Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Review by Case Wright, Dir: Michael Dougherty


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Godzilla: King of the Monsters is like eating a huge handful of different colored Jelly Bellys all at once; it’s fun and kinda sticky.  It was written and directed by Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘r Treat, Krampus, or anything that’s filmed for a few hundred bucks and a sandwich).  Dougherty is known for inexpensive genre films like Krampus, which was kind of fun in a goofy way.  This is a much bigger budget and if it weren’t for the dialogue, it would’ve been great.  Honestly, you don’t really need to listen to the dialogue and Dougherty is a lousy writer; so you’re better off tuning the people out.

The cast was everyone you like: Coach Taylor, Eleven, Tywin Lannister, That Lady from the Conjuring, That Science Teacher from Stranger Things, West Wing Guy, What’s His Face, and the guy who was in the last one who wanted the monsters to fight.  On the monster side: there was Mothra, King Ghidora, Rodan, Michaelangelo, Godzilla, and the rest.  They were all thrown at the screen like water balloons hitting you in the face.

The movie opens with Dr Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) and Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) at a Monarch facility where baby Mothra wakes up and everyone seems to want to touch it.  Gross.  They’re gonna get a dino-rash! Terrorists enter, kill everyone, and take ….. did I write take … I meant pick up Dr. Russell and Madison.

Why? Dr. Russell lost her son to the last Godzilla attack and has decided that everyone should die because that makes sense…somehow. So, she sets up her Doctor Doolittle machine to talk/wake up all the Kaijus to kill everyone.  Her argument is really annoying and has a makeshift powerpoint presentation.  She is the embodiment of every sanctimonious Seattleite, Vegan, Composting, Apologist, Whiner all rolled into one; she figures if the monsters kill all the people that the world will be better off- think if that horrible Lorax finally got the money to kill for the trees.  They’re why I refuse to recycle …. EVER!

Anywho….she wakes up all the monsters and Coach Taylor who is Dr Russell’s quasi-ex-husband scientist is granted crazy authority over the military to figure out how to stop all the monsters from killing everyone.  And man do they ever fight?!!! I mean it do they ever fight?  I counted only four monster on monster fight scenes- kinda skimpy.  Also, Godzilla had to be recharged with nukes or radioactive spa time to keep going; I guess Godzilla decided to upload the latest Apple Update.

Godzilla ends up on top….literally. He gets on top of a mound in Boston and all the other monsters bow down to Godzilla, except Mothra – She curtsies (she’s from another time).  There’s good CGI and Monster fighting- when they do fight.  Just don’t go trying to find deeper meaning.  I loved these movies because they’d be on tv for the nerd set when I was a kid.  I saw them all.  In fact, in King Ghidora v Godzilla, Godzilla tries to help the Japanese win world war II or at least one battle. It was awesome.  These movies are great because you can unplug and watch some awesome destruction.  This movie brings the boom.  Enjoy!

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Stranger Things: Season 1, Episode 8: The Upside Down, ALT Title: Hop’s Redemption


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Cold Open:  Evil Modine’s Government Facility:  Joyce is screaming and Evil Modine enters.  He conveys with cold calm that six people were taken this week and tries to bully Joyce like he did Karen.  Joyce isn’t having it.  Henchwoman is having people taser Hop … A LOT!  He tells them that he knows everything about they did.  They propose to have him overdose.  He counters that they arm him and let him and Joyce go.  How does Hop fit into his pants with balls that big?!

High school:  The boys are at the school and restless.  They realize that Nancy and Creeper are gone.

Joyce’s House: They set up several booby traps and the xmas lights, which sets up an inconsistency in the storytelling.

Evil Modine comes to Hop.  Hop convinces Evil Modine to to arm him, release him AND Joyce, and allow him to pursue the monster.  He offers to forget about him and their project and he’ll tell him where El is, if he agrees to his terms.

Hop and Joyce get spacesuited up and enter into the belching gate to the Upside Down.

ROLL CREDITS:

The Upside Down: Hop and Joyce are looking for Will.  The respirator noise causes Hop to Flash to happier times.

Hop is in the past… clean-shaven, with his wife and daughter, and happy.  His daughter starts to wheeze.

The Upside Down:  Nancy and Creeper cut themselves to draw out the Postmodern Vampire.  She wonders how she will know when the monster will be coming, which brings us to the story hole: Why would she be screwing the lights back in before if she didn’t know that they had a purpose? Steve bangs at the door and forces himself into the house. They both try to get him to leave and Nancy even pulls a gun on him, but then the lights flicker, the monster appears, and Steve’s brain breaks a little.  They run to Will’s room.

The Upside Down:  Hop sees the destroyed Castle Byers and a teddy bear causes him to FLASH.

Hospital Room:  He is reading to his daughter who is bald from cancer.  When he’s done reading, he goes into the hospital stairwell and sobs.  Poor Hop.

Joyce’s House: Steve freaks out and runs to his car, but he sees the lights flickering and decides to become a hero.  The monster appears behind Nancy and Creeper.  Steve jumps in and starts hitting the monster with an upgraded baseball bat.  The monster gets trapped in the bear trap.  They set the monster on fire and it disappears.  There is smoldering monster blood in the trap.  My best guess of what smoldering Vampire Monster smells like is anything on the Arby’s menu.  

The Upside Down:  Hop and Joyce are in her home and they see the blood from the monster.  The lights start turning on in Joyce’s house.

High School: Dustin finds pudding. We get it; he’s the fat kid!  Mike talks to El about how his family will quasi-adopt her. Jibber Jabber Jibber Jabber, they kiss.  Then, Evil Modine and his Goons arrive to retrieve El.  The boys and El run.   They make it into a hallway and are cutoff with ….Goons to the Left and Goons to the Right and she’s the only El in town! [Sung]

El uses her mojo and melts/explodes the brains and eyes of the Henchwoman and several goons.  This brings us to bad ideas: New Coke, The Edsel, Qwikster, The Zune, Grease 2, and cornering a pissed off teenager with lethal mental Superpowers.  Hop and Joyce pursue the monster and follow its bloodtrail to the library where Hop has looked for love.

High school: The boys get grabbed by goons and El is passed out from mental exertion. Evil Modine hugs her and promises to make everything better to make her better.   The lights flash.  Mike sees the blood, the monster breaks through the wall, and envelops Evil Modine.  Once again, it’s a monster, who hunts at night, and searches for blood.   NOSFERATU!!!!!

The Library:  Joyce and Hop are in the public library.  They see skulls everywhere and viney gooeyness.  Lastly, they see Will with a monster snake attached to his mouth.

Flash to Hop’s daughter’s Hospital Room:  We see his daughter intubated and dying.  She flatlines.  The scene is intercut with Hop watching his daughter dying and him removing Will’s monster snake from him.

High school:  The goons are fighting the monster and losing.  The monster enters the room where the boys are hiding and Lucas tries to kill the monster with the slingshot for some reason.  The monster is flung and pinned against the wall.  El is awake with red eyes and is really pissed.  She looks back at the one boy she ever loved, says good bye, and then using her mind – she creates a bright LIGHT ….AHEM … A Bright Light like the Sun and destroys the monster by disintegrating both herself and it.

Hop and Joyce:  Hop is doing CPR on Will with Joyce’s help to revive Will.  In saving Will, he will have also released himself from the prison of his grief. We flash to the Hop’s dying daughter with doctors failing to save her and we see the beginning of his beard.  However, in the Upside Down, Hop is able to save Will and, in doing so, himself as well.

High school: Karen arrives and hugs her son.

The Hospital:  Will awakens to his family.

The Waiting Room:  Everyone is waiting for Will to wake up in the hospital.  The tragedy has brought them together as one community, one tribe.  When the boys hear that Will is awake, they run in and jibber jabber a bit.  Hop goes outside and is picked up by goons, but in a friendly way.

ONE MONTH LATER:

Snow has begun.  The boys are playing D&D again.  Creeper picks up Will and gets a present from Nancy, but we rapidly see that she isn’t his girlfriend.  It’s a camera. HMMMMM, not sure if that will improve Creeper’s prospects of staying out of handcuffs. 

Hop Goes to the station and gets some food and makes some wise cracks.  He drops off some eggos in a dead drop, which is presumably for El.

Joyce’s House: It’s all fixed up because the town must have pitched in together.  Will heads to the bathroom and barfs up a slug monster, flashes into the Upside Down, and doesn’t tell anyone because I guess mash potatoes were all he could think about at that time.

ROLL CREDITS

This has been so much fun!  Demand more with all your might!!!

 

 

Stranger Things: The Bathtub Season 1, Episode 7; ALT Title: Modine, Evil Modine.


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Cold Open:  Mike cleans off El’s face.  She touches her head where the wig once was; the wig that made her a little normal and not a lab rat.  “Still pretty?” She asks.  Mike, “Really pretty.”  They are about to kiss when Dustin interrupts.  At least it wasn’t because he found a unopened box of Twinkies.  They hear shouting on the walkie talkie.  It’s Lucas.  Lucas has decided F-This.  How did I end up in this situation?! And, how come we never see my or Dustin’s parents? Did the monster eat them?  Lucas is peddling as fast as he can … If he’s smart, to Iowa and away from this horrible situation.  Lucas continues to shout into the walkie and finally warns his friends.  The boys see the Hawkins vans outside of Mike’s house and decide to flee.

El sees her “Papa” Evil Modine approach Mike’s home.  They bike in a hurry to escape and immediately run into Lucas.  They are together and cornered- vans in front, vans behind them.  Pro tip: Nobody puts El in a corner because she will f#cking kill you.  El’s response to being cornered is launching the Hawkings van into the air and hurling it toward the pursuers behind her.  They escape to the junkyard and everyone makes up.

Roll Credits:

Hop and Joyce arrive at the station. Joyce is hysterical.  The deputies tell Hop that they need to show him something.  They show Hop Creeper’s trunk. It is filled with monster hunting stuff.  Hop confronts Creeper and Creeper tries to give Hop some lip.  Really, Creeper?! Really?!  Chief Hopper makes Jason Bourne look like Rick Moranis.  

Mike’s House:  Karen is looking for Mike and finds what looks like a kid’s nest.  Then, she finds a tuft of long blonde hair, which must cause her to wonder- Are all of my kids having sex in my house?!  Doorbell rings.  It’s Modine, Evil Modine!  He proceeds to home invade Karen’s home without a warrant.  Henchlady tries to question Karen and fails.  Nebish Dad uses this time to call his son a wuss.  Evil Modine uses his eeeeeeevil powers of persuasion to get Karen cooperate.  When he says, “Will you trust me?” I got the heebie jeebies.  Shudders.

At the station, Hop learns from Nancy and Creeper that the creature is drawn by blood. The World Smallest Bully’s mom demands an apology.  Hop learns that El is with the boys and is all kinds of superpowered.

Convenience Store: Steve loses his shitty friends and we learn it was his awful guy friend who did the spray painting.

Nancy and Hop are overlooking her home.  She wants to confront Evil Modine.  Hop shows Nancy that the government hasn’t found the boys yet because helicopters are still circling. Creeper tells them that he might be able to communicate with the boys.  They go to Joyce’s house and Nancy is the first to look at the lights and say- WHOA!  Yep, we’re in Crazytown, Indiana.  Hop gets the boys to give up their location.

The Vandalized Movie Theater: Steve’s heart grows three sizes that day and he tries to make amends by cleaning off the marquee his friend defaced.

Junkyard:  Modine’s goons approach the bus that is hiding the boys and El.  Hop quickly dispatches them.

Joyce’s house: The Boys, El, Hop, Joyce, and Creeper are all together discussing their next move as one tribe.  El tries and fails to use her mojo to find Will.  They decide to make a bathtub deprivation tank.

Mr. Clark’s house: He is watching a cinematic masterpiece, The Thing, with a waaaay Hot Asian Lady.  Mr. Clark, I tip my hat to you Sir. You be you.  Dustin calls Mr. Clark- the most patient man alive- pumps him for DIY sensory deprivation tank information and then hangs up.  Dustin, you’re being a dick.

They get the bath ready and El goes into the black world of the Inbetween.  She finds a rotting Barb with monster slugs leaving her.  Dear Everyone in the World, stop asking about Barb.  She’s a rotting incubator for Vampire Monsters.  That is all.  El finds Castle Byers in the upside down.  She comforts Will.

Hop and Joyce go off to Evil Modine’s Government Facility and are rapidly captured.

The Upside Down: The Monster destroys Castle Byers and takes Will to turn him into an incubator for monsters.

ROLL CREDITS!!!!  If you enjoy these, please tell my Boss- Lisa Bowman! Also, suggest other shows or movies that you would like me to review. Cheers!