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My Letterboxd reviews of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cloud Atlas, and Godzilla

The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn’t the steaming pile I’d expected, but still a big letdown:

For the first two thirds of this flick, there’s a real sense of a good film trying to get out. Yes, the plot moves too fast for some things (we never get a strong sense of why it matters) and too slow for others (it’s forever before we see the turtles in their ‘glory’), and the colour timing is atrocious (blame Michael Bay). But at least it takes its story cues from the right sources, and you get the notion director Jonathan Liebesman and the writers (some of whom started in Profiler, remember that show?) are at least trying to pay respect to the material. Then the third act comes along and it all goes down the sewer: plot, editing, effects, any hope for redemption, the whole lot. Yikes.

I had a few words for the Wachowskis’ Cloud Atlas:

A curate’s egg of a movie if there ever was one.

And I have to say, I quite liked the latest reimagining of Godzilla:

Gareth Edwards grabbed this opportunity with both hands, basically remaking his lacklustre debut Monsters in the same way Sam Raimi ‘remade’ The Evil Dead with Evil Dead II. At root it’s a piece about people surviving a monstrous apocalypse, but using the luxury of a studio budget to, y’know, actually have monsters and fights and shit. That budget extended to the casting, allowing for a central couple in Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olson who actually have a modicum of chemistry, and a slew of quality thesps like Bryan Cranston, David Strathairn and Ken Watanabe to lend a gravitas a film of this ilk wouldn’t normally have. It’s a lot darker than expected, but that works to its advantage, making the monster appearances that much more intense and satisfying. And yes, it’s also blatantly a flick about giant kaiju destroying cities, and Edwards doesn’t scrimp on that front (I’m looking at you, Guillermo del Toro and your boring, turgid Pacific Rim).