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Rating History

Godzilla, King of the Monsters!
10 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

After getting picked up for American distribution, Ishiro Honda's famous monster film was subjected to some truly unorthodox bowdlerization. The thinly-veiled allusions to Hiroshima were removed for obvious reasons, but the strangest move was tacking on a bunch of inserts with Raymond Burr playing a visiting journalist (Most of his scenes involve him asking various people to interpret the undubbed and unsubtitled footage his scenes are haphazardly spliced with). For decades, this cut of Godzilla was the only version available to Western audiences. With the DVD release of the movie's original 1954 Japanese cut, the Americanized take can be properly downgraded to the status of "odd historical curio".

Godzilla
Godzilla (2014)
10 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A grieving scientist (Bryan Cranston) is obsessed with a government cover-up related to the death of his wife. Her accidental demise turns out to be related to the reawakening of some radioactive monsters from millions of years ago. The fiercest among them is, naturally, the fire-breathing behemoth that the movie is named for. Some are frustrated with this film's deliberate pacing, focus on the human characters, and sparse use of Godzilla, but I found Gareth Edwards' vision to be a watchable and entertaining update of Ishiro Honda's kaiju formula. Dedicated G-fans shouldn't have any trouble getting into this one; something that can't be said about many of the Godzilla movies produced within the prior fifteen years or so.

Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo
10 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

After having their superhero headquarters trashed by an enigmatic Japanese supervillain, the Teen Titas head out to Tokyo for some answers. This feature was intended to serve as a coda to the Teen Titans TV show that ran from 2003-06, but it can still be watched as its own thing. Like the animated series itself, the movie is bright, chipper, well-animated, strongly paced, and filled with sharp voice acting. It'll placate younger audiences without talking down to them; a feat that Superfriends was never able to pull off.

The Family
The Family (2013)
10 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A small town in France, a place where everyone constantly speaks English with a corny accent, serves as a hideaway for a mafia don in the witness protection program (Robert De Niro, once again going for self-parody). The predictable story finds each member of his family venturing off on individual subplots until gangsters show up for the violent finale. The premise for The Family has some promise, but things are hobbled by trite dialogue, cheesy character acting, jarring soundtrack choices, and a sloppy narrative that jumps from "silly comedy" to "dark action movie" without any kind of organic transition.

TMNT
TMNT (2007)
10 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Following the defeat of their arch nemesis, the family bond between the Ninja Turtles begins to erode. They'll need to sort things out before a clan of immortal stone warriors use the planetary alignment in order to bathe the world in monsters. The TMNT franchise is usually more concerned with churning out merchandise than making serviceable features, so I was surprised with how well-made this movie was. The plot is standard genre fare, but writer/director Kevin Munroe infuses this picture with crisp animation, winking dialogue, solid characterization, and an efficacious use of his talented voice cast. It's a shame that this film didn't make enough money to keep the Turtles away from Michael Bay's production company.