Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024)

Now In Theaters Nationwide.

“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” in a nutshell:
Kong: Man, I just got my ass kicked. Help a Titan out?
Godzilla: Say less, bruv. We on this bitch.
Mothra: Allow it.

The best thing to remember about “The New Empire” going in to it is that Adam Wingard’s movie is for the monsters this time. There’s a lot less stuff about bureaucracy, and shady governments, and Armageddon. Now that we’ve hit on all those notes, Wingard gives us what can plainly be described as a fun, classic Saturday matinee. It’s a tribute to the classic monster mashes from Godzilla’s heyday where King Kong is the hero who calls upon a few of his friends, one of whom being Godzilla, to take down a new potential threat to mankind. A challenger to the throne, if you will.

So much of it works as I was hooked on the journey we’re taken on with King Kong.

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Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

It’s pretty much confirmed with “King of the Monsters” that the producers are going for a monster universe fitted for the more general audience. Director Michael Dougherty is back in this sequel to 2014’s bold “Godzilla” that pretty much establishes the kaiju movie universe for this era. Established as “Titans” the movie monsters from the classic Godzilla movie series all make appearances in some form or another, and boy are they terrifying. While the original monsters were all pretty scary, the way that director Dougherty visualizes them is just downright mind blowing. The monsters are all specters and reapers of the apocalypse, all unmatched in their power that are back to basically reclaim the planet for themselves.

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You Have to See This! The War of the Gargantuas (1966)

Currently Streaming on: MAX, Pluto TV, and Amazon Prime Video

Something of a pseudo-sequel to the Kaiju monster movie “Frankenstein Conquers the World,” Ishirō Honda’s follow up is a movie that’s begging to be remade. It’s a great film all on its own, but there are so many scenes here that would look incredible on a modern screen, including one moment when a fisherman looks in to the deep water only to look down at the massive monster Gaira who is lurking at the very bottom. That said, “The War of the Gargantuas” is a movie that thankfully doesn’t require too much foot work from the original film to understand what’s happening. Even though the monsters Gaira and Sonda are referred to as “Frankensteins,” they’re two sides of the same coin.

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The Bootleg Files: Wolfman vs. Godzilla

BOOTLEG FILES 854: “Wolfman vs. Godzilla” (unfinished fan film).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube and Internet Archive.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A right clearance issue.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

From a creative artist’s perspective, I could never understand the appeal of making fan films. I appreciate when teens and pre-teens create these cinematic tributes – there’s something very charming when the James Bond or Star Wars orbits are reimagined by an alternative universe of the under-18 crowd. But when adults spend a great deal of time and money in creating fan films, it usually leaves me cold.
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Destroy All Monsters (1968)

The Japan Society will host the “Destroy All Monsters” 55th Anniversary Screening at 7 pm on Friday, June 16th. Tickets will be available at japansociety.org/film. This screening will take place at New York City, inside Japan Society’s landmarked headquarters at 333 East 47th Street, one block from the United Nations.

I admit to being one of those people that used to kind of zone out during the human parts of the “Godzilla” movies and then really pay attention during the big fights. I’ve always liked “Godzilla” but “Destroy All Monsters” has always evaded me for some reason. When I used to watch it on network TV it never aired, and I always had a hard time finding it on VHS. “Destroy All Monsters” is basically the “Avengers: Endgame” of its time. It’s the all out assault of giant kaiju duking it out and wreaking havoc on Earth, and director Ishiro Honda throws in everything but the kitchen sink.

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Five More Great Minority Movie Heroes (to Root For)

It’s Black History Month once again, and in celebration of the month, I thought it’d be a great time to continue our saga of Great Minority Movie Heroes. With diversity becoming more prominent in modern pop culture, we’re witnessing an influx of people of color leading epic sagas, and fighting evil. I, for one, am enjoying it. Here are five more Great Minority Movie Heroes you can root for.

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Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) [4K UHD/Blu-Ray/Digital]

It’s surprising that in a film climate where extended universes fail from the starting gate, that the Kong/Godzilla modern film universe has been a quiet success. The crown jewel so far is “Godzilla vs. Kong,” a pretty great monster clash that pits monkey against lizard, and delivers some great rumbles between the pair. Director Adam Wingard is more than up to the challenge of giving fans the long awaited movie clash, and as expected, “Godzilla vs. Kong” met every expectation that I had.

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