Back when they made that Godziilla remake, I still remembered the one with Matthew Broderick. You know, the one that basically killed his career? So naturally I avoided with prejudice. Then later I saw Kong: Skull Island, and learned that these two movies were related? And they’ve made two sequels since then, of which I’ve seen one. I think? …nope, additional minor research indicates I’ve seen both, and, I don’t know, am just conflating them?
But for whatever reason, I never saw the movie that [re]started it all.
Godzilla has three distinct acts, connected linearly by the flow of time and not at all by theme. In act one, Bryan Cranston is [spoilers for the prologue] trying to figure out who murdered his wife. In act two, his son is taking a tour of the Pacific in the style of Raymond Burr. In act three, there is a final confrontation in San Francisco.
I do think that these movies find their footing, but this first one is interesting only insofar as you are entertained by fights with kaiju (80% of the movie) or shadowy government conspiracies regarding kaiju (20% of the movie). Otherwise, it’s kind of a shambling mess full of extraneous characters in service of a plot in which one rando is solely responsible for the salvation of humanity, even though the movie is named Godzilla.
But I mean… it was still mostly pretty cool to look at.
 I mean, is he still doing anything and I just don’t see it, or was that the coffin nail and now he’s retired on Ferris money? …or in that retirement home for Hollywood people who lost it all? Well. He’s probably not old enough for that.
 If you think I wanted to see that one on the strength of Peter Jackson’s remake, well, you’re at least partially right. but also I’ve always had a soft spot for King Kong.
Based on the strength of the nostalgia hit from the teaser trailer and no other knowledge, I’ve lowkey wanted to see the Ghostbusters requel for two years now, but then they announced that Afterlife itself has a sequel, and my hand has been forced.
I want to feel guilty about getting on this bandwagon, instead of holding the boycott line for some hypothetical alternate universe lady ghostbusters sequel, but a) I sort of already did prior to when this sequel was announced instead of that one and the ship had officially sailed, but also b) man it’s hard to feel guilty about watching a movie that was basically Jason Reitman’s carbon copy clone of JJ Abrams’ Star Wars sequel. Because as we have all learned over the past ten or so years, nothing beats nostalgia-mining as a source of income, and the cleanest nostalgia mines are those where they make the exact same content that you fell in love with in the first place. Turns out the teaser trailer was a full steam ahead spoiler trailer all along, there was just no way to know at the time.
But the thing is… despite all that, I actually did like it, you know? Paul Rudd is always good, the kids were fine since they weren’t sidekicks, and I’m a sucker for a love letter to Harold Ramis.
 Like a Reese’s peanut butter cup, which I am somehow old enough to remember when that was a thing that needed to be explained, it’s both a reboot and a sequel. It’s a whole thing.
 Or probably I’m underestimating this
I’ve once again fallen to three years behind on my random horror movie podcast, but having watched Prevenge, maybe I’ll start to catch up again? Maybe!
So there’s this Australian widow, and she’s pregnant. And the voice of her baby is in her head, telling her to kill people. Is she choosing them at random, just striking when opportunity knocks? Is she stalking anyone she happens to see who pisses her off? It’s really hard to tell what motivates these murders, which is part of the horror of it. When she’s not in the middle of the hunt or doing an actual murder (usually these interludes are prenatal appointments), she seems herself horrified by what she is doing. But whenever the baby smells [metaphorical] blood, it is most thoroughly on, by turns tragic, slapstick, or nearly demonic.
If I’m being real, this movie does not work on paper. Even after knowing how it ends, I don’t think I would buy it, except that Alice Lowe sells it so well. She’s the writer, director, and actually pregnant star, and she’s… it’s hard to say what I want to say without buying into the system, so let me say it from the system’s perspective: she would never make it as the star of a Hollywood adaptation of her film. She’s plain of face, did I mention actually rather than prosthetically pregnant, and she’s not conventionally funny. But the way she commits to the bit, both physically and emotionally… when it’s not funny trending toward hilarious, which it often is, it’s profoundly disturbing. The escalating desperation, the simmering anger, the bewildered horror, she portrays all of these and more, and in conclusion, I hope she writes more starring vehicles for herself. She definitely knows what she’s doing.
 The mother or the baby, take your pick
We saw Death on the Nile as one of our rare theatrical outings last year, which inspired me to want to see Murder on the Orient Express, but then also to very promptly forget all about it, until Mary suggested it last weekend. Irony: now that we watched that one, she is getting Agatha Christie books to read.
I wonder if chronology bears out my theory that this movie is a sequel to the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby? Anyhow, Hercule Poirot, after hilariously solving a priest, rabbi, and imam joke in Jerusalem (I think), gets on a boat to Istanbul to look at art, but then instead gets on a train to London, because he’s been summoned to solve something or other. The Orient Express is like five cars long, and that counts the food car and the engine (and probably the coal car), so you can tell that the super-luxury compartments for the multi-day journey are also extremely exclusive.
We never do get to find out what important business Poirot was called away from his vacation for, because an unexpected avalanche in (let’s say) Carpathia derails the train, upon which they find that one of the passengers has been murdered, and Poirot must determine who, you know, dunnit. Obviously that’s all I can say, but I do wonder if the books are as funny as Branagh makes the screen version be.
You guys. The mustache sleeping mask! Also, an unrelated thought: why was there a random The Last Supper callout?
 Or for that matter really anything Branagh has ever done. That man is acting gold.
 Which they did not call Constantinople, but for some reason did call Stamboul.