May 31st, 2019 Releases

Sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it’s working perfectly fine. That’s the case with Godzilla: King of the Monsters. At the end of the day monster movies are monster movies. You can’t really do them too badly unless you neglect to show the creatures causing some form of mass destruction. Luckily, Godzilla: KotM doesn’t neglect them, but does it’s best to have them be the focal point of the film, which is their rightful place. There are human characters that are spliced into the story to help progress the narrative or muddy it down depending on how you look at it. Thankfully the story is more about which titan will be king of the mountain in the end: Godzilla or Ghidorah? With plenty of entertaining battle scenes, completely far-fetched situations & more explosions than the Fourth of July there’s enough here to entertain anyone who loves these kinds of films. If action movies aren’t your thing, then maybe sit this one out.

Sidenote: If you do find yourself in the theater, just disregard the Grand Canyon size plot hole with the Congressional hearing and the US Army. No need stressing out about that one.

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MA was miscategorized from the get go. This isn’t a horror film. I’ll give it the thriller aspect and would even add in suspense. MA was a fun hour & 40 minute journey of showing the stupidity of teenagers, the desire to feel accepted & the act of getting revenge at any costs. Octavia Spencer is typically known for her supporting roles, never really taking the lead, but it’s a treat to see her take on the spotlight. She is able to quickly rotate the dial from somber to all smiles to evil glares that could pierce your soul. She does her best to manipulate those around her whether it’s former classmates who still live in town or befriending teenagers who sheepishly ask her to buy them liquor. MA has it’s twists & turns, some that you see coming & others that catch you off guard, yet all of them are welcome. The younger cast do an okay job of helping to progress the story with Diana Silvers’ character, Maggie, being the only one out of the bunch with brains, yet even she falls victim to the stereotypical “horror” film lead female heroine adjacent to Spencer’s dangerous Sue Ann. One of my favorite things about this movie was that director Tate Taylor (who made “The Help.” What?!) set up a certain plot detail early on with the introduction of Luke Evans character Ben simply to knock it down an hour later in the film.

Sidenote: My biggest question with this film was how did Allison Janney go from winning an Oscar for “I, Tonya” to having 6 lines in this?

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I’ll preface this by saying I don’t know a ton about Elton John’s life & honestly I might only know about 10-15 of his songs. My knowledge of him is limited to say the least. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying this movie. The tag line of this film from Paramount Pictures is, “A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years,” and that’s exactly what this film is. A retelling of Reginald Dwight’s life that lead him to becoming the over-the-top superstar that we know as Elton John. Director Dexter Fletcher created a musical that walks us through Elton’s upbringing using songs from his storied career that fit nearly perfectly into the situation he was dealing with at the time.

From start to finish, Taron Edgerton, crushes it as Elton John. He sings his own vocals, (unlike some other musical biopics that came out recently…) recreating nearly 20 classics, while using his acting chops to portray John’s larger than life personality. Edgerton puts on display his range as an actor throughout the movie from showing a flamboyant side he hasn’t shown in other roles, while also being able to lean into the depression that Elton suffered with during the early years of his career.

The supporting cast doesn’t leave Edgerton hanging either, as Bryce Dallas Howard stands out as Sheila Dwight, Elton John’s mother. Her victimized nature tied together with her passiveness left much to be desired from the person who was supposed to be the most nurturing person in his life. Jamie Bell plays Bernie Taupin, Elton’s best friend & song writer, providing one of the few genuine friendships that Elton experiences in his life. And Richard Madden rounds out the supporting cast playing John Reid, John’s boyfriend & manipulative agent that you quickly grow to hate.

Rocketman is easily one of the best movies I’ve seen so far in 2019. Whether you’re a fan of Elton John, simply like musicals, want to escape into a fantasy world or are just looking for a movie to see; you can’t go wrong with this one. The ups & downs of Elton’s life are worth seeing on the big screen.

Sidenote: Check out “Your Song,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocketman,” & “I’m Still Standing” from the soundtrack. They’re really good!

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**Trailers can be accessed clicking on image.**

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