Reviews in Short: June 2024


Godzilla Minus One


Critics and moviegoers went wild with praise when this movie opened in 2023. It was a Godzilla movie for people who normally don’t care for Godzilla movies. It was a Japanese, relatively low-budget flick that put Hollywood blockbusters to shame.

I’m sorry, but there is a distinction between “Oh, that was better than I expected,” and “This is the best movie of the year!” The effusive praise, I suspect, was more a commentary on general unhappiness with Hollywood’s recent output than genuine accolades for a monster movie.

The plot:  A World War II Japanese pilot is twice shamed, once for failing to complete a kamikaze mission, then again for failing to destroy the Big Bad Monster when it first appears. When he returns to post-war Tokyo, the pilot inherits a makeshift family consisting of an attractive young woman and an orphan girl.

The human story is touching, but also predictable and marred by some typically overwrought acting. (I say typical, because a lot of Japanese movies feature actors who express emotion to such a degree that it seems comical to Western eyes — or at least to my eyes.)

But it’s a traditional story about family and redemption, which audiences seem to crave. And the special effects are well done. And the monster is fun.

Release: 2023  Grade: B


Would I watch it again?  Not likely. It would help if they cut 15-20 minutes from the runtime.


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