Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

King of the Monsters

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

King of the Monsters

Article excerpt

'Godzilla' ***

This time, Godzilla has more than just man -- and his military might -- to tangle with, in a sci-fi smackdown pitting one mutant species against another.

Directed by Gareth Edwards, "Godzilla" is centered on a Japanese nuclear power plant, the workplace of Joe and Sandra Brody (Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche), married scientists who are the parents of an elementary school-age boy. Joe's suspicions about seismic activity that isn't like any associated with an earthquake are right, but his hunch cannot save the plant from collapsing and entombing some of the workers.

The action then vaults 15 years to present day when little Ford Brody is all grown up (now played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson), a U.S. Naval officer with a wife (Elizabeth Olsen) and an almost 5-year- old son. He is summoned from their home in San Francisco back to Japan and the Tokyo quarantine zone for the action.

Godzilla here confronts M.U.T.O.s (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms). When Godzilla goes old school, ripping the rails off the Golden Gate Bridge where fleeing children are trapped on a school bus, the movie is at its best. But Godzilla doesn't get enough screen time, and some of the most compelling characters disappear early.

Rated PG-13 for frightening mayhem and destruction.

Extras include a "Monarch: Declassified" multipart featurette and behind-the-scenes featurettes.

-- Post-Gazette

'The Fault in Our Stars' ***

Two and a half years after John Green's novel was published, the movie arrived riding a wave of anticipation and fervent hope that no one would ruin the cherished book.

And no one did, as director Josh Boone proves with this respectful adaptation.

"TFIOS" is about two teens with cancer. Hazel (Shailene Woodley) had thyroid cancer that damaged her lungs, and bone cancer cost Gus (Ansel Elgort) his lower right leg. But Hazel and Gus are not maudlin or wallowing in self-pity or saintly; they're smart and observant and lead rich, full lives invested with meaning, thanks to love. …

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