Godzilla

Kong delivers without monkeying around.

This guy really needs to hold on tighter.

I’ll admit that I was more than skeptical when Kong: Skull Island was first announced. A new King Kong movie, really? Peter Jackson’s 2005 version still felt fresh in my mind, perhaps because it’s been playing on TV so often. But Kong: Skull Island was supposedly a different type of Kong movie. It was gonna be more modern, more action-oriented, and part of a larger monster movie series (see MonsterVerse). That all sounded nice and dandy but I wasn’t going to believe it until I saw it. Then, I saw it. I saw it in IMAX 3D. And whaddya know, it’s really good. Kong: Skull Island delivers just about everything you’d expect from its marketing campaign and PR promises. The action is exciting, the special effects are fantastic, the acting is non-distractingly serviceable, and there’s nothing else to it. As pure cinematic escapism, Kong: Skull Island reigns king. 

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Roaring (and lumbering) back into action!

Godzilla's so vain, he probably thinks this movie's about him.

Godzilla’s so vain, he probably thinks this movie’s about him.

In comparison to 1998’s embarrassing excuse for a blockbuster, Godzilla (directed by Roland Emmerich), most popcorn flicks look Oscar worthy.  What’s refreshing about 2014’s Godzilla, directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters), is that it shows off some remarkably cool modern sequences while embracing the traditional look and feel of the classic Godzilla films and the summer movies of the late 70’s that established the blockbuster sub-genre.  After the overload of monsters and CG destruction we see in movies these days, it’s a relief to know that there’s still room for a film to embrace the origins of both and still surprise us.  Welcome back, Godzilla.

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