Reel Reviews: Monster and magic tops box office

By on June 5, 2019

‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

There are certain people who are lured to the presence of Godzilla. However, after seeing the opening weekend numbers for “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” those folks are becoming fewer and fewer. Despite securing the number one slot at the box office, the second installment of Hollywood’s latest take on the tale of the giant lizard fell well short of expectations/hopes and recouped less than a third of its budget.

Fans like me (and my 9-year-old son) have a bond with Godzilla. In our minds, the beast has always been the good guy, the protector of the Earth … through all 35 films. (Yes, folks, Godzilla is the longest running film franchise in history. Sorry, Mr. Lucas.) The newest film to feature Godzilla, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” elevates his heroics to another level as he takes on titanic beasts like the legendary Rodan and the three-headed King Ghidorah.

The story picks up as a quasi-sequel to “Godzilla” (2014, definitely not the 1998 “Godzilla” with Matthew Broderick) where the secret scientific organization called Monarch, with the surprising help of Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga), hopes to unleash all the world’s giant monsters, starting with Mothra. Viewers are forced to wait patiently (for about 25 minutes) through some unnecessary gun play and the refreshing of an overly simple story line. until we get to what we really want: monster on monster battle!

Meanwhile estranged husband Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) has to prove himself and ultimately save his daughter, Madison (Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”). Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (the venerable Ken Watanabe) and a group of heroes portrayed by hey-I-recognize-her/him actors assist.

Despite some cheesy acting and a lack of intelligent humor (except for that aimed at baseball fans) I enjoyed “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” because it had me rooting for the big guy once again. The movie is constantly teasing King Kong with multiple references to Skull Island, and at the end of the credit run we are shown an ancient drawing of what seems to be a battle between Kong and Godzilla — just like we saw in “Kong: Skull Island.” According to IMDB, “Godzilla vs. Kong” is in the post-production stage. Want more before? Visit monarchsciences.com.

Netflix fans fell in love with Millie Bobby Brown while watching “Stranger Things.” Now, she’s headlining in “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.”

‘Aladdin’

In west Agrabah, he was born and raised. In the streets is where he spent most of his days. When a couple of henchman were up to no good, and started causing trouble in his kingdomhood…

So, Aladdin (Mena Massoud), who is now in love with Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott), was forced to retrieve a magic lamp from the Cave of Wonders, but instead he befriends the lamp’s inhabitant, the almighty Genie (Will Smith). The Genie turns Aladdin the street rat into Prince Ali of Ababwa, whose arrival into Agrabah is the best part of the movie. It’s the one number where Smith outshines his predecessor Robin Williams.

That said, Smith is a pretty decent Genie. It’s just the rest of the movie falls short of the animated Disney version for me. Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) is far from scary. In a movie full of meh-grade acting only Nasim Pedrad (TV’s SNL and “New Girl”) who plays a secondary character as Jasmine’s handmade and Genie’s love interest stand out.

The movie fails to bring the magic to a new generation. Just go rewatch the DVD.

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1) Watch a movie; 2) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at SomeProMCU@gmail.com.

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