Micro-Reviews: Godzilla and Chef

Spanish Godzilla 2014 Poster

"Godzilla" is easily one of the most viscerally gripping experiences on screen this year, and because of that, it's one of those movies that I can't write a full blown review for. It simply needs to be seen.

 

The production design, the effects, the pacing, the action, it's all top notch. Director Gareth Edwards creates an incredible world of adventure and suspense, trying out new things while also managing to pay tribute to the original Godzilla, as well as film legends like Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg. There's one fault to be found here, and while it's not a deal-breaker, it's still worthy of mention: Elizabeth Olsen gives the worst performance I've seen to date in 2014, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson comes in at a close second. This worries me slightly, as their awfulness here makes me wonder if their participation in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" could lead to trouble. Hopefully this was just a fluke, because the rest of the cast absolutely delivers. Beyond that I must hold my tongue. It thrills, it chills, and I garuntee you'll fist pump at least once before the end. "Godzilla" is balls-to-the-wall fun, go see it. (4/5)

background-chef-movie

"Chef" is the kind of movie where you can instantly tell everyone involved with the project was having a blast. The cast is made up of fun and/or attractive people who give off great energy, the food on display looks phenomenal and, by the end, its undeniable that "Chef" is a warm, enjoyable watch. But when you actually WATCH it, it's a very uneven affair, which is unfortunate, because while Jon Favreau's direction is confident, his screenplay leaves a lot to be desired. The film constantly rushes through scenes of character development/human interaction so it can get to the next shot of food porn. And while it's GREAT food porn, no amount of fine cuisine can excuse the expository dialogue that makes up most of this script. The story is set up through casually tossed-out lines, and most of the narrative's big pay-offs (including the final scene) come out of no-where. Favreau puts excruciating detail into the step-by-step process of mouth-watering grilled cheese sandwiches, but not nearly as much effort into making sure the humans eating them are well-rounded. "Chef" aims to appear as fresh and well crafted as the food that might be served from the gourmet food trucks on display in the film, but by the end, it's more like a trip to a chain restaurant: the atmosphere may be great, but the meal isn't what you hoped it would be. (3.5/5)