Film Screening 21st June, 2014

Poster for Godzilla


7:00 PM, 21st June, 2014

  • M
  • 123 mins
  • 2014
  • Gareth Edwards
  • Max Borenstein
  • Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Juliette Binoche

Having appeared in nearly thirty films since 1954, Godzilla returns to the big screen for the first time in ten years in an awe-inspiring epic fully befitting the King of Monsters. At the helm is British filmmaker Gareth Edwards, whose first feature was 2010’s acclaimed sci-fi indie Monsters, a terrific thriller that followed two people trying to get through a quarantine zone in the aftermath of an alien invasion. Here, Edwards once again gets to play with monsters except this time on the largest scale possible.

Rebooting the venerable franchise on its 60th anniversary, the straightforwardly titled Godzilla retells the monster’s origins in the present day. Along for the ride is a stellar cast featuring the likes of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins and Juliette Binoche. Most of these guys would seem more at home in an arthouse flick than playing second fiddle to a giant lizard, but Edwards solidly grounds his allegorical man-versus-nature tale in a terrifying reality and having an Oscar-calibre cast on hand certainly helps sell the whole thing.

Remember that ridiculous 1998 Hollywood version starring Ferris Bueller with a Godzilla that more resembled a Jurassic Park reject? Yeah, me neither. The less said about that film the better. Fortunately, a compelling-but-faithful new take on a classic character and a top-notch cast makes this new Godzilla a must-see spectacle on the biggest screen possible.

I’ve heard the ANU Film Group’s screen isn’t too shabby, so why not check it out there?

Adrian Ma

Poster for Grudge Match

Grudge Match 

9:13 PM, 21st June, 2014

  • M
  • 113 mins
  • 2013
  • Peter Segal
  • Tim Kelleher, Rodney Rothman
  • Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Kim Basinger, Alan Arkin

Grudge Match is a sports comedy starring Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Kim Basinger, Alan Arkin, Kevin Hart and Jon Bernthal (Shane from “The Walking Dead”). The film’s director is Peter Segal, whose work includes the comedies Get Smart, 50 First Dates and Anger Management.

In this boxing comedy, De Niro and Stallone are rival boxers; Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen and Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp, respectively. Although it is years later, it is easy to imagine this premise as Rocky vs. Jake La Motta from Raging Bull. The two boxers despise each other and fought during their prime back in the ’80s with Sharp coming out on top. Subsequently, Sharp retired from boxing. Now, much later in life, McDonnen is looking for a rematch.

While De Niro and Stallone successfully manage to pull off their roles, given their age, it is the supporting cast of Hart, Arkin and Bernthal that really shine. Hart’s comic timing is excellent as he encourages both men to get involved. Arkin gives his usual quality performance as Sharp’s trainer. Bernthal’s character provides a new complication for McDonnen during his preparation for the bout with Sharp.

Grudge Match works as an effective redemption story for both protagonists as they set out to prove to themselves and the people around them that they have what it takes to get back into the ring one more time despite what life has put in front of them over the last 30 years.

Robert Bourke