Tagged: David Strathairn

Godzilla

Summary: The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 15th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, Japan

Director: Gareth Edwards

Screenwriter: Max Borenstein, Dave Callaham (story)

Cast: CJ Adams (Young Ford), Juliette Binoche (Sandra Brody), Carson Bolde (Sam Brody), Garry Chalk (Stan Walsh), Bryan Cranston (Joe Brody), Jake Cunanan (Akio), James D. Dever (Captain Freeman), Catherine Lough Haggquist (PO #1 Martinez), Sally Hawkins (Vivienne Graham), Richard T. Jones (Captain Russell Hampton), Hiro Kanagawa (Hayato), Eric Keenleyside (Boyd), Anthony Konechny (Thach), Brian Markinson (Whelan), Gardiner Millar (Fitzgerald), Elizabeth Olsen (Elle Brody), Ty Olsson (Jainway), Victor Rasuk (Sergeant Tre Morales), Patrick Sabongui (Lieutenant Commander Marcus Waltz), Al Sapienza (Huddleston), David Strathairn (Admiral William Stenz), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Ford Brody), Ken Watanabe (Dr. Ichiro Serizawa), Ken Yamamura (Takashi)

Runtime: 123 mins

Classification: M

OUR GODZILLA REVIEWS & RATINGS:

Adam Ross: You can check out Adam’s Godzilla review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #79

Stars(3)

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Godzilla review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #79

Stars(3)

David Griffiths:

Fans of Godzilla films want and deserve a good Godzilla film, after all the poor suffering souls have nothing but a bad taste in their mouth after the 1998 Matthew Broderick led disaster. Well now comes the 2014 update and on the surface it seems that in a rare oddity Hollywood has finally picked the right director to be at the helm of a major project. Anyone that can remember just how good Monsters was will attest to the fact that Gareth Edwards knows how to make a damn fine ‘monster flick.’

This time around we find Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston – Get A Job, Cold Comes The Night) alarmed at the seismic activity going on around the Japanese nuclear power plant where he works. To his surprise nobody seems to take him seriously and the result is a catastrophe that results in the death of many other workers including his wife.

Flash-forward to fifteen years later and Joe’s son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Kick-Ass 2, Anna Karenina) is now a bomb expert in the military. He is also married to emergency room nurse, Elle (Elizabeth Olsen – Oldboy, In Secret) and has a young son that his military service takes him away from far to often. It is therefore understandable that he is frustrated when on a rare time at home he receives a call from Japanese authorities informing him that Joe has been arrested entering into a quarantined zone.

After bailing his father out Ford learns that his father believes that the authorities are keeping something secret inside the ‘zone’ and he wants to get inside to find his old data and to see what is going on. Reluctantly Ford follows his father and soon learns that experts, including Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins – The Double, Blue Jasmine) and Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe – Unforgiven, Inception) have been keeping a very large secret that is about to unleash itself onto the world.

It is easy to see Edwards’ handy work all over Godzilla. His monster sequences are well worth the price of admission, especially the ‘monster fights’ and at times he isn’t afraid to pull the focus away from these battles to show what the humans such as Ford are doing at that time. However while these sequences do look impressive as a whole Godzilla is held back from becoming a great film because of several reasons.

One of the major flaws of Godzilla is the characterisation. While you hardly go into a ‘monster flick’ expecting an epic back story for each character it is disappointing to find that a lot of the characters here in Godzilla are dangerously one dimensional. For example Dr. Serizawa is one of the more interesting characters although very little is learnt about him, then there is the massive under use of Elle, which results in the crime of seeing an award winning actress like Elizabeth Olsen become little more than scenery as she simple watches monsters go by with her mouth open like a Laughing Clown. The lack of characterization causes a problem later on in the film when the audience begins to realise that they really don’t care whether some characters survive the slaughter or not.

Of course though one of the most important things for a film like Godzilla however is what do the monsters actually look? Well Godzilla himself looks fine, Edwards’ team has actually done a pretty good throw back to the Godzilla of old. The same however cannot be said for the other Kaiju monsters that appear in the film, call me an old-fogey but somehow they seem just a little bit too metallic and robotic like for me. Their look makes them look very fake while on the other hand Godzilla’s natural look makes it almost believable that such creatures do live somewhere out there under the sea.

The decent storyline however does allow some of the actors to show their worth though. Bryan Cranston is given some moments to show his dramatic range, a welcome relief after the teaser footage they showed us a couple of months ago made it look like he might have been going for a comedic portrayal of his character, while Aaron Taylor-Johnson pulls on a serious face and actually shows that he may have what it takes to become an action hero in the future. As previously mentioned though some of the cast – especially Elizabeth Olsen and Ken Watanabe – are completely wasted in their one dimensional roles.

Godzilla is certainly far from a bad film. The good storyline and decent action sequences make it a worthy watch and Gareth Edwards should be congratulated for that, but sadly some elements of the script will still leave some serious film lovers wanting more.

 

Stars(3)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3)

IMDB Rating:  Godzilla (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Godzilla′: Nil

Trailer:

Lincoln

Summary: Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in LINCOLN, a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 31st January, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Steven Spielberg

Screenwriter: Tony Kushner, Doris Kearns Goodwin (book)

Cast: Don Henderson Baker (Walter Appleton), Jim Batchelder (Howard Guillefoyle), Thomas K. Belgrey (Arthur Bentleigh), John Bellemer (Faust), Christopher Boyer (General Robert E. Lee), Leon Addison Brown (Harold Green), Bill Camp (Mr. Jolly), Joseph Carlson (Jospeh Marstern), Christopher Cartmill (Leonard Grover), David Costabile (James Ashley), Joseph Cross (John Hay), Daniel Day-Lewis (Abraham Lincoln), Joe Dellinger (Nelson Merrick), Colman Domingo (Private Harold Green), Adam Driver (Samuel Beckwith), Mary Dunleavy (Marguerite), Wayne Duvall (Senator Bluff Wade), Ralph D. Edlow (Leo), Chase Edmunds (Willie Lincoln), James ‘Ike’ Eichling (William Dennison), Sally Field (Mary Todd Lincoln), Ford Flannagan (Tom Pendel), Todd Fletcher (Walter H. Washburn), Walton Goggins (Clay Hawkins), Michael Goodwin (Chilton A. Elliott), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Robert Lincoln), Dave Hager (Captain Nathan Saunders), Jackie Early Haley (Alexander Stephens), Jared Harris (Ulysses S. Grant), John Hawkes (Robert Latham), Stephen Henderson (William Slade), Grainger Hines (Gideon Welles), Hal Holbrook (Preston Blair), Jamie Horton (Giles Stuart), Gregory Hosaflook (John F. McKenzie), John Hutton (Senator Charles Summer), Gregory Itzen (Judge John A. Campbell), Byron Jennings (Montgomery Blair), Ted Johnson (John Ellis), Tommy Lee Jones (Thaddeus Stevens), William Kaffenberger (John A. Casson), Michael Stanton Kennedy (Hiram Price), Joe Kerkes (Andrew E. Finck), Clarence Key (Brigadier General Seth Williams), Charles Kinney (Myer Strauss), Ken Lambert (Augustus Benjamin), John Lescault (Gustavus Fox), C. Brandon Marshall (Rufus Warren), Elizabeth Marvel (Mrs. Jolly), Dakin Matthews (John Usher), Edward McDonald (Daniel G. Stuart), Bruce McGill (Edwin Stanton), Boris McGiver (Alexander Coffroth), Gulliver McGrath (Tad Lincoln), Gannon McHale (Aaron Haddam), Peter McRobbie (George Pendleton), S. Epatha Merkerson (Lydia Smith), John Moon (Edwin LeClerk), Tim Blake Nelson (Richard Schell), Kevin Lawrence O’Donnell (Charles Hanson), David Oyelowo (Corporal Ira Clark), Matthew Pabo (Lee Pace (Fernando Wood), Robert Peters (Jacob Graylor), Bill Raymond (Schuyler Colfax), Gloria Reuben (Elizabeth Keckley), Michael Ruff (Harold Hollister), Robert Ruffin (Major Thompson Eckert), Raynor Scheine (Josiah S. ‘Beanpole’ Burton), Drew Sease (David Homer Bates), Robert Shepherd (Dr. Joseph K. Barnes),  Michael Shiflett (Senator R.M.T. Hunter), Walt Smith (William Fessenden), James Spader (W.N. Bilbo), Stephen Spinella (Asa Vintner Lettor), David Straithairn (William Seward), Jeremy Strong (John Nicolay), Michael Stuhlbarg (George Yeaman), Richard Topol (James Speed), Asa-Luke Twocrow (Ely Parker), Larry Van Hoose (Avon Hanready), Richard Warner (Homer Benson), David Warshofsky (William Hutton), Christopher Evan Welch (Edward McPherson), Armistead Wellford (Nehemiah Cleary), Charmaine White (Minerva), Julie White (Elizabeth Blair Lee), Scott Wichman (Charles Benjamin)

Runtime: 153 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Lincoln’ Review: 

Director Steven Spielberg (War Horse, The Adventures Of Tintin) is not normally known for his dialogue filled dramas, sure he loves to incorporate themes into his films but normally those films are also full of well-shot action sequences. But ‘Lincoln’ is a little different, ‘Lincoln’ sees Spielberg delve into a historic dialogue driven film that may be enjoyable to watch but certainly could have used a little bit more action.

Taken from a novel by Doris Kearns Goodwin ‘Lincoln’ sees President Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis – Nine, There Will Be Blood) ruling over a country that is self-destructing amidst a horrendous Civil War. Determined to see the Way bring some good to the country Lincoln decides that it is time to change the 13th Amendment and see slavery abolished.

But in order to do that Lincoln has to go against the suggestions of his right-hand man, William Seaward (David Strathairn – The Bourne Legacy, No God No Master) and begin to lobby other congress members (such as Clay Hawkins (Walton Goggins – Officer Down, Django Unchained)) so they will change their stance on slavery in The South.

Aside from that Lincoln also faces crisis on the family front with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally Field – The Amazing Spider-Man, TV’S Brothers & Sisters) struggling mentally after the loss of their child and his eldest son Robert Lincoln (Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Looper, The Dark Knight Rises) determined to be able to fight in the Way even if it means going against his father’s wishes.

The fact that Spielberg has gone for a full dialogue and drama onslaught does have it pros and cons. While it gives actor Daniel Day-Lewis the opportunity to pull off one of Hollywood’s best ever performances it also holds back the film. It becomes painfully obvious that screenwriter Tony Kushner comes from a theatre background when you realise that despite the film is set during the Civil War you hear more actors talking about the war then what you see of footage from it… it’s almost like Kushner has forgotten that in film it is okay to spend a little bit of cash and actually film something rather than just talk about.

Spielberg seems to also surprisingly under use some of his cast members. While Walton Goggins gets to showcase the acting ability that made him such a big hit on ‘The Shield’ and Tommy Lee Jones puts in one of his finest efforts for years, poor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is horribly under used for an actor of his talents while Sally Field is horribly miscast as Mary Todd Lincoln.

If you enjoy historically accurate dramatic films then you will enjoy ‘Lincoln’ but if you enjoy films with a little bit of action then this certainly isn’t the film for you.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Lincoln′: Check Episode #19 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Lincoln’. Dave’s other review of ‘Lincoln’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel

Rating: 3/5

IMDB Rating:Lincoln (2012) on IMDb

Summary:An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum s novels, centered on a new hero whose stakes have been triggered by the events of the previous three films.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 16th August, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 13th December, 2012

Country: United States

Director: Tony Gilroy

Screenwriter: Dan Gilroy, Tony Gilroy, Robert Ludlum (book)

Cast: Joan Allen (Pam Landy), John Arcilla (Joseph), Clayton J. Barber (Gene), Michael Berresse (Leonard), Dennis Boutsikaris (Terrence Ward), Sonnie Brown (Dr. Lieberburg), Michael Chernus (Arthur Ingram), Neil Brooks Cunningham (Dr. Han Hillcoat), Albert Finney (Dr. Albert Hirsch), Scott Glenn (Ezra Kramer), Tony Guida (Dr. Benezara), Adi Hanash (Outcome #1), Oscar Isaac (Outcome #3), Zeljko Ivanek (Dr. Donald Foite), Shane Jacobson (Mackie), Corey Johnson (Ray Wills), Stacy Keach (Retired Adm. Mark Turso USN), Jennifer Kim (Outcome #4), Page Leong (Mrs. Yun), Elizabeth Marvel (Dr. Connie Dowd), Donna Murphy (Dita Mandy), Edward Norton (Retired Col. Eric Byer, USAF), Michael Papajohn (Larry), Gita Reddy (Dr. Chandra), Jeremy Renner (Aaron Cross), Ali Reza (Dr. Talwar), Robert Christopher Riley (Outcome #6), Corey Stoll (Zev Vendel), David Strathairn (Noah Vosen), John Douglas Thompson (Lt. Gen. Paulsen), Rachel Weisz (Dr. Marta Shearing)

Runtime: 135 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘The Bourne Legacy’ Review:

It’s hard to fathom that a team could put together a film with the word Bourne in the title and not feature the character of Jason Bourne (made famous by Matt Damon), yet that is exactly what happens in The Bourne Legacy, a film that may not be as good as the others in the series but certainly holds its own.

This fourth film in the series follows Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner – The Avengers, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) an Outcome Agent who is left on the run after Outcome is official closed down by Eric Byer (Edward Norton – Moonrise Kingdom, Stone) after all the trouble that Jason Bourne has caused for the Blackbriar and Touchstone projects.

Of course closing down doesn’t simply mean shutting down the programs it instead means that agents such as Aaron and #3 (Oscar Isaac – Revenge For Jolly!, For Greater Glory: The True Story Of Cristiada) are to be assignated. After surviving the initial attack Aaron goes on the run and decides to rescue Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz – Dream House, The Deep Blue Sea) the one person who he believes can answer all his questions.

While director/screenwriter Tony Gilroy (Duplicity, Michael Clayton) does come up with some interesting ways to get around having Jason Bourne in the film (and to his credit they do work) he also decides not to go to far away from the formula created by director Paul Greengrass in the last three Bourne movies. Certainly the flashy editing, roof top chase and massive car chase are there for all to see.

Gilroy however does take a massive step this time in the way he brings characterization to his characters. He has the advantage of Aaron knowing about his past to aid him (whereas Jason Bourne was suffering from amnesia), but the amount of work put into the character of Dr. Marta Shearing makes her an extremely interesting character that the audience can quickly warm to.

As a result Rachel Weisz laps up the role and puts in a stunning performance, so good is she in fact that she overshadows Renner who to his credit again shows that he is capable of pulling off some amazing action sequences but also has the ability to act his way through the more dramatic dialogue parts of the film. It is also good to see Aussie Shane Jabobson (Beaconsfield, Surviving Georgia) getting a chance to show off his skills on the world stage.

The Bourne Legacy may not be the best film of the series but thanks to a creative storyline it does work despite the fact Matt Damon (aka Jason Bourne) is nowhere to be seen.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of The Bourne Legacy:  http://www.helium.com/items/2366760-movie-reviews-the-bourne-legacy-2012.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: The Bourne Legacy (2012) on IMDb