-with Shannon Griffiths
Godzilla: King of Monsters
Sequel to 2014’s Godzilla and third entry in Legendary Pictures’ “MonsterVerse” following 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, the 35th film appearance of the globally popular prehistoric reptile is far from what you’d hope for with Godzilla: King of the Monsters proving to be another disappointing mess of a film that despite its impressive cast fails to deliver. Following the crypto-zoological agency Monarchas they witness numerous god-sized monsters awake from hibernation to claim Earth for themselves, animal communication specialist Dr. Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) is unwillingly enlisted to help locate a currently missing Godzilla. Caught in the middle of a turf-war between giant creatures known as the “Titans”, the emergence of Mothra, Rodan and Zilla’s ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidora bring about a showdown for supremacy, with the survival of humanity left in the balance.With Ken Watanabereprising his role from the previous film and the recognisable faces of Vera Farmiga,Sally Hawkins,O’Shea Jackson Jr.,Charles DanceandStranger Things’Star Millie Bobby Brown (appearing in her first ever film) all delivering solid performances with the sub-par material they’ve been given, the problem isn’t with the talent assembled but rather the execution. Instead of interesting, well thought out characters that have a purpose for doing what they do and being in the situations we find them in, lazy writing and an over abundance for unnecessary exposition scenes will have you consistently bored in between waiting for what you’ve been sold on – Godzilla action.
With five years to put together an entertaining monster romp featuring a good story and exciting visuals, it’s a disappointment that what we get in the end is half the film you want that honestly feels like a first draft script. While there is a simple pleasure in watching mammoth creatures fight to the death and the criticism of 2014’s effort of not enough Godzilla is definitely the opposite this time, ultimately it isn’t enough to warrant the effort, even harming the interest for next year’s Godzilla v Kong.
Based upon the life of the legendary musician and one of the world’s best selling artists of all time, Taron Egerton is Elton John in Rocketman, a biopic unlike anything you’ve seen before. Titled after the 1972 song of the same name, this genuine musical inspired by the many hits of John’s career is an excellent, uplifting and truly beautiful film, easily one of the best this year, and a thing of utter brilliance. Directed by Dexter Fletcher (Eddie The Eagle) and co-starring the likes of Jamie Bell, Richard MaddenandBryce Dallas Howard, Egerton’s incredible singing talent is given thetime to shine, delivering an absolute Oscar-worthy performance as himself and his Kingsman 2 co-star become one. Reginald Dwight was a shy piano prodigy with a rocky home life. When his musical journey led him to become the one and only Elton John, it wasn’t always an easy road to success and super stardom. An inspirational tale set to the most beloved of his famous songs, witness how a small town boy became one of the most iconic figures in pop music, with the help of longtime partner and lyricist Bernie Taupin. Hitting all the right notes for enthusiastic Elton fans but able to be embraced by those with no more than a casual appreciation of the man’s music, the film perfectly captures the highs and lows of Elton’s career and does not shy away from showing the dark and twisted things he went through. Also the first major Hollywood production to depict a male on male sex scene on screen, boldly remaining uncensored and retaining its sense of truthfulness and realism in the process. An honest, heart felt tribute to the man responsible for many of our favourite songs with its musical storytelling making for one of the most unforgettable cinema experiences and a soundtrack you’re going to want to pick up right away; it’s going to be a long, long time before another musician inspired biopic is this good.