I woke up this morning to see Twitter ablaze with thoughts on the new Godzilla vs. Kong (2021, Dir. Adam Wingard). While I personally thought the trailer looked kind of awful, but it still seemed like a good enough excuse to break out my Showa-Era Godzilla box set.
King Kong vs. Godzilla (1963, Dir. Ishirô Honda and Tom Montgomery)
The Showa-Era Godzilla films after the first are not something that I would go to if were in the market for some high art. Heck, they wouldn’t be the first things that I would look towards if I wanted to watch a good movie, but nonetheless they have their place. I put these movies on when I’m looking to have some fun. The rubber suits have aged poorly, and the effects look dated, but the films contain the perfect amount of cheese to create a light viewing experience. The stilted dialogue and head scratching decisions from the actors almost enhance the experience. Humanity seems so incompetent that a fight between monsters greatly superior to man makes even more sense.
After a week away from 2020 films, I found myself pulled back, at least for a bit. As I mentioned before, the past few years I’ve made a point of watching every film that’s nominated for an Oscar. The nominations are still a bit away, but we do know what many countries are submitting for contention. My local independent theater (SIFF) is doing virtual screening of a few such films, so after watching some 60s Kaiju schlock, I followed it up with an international film contender while supporting my local cinema at the same time.
My Little Sister (2020, Dir. Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond)
With all due respect to filmmakers Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond, My Little Sister is the exact kind of good but not great film that can easily be forgotten. Thankfully lead actress Nina Hoss, best known for her devastating performance in Phoenix (2015, Dir Christian Petzold), turns in another heart wrenching performance as Lisa, a famous play write whose twin brother Sven (Lars Eidinger) is undergoing cancer treatment. The film plays out as one would expect; Nina sees her emotions pushed trying to balance her relationship with her husband and kids with that of her sick brother. Her husband Martin (Jens Albinus) is inconsiderate given the circumstance and exacerbates Nina’s strife. It’s largely by the numbers in its execution, but a wonderful lead performance brings it to a solid watch.