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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Michael Dougerty
Cast:
Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown
Writing Credits:
Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields

Synopsis:
The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.

Box Office:
Budget:
$170 million.
Opening Weekend
$47,776,293 on 4108 screens.
Domestic Gross
$109,432,609.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
French Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Latin Spanish
French
Portuguese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Latin Spanish
Portuguese

Runtime: 132 min.
Price: $35.99
Release Date: 8/27/2019

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Michael Dougerty, Executive Producer Zach Shields and Actor O’Shea Jackson Jr.
• ”Monsters 101” Featurettes
• ”Evolution of the Titans” Featurettes
• ”Monarch In Action” Featurettes
• ”Force of Nature” Featurette
• “Monster Tech” Featurette
• “Monsters Are Real” Featurette
• “Welcome to the Monsterverse” Featurette
• 2 Deleted Scenes
• Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


Godzilla: King of the Monsters [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 20, 2019)

A sequel to 2014’s Godzilla, 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters expands that film’s universe. The 2014 story revealed the existence of “Titans”, enormous creatures with amazing powers.

In addition to gigantic lizard Godzilla, other Titans emerge, and Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) helps develop a technology that allows the user to calm or influence the creatures’ actions. However, eco-terrorists headed by Alan Jonah (Charles Dance) want this for their own purposes, so they kidnap Emma and her daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown).

Monarch acts as the organization tasked with the study of the Titans. Its representatives Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Dr. Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) approach Emma’s ex Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) to help find her and Madison.

While that intrigue occurs, a three-headed Titan called Monster Zero gets released. A massive threat, Monarch attempts to get the other Titans to stop it.

King exists as part of a burgeoning series, as it connects to both the 2014 Godzilla and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island. These films build toward a confrontation between those two characters in 2020’s Godzilla Vs. Kong.

I can’t help but wonder if the studio regrets this cinematic path, as King didn’t manage to find a massive audience. Granted, neither the 2014 Godzilla nor Skull Island did huge business, as both made between $500 million and $600 million worldwide.

I won’t sneeze at those numbers, but it seems clear the studio hoped for much more. As it stands, both the 2014 Godzilla and Skull Island turned minor profits.

That’s much more than can be said for King. With a $170 million budget, it brought in a relatively weak $384 million worldwide, a large decline from its two predecessors and a figure that ensures it lost money.

Because I like the genre, I wish I could claim that King deserved a better fate. Unfortunately, like the two prior giant creature movies, King becomes an inconsistent pleasure at best.

As I write this, I saw King theatrically about five weeks ago. Though that wasn’t long in the past, I needed to rely pretty heavily on IMDB plot info to write my synopsis.

King just didn’t stick with me. When I look at the other movies I saw theatrically in the same time period, I can still recall them well enough to pen a story summary, but this one largely departed my brain.

That’s what we call a bad sign. If I can’t even remember a basic plot synopsis for a movie I watched five weeks earlier, it clearly did little to impress me.

I view this as a major disappointment because King and others in the franchise come with so much potential. How can a movie about enormous, mythological creatures who beat the crap out of each other become so forgettable?

The movie’s meandering plot doesn’t help. King wastes it time with far too much extraneous material, as the entire eco-terrorist story seems pointless.

Face it: all we want from a movie like King is to get some exciting monster-on-monster battles. Sure, I understand the film needs human-oriented narrative beats as well, but in this case, the cart drives the horse.

As such, King wastes our time with it banal human characters and confusing story notes. These muddy the waters and make a tale that should stick with basics into something overly complex and ill-told.

Even after I consulted the Internet to write a plot synopsis, I still couldn’t remember much about what happened to the characters. Who lived? Who died? I have no clue, and I don’t feel bad about that.

While King desperately wants us to invest in the Russell clan, we don’t. They exist as expository story motivators and not much more, so despite efforts to make the audience bond with them, they just come across as forgettable monster fodder.

King comes with a pretty solid cast, but none of them get much room to do much. Even though the movie devotes a lot of time to the humans, it doesn’t feel the need to flesh them out in a satisfying manner, so the actors find themselves stuck with characters who lack much meat on the bones.

Every once in a while, King boasts a decent action scene, but even there, it falls short. It tends to stick the Titans in murky situations and these become such CG fests that they fail to pack a great punch.

People hate the 1998 Godzilla, but it looks like a classic compared to the 21st century take on the character. Though never overtly bad, King seems too bland and dull to prosper.

Footnote: stick around through the completion of the end credits for bonus material.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio A/ Bonus B+

Godzilla: King of the Monsters appears in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a largely strong image.

While most of the movie presented nice clarity, some wider shots looked a bit tentative. Still, the majority of the flick appeared solid, and no signs of moiré effects or jaggies occurred. The movie also lacked edge haloes or print flaws.

In terms of palette, King favored a combination of teal and orange. Those choices came as no surprise, and the Blu-ray reproduced them in a satisfactory manner.

Blacks showed strong depth, and shadows were good, with nice opacity and clarity. All of this was enough for a “B+” that lost points solely due to the occasional slightly soft shots.

I felt more consistently pleased with the excellent Dolby Atmos audio of King. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the soundscape offered frequent room for information to emanate from the various speakers.

The mix used those chances well. The soundtrack delivered wall-to-wall auditory material that spread out across the speakers in a satisfying manner and that blended together nicely.

This meant a tremendously active track in which the surrounds worked as nearly equal partners and kept the mix humming. Plenty of action/disaster moments made this a consistently impressive soundfield.

Audio quality also satisfied, as speech was natural and concise, while music sounded peppy and full. Effects turned into the primary factor, and those elements appeared accurate and vivid.

Bass response added real depth and rocked my subwoofer. If you own a fancy-pants home theater, you spent that money for soundtracks like this.

When we go to extras, we begin with an audio commentary from director Michael Dougerty, actor O’Shea Jackson Jr. and executive producer Zach Shields. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters and nods to other films, cast and performances, sets and locations, creature design and effects, audio and music, editing and cut scenes, stunts, action and related subjects.

Expect a pretty good chat here. While the commentary can be fluffy at times, it still gives us a nice level of information about the film and it moves in a breezy manner, so it largely works.

Two Deleted Scenes fill a total of five minutes, one second. We find “Mark’s Flashback (Extended Version)” (2:00) and “Boxing Practice, Argument and Radio Room” (3:01).

“Flashback” adds little of note, as we just get a smidgen more material. With extra character development, “Boxing” proves a bit more fruitful, if not crucial.

A slew of featurettes follow, and Monsters 101 splits into four segments with a total running time of five minutes, 43 seconds. These include notes from Dougherty, Jackson, Shields, “Monsterverse Developer” Barnaby Legg, and actors Vera Farmiga, Anthony Ramos, Millie Bobby Brown and Elizabeth Ludlow.

Across these clips, we get basics about the movie’s creatures. Minor insights result.

Next comes Evolution of the Titans, another collection of four parts. It fills a total of 27 minutes, 24 seconds and features Jackson, Farmiga, Dougherty, Shields, Brown, producer Alex Garcia, production designer Scott Chambliss, visual development supervisor Matt Allsopp, and VFX supervisor Guillaume Rocheron.

After the puffy “101”, we get good information from “Evolution”. The segments cover creature design in a pretty satisfying manner.

With Monarch In Action, we find five more featurettes that occupy a total of 32 minutes, 56 seconds. Through these, we hear from Dougherty, Shields, Allsopp, Ramos, Rocheron, Ludlow, Jackson, Chambliss, executive producer Barry Waldman, and actors Kyle Chandler and Bradley Whitford.

“Action” offers more notes about the creatures but it also delves into sets/locations, characters and other topics. “Action” adds more worthwhile notes, especially via shots from the set.

Force of Nature lasts four minutes, seven seconds and brings comments from Dougherty, Brown, Shields, Jackson and Farmiga. “Nature” looks at Brown and comes with the inevitable happy talk.

After this we find Monster Tech, an eight-minute, 34-second reel with Legg, Dougherty, Garcia, Chambliss, Shields, Farmiga, and actor Thomas Middleditch. As implied by the title, this show covers vehicles, weapons and other aspects of the movie’s technology. It becomes a reasonable overview.

Monsters Are Real spans 14 minutes, 18 seconds and features Dougherty, Legg, Garcia, Shields, authors Leo Braudy and Stephen T. Asma, University of London’s Liz Gloyn, zoological director Richard Freeman, and cryptozoologist Loren Coleman. “Real” looks at mythology related to monsters and their connections to the real world. This becomes a satisfying little piece.

Finally, Welcome to the Monsterverse takes up three minutes, 42 seconds and provides notes from Legg, Dougherty, Farmiga, and Garcia. It’s a quick overview of the creatures involved in the connected series of movies. Expect a lot of promotion and little else.

The disc opens with ads for Pokemon Detective Pikachu and Doctor Sleep. We also get four trailers for King.

Every once in a while, Godzilla: King of the Monsters rouses to life. Unfortunately, most of it seems sluggish and without real excitement. The Blu-ray brings very good picture along with awesome audio and an informative collection of bonus materials. Maybe 2020’s Godzilla/King Kong flick will satisfy, but King brings disappointment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main