Movie Review: Godzilla vs Kong

For all movies like “Godzilla vs Kong”, with great special effects and a preposterous story, we all forego logic and common sense, in order to be entertained by great action scenes. Unfortunately for most movies special effects movies, almost without exception, there is no great and enjoyable underlying story. All that matters is the computer animation and special effects. Everybody respects the software developers who create great action scenes and in the case of the new movie “Godzilla vs Kong” fight scenes between Godzilla and King Kong are spectacular. However like always, there is no real story that makes much sense.

This time around we are told that there is a part of the planet earth that is called “hollow earth” where huge creatures like King Kong and Godzilla have come from. In most of the previous movies, the explanation had something to do with a nuclear accident that revived prehistoric creatures from millions of years ago. I would have preferred this idea instead of a bubble in the middle of the planet earth as would most fans of the Godzilla and King Kong movies. Both ideas are ridiculous, but less ridiculous is animals from millions of years ago being revived by nuclear power.

Returning to this new Godzilla movie are the 2 of the actors from the bad “Godzilla: King of the Monsters“, released in 2019 including Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler. New actors include: Rebecca Hall, Eiza Gonzalez and Brian Tyree Henry. There are at least 2 sub stories in this film, that seem to be mostly disconnected, all culminating in huge fight between Godzilla, King Kong and a giant robot Godzilla created by some evil company. Like so many movies like this, it seemed at time that whatever the screenplay might be about, the important thing was to create the special effects first, and then write a story around it.

The Rotten Tomatoes ranking of 80% is not correct, this movie is mostly in the 60% range, mostly because of the bad story. See this movie for the special effects and do not expect much more than that. I do not recommend Godzilla vs Kong.

Movie Review: Nobody

The start of the new movie “Nobody” shows a collage of the main character Hutch Mansell, played by Bob Odenkirk – getting up in the morning, drinking coffee, forgetting to put out the garbage, running after the garbage truck, sitting in a boring and depressing office inside of a rundown factory while living a typical, mundane and at times an infuriating life of a middle aged man in the United States. We all often wonder where all the time goes, with so many of us in the world, because of the money, living the same typical days hundreds and thousands of times over. This collage showed better than any other movie that I have seen, the reality of life and making a living for so many millions of us.

As this story continues Hutch Mansell’s family are robbed at gunpoint in their home and despite Mansell’s previous special ops training, he does not take any action against the two armed robbers, who we later learn are husband and wife – poor and desperate trying to raise an infant child.

Over time, Mansell’s regret over doing nothing (despite the fact that given this robbery his lack of action was the best choice) – starts to eat at him, and his boring meaningless job make his anger grow to a fever pitch. Eventually Hutch takes action and he becomes a vigilante starting with some amazingly well filmed violence on a bus against 5 other guys. Odenkirk certainly does not have the size or physique to be an action star, but throughout this entire movie, he pulls off some very well done fight scenes.

One of the best messages of the film is the great way it shows the slow burn that all of us have inside of us, until we eventually break, until we cannot take it anymore – a great line from “Network”, 1976. In some cases some of us arrive at an irrational point that can be at times, even out of proportion to the outrage we have experienced. The expression, “going postal” also comes to mind in many extreme cases have all heard about in the news.

The acting in this movie is all outstanding, starting with Odenkirk, Connie Neilson, who plays Mansell’s wife, Aleksey Serebryakov who almost steals this movie as an insane Russian mobster and 82 year old Christopher Lloyd who is great as Mansell’s father who lives in a nursing home, but never forgot his hand to hand combat skills.

I agree with the high ratings of 80% for Nobody on Rotten Tomatoes, my rating is closer to 85% – and I highly recommend this movie.

Movie Review: The Courier

The years prior to the Cuban Missile crisis that happened in 1962, were some of the highest tension and most dangerous times between the United States and the Soviet Union. The world was as close to extinction because of an impending nuclear war than it ever has been before or since, culimating in a Mexican Standoff between President Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev. During this time there were spy’s who were desperately trying to prevent nuclear war by stealing information from Russia. One of the most important spies was Greville Wynne who worked for MI6 and Oleg Penkovsky who was a Russian citizen who gave information to Wynne for years. These two collaborated for several years eventually becoming close friends – and this turned out to be one of the best aspects of this true story.

One can only but admire the incredible courage of Wynne and Penkovsky in the new movie “The Courier”  who not only risked their own lives but the lives of their wives and children during years of espionage. The upside of spying on Russia during the most high stress periods between Russian and the United States was the possibility of saving the world. The downside was lifelong imprisonment or death. Brave people like Wynne and Penkovsky sometimes stuck out their necks for too long and paid a huge price.

Wynne was played extremely well by Benedict Cumberbatch, in another great role that rivals his performance The Imitation Game, released in early 2015.  Most impressive with this role is his extreme weight loss that was required to show his years in a Russian prison.  His weight loss in this film rivals Tom Hanks in “Castaway”, or the all time champion Christian Bale who lost a life threatening amount of weight 3 times in “The Fighter”, 2010, “The Machinist”, 2004, and “Rescue Dawn”, 2006.  For those who think they could be a great actor, how many would ever even consider losing a large percentage of their body weight over months, just to make a movie. This practice is very dangerous to anyone’s health and considering the huge advancements in film technology, hopefully one day this practice will eventually fade away – along with smoking in movies.  Unfortunately this movie also has way too much smoking, but considering the years involved, 1960-1962 smoking makes more sense this time around.  The acting in this film is outstanding, including Rachel Brosnahan who plays one of the high level MI6 operatives.

I mostly agree with the high 84% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and I do recommend The Courier.