REVIEW: GODZILLA vs KONG (2021)

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GODZILLA vs KONG (2021)

Godzilla vs Kong opens a few years after Godzilla’s battle to the death with King Ghidorah in Boston. Godzilla has left mankind in peace, till suddenly launching an attack on an Apex Cybernetics facility in Florida. Meanwhile, Skull Island is becoming unstable and Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) seeks to find Kong a new home. As fate would have it, scientist Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) needs a titan to lead the way to the Hollow Earth, which may be the original home of Kong’s race. As Andrews and Lind, with the help of Apex, begin to move Kong from his ill-fated island home, Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown) teams with Titan Truth Podcast host Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) to find out what Apex is really up to and why it’s provoking Godzilla to attack. As there can be only one alpha titan, the paths of Godzilla and Kong are fated to collide and as they are destined to meet in combat, Apex is about to unleash a threat that may be the end of all titans on Earth.

            Sequel to Godzilla, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island is directed by Adam Wingard (The Guest, You’re Next) from a script by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein, based on a story by Terry Rossio, Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields. As such, it is a fun monster battle blast. Sure the plot is a bit convoluted and character development/motivation is kept to a bare minimum, but we don’t watch a Godzilla or Kong movie expecting Shakespeare. Adam Wingard delivers what might be one of the most visually sumptuous kaiju flicks ever made, as well, as some of the most vicious and intense monster fights once Kong and Godzilla collide. His previous films showed a man who loves movies and it’s his inner film geek that best serves this fun, popcorn monster mash. The film gives us a giant monster flick that delightfully flaunts it’s influences, as G vs K evokes Ishirō Honda with it’s spectacular battles, Edgar Rice Burroughs, as Kong and his handlers explore the lost world of the Hallow Earth, and a touch of James Bond as Madison, her bud Josh (Julian Dennison) and Bernie sneak into Apex’s secret underground lab in Hong Kong. Wingard also gives us a Godzilla whose appearances evoke Jaws in the very best way. The human characters may be shortchanged, and Kong is far more the focus than Godzilla, but the action is fast and furious and comes quick enough for what exposition there is, to not get in the way of the entertainment. The battles between Godzilla and Kong are both visually spectacular and extremely brutal and Wingard does deliver what he promises…a definite winner. The script also cleverly finds a way to get the loser of the battle back in action and a chance to redeem themselves, when Apex unleashes a common enemy that presents a danger to both combatants. The digital SPFX are absolutely top notch, especially when pitting Godzilla and Kong against each other in neon drenched Hong Kong, and in the exploration of the Hallow Earth world. The cinematography by Ben Seresin is absolutely gorgeous and compliments Wingard’s expert shot composition and visual design very well. The score by Tom Holkenborg/Junkie XL is simply one of the best non Akira Ifukube scores attached to a Godzilla flick. All in all, story and character weaknesses aside, this is a roller coaster, fun ride of monster movie mayhem.

            Wingard has assembled a good cast that help make two dimensional characters a bit livelier. Rebecca Hall is noble and strong-willed as the Jane Goodall-like Dr. Ilene Andrews. She’s likable and has Kong’s best interests in mind. Alexander Skarsgård is also endearing as the slightly timid but driven Dr. Nathan Lind. He lost a brother to a Hollow Earth expedition and is dedicated to successfully exploring it. Millie Bobby Brown is once again spunky and strong-willed as Madison. She is sworn to clearing Godzilla’s name and prove he is no enemy to man. Brian Tyree Henry is fun as eccentric podcaster Bernie, seeking to uncover Apex’s secret, as is Julian Dennison as the reluctant tag-along Josh. Rounding out our good guys is the charming Kyle Chandler in a smaller role as Dr. Mark Russell and adorable Kaylee Hottle as Jia, a little deaf girl and last survivor of Skull Island’s indigenous people. Her handicap gives her the ability to sign, which she teaches Kong, in a clever story device to have the massive simian emote and communicate more. Kong is presented as a noble hero here, while Godzilla is clearly the aggressor and bad guy, till a last act reveal unveils his motivation for the attacks. As for our underdeveloped bad guys, Demián Bichir is appropriately sinister as Apex CEO Walter Simmons, who wants to destroy all monsters, sexy Eiza González gets some of the worst lines as the apple that doesn’t fall far from the tree, his daughter Maya and Shun Oguri has sadly little screen time as Ren Serizawa, the son of Dr. Ishirō Serizawa, who wants payback from Godzilla over his father’s death. A plot-line that definitely needed more attention. Thinly written characters, yes…a good cast, definitely!

Overall, those expecting a monster flick with the story depth of some of the recent high-end superhero epics might come away disappointed. Those going in expecting a monster Wrestlemania of epic portions, will probably be very entertained and on that level, Wingard and company deliver big time. The action is fast and furious, human interference is kept to a minimum and it is one of the most visually dynamic giant monster movies ever. The battles are brutal and intense and, for the most part, Wingard lets his titans go at it with the human interactions kept on the down low. Sure, the character development could have been stronger, but it’s somewhat convoluted story allows film geek Adam Wingard to delightfully reference a number of flicks both within and without the monster movie world. It also has some clever touches like Kong’s equalizer, an ancient axe made from a Godzilla ancestor dorsal spine. It makes for a wonderfully fun, popcorn flick that has wonders for the eye, plenty of adventure and some of the best monster fights yet captured on film. The Legendary Monster-verse seems to be finally finding it’s stride. Let’s hope they keep it going if this flick is a monster success.

-MonsterZero NJ

 

Rated 3 and 1/2 (out of 4) Godzillas
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NEW GODZILLA vs KONG POSTERS ARE REALLY COOL!

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NEW GODZILLA vs KONG POSTERS ARE REALLY COOL!

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Got some new posters for Godzilla vs Kong and they are really cool!

“Legends collide in “Godzilla vs. Kong” as these mythic adversaries meet in a spectacular battle for the ages, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe. The epic clash between the two titans—instigated by unseen forces—is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the Earth.”

The Adam Wingard directed film is from a script by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein and is based on a story by Terry Rossio, Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields! It stars Godzilla, Kong, Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Jessica Henwick, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler and Demián Bichir. It will be available in theaters and streaming on HBO MAX on 3/31!

 

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-MonsterZero NJ

Source: Twitter/Youtube

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NEW GODZILLA vs KONG PHOTOS AND POSTER ARE STUNNING!

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NEW GODZILLA vs KONG PHOTOS AND POSTER ARE STUNNING!

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Got some new photos and poster for Godzilla vs Kong and it looks like the film is going to be a stunning visual feast!

“Legends collide in “Godzilla vs. Kong” as these mythic adversaries meet in a spectacular battle for the ages, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe. The epic clash between the two titans—instigated by unseen forces—is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the Earth.”

The Adam Wingard directed film is from a script by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein and is based on a story by Terry Rossio, Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields! It stars Godzilla, Kong, Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Jessica Henwick, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler and Demián Bichir. It will be available in theaters and streaming on HBO MAX on 3/31!

(click on photos to enlarge!)

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-MonsterZero NJ

Source: youtube

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NEW GODZILLA vs KONG TRAILER SHOWS GODZILLA KICKING MONKEY BUTT!

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NEW GODZILLA vs KONG TRAILER SHOWS GODZILLA KICKING MONKEY BUTT!

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A new trailer for Godzilla vs Kong has surfaced and, unlike the first all-Kong trailer, this one shows Godzilla getting some good shots in on his equally famous opponent!

“Legends collide in “Godzilla vs. Kong” as these mythic adversaries meet in a spectacular battle for the ages, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe. The epic clash between the two titans—instigated by unseen forces—is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the Earth.”

The Adam Wingard directed film is from a script by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein and is based on a story by Terry Rossio, Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields! It stars Godzilla, Kong, Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Jessica Henwick, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler and Demián Bichir. It will be available in theaters and streaming on HBO MAX on 3/31!

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-MonsterZero NJ

Source: youtube

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GODZILLA vs KONG FINALLY GETS A TRAILER!

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GODZILLA vs KONG FINALLY GETS A TRAILER!

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The long awaited Godzilla vs Kong is finally being released simultaneously on HBOmax and in theaters on March 31, 2021 and we now have the equally long awaited trailer!

“Fearsome monsters Godzilla and King Kong square off in an epic battle for the ages, while humanity looks to wipe out both of the creatures and take back the planet once and for all.”

The Adam Wingard directed film is from a script by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein and is based on a story by Terry Rossio, Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields! It stars Godzilla, Kong, Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Jessica Henwick, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler and Demián Bichir.

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-MonsterZero NJ

Source: youtube

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REVIEW: THE GIFT (2015)

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THE GIFT (2015)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

Simon Callum (Jason Bateman) is living a charmed life. He has a successful career and has just moved into a upscale suburban house with his beautiful wife, Robyn (Rebecca Hall). A chance meeting with Gordon Moseley (Joel Edgerton who also wrote and directs), a former classmate from high school, changes his idyllic existence as Moseley starts making uninvited stops at Simon’s house, especially when Robyn is home alone. As Simon fears the man is obsessed with his wife, he finds another game may be afoot and one whose revelations Simon may not like. What does Gordon know and what is Simon hiding?

A very impressive debut from actor Joel Edgerton as both writer and director as he creates a tense thriller that fools you into thinking you’re watching one type of story, but it turns into another. At first we think we are watching yet another Cape Fear scenario with straightedge Simon and Robyn being stalked by the strange “Gordo”, but Edgerton has some surprises up his sleeve and we get revelations uncovered that may change our perspective on the true nature of our characters. His script gradually unravels a far more complicated story, as Robyn begins to ask questions as to just what the relationship was between the two men in the past and what happened between them. She finds that neither man may be who she thought they were and neither has been telling the complete truth. Edgerton skillfully takes us on the investigation and we learn the shocking truths as she does. This is far more than a simple creepy stalker plot and to reveal any more would be to spoil a tense and suspenseful thriller that subtly pulls the rug out from underneath you as to what you know about our players. You may find your sympathies shifting once all is said and done…or will you? It’s a very offbeat thriller from the first-time director.

Our small cast is very good. Jason Bateman is strong in a non-comedy role as an ambitious man who has it all. His Simon is likable at first, but as our script slowly let’s secrets become uncovered, Bateman handles the character changes deftly and we respond appropriately. Rebecca Hall is good as Robyn. She is a supportive wife, but as the movie progresses she becomes a woman with many doubts and questions and possibly some demons of her own. Edgerton is excellent as the weird and unsettling Gordon. Like Bateman, when character aspects are revealed, Edgerton helps us see his character in a different light, though he always remains purposely a bit off, as Gordon is an emotionally troubled man regardless of what we find out.

I liked this thriller. It had me thinking I was watching something oft seen before, but slowly revealed layers to the story that changed my perspective. Characters are presented as one thing, but as we proceed, deeper secrets are revealed and we realize that we don’t know these people like we thought. There are games and lies being played out here, but it may surprise as to the who and whats in the details. An engaging thriller and a very auspicious debut from Joel Edgerton as writer and director.

-MonsterZero NJ

  3 and 1/2 gifts.

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CULT CLASSIC CUTIES: ANNE-MARIE MARTIN as JESSICA in THE BOOGENS!

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Cult Classic Cuties are characters from some of our favorite cult classics and midnight movies who captured our hearts and/or actresses who got our attention but, sadly, never returned to these type of flicks or whose sexy stars shined only briefly, not quite achieving scream queen status. And this installment’s cutie is…

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ANNE-MARIE MARTIN

While Rebecca Balding’s perky and cute girl-next-door Trish is clearly the heroine of the 1981 creature cult classic The Boogens, it’s Anne-Marie Martin’s sexy, sassy Jessica that got my attention. Whether in a plaid shirt and cowboy hat or running from the title creatures in nothing but a towel, Jessica had a fiery personality and sarcastic sense of humor that made me want to get snowbound in a remote cabin with her…monster infestation or not. Martin gave the character a feisty and vivacious liveliness that made her very crush-worthy and imbued her with smarts and a tinge of girl-next-door charm that kept her from being the stereotypical ‘horny chick’ slasher character that she could have been…and as such, she stole our hearts long before catching the eye of the creepy critters that lurk in the catacombs beneath the cabin in question.
Being Boogens fodder aside, the Canadian beauty also had another genre role in the classic slasher Prom Night and a bit part in the classic horror sequel Halloween II. Martin also had a fairly busy TV career between 1976 and 1988 before retiring from acting and was married and had a daughter with legendary author Michael Crichton before divorcing in 2003!

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 as JESSICA in THE BOOGENS!

(click on the poster for a full review)

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SIDE NOTE: While we were falling for Martin’s sassy and sexy Jessica, Boogens’ director James L. Conway was falling for leading lady Rebecca Balding and the two have been happily married ever since!

Be sure to check out our Cult Classic Cuties (click right here on the link) section to see more crush worthy ladies from cult films and midnight movies!

-MonsterZero NJ

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HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: THE AWAKENING (2012)

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The Awakening is a charming and spooky old-fashioned ghost story set in England after WWI that tells the story of paranormal investigator, Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall) who specializes in debunking supernatural occurrences. When Florence is called upon to investigate reports of a ghost at a boys boarding school, she finds that there are more then one definition of haunted. Director Nick Murphy crafts a very effective and quite spooky tale that explores that people can be haunted by their pasts as much as a home can be haunted by spirits. Aside from building some chilling atmosphere and providing a nice dreary visual style to enhance it, he also gets good performances from all his cast with Hall portraying a woman whose motivations may stem from her own past and Dominic West as Robert, a man haunted by the war time guilt that he lived when others didn’t. These personal issues are played out against the mystery of what exactly is going on in this massive house. And once we find out, the film gives us some nice revelations and surprises along with the chills and thrills. A very entertaining and delightfully old school haunted house story.

A solid 3 spooks!

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