Godzilla (2014)

NEW RELEASE FILM REVIEW || Seen at Cineworld Wood Green, London, Saturday 17 May 2014 [2D] || My Rating 3 stars good


© Warner Bros. Pictures

Remaking and reimagining the Japanese creature feature Gojira (1954) seems to be a periodic interest of filmmakers, especially those in massively capitalised industries like Hollywood. Therefore, it’s a bold choice to choose as director Gareth Edwards, whose previous credit was a low-budget feature, Monsters (2010), renowned for its relative paucity of monsters and featuring his own self-made special effects. If this, then, is a big step up for him in terms of budget and impact, Edwards and his writer have also been quite canny in the way the film introduces its titular monster, whose existence is only hinted at for the first half of the running time.

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Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)


FILM REVIEW || Director/Writer Sean Durkin | Cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes | Starring Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes, Sarah Paulson, Hugh Dancy | Length 98 minutes | Seen at home (Blu-ray), London, Thursday 28 November 2013 || My Rating 4 stars excellent


© Fox Searchlight Pictures

I’ve left it a little too long since I saw this film to write an effective review, but if there’s anything I want to get across it’s how I really liked the way the atmosphere is handled by first-time director Sean Durkin. In fact, both the director and his lead actor, Elizabeth Olsen, are new to me and they certainly make their presence welcome. The film deals with rather fragile themes: a woman struggles away from a wilderness encampment to call her sister, and it slowly unfolds that she’d been inducted into a cult and must deal with years of conditioning that have removed certain inhibitions just as they’ve implanted paranoid suspicion. The title reinforces this in so far as Olsen is playing a young woman named Martha, who has been given the name Marcy May by the cult leader Patrick (John Hawkes), and who further subsumes her identity — as do all the female members of the cult — into that of ‘Marlene’ so far as the outside world is concerned.

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