Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

GODZILLA (2014)
This is so close to being a really great movie. It's a very enjoyable, well-crafted movie. I like that director Gareth Edwards just assumes you've seen a Godzilla movie before and get the basic concept. I also like that Godzilla is played as part of a natural disaster/crisis that's going on in the background, for the most part, rather than some kind of villain. (And Edwards knows, as I hoped, that Godzilla is not the bad guy.) There are some bold, surprising choices that the movie makes, and there are actual themes beyond the whole nuclear allegory (which is done very well and has some very striking imagery that eerily recalls the Fukushima disaster), but there's a point in the story where everything is put aside to deal with Godzilla and other giant monsters, and this movie is so artfully crafted and stylish that it really deserves better than the dry characterizations it ends up with. For the most part, the last act is running and monster fighting and blowing things up, and that's fine, but it drags a little bit and the characters get lost in it. It has moments, don't get me wrong. I liked this movie a lot. It's obvious model is Jaws, though, and Jaws was story all the way through. I wish Ken Watanabe, whom I always like, had more to do than just mutter wearily about nature and balance. Elizabeth Olsen is lovely and talented, but she more or less drops out of the third act and becomes a piece on a board. But it's still so good, and Godzilla himself is just so great. It's almost everything I wanted it to be, and much, much more than I allowed myself to expect. More of these, please. ***1/2

PETALS ON THE WIND (2014)
Wow, they really fast-tracked that Flowers in the Attic sequel on Lifetime. It's not quite as good as the first one, but it's still soapy and perverse and kind of awesome. I would watch more of them. Heather Graham goes full on bugfuck crazy in this one. I like how these movies manage to be over-the-top and subdued at the same time. ***

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

How did I miss your Godzilla review? Sorry.