Godzilla vs. Kong

Directed by Adam Wingard

This movie couldn’t have come at a better time. People are flocking to the partially reopened movie theatres just to get a taste of normal life, and this is what they are seeing. I don’t think nearly as many people would have seen this if it wasn’t for COVID, but I am really happy people are watching it because we all just need to have some fun.

All plot and characters aside, it is just an absolute throw-down smash and bash between the two heavyweight champions, Godzilla and Kong. There can only be one, and they absolutely tear each other up. How could that not be awesome? Well, it is awesome and I had a lot of fun watching it.

The puny human characters and their storylines got in the way of my fun a couple of times. Brian Tyree Henry’s character, the conspiracy theorist and podcaster was a lost opportunity. I have seen him in Atlanta and he is seriously funny, but his jokes in the movie mostly fell flat. He was really just an annoying stereotype that kept popping up on the screen. The journey to Middle-Earth was interesting, and I enjoyed how Kong was actually vital to the whole operation. It gave him something to do, something I could get behind, rather than just having him fight Godzilla.

The fight scenes, what I really came to see, were great. The first encounter between the two in the ocean was intense. Kong is jumping between battleships blowing everything up and Godzilla is jumping up out of the water after him like a great white shark on shark week. Then the last 45 minutes or so of the movie are just Kong and Godzilla ripping it up in downtown Hong Kong. That was all I ever wanted. The CGI is really well done and I loved how Kong fought like a human. He even takes the stance of a boxer a couple of times and lands a perfectly executed superman punch right to Godzilla’s dome piece.

The movie isn’t fantastic, but it isn’t trying to be. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. I get the sense that the filmmakers realized that this isn’t some artsy or story-driven film and just went all out to make it as enjoyable and fun to watch as possible. They did a great job of just making an action-packed entertaining movie and nothing more.

Godzilla vs. Kong might be available at your local theater with limited seating, or it is available to rent on HBO.

Rating: B


Zero Zero Zero

Directed by Stefano Sollima, Leonardo Fasoli, and Mauricio Katz, based on a book of the same title by Roberto Saviano

Zero Zero Zero follows three major components of a 900 million dollar cocaine deal– the buyers, the sellers, and the brokers. The buyers are the Italian mafia. The old leader of the Mafia has come out of hiding and is attempting to regain control and the loyalty of the families. The Sellers are the Mexican cartel. They are happy to package and ship the drugs but are unprepared for the attention it brings them. The brokers are an American family who runs an international shipping company. They have been smuggling drugs for years but after some unforeseen circumstances, they are left in over their heads.

This show is impressive. It has everything you would want in a crime show. It spans across the entire world and incorporates so many different languages and cultures. Yes, you have to read subtitles, grow up. The story itself has so many moving parts. It can go from the Italians feeding people to pigs to the Mexicans training a small army to the Americans trying to get out of a terrorist stronghold. When I first heard about it, I felt that it would suffer from trying to take on too much. It doesn’t. All the elements of the story are balanced perfectly. While the story takes on a lot, it still feels grounded because it follows one central thing– the biggest drug deal ever.

While it doesn’t suffer from its massive scale, some of the storytelling devices that are used to display that massive scale are a detriment to the show. I especially didn’t like how they handled it when two characters were split up. It would do the classic style of following one character until they need saving, then boom the other character shows up to save the day. Then it would shift to the other character’s perspective and what they did while separated to be able to come to save the day. It just felt so clunky and really slowed down the pacing of the story. Also, it completely takes the edge off of the big save the day moment because instead of enjoying it I was immediately taken to the past and had to basically watch the same thing happen again. This is done very frequently and while I can see why they had to do it so much, I feel like they could have found a better way to handle it. The ending also feels very anti-climatic. There was so much going on throughout the show and it felt like it was building up to a huge payoff, but it doesn’t. A few things happen that I could see coming from a mile away and everyone just goes about their lives like nothing happened.

All episodes of Zero Zero Zero are available to stream on Amazon Prime.

Rating: B-


Underrated Overrated for 3/30/21

Underrated- Electric Toothbrushes

The future is now old man. It is time to upgrade that old and crusty toothbrush. I recently bought an electric toothbrush and I can’t give it enough praise. I am expecting a standing ovation next time I walk into the dentist’s office because my teeth are pristine! Don’t get me wrong, I have always brushed twice a day and flossed regularly but my electric toothbrush has taken my oral hygiene to the next level. It is like a deep spring cleaning and a massage for your teeth. They are expensive with prices as high as 300$, but you don’t have to spend that much. I got mine for 90$ and while that is a solid chunk of change, it was worth it. It is an investment in your personal hygiene and they last forever.

Overrated- Pencils

To be frank, I hate pencils. The way writing looks in pencil, how I have to sharpen them, how the tip can just break off at any given moment like a time bomb in my hand, I hate it all. Use a pen. Yes, pen is permanent. Yes, there are words scribbled out all over my notes. I don’t care. It looks so much better than the graphite stains a pencil leaves behind. Writing with pen just feels better to me. Trust me on this one, buy a high-quality pen and tell me that it doesn’t feel better. I am currently using some Arteza pens that are amazing but really any pack of Pilot G2 pens will steamroll any pencil in quality, look, and feel. Take a moment to think before you write something down instead of preparing to erase and change everything.


Underrated Overrated for 3/23/21

Underrated- socks

I don’t mean those old tattered socks you have in your dresser, throw those pieces of trash OUT. I’m talking about the fresh well-fitting pair of socks that you should have in your dresser. I see so many of my friends with these ratty socks on their feet that they have had since high school and they have no idea what they are missing out on. A nice pair of socks can make all the difference. If you are working out, get a pair of running socks. They wick sweat off your feet to keep them dry and are tight on your feet to avoid that annoying sock clump in your shoe. If you are dressing up for a night of champagne and canapes, get a pair of dress socks. No, you can not wear slacks and dress shoes with your old smelly Nike socks even if they are black– who raised you? Dress socks are sleek and fashionable and they feel much better in dress shoes than other socks. For everyday life, get some variety! Get some socks in black, white, or maybe even navy blue. Get some no-shows, ankle highs, and some standard-length socks that fit well and look good. For some reason, people don’t think anyone notices their socks. I notice them and other people do too.

Overrated- whipped cream

You do not need whipped cream on top of that dessert. It isn’t even that good! People just think it’s good because they spray and spread it all over every sweet little pastry they can get their fingers around. It is just more sugar in an aerosol can that they can wave around like it’s a carnival or something– whoop-de-doo! Deserts are already delicious on their own and if they need whipped cream to be good then they aren’t. Then you have the people who slather whipped cream all over their fruit. No, fruit is already sweet and filled with natural sugars. God created fruit to be a tasty natural treat and is staring down at any unfortunate soul who does that. Whipped cream is just sugar made to be put on top of sugary things– what’s the point of that?


Good Time

Directed by the Safdie brothers, starring Robert Pattinson (2017)

This fast-paced highly volatile crime thriller went unnoticed by me and by a lot of moviegoers back in 2017. Now, after finally getting a chance to sit down and watch it I regret not going to see it in theaters. The best way I could describe this movie is stressful. The movie opens up with a drawn-out, tedious conversation between a psychiatrist and Nick Nikas, a mentally disabled young man played by Benny Safdie– one of the directors. I loved how slow this first scene feels. It set up the character of Nick while allowing me to begin sympathizing with him. Then, Nick’s brother Connie, played by Robert Pattinson, bursts into the room to take Nick away. The pacing instantly switches to the rushed and frantic style of the rest of the film. The two brothers head straight into the bank robbery, not even giving me a chance to take a breath or adjust to the new speed of events taking place. Of course, it doesn’t go exactly as planned and Connie is left doing anything within his power to free his brother.

As the story follows Connie through his desperate and manipulative schemes to free his brother I felt progressively more and more stressed out. I might have even started sweating at one point, and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. It really pulled me into the story and made me feel as if I was there with Connie, yelling at him to stop and think for just a second. Everything he tries to do leads to another thing, which leads to another thing, which leads to another thing, creating this painful cycle where nothing is going is right and everything is going wrong. The movie takes place over the course of only 2 days, and this just played into the intensity and the urgency of the events that take place. This along with the run time, one hour and forty minutes, put a weight on me while I was watching because I was constantly worrying in the back of my mind about how Connie was going to pull this off.

Robert Pattinson acted his ass off! An amazing performance from him, how he portrayed the sheer desperation to help his brother while also showing that Connie is very much a horrible and manipulative person was very well done. I have been loving watching his journey as an actor and how he finally has been given opportunities to show off how much talent he has. My favorite character was Ray, played by Buddy Duress. He is a criminal who has just been released on parole who gets tangled up with Connie. The character was comical but it wasn’t taken too far as to be goofy. He had a seriousness to him that fit in with the story and the themes of the movie well while giving me a welcomed laugh.

I couldn’t find too many things to complain about that were major issues, but one thing I did have a problem with was the setup of the relationship between Connie and Nick. I felt as if I was just dropped into their lives right as the action was starting without enough background information about the two. Throughout the movie, the brothers’ tragic past is hinted at a couple of times. I would have loved to get to know more about it. If there was just one scene about what they have been through together, instead of just hinting at it, it would have added even more emotion and realism to the story. I realize that this was probably a decisive choice made by the Safdie brothers to build on to the disorienting effects of the movie but I would have enjoyed a scene near the beginning of the movie just to give a little backstory information.

Good Time is available on Netflix and available to rent on almost every other streaming service out there. If you are interested in the film or liked it as much as I did, here is an interview with the Safdie brothers by NPR.

Rating: A-