Tag Archives: the Studio Movie Grill

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Date night! Which means going to a used bookstore and then a combo dinner / late run movie since we had watched all the other ones again recently. Can’t always pick when babysitting will happen, and so.

Anyway, how does one even say this movie? Godzilla ex Kong? Godzilla times Kong? Godzilla and Kong? Do even the producers of the film know the answer to this question? (Do they care? I posit that they do not, since they have brand recognition regardless.) Anyhow: Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is about how things are going since Godzilla and Kong had some fights to determine who was the alpha giant monster and ultimately decided, hey, you stay up here and you stay down here, and everything’s cool, right?


A brief digression, if you will indulge me, to discuss spoilers for the Monarch series up to this point. See, they’ve been trying to make a Hollow Earth theory happen forever. And once they got there, it’s… weird and not fully thought through. Somewhere between ten and X miles beneath the earth’s surface, there’s another land. That land is full of Titan sized animals, which makes sense in context, and is maybe a quarter of a mile deep before gravity flips and there’s more land, which makes no sense. Like, you’re on a mountain, and above you some few hundred yards off, is a different mountain, whose top could poke you in the head if it fell. Also, there’s no obvious source of light, and yet everything is extremely well lit. Is there a night time? no clue, neither if nor how.

Anyway, below that area are caves leading down another mile or three (or X; how would I know?) to another land, which I think is also double sided in the same way? I forget. So I guess we’re dealing with the Honeycomb Earth theory at this point.

What’s important is the movie is following three divergent plotlines. In the first, Godzilla is wandering around on the surface looking for energy sources because he’s planning to be in a really big fight soon, which obvs terrifies everyone. In the second, some of the characters we’d recognize from the last movie but none of the earlier ones (as usual) are chasing a signal underground that has agitated Kong (and maybe Godzilla?). In the third, Kong is following what could just possibly be his family, deeper into the honeycomb. And eventually he follows Gollum into the land of Mordor[1].

Later (and also earlier), some titans fight each other. No, it’s true! And in the end, there is what I think can fairly be called a new empire. The things I still don’t know are if I’ve spoiled myself for the Apple+ TV show and what they might possibly do with yet another sequel.

[1] This is more factual than you believe it to be.

Walled In

One of the few things that’s pretty cool about the Studio Movie Grill as a chain is that they get quite a few sneak preview movies, and it’s usually pretty easy to get into them. Sure, it’s not like the Alamo Drafthouse, where I can watch crazy old movies from the ’60s and ’70s that are all but impossible to find except in people’s personal film collections, but which get loaned out on occasion. But the SMG previews have never been a bad time; I mean, look at Tropic Thunder!

Except, here’s the thing about Walled In: It kind of is a crazy old movie from the ’70s. In several subtle ways, it reminded me of the Italian horror field from that time. I mean, nothing that actually happened, but the mood of the thing, and the inability to pull a coherent plot thread from one end of the movie to the other. Which, other than the pleasant nostalgia, was kind of a problem; don’t get me wrong. See, there’s this architect/construction chick who has been tapped to plan the demolition of a seriously awesome condo/apartment building, in the middle of a swamp by itself, that was designed by a very famous architect who has never lost a building to earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, or whatever. And this was his last building: while he lived there, some other dude went crazy and buried a bunch of his murder victims in the walls, including our famous architect. And now there are only four people still living in the building, which I forgot to mention has some spiritual similarity to the building in Ghostbusters, in that you can tell just by looking that it was probably laid out in such a way as to summon Gozer the Gozerian, when the time is ripe. Or something just like that.

And then things get weird and inexplicable, in the way that Italian horror movies do. I can’t exactly recommend it, or even describe it as good. But it did evoke its mood just perfectly, and I believe there are a few people out in the world, maybe even dozens, who know exactly what I mean and would be thrilled to see this, once. Maybe twice, if it was with someone else who would also know, but missed it the first time.

As a final note, this was shipped to the theater on DVD instead of film. You could tell because of the DVD notification right before it started, plus the occasional “Property of Anchor Bay” that flashed across the bottom of the screen at sporadic intervals. I cannot help but think that this was an unintentional prophecy about the flick’s eventual release. Any takers?