Movies

Now showing in Taos: “Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

Big green guy makes a mess of big cities along with his rowdy pals

By Rick Romancito
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 5/31/19

Epic. That’s about all I can say about the new “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” With the sound cranked up high enough to jiggle your synapses, the movie is a visual and aural experience unlike many in cinemas since the Sensurround in 1974’s “Earthquake.”

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Movies

Now showing in Taos: “Godzilla: King of the Monsters’

Big green guy makes a mess of big cities along with his rowdy pals

Posted

Epic. That’s about all I can say about the new “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.”

With the sound cranked up high enough to jiggle your synapses, the movie is a visual and aural experience unlike many in cinemas since the Sensurround in 1974’s “Earthquake.”

This movie, if you aren’t geeked out on Japanese kaiju lore, follows up the events in 1994’s “Godzilla” (not the Matthew Broderick version) in which the big green guy dukes it out with a pair of MOTUs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism). It also follows up “Kong: Skull Island” (2017), which was set during the end of the Vietnam era. This batch of new Hollywood films are, of course, based on the monster movie universe owned by Toho, a Japanese film, theater and distribution company that has churned out dozens of gigantic monster (known as kaiju) films since 1954’s “Gojira.”

With “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” we’ve entered a realm in which skyscraper-sized creatures have been reawakened from their ancient-world slumber to throw down as a way to re-establish a kind of legendary balance. We know this because a covert crypto-zoological agency called Monarch, headed by the scientist Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Dr. Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins), have been working to allow that to happen. Dr. Serizawa, by the way, was a character in the original 1956 film of the same name.

See, humans haven’t done very well as stewards of the Mother Earth. We’ve overpopulated the planet; created pollution that poisons the skies, oceans and soil; and fought destructive wars from which we are unable to recover. That’s why Gojira and the rest of his buddies have returned: To put us in our rightful place, not as masters but as servants to these ancient gods.

According to Serizawa, there have been 17 (“and counting”) kaiju that have been awakened. Among these are creatures known to monster movie fans since we were kids: King Ghidorrah, Rodan, Mothra. And, according to Serizawa, some are protectors and others are villains. Each has their origins on earth, but Ghidorrah is an alien creature who came here on a meteor.

Director Michael Dougherty’s film, though, isn’t a parade of monsters smashing buildings right and left. Its plot is held together by a broken family that got that way after one of the children belonging to Mark and Dr. Emma Russell (Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga) was killed in the mayhem from Godzilla’s 2014 battle with the MOTU in San Francisco. Now, Emma and her daughter Madison (“Stranger Things’” Millie Bobby Brown) are together after mom has built a device that can detect an alpha predator’s call, thereby rendering it docile. A secret group led by Johan Alan (Charles Dance) wants it so they can control all the monsters for their own nefarious reasons. Dad, on the other hand, couldn’t handle the grief, dived into the bottle, and left Emma years ago. Now, the Monarch group wants Mark to help them find Emma to prevent her from turning the Kaiju loose.

The movie is suspenseful, full of eyeball filling spectacle, and teeth-rattling special effects, but it also has a human story through which we see the epic battles. And, for those aforementioned kaiju-lore geeks, the soundtrack music is filled with wonderful references to our favorite monsters from the Toho universe. One that isn’t but still rings with pop culture reference is Blue Oyster Cult’s “Godzilla” heard over the end credits. Remember this lyric?

History shows again and again

How nature points out the folly of man

Stay for the end of the credits for a brief bonus scene.

Tempo grade: B+

“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is rated PG-13 for sequences of monster action violence and destruction, and for some language.

It is screening daily at Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

Also showing in Taos

The Mustang

MPAA rating: R for language, some violence and drug content.

Taos Community Auditorium

In this drama from director and co-writer Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, a convict named Roman Coleman (Matthias Schoenaerts), serving time in a rural Nevada prison, struggles to escape his violent past. He is required to participate in an "outdoor maintenance" program as part of his state-mandated social rehabilitation.

Spotted by a no-nonsense veteran trainer (Bruce Dern) and helped by an outgoing fellow inmate and trick rider (Jason Mitchell), Roman is accepted into the selective wild horse training section of the program, where he finds his own humanity in gentling an especially unbreakable horse.

Film is based on the director’s short film “Rabbit” (2014), about a female prisoner entrusted with the titular animal as part of a correctional facility's “pet partnership” program.

Co-stars Connie Britton, Gideon Adlon and Josh Stewart.

This film will be screened at 2 p.m. Sunday (June 2) and at 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday (June 3-5) at the Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. For tickets and additional information, call (575) 758-2052 or visit tcataos.org.

Rocketman

MPAA rating: R for language throughout, some drug use and sexual content.

Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres

This film from director Dexter Fletcher is described as “an epic musical fantasy about the incredible human story of Elton John's breakthrough years.”

The film follows the fantastical journey of transformation from shy piano prodigy Reginald Dwight into international superstar Elton. This inspirational story — set to Elton John's most beloved songs and performed by star Taron Egerton — tells the universally relatable story of how a small-town boy became one of the most iconic figures in pop culture.

The movie also stars Jamie Bell as Elton's longtime lyricist and writing partner Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden as Elton's first manager, John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard as Elton's mother Sheila Farebrother.

It is screening daily at Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

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