Fresh from playing Mr White, the science teacher gone rogue in hit U.S. drama series Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston is back on growling form as nuclear scientist Joe Brody in this earth-shaking monster movie.
Godzilla started out as cathartic, escapist fun in post-war Japan when the country was still raw from the trauma of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Though an ultra-cheap production, it was a metaphor for nuclear terror that struck a deep chord with its audience.
Now 60 years on, Hollywood has finally done justice to this most durable of B-movie bad dreams.
Director Gareth Edwards creates a dark and brooding Chris Nolan-style tone right from the opening.
We’re kept on the edge of our seats as Cranston suffers a personal tragedy in a nuclear accident in Japan but is convinced the authorities are ‘hiding something’.
We feel something terrible is coming but it’s a slow burner.
It turns out that something is the mother of all monsters, and when the humans finally meet their nemesis and his supporting army of so-called MUTOs, the film actually achieves the jaw-dropping impact that was missing in the 1998 movie.
It’s like a return to early Spielberg when we sat spellbound in awe. The actors do their best with the archetypal script – except the wooden Aaron Taylor-Johnson – but it’s the stupendous depiction of man battling nature’s last line in vengeance that really rips the roof off.
Review by Joe Gill
Annette Bening plays a lonely widow who lost her husband in a swimming accident until one day she sees his spitting image while visiting her favourite museum. He turns out to be rugged artist Ed Harris, and the pair inevitably meet and fall for one another. This is a highly stylised tribute to the classic Hitchcock suspense dramas. However, it’s all happening on the surface of things and we never get down to the emotional pay dirt.
Jon Favreau writes, directs and stars in this love note to the highs and lows of cooking good food. He plays a frustrated chef who decides to break out on his own. Alongside a great cast, the food is definitely the star – sizzling plates of veggies, juicy meat and pasta are enough to make you run for the nearest restaurant if you made the mistake of not eating beforehand. Cameos and subplots galore create a tasty treat.
John Cusack plays a cop on the trail of a kidnapping case that has almost gone cold after several prostitutes go missing. When his own daughter disappears, he and his partner find themselves in a race against time to save her. Inspired by the true-life horror stories of suburban abductions, the film never moves out of procedural second gear.
Grace Kelly the film star became Grace the Princess when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956. The movie traces how the fairytale unravels with Nicole Kidman playing opposite Tim Roth as the controlling and short-tempered prince. We follow their tribulations and political tensions during 1962 when French President de Gaulle threatened to annex the principality. Director Olivier Dahan fell out with producer Harvey Weinstein, suggesting this may be something of a car crash.
Ralph Fiennes is one of the main pleasures in Wes Anderson’s nostalgic homage to 1930s central Europe. It’s a story within a story as a famous writer (Jude Law) recalls meeting the owner of the decaying hotel, a grand wedding cake perched on a mountain. The owner recalls his youth as a bellboy for the charismatic concierge played by Fiennes, who must outwit evil aristocrats, the arrival of fascism and Willem Dafoe as a vicious leather-clad assassin. He does this with wit, seduction and old-fashioned charm. It’s shot like a series of intricate paintings and comes with lots of amusing Anderson touches.