Combustible Celluloid
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With: Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Charles Dance, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Zhang Ziyi, Bradley Whitford, O'Shea Jackson Jr., David Strathairn, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds, Anthony Ramos, Elizabeth Faith Ludlow, Jonathan Howard, CCH Pounder, Joe Morton, Randall P. Havens
Written by: Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields, based on a story by Max Borenstein, Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields
Directed by: Michael Dougherty
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of monster action violence and destruction, and for some language
Running Time: 132
Date: 05/30/2019

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Titan the Screws

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In 1956 Raymond Burr agreed to appear in the American re-edit of Ishiro Honda's great Godzilla (1954), entitled Godzilla: King of the Monsters. It was an embarrassing assignment, done mainly for money rather than for credit or glory. In 2019, another movie called Godzilla: King of the Monsters has been released with an impressive, international roster of acclaimed actors, all of whom have less to do onscreen than poor Burr ever did. The entire new movie consists of this giant cast either yelling expositional dialogue at one another, often accompanied by helpful photos or video presentations, as if power-points could be conjured up in the blink of an eye, or otherwise gazing, slack-jawed at the heavens, as some giant-sized special effect unfurls itself against the skyline. There really isn't much more to this movie, except for the monsters themselves, a collection of digital renderings and sound effects that are roughly the same as anything we've seen for the last 25 years. The plot has humans arguing with one another as some good monsters and some bad monsters battle for dominance. Astonishingly, cult director Michael Dougherty, who made the Halloween cult classic Trick 'r Treat and the Christmas horror cult classic Krampus, agreed to direct this thing, unable to bring even the slightest little bit of personality or magic to it; this will never, ever, ever be a cult classic.

Warner Bros.' Blu-ray release can hardly be faulted. Its sound and video transfers are top-notch. It includes a bonus DVD and digital copy. Extras include a commentary track by Dougherty, producer Zack Shields, and actor O'Shea Jackson, Jr., tons of behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted & extended scenes, and trailers. Note: This is the third movie in the "Monsterverse" series, after Godzilla (2014) and Kong: Skull Island (2017). Godzilla vs. Kong is next.

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