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Non-Review Review: Godzilla (2014)

Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla remake exhumes the classic movie monster for one more epic city-destroying brawl. Appropriately enough, the film feels like something of a relic itself – albeit a relic from an era more recent than the prime of its featured monster. Opening with the excavation of a giant skeleton in the Philippines, and with the revelation that the titular creature was first awakened in 1954, there’s a sense of coy self-awareness to Gareth Edwards’ monster movie tribute.

This wry self-awareness only extends the film so much leeway. At the heart, Godzilla feels like a nineties blockbuster created with modern technology. If the film had a sense of humour, it would look a lot more like Godzilla-by-the-way-of-Roland Emmerich than the 1998 attempt to reintroduce the character to American audiences.

Who says Godzilla is washed up?

Who says Godzilla is washed up?

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Non-Review Review: Independence Day

I think there’s a serious argument to be made for Independence Dayas one of the truly exceptional summer blockbusters. It’s not exceptionally clever or insightful, its characters aren’t necessarily more than plot functions given life by a wonderful cast, but it has a high-octane energy and wonderful sense of tone that makes it a joy to watch. It’s cheesy enough that it never takes itself too seriously, and yet it’s efficient enough and effective enough that it never descends to the level of pure camp. It’s a deft balance, and I suspect that it might be a fluke, but I think that Independence Day remains a gleefully enjoyable guilty pleasure to this day.

Don't run! We are your friends!

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The Top 30 Under-Reported News Stories of 2012…

Today is a very special day. We’re officially a third of the way through 2012. It’s been a pretty solid year for movies, and it’s been an interesting year for movie news. However, some news stories haven’t had quite the traction that I would have expected, and might have passed readers by. So, to celebrate getting through the first third of 2012, here’s the 30 most underreported movie-related news stories of 2012.

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Non-Review Review: Contagion

It’s somewhat ironic that the biggest fault with Contagion is that it’s not nearly clinical enough. Soderbergh’s exploration of the impact of a mass pandemic actually works best when the director pulls back to give us a high-level overview of a society collapsing, the individual lives reduced – appropriately enough – to microscopic cells in a larger organism in what might be its death throes. It’s these sequences and shots that are brilliantly effective, demonstrating the systemic and group dynamics that enable and facilitate the spread of a deadly bird flu variant, while the more intimate moments feel awkward and shoehorned in, never afforded enough space to develop character or plot lines. Still, if you pull back and look at the big picture, Soderbergh’s latest effort is an engaging ambitious disaster movie.

One sick picture...

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Political Correctness Survives The End of the World…

There was a news story which caught my attention earlier in the week. Basically it reported that Roland Emmerich – renowned demolitions expert behind Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and a whole host of other disaster-themed pictures (and the pseudo-historical documentary 10,000 B.C.)  – had decided that there was something specifically that he wasn’t going to blow up. Since, judging by his filmography, it seems rare that the man’s thoughts should settle on an object he doesn’t intend to blow up in a ridiculously incredibly over-the-top fireworks display, I was naturally intrigued. Could he be making a statement about what is most important for the survival of the human race at the end of his new flick, 2012? Or had he finally found a human soul which he wished to prove indestructable against all odds? No. He had decided that he owed it to certain religions not to offend them. Not because being respectful to other cultures is a good thing of itself, but because he was worried that they might kill him.

2012

It's not the end of the world, right?

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