Godzilla Minus One – Tone is everything.

The sense of awe that the director and visual effects supervisor, Takashi Yamazaki himself, clearly has for the iconic Japanese monster, is not to be argued with. Oppenheimer was a flawless script so that slightly tops it but this got the runners-up Film of the year 2023 for me, that’s settled. Godzilla has always been a cautionary tale against the use of Nuclear weapons. You cannot defer damage to someone else with what you do not fully understand. That in essence has been the argument for me. The cinematic rhythm and choices are wonderful throughout. They ensure you stay locked into the themes and the characters. Human characters, ah, actually relatable people. Flawed, scared, and in desperate need of love. That ensures that when Akira Ifukube‘s main theme kicks in, you get ALL OF THE FEELS.

So, when the big bad cat finally screams like hell, you get the whole sense of, history of, wonderful destruction and mayhem. The loss is real, you lose people, you lose stability, and you lose time. Human characters have all the dimensions necessary to engage. The use of progressive trance-like music is very very tasty to me personally. Also, we all remember it won best the Visual Effects Oscar. Not that every choice is perfect but most of them are. So that’s nice to see. The choice of framing is always very very deliberate so the team could re-iterate to improve, instead of, to re-start a new scene every other time an executive suggests something stupid. There is a vision to build real suspense, real stakes and that’s probably why a lot of people have said this is the best Godzilla film of all time so for me, I sure feel like it right now. Definitely worth watching but disappointingly only illegally available. Enjoy that one.

There was a wannabe animated cartoon from the 90s movie this year. Godzilla x Kong – First of all, why x? Second of all, what the hell? Third of all, why does the director of the Hollywood production, think that scenes by the “Monsters” within the monsterverse themselves are cool? Anyway, that’s all I have to say about the Hollywood films. There was potential, yes, in the Gareth Edwards Godzilla film from 2014. But then they tried to be too smart with Godzilla. Always annoyed the viewers during their first watch by cutting away from a big fight that was teased for a large chunk of the previous sequence. And ruined first impressions rarely allow for real praise later on.

Is there No Way Home, Spiderman?

What happens when an IP tries to imitate its past? The latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes inspiration from the past and the future.

Phase four has driven us towards the multiverse with hiccups and missteps. Loki did it one way, Doctor Strange another. Ultimately there should be an internal logic that makes sense throughout the films. You could get into that, but it would defeat the purpose of entertainment.

So who is your favourite Live-Action Spiderman? Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire told a different story. One where every swing of the wall-crawler across New York City was the first of its kind on a large screen. Exciting, impactful and full of emotion. But after a few days of reading other people’s opinions on Twitter, Rotten Tomatoes and whatnot, I feel like people have this incredible recency bias that compels them to rate the latest adventure as the best. I feel like over time, as we move away from this initial hype, it will come down as a very derivative movie relying heavily on what came before. I mean, think about it. In terms of Peter’s story, he is often secondary to other characters on screen doing the cool stuff. First, J. Jonah Jameson reveals his identity to the world, then MIT decides to not take them in for their undergraduate programme. Then Doctor Strange casts the spell that breaks reality. Then Aunt May convinces Peter to try to cure the previous generations villains. Then previous Spider-Men take all the applause as they appear in a muddled way due to nostalgia, then Willem Dafoe stops Peter from trying to save MJ which gives Andrew Garfield some closure. The point is, what incredible thing did Tom Holland’s Peter Parker do? Nothing but be a passive protagonist.

It did feel like a fan made this film. It broke box office records, but I think it will not stay in the lexicon for any of its current moments. All the cheer and excitement was to see the previous two SpiderMen come back to dawn their costumes. Another point of frustration is that they underplay so many of the seemingly unbelievable events with a silly joke. No one would behave like that if an actual person from another universe visited.
Perhaps they don’t believe in their verisimilitude. The MCU-Sony Spiderman films have not been my favourites. That’s because I have felt the first iterations to be good enough and definitive. For example, if you admire a word, dream about how you’d feel if you too had tiny spikes in your hand that make you crawl on walls, then someone would come and say that look, that thing you loved is now something else, something new, you’d feel weirded out as well. Cinema greats like Martin Scorcese and others who have raised concerns about Marvel movies do have a point when they say that these kinds of films are not cinema. They feel like theme park rides where they don’t seem to have any relatable consequences as any threat could be CGI’d away instantly.

Their stakes don’t seem high enough for the main characters, even though the world around them is folding onto itself in the mirror dimension. With a great past comes a mediocre imitative present but a hopeful future.

Luca – Pixar Works Emotions Like An Equation

What is a sea monster? I mean, what could someone who lives underwater be a metaphor for? Luca and Alberto mention their dreams multiple times about owning a Vespa and travelling the world together. They just want to be free, or perhaps they just don’t wanna be tied down.

Luca is a sea monster who lives underwater. He does some daily chores like feeding the fish and staying out of sight of the humans. He is told the world above is a dangerous place. Yet, he is inquisitive. He just wants to glimpse the potential of a different world. Different from the daily. Different from the mundane. He finds another soul like his own, Alberto, who waits for his father to show up. But by the looks of things, he won’t show up anytime soon. Both the boys instantly hit it off. They dream alike, so they experiment with their newfound freedom together. Alberto introduces the inner critical voice that cautions them to test their limits, as Bruno. And that they must silence Bruno to do whatever it is that they want to do. 

And then we meet Guilia. And one cannot help feel the tickle of delight at the thought of another trio like Harry, Ron and Hermione interacting. Their story is delightful. And at every stage, it grows in a precisely calculated manner. It develops as if carved carefully after understanding the rules of storytelling. Perfectly times and beautifully drawn hence realised in picturesque scenes. Perhaps one flaw is the one-dimensional bully who is the obvious bad boy too old to participate in the Portorosso Cup Race. He muscles his way around the community of scared boys. And targets them to follow his plans due to fear of being punched otherwise. Besides that, there’s so much to love about Pixar’s Luca, including the always spectacular animation, charming voice cast and melodic music. 

Director Enrico Casarosa, Before joining Pixar, Casarosa worked as a storyboard artist at Blue Sky Studios on Ice Age. In 2002, Casarosa joined Pixar, where he worked as a story artist on CarsRatatouilleUp and Cars 2. It’s great to see his growth as a true artist and then allowed to helm a story from his native land. 

Venom – Why Tom Hardy?

I mean, that’s my central argument. Why cast a great physical actor like Tom Hardy for this film?

Venom is another SuperHero movie by Sony just because they own many of the Spiderman characters from Marvel. I do believe that most movies are made because they can. And in the present climate, every studio wants to be on top of the franchise game.

I remember admiring films, even really loving them. But not many of them recently have been that good or memorable. Maybe it’s me, looking from a perspective where I look through like an x-ray. I focus on the mechanics of the film rather than the emotional impressions it has. It seems to me that Tom Hardy was told this would be different. Maybe a character study. So he does give Eddie Brock a more physical presence with the subtle things he does with his shoulders. Keeping them high when Eddie Brock starts off as a superstar reporter and then this interview with a pseudo-Elon Musk like character completely turns his life upside down. That makes them limp and does enact his anxiety and panicky episodes physically.

Eddie already knows part of the rumours that surround Carlton Drake aka Riot, played by Riz Ahmed in a very exaggerated sort of way. So nothing is really a mystery in this film as the plot evolves. We can see from the first few minutes where this is going to end. And this predictability is a hindering factor.

Another argument is regarding the third act. I could not distinguish the CGI fighting in this film from flashes that came through from Black Panther. The models and lighting in the final boss fight looked so shiny and fake that I was like what is this shit? So those moments really made me want to throw up. I had such a negative response to those scenes that’s all of what I remember from the film.

Also, in comics or video games, Venom always only engaging with Spiderman in front of him to terrorize. This is specifically based in San Fransisco to stay away from Spiderman. It seeks to give Venom an arc as a protagonist while we’d rather see him get down and deceitful. The problem is that it made a total worldwide gross of $856.1 million. What’s hopeful though is that Andy Serkis is going to be directing Venom 2 with Tom Hardy returning. It will feature Woody Harelson as Carnage. Hopefully, this allows the next film to be a bit more emotionally arousing.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind — In a Bad Mood

I didn’t even remember that Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst and Elijah Wood were also in this movie until I saw it again. But that’s not anyone remembers anyway. They remember the orange sweatshirt and that hair colour changing from orange to blue. What’s the shade she mentions in the train scene again? I wanted to see someone suffer, to be honest. And Jim Carrey is one of my favourite actors really, so he was the one I chose. I hadn’t seen it in a long long time so it was time to revisit it with fresh mean eyes. I don’t know why but a lot of film endings have been disappointing me recently. I can’t quite put a finger on what is it exactly. They have not been what I’ve wanted them to be. Some are maybe incomplete story arcs like Infinity War, those really piss me off. There are not supposed to be cliffhangers in a theatrical presentation. It’s not a weekly fucking soap opera. I strongly feel that movies need to have the balls to end a thought, have clarity about the destinies of its characters as a film ends even if you may go on to tell more stories in sequels but end one adventure with a satisfactory resolution. Emotional catharsis is what we look for when we invest two hours in a feature presentation, not two fucking post-credit scenes to advertise come back after a year or two to know what really happened or how it really ends. I can understand that it’s probably not a popular opinion but I don’t give a fuck. Not tonight at least.

Joel is shy, awkward and closed out. Clementine being the eccentric, impulsive orange-haired girl chooses a man like Joel because she likes the fact that he doesn’t approach her. That’s sweet and happens more often than many films like to depict. The atmosphere is cold as fuck. There is snow everywhere and people wear layers upon layers of grey overcoats which one would never consider as a setting for a romantic movie. But this is about a concept which is ‘Would you go about getting the memories of a failed relationship erased simply if you could?’ It’s a good idea which is well executed in terms of exposition by actually showing details about characters in non-linear memories. I believe most people with failed relationships would have wanted that at some point. Only if I could get back to a time when I didn’t know that person at all. Or the second best thing would be to erase them from your memory in a way that’s complete and that would help you move on in life. Of course, an impulsive girl like Clementine would go for it the instant it crosses her mind. And Of course, someone introspective and thoughtful like Joel would have second thoughts midway and would try his best to hide her in parts of his brain that no one else can access.

What does bother me at the end is that they go back in the real world as if it was a memory by taking the same shots as the beginning of the film where Joel skips his usual train to work and makes an impulsive decision to take a train to someplace new. They meet in the same way and this time they hear the worst comments about each other through tapes they recorded when they chose to undertake the procedure to get the memories erased. And still, despite knowing the eventual outcome where Joel will get bored of the sex and Clementine will start to hate herself for becoming boring chose to say “Okay” to all that. That’s the rubbish romanticism that most people relate to. I mentioned in the title “In a Bad Mood”. What would’ve been a more believable scenario is if Joel chose to go meet the erased Clementine and thank her for the memories despite the fact that it didn’t work out. Because to be honest they weren’t really good for each other if you think about it. They didn’t really respect each other based on the tapes. Romantic love can never work without respect. It’s hopeful ignorant fantasy that we wish we could live but none of us ever do successfully and for long enough to have happy memories.

Recommended track: Everybody’s got to learn sometime.