Keith
Keith
3:00pm - 6:00pm
Classics with the Classic

Extra Butter with Bart Wilson presented by Tiffin Drive-In Theater Archives for 2024-04

Civil War

A small group of media members work their way through a dystopian America to the White House in Alex Garland’s Civil War.

 

In this film, we follow war photographer Lee (Kirsten Dunst) with journalists Joel (Wagner Moura) and Sammy (Stephen McKinley Henderson). Jessie (Cailee Spaeny), a young and inspired photographer, joins Lee as her inspiration for entering the media industry. The group’s goal is to make it to Washington D.C. to interview the President of the United States (Nick Offerman) before the Western Forces attack the White House and remove the third term President. As they make their way to the capital, you only get bits and pieces of why states have succeeded from the United States and started a civil war. You learn that the Western Forces are a military group that resulted from a Texas and California alliance. As the characters travel to the capital, you witness the horrors of war between American citizens. Lee tutors Jessie about the ins and outs of war photography along the way to prepare her for the insanity that will ensue once they reach Washington D.C.

 

Words really can’t describe how disappointed I am after watching this film. From start to finish, I just wanted the film to be over. The story was extremely vague, the acting was stale, and the only thing that made it somewhat interesting was the action. I’m not sure what Garland was going for with this film, but I feel like he completely missed the mark. He could have made something that was impactful and meaningful, but it was just mindless cinema. I mean Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire had a more impactful message than Civil War, and that is saying something. I don’t know why some people are saying this is one of Garland’s best films to date. He directed 28 Days Later and Ex Machina, and they were both far superior to this film.

 

Overall, I don’t recommend seeing this film in theaters. I’m not sure I would even want to spend money on renting it once it hits streaming services. Wait until it is completely free if you want to watch it. If you think you’re missing out on some phenomenon by not seeing it, don’t worry – you’re not. Trust me.

 

Rating: 2 out 5

Monkey Man

Making his directorial debut is Dev Patel with a gruesome story about revenge, real world issues in India, and Indian religion with Monkey Man

 

We find Patel's character, Kid, fighting at an underground club where he is known as Monkey Man. The name originates from a religious figure called Hanuman, which he learned about from his mother as a child. By taking on this persona, Kid plans to exact his revenge on the people who murdered his mother and burned his village to the ground. To execute his plan, he must first gain access to the building where the people responsible meet. He does this by getting a job as a servant and then gradually works his way up the ladder to come face to face with his enemies. To see their downfall, he will need to learn about the ways of the Monkey Man.

 

I really enjoyed this film on many levels - the story, the cinematography, and the acting. It made you feel a wide variety of emotions which in my opinion is very important when watching any film. It pulls at all the heartstrings when it needs to, but then increases your blood pressure when the all-out brawl breaks out. Each scene felt necessary to the narrative of the film making it an enjoyable viewing experience. The cinematography was well done for the fight sequences giving them a very realistic feel. The camera was shaky throughout, but that brought a sense of realness to the fights. Now, if you have a history of motion sickness, I do not recommend you seeing this film (I'm not kidding). Other than that, I really enjoyed Patel's all out performance and his ability to embody the Monkey Man.

 

The supporting cast did a good job too. The villains in this film were unredeemable and you wanted to see them get taken down. An issue I had with the film was at times the dialogue between actors was difficult to hear. This took me out of the viewing experience sometimes. I felt the same way during some of the action sequences. You didn't really feel the effect of how hard some of the hits were when Patel went on a complete rampage. When I see films that rely on hand-to-hand combat, I need to feel the impact of the punches and hits to keep me invested. 

 

With that being said, I really enjoyed my time watching this film. I think Patel has a bright future directing more feature films, and I will be looking forward to seeing what he does next. If you want to add some excitement to your weekend, I highly suggest seeing this in theaters at least once. The story is great, and the fight sequences are worth the cost of admission. 

 

Rating 4 out of 5

 

  

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Prepare yourself for destruction and monster mayhem with Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. Bringing these two characters back to the big screen is Adam Wingard who directed Godzilla vs. Kong back in 2021.

 

The film takes place a couple of years after the matchup between Godzilla, Kong, and Mecha Godzilla. We find Kong living out his days in Hollow Earth searching for his own species and really a sense of belonging. While Kong continues his search, we find Godzilla traveling around the world defeating various Titans and building up his power level for some odd reason. We are re-introduced to returning human characters from the last film with Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) who oversees Kong for Monarch, Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) a conspiracy theorist podcaster, and Jia (Kaylee Hottle) who is the last descendant of the Iwi tribe that worships Kong on Skull Island. The newest addition is Trapper (Dan Stevens) who plays the veterinarian for Kong. These four characters will team up to learn about a new threat in Hollow Earth called the Skar King. Skar King leads a group of species like Kong to find one of the portals that leads to the surface and rule over all of Earth. To prevent this outcome Kong will need to team up with Godzilla to prevent the end of Hollow Earth and humanity.

 

This film from start to finish is straightforward. You don’t need to do a lot of thinking or be emotionally invested. It’s just one big monster fighting another big monster with a sprinkled in plot that really doesn’t mean a whole lot. On top of that, the newest character, Trapper, seemed to have all the answers to help move the plot forward, but didn’t. The same goes for the overall storyline the humans deal with when helping Godzilla and Kong with the fight against Skar King. Speaking of Scar King, I had some high hopes but in the end that character just flopped. I wanted to be fearful of him but really, he was just there to be a punching bag for Godzilla and Kong. There wasn’t any real threat except the destruction of a lot of cities with massive casualties. I just find it difficult to watch these types of films and be invested when I know it’s going to be a slugfest with no real storyline that is worthwhile. In my opinion, Godzilla Minus One is a far superior film and has a human storyline that pulls at your heartstrings.

 

Overall, this film had some good action sequences, but the story and villain are very bland to say the least. You might want to see it once in a theater to experience it on the large screen with theater sound. If you have a good sound system and large TV at home, then watch it there when it’s available to rent.

 

Rating: 3 out of 5

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