Doctor Strange & Shin Godzilla Movie Reviews!

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Doctor Strange is another entry into the ever expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, which follows the prideful fall and humbling rise of a prominent neuro-surgeon named Dr. Stephen Strange. Dr. Strange is an egotistical jerk who treats high profile patients, not to help them, but to increase his reputation as one of the most sought after doctors in the world. He rivals Dr. House from the television show as being the number one A-hole! One night while driving, he is talking with his aide on the phone and arrogantly dismissing potential patients, (one of whom is an Easter egg) and he becomes distracted and crashes.  The injuries to his hands are so severe that he can never practice surgery again. Dr. Strange becomes a recluse and searches for ways to improve his health so he can practice medicine again. This leads him to travel East and come across the mystical arts that eventually make him Doctor Strange!

The movie itself is rather straight forward, being that it is an origin story.  Doctor Strange discovers there are ways to tap into different dimensions to call up powers, that we would call magic. He struggles to master his skill while rebelling against his teacher, and then he has to use his limited skills to defend his new found community and world from a serious threat. Although it is a by the numbers Marvel origin movie, it is funny, creative and an interesting look at the magical side of the MCU.  I doubt the movie will do Captain America: Winter Soldier or Civil War numbers, but it is a solid addition to the Marvel movie stable. Regardless, you will be entertained, if you are a Marvel fan or not.

Grade: B

Roshawn: A

Kameron: A

 SHIN GODZILLA

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Weeks ago, I went to see a limited release of Shin Godzilla, a Japanese reboot of the famous Godzilla franchise. Amazingly, I have a teacher at work who is more of a Godzilla fanatic than I am, so he told me about the film and we met up to see it.  The movie is completely a Japanese remake, so there were only subtitles in English during the film, but that did not take away from the movie going experience. Now, I am a big fan of Godzilla, and I wanted to enjoy the new American Godzilla that was released a couple of years ago, but I was disappointed in the lack of Godzilla in that film.  Well let me tell you, compared to Shin Godzilla, the new American Godzilla is a screen hog! They claimed this was a Godzilla film, but he must have been in this two hour plus movie for all of about 8 minutes. Yes I said 8 minutes! This film was really poking at the ineptness of the Japanese government following the Fukushima nuclear disaster.  The filmmakers showcased how democracy and bureaucratic red tape can stifle effective responses to a crisis.  When Godzilla first arrived on the scene, the movie showed how ineffective the Japanese system was for responding to the crisis.  This was good for the first twenty minutes, but the filmmakers decided to parody this for the entire film! You basically spent the movie watching a group of government workers go from one conference room to another, talking about what they can do! Boring! I dozed off a couple of times during the movie! Can you believe I slept during a Godzilla film?! That is unimaginable!

I can sum up Shin Godzilla in a nutshell. Imagine watching C-SPAN on television for two hours, and then seeing Godzilla for 8 minutes out of those two hours!

Grade: D

Gonze: A

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2 comments

  1. I initially gave Shin Godzilla a B+/A, but I wonder if I should downgrade it to a flat B, although I REALLY want to see it again to make that determination. Again, I walked away very impressed by the movie for two main reasons:

    1) It harkened back to original ’54 movie in its dark, serious treatment of Godzilla. Godzilla wasn’t a friend to children or a goofball that dropkicks Megalon while Jet Jaguar holds him in place. Don’t get me wrong, I love that era of Godzilla as well, but this is Godzilla as originally envisioned by Ishiro Honda and Tomoyuki Tanaka–a monster that represents serious tragedies in serious times (as you said, in this case the recent typhoon/nuclear meltdown, back then the original atomic bombings by the U.S.).
    2) It’s as close as we’ll ever get, I think, to a look at what would actually happen in real life if a huge monster wandered ashore and started trashing Tokyo. I appreciated the documentary-like approach.

    All that being said, you’re absolutely right that it got REALLY long-winded at times with the C-SPAN stuff (they could have trimmed 20 minutes and the movie would be better off for it). Also, the movie is essentially one long series of quick cuts, and that approach is miserable when subtitled into English. I’d really like to watch a good dub of this film and see what it’s like when I’m not trying to keep up with the subs–at times I felt like I was drowning in both dialogue and the government official titles strewn across the screen, and sometimes I just gave up because of the sensory overload.

    One point of contention: I’m not too sure that Godzilla appeared more in Godzilla ’14 than he did here. Godzilla was in 9min:56sec of Godzilla ’14 (2hr3min total movie runtime; that is, Godzilla was in 8% of the movie). Shin Godzilla is too new to have that kind of analysis from what I can find, but I’d estimate that he was in the movie about just as much, maybe a tad less. The key difference: in Godzilla ’14, there were also the MUTOs, so even when Godzilla wasn’t around, there was other monster action–by contrast, in Shin Godzilla, there’s just more talking.

    Either way, I’m content to agree to disagree to a certain extent, but still, here’s to a new start to the Japanese franchise and the continuing American movies…two competing Godzilla franchises, what a time to be a Godzilla fan!

    (Note: https://kinja.com/dszmigiel is an interesting site with some Godzilla-related info, including his screentime and screentime:runtime ratio in all Godzilla films preceding Shin Godzilla).

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    1. Well said Gonze, I will concede that you probably have the times down much better than I do. I can honestly say, you are a true Master of Godzilla lore! I never thought I would meet one, but I have!

      Like

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