one year old woman who deals with her drug addiction, while Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction, Air Force One, 101 Dalmatians) portrays Molly’s mom Deb, whom Molly beggingly seeks serious help from.

Rodrigo García is known for directing drama films, including Mother and Child and Albert Nobbs, the latter of which García and Close have previously collaborated on. He also developed and directed HBO’s In Treatment and WIGS series Blue, which was shown on Youtube. With his direction, the poignant story seems to be in order with increasable chemistry between Kunis and Close. Close, who has previously portrayed a mother in her latest film Hillbilly Elegy, is great as she has it in the bag when it comes to acting as a subordinate parent to the main protagonist while Kunis is very unpleasant and unsophiscated for her protagonist role. Nevertheless, both of them are enjoyable to watch as they’re trying their best to keep up with their parts together during the course of the film.

Though there are lots of undesirable moments displayed throughout the film, the second-half really goes down to a fall due to its dark tonic nature on Mila Kunis’ character dealing with much trauma over the entirety of the film from her recent drug addiction, a dysfunctional mother-and-daughter relationship scenes, and the absent-minded male characters are not helpful to this piece. Another upset is that family isn’t the main dynamic of the story, drug addiction becomes the main theme to this plot-making arc. And lastly, the ending is a bit terrible and confusing in the last ten minutes of the film.

Other actors are present in the film: Stephen Root (Office Space, King of the Hill, Finding Nemo) playing the role as Molly’s stepfather Chris, Joshua Leonard (The Blair Witch Project) as Sean, Rebecca Field (Lifetime series’ The Client List, A Star is Born) as Coach Miller, and Sam Hennings as Molly’s father and Deb’s ex-husband Dale.

Four Good Days isn’t a good hundred-minute movie despite what Glenn Close has to offer. Close is great in all, but the entire story is just a huge mess and a huge miss. I don’t mind trying this film out but honestly, I don’t like this film because of the weakened plot the director has brought. I think you should pick a different movie to make up for those hundred minutes of your life.


(Review by Henry Pham)

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Together Together

Director: Amelia Moses

Studio: Bleecker Street

Review: Together Together

Some romantic-comedy films can be filled with lovestruck characters and gritty-or-witty writing, but this film is something any director can easily put up a good stunt on. Together Together serves as Nikole Beckwith’s second directorial effort after she helmed Stockholm, Pennsylvania, but this could be her first Hollywood film being screened in theaters or at film festivals. Additionally, this was shown at Sundance Festival 2021. Between this and directing Together Together, she is a known writer for Youtube’s Impulse, which ran from 2018 to 2019. Actors Ed Helms and Patti Harrison are here to lead the film entirely as main characters of the story.

Together Together centers on a young loner Anna who is hired as the gestational surrogate for Matt, a single man in his forties who wants a child. As the two meet, they come to realize this unexpected relationship will quickly challenge themselves on their perceptions of connection, boundaries, and the particulars of love.

Ed Helms (NBC’s The Office) portrays Matt, a single man who is in his forties whose main desire is to have a child despite not being married beforehand while Patti Harrison (Hulu’s Shrill) plays the character named Anna, a lonely, single pregnant woman who is twenty-something years old.

With Beckwith’s direction, this is the kind of flick people can refer to as "cute." It's certainly not an anonymous, groundbreaking effort that will change one’s life, but it will easily provoke some laughs and maybe some drama provided by two main actors that even cause you to get tear-jerked in a couple of scenes. Beckwith really conceived how romantic and comedy films can work out together while crafting a storyline and gathering some good dialogue being given to the characters thanks to her writing experience from the past. Beckwith pushes herself to new heights in her dialogue-writing that makes (and feels) so authentic, honest, and real to come across in one fresh take. Even throwing some Woody Allen references right there which give the film a few bonus points for the character’s point of view.

Ed Helms and Patti Harrison are really great in their parts. Helms proves that he can indeed do anything he puts his mind to it like he did from The Office while Harrison is very humble and vulnerable at her character role as Anna. This is the one of those roles where Harrison enjoys acting to bring some wondrous and lethal chills-and-thrills for her knowledge. Both actors love working together and share exceptional moments through Beckwith's witty screenplay. Packed with pure lightness and smart, yet insecure humor, Helms and Patti Harrison are such wonderful displays to see.

Other actors present in the movie are Rosalind Chao (The Joy Luck Club, Star Trek: The Next Generation, 2020’s Mulan) as Dr. Andrews, Anna Konkle (FOX’s Rosewood) as Shayleen, Evan Jonigkeit (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as Bryce, Tig Notaro as Madeline, Nora Dunn (Saturday Night Live) as Adele, Fred Melamed (Netflix’s Lady Dynamite) as Marty, Jo Firestone as Tamara, and Terri Hoyos as Dana.

Together Together is a great 90-minute feature. This is one of the rarest romantic, comedy films that can supplant any other junky romantic-comedy flicks. It really possesses such a humorously, yet thoughtful screenplay that is joyful, fun that inexplicably passes on its own title, which carries more meaning than ever. I really enjoyed Ed Helms and Patti Harrison’s performances as they really boasted a lot of sincere chemistry, delivering two charming portrayals that became worthy of investing in. I certainly wish this film gets a theatrical release because it actually deserves it, no joke. I can tell you with strong confidence, this film is a must whether or not this film will be a critical success. Nevertheless, Nikole Beckwith deserves all the compliments (and attention) for her lovely take on such a formulaic tale.


(Review by Henry Pham)

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Director: Amelia Moses

Studio: Brainstorm Media

Review: Bloodthirsty

Please be advised, this is not for kids as it contains lots of bloody moments and R-Rated contents throughout the film. Bloodthirsty is a dark, thriller film that takes the audience to the nostalgic levels of thriller and horror films altogether, bringing the reminiscent from The Twilight Saga media and properties. This film is directed by Amelia Moses and features Lauren Beatty and Greg Bryk in their main-leading roles.

Bloodthirsty centers on Grey, an indie singer, who receives an invitation to work with notorious music producer Vaughn Daniels at his remote studio in the woods. However, Grey soon discovers that she has a vision that she is actually a wolf and, as her work with the emotionally demanding Vaughn deepens, begins to hunger for meat and the hunt. As Grey starts to transform into a werewolf, she begins to find out who she really is.

Actress Lauren Beatty portrays Grey, an indie singer who realizes that she is a wolf on the inside, in the film while actor Greg Byrk (A History of Violence, Saw V) appears as Vaughn Daniels, a charismatic, but scheming music producer who pushes her singing ability too hard.

There is not much information about director Amelia Moses, but she is a Canadian filmmaker hailing in Montreal. Her directing credits include Undress Me, Fear Haus, and Bleed With Me, with the latter she and Beatty have previously worked together on. As director, Moses lays down the roles for actors Beatty and Bryk and the scene-filming organization for the cabin scenes entirely despite being the only location being filmed throughout the course. Moses has the acting duo to give some tips on acting in a thrilling film as well as showing them what are the pros and cons on how any horror or thriller film works in any direction. At first, Beatty and Bryk look and sound like they don’t know how to master each task in this, but in the end, they’re just going with the flow under the director’s blessing.

Needless to say, there are in an array of hopeless downfalls shown throughout this film, having not much of a variety of what this film has to offer when it all comes down to making comprehensive ideas for the story, the location, and the role for those characters. The director also gives the characters a large volume of weakened personalities and the lazy-writings from Wendy Hill-Tout and Lowell. In addition, not too many actors are present as the film is mainly set and shot in the large cabin in the middle of the woods on such a wintry day with no sunny skies and lots of colors being weathered out, draining the film’s texture. Not only the horrifying storyline and that awful script-writing, but the CGI flesh-and-blood violent scenes at the end really gave me the creeps, given the fact that the crew took higher advantages of that R-Rating atmosphere.

Speaking of casting, the other actors Katharine King So (CTV’s Transplant), Judith Buchan, and Michael Ironside (Starship Troopers, Total Recall) appear as Grey’s girlfriend Charlie, Vera, and Dr. Swan respectively in the film.

I hate to say this but Bloodthirsty isn’t a good movie, maybe a bit average. I would drop this on my guilty pleasure list for the 2020/21 season. This film is too stiff and hard to see and I felt like Moses overdid her job putting too many things in one basket, trying to make this piece fascinating with a side of pivotal motion. Despite this, I did admire Beatty and Bryk in some parts in the film. Sorry, but go find another thrilling movie that can replace eighty minutes of your time.


(Review by Henry Pham)

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Saturday, April 3, 2021

Godzilla vs. Kong

Director: Adam Wingard

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

Godzilla vs. Kong unites in one, big epic feature!

This film looks very stirring and exhilarating to see as this is a whimsical way to start 2021 with a bang. Godzilla vs. Kong is the fourth film in Legendary Pictures’ “MonsterVerse” and the fourth Godzilla film produced in Hollywood. Regardless of the excitement, the film remains questionable whether it will be a success and will it survive from the ashes of COVID to prevent this from being a flop. Director Adam Wingard takes the stage as director, with actors Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, and Brian Tyree Henry carrying the film entirely.

Gozilla vs. Kong centers on two of the greatest fighting icons, the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong, as Kong clashes with Godzilla with humanity being caught during the humans’ mission to retrieve the energy source into this world called the “Hollow Earth.” As the two monsters meet, they need to embrace each other to ensure their survival.

Alexander Skarsgård stars as Nathan Lind, a geologist and chief cartographer who works closely with Kong, while actress Millie Bobby Brown appears as Madison Russell, supporting Skarsgård onscreen. Actors Rebecca Hall and Brian Tyree Henry also come into the scene as anthropological linguist Dr. Ilene Andrews and Bernie Hayes, a technician and a theorist aiding Madison.

With the direction coming from Adam Wingard, known for directing Death Note in 2017, the story and his direction really seem fitting to see these two iconic titans of the east and west whom they face off against each other at some point, having previously done so in 1962's King Kong vs. Godzilla, directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects being provided by Eiji Tsuburaya. And now, this year, the world has a brand new reimagining tale of such a brutal rivalry, complete with better, yet improvable special effects and a huge, realistic destruction galore to that affair. Speaking of special effects, Wingard and his team have done an amazing job of keeping the tedious hard work being splattered all around on the two monsters and the action sequences.

Aside from the story and Wingard’s direction itself, in addition to this, the film also touches on the mythology of these real (but animatronic) monsters (known as "Kaiju" in Japanese), with particular focus being placed on Kong and his origins. Godzilla, on the other hand, also shares some screen time under the presences of the director and the producers in order to keep the film for its title. Wingard nails the focal character development of the two like the previous Godzilla films dated back in 1950s to recent years and the King Kong films as he and his team took major influences of these films and have the commitment to watch every film from both franchises and media properties in order to capture the right consistency and pop culture accuracies for this film.

While Godzilla vs. Kong is filled with enthusiasm, the only downsides there are in the film are weakened main “human” characters being given in the film as well as using humans as leads as opposed to what the title says. These characters looked like they saw nothing and couldn’t do much more to help the monsters out, but the actors Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, and Brian Tyree Henry sounded like are trying their best and hardest to make this film easier to enjoy and to follow when it comes to storytelling and acting in [giant] monster movies.

Also featured in the film are Shun Oguri as Dr. Ren Serizawa, Eiza González as Maya Simmons, Julian Dennison as Madison’s friend Josh Valentine, Kyle Chandler as Madison’s father Dr. Mark Russell, and Demián Bichir as Maya’s father and Apex Cybernetics CEO Walter Simmons.

As far as giant monster movies go, Godzilla vs. Kong is ok, but does a serviceable job for this lovely two-hour entertainment the director and the cast brought. Filled with frequent action-packed sequences and great usage of special effects, it's a mind-blowing game and numbingly simplistic but I couldn’t care less. At this point of time, I’m not entirely sure whether there'll be more films in this so-called "MonsterVerse" but I do see the potential the franchise is trying to keep up as long as the demand is there.


(Review by Henry Pham)

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