It’s been 60 years since Ishirō Honda’s thunderous Godzilla (1954), and since then the fearsome reptile has gone on to become an icon of pop culture spawning no fewer than 28 iterations. Only the sophomore effort from Gareth Edwards, the Monsters (2010) director was far from the obvious choice to bring the legendary beast to life once more, but thankfully the 29th iteration marks a triumphant return for the titular Kaiju.
It’s a while before we see him though, as the film begins by focusing on Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston), a nuclear technician whose wife died when the Japanese plant they worked at suffered a meltdown in 1999. Unconvinced of the ‘natural disaster’ cover up by the government, he’s been searching for answers on what really caused it in the 15 years since. Now a military bomb-disposal expert, his estranged son Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) tries desperately to convince his Dad to move on, but when signs point to history repeating itself and a mysterious monster reawakens the senior Brody is proved right.
If Ben Affleck’s directorial prowess wasn’t already evident with the excellent Gone Baby Gone (2007) and sophomore effort The Town (2010), with his third feature he has further cemented his status as one of the best current filmmakers in the business. One of the best releases of 2012 – an assertion given greater credence following the film’s recent Best Picture triumph – Argo is nail-biting cinema at its finest, blending tension and humour with an incredible story to impressive effect.
After a relatively quiet 2012 (Andrew Dominik’s superb recession-hit mob thriller Killing Them Softly aside), Hollywood mega-star Brad Pitt looks to have an extremely busy 2013 ahead of him, with no fewer than four films already on his slate. The second, and arguably the most anticipated of those features, is Marc Forster’s World War Z (2013), an adaptation of Max Brooks’ (son of Mel) popular novel of the same name, which documents the coming global zombie apocalypse. Along with an uninspired teaser poster, a 30-second sneak peek was released earlier in the week, followed by today’s full trailer. One thing is for certain – the z-heads on show aren’t of your slow, shuffling, garden variety.
Watch the trailer for World War Z at CineVue here.
After being well-received in the US earlier this year, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012) finally gets its UK release this week. Not for nothing has the animated franchise grossed over a billion dollars, and the latest energetic instalment deserves to be just as successful as its predecessors. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) and co are still itching to return to their home in NYC. Tracking their penguin pals to a casino in Monte Carlo, they soon find themselves on the run from the persistent French captain Chantel DuBois (fantastically voiced by Frances McDormand). Taking refuge in a travelling circus, the gang must impress an American talent scout if they ever hope to return to their beloved zoo.
Read the rest of this review at CineVue here.