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100 WORD FILM REVIEWS / Godzilla: King of the Monsters

100 WORD FILM REVIEWS / Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Godzilla: King of the Monsters delivers on the action with plenty of kaiju fighting. Godzilla going thermonuclear and Mothra are worth the price of admission. However, its human element becomes lost due to a nonsensical plot and cardboard-thin characters. It is truly a shame how the film wastes the potentials of Sally Hawkins and Ken Watanabe, who reprise their roles from Legendary Pictures’ 2014 reboot. Similarly, it cribs elements from other Godzilla films and inserts them without context. Check your brain in at the door for this orange-teal-gray color-timed CGI slugfest. Let’s hope next year’s Godzilla vs. Kong fares better.

100 WORD BOOK REVIEWS / Gristle: Weird Tales by Jordan A. Rothacker

100 WORD BOOK REVIEWS / Gristle: Weird Tales by Jordan A. Rothacker

 

I was first impressed by Jordan A. Rothacker’s earlier collection, The Pit, And No Other Stories, and his latest, Gristle: Weird Tales, doesn’t disappoint. Veering into uncanny, humorous, and philosophically engaging realms, Gristle is akin to The Outer Limits with its varied subject matter. Although you may not be able to fully relate to every scenario or character, you cannot help but marvel at the assured storytelling on display. While some stories, such as the opening “Taking the Bone,” failed to connect with me, others like “Something That Happened a Long Time Ago” and “Augustus and Anastasia” are mini masterpieces.

100 WORD BOOK REVIEWS / Ivy Day by Pam Jones

100 WORD BOOK REVIEWS / Ivy Day by Pam Jones

You can’t help being entranced by the stories that author Pam Jones weaves. Her latest novella, Ivy Day, showcases her command of atmosphere and dialogue. While the world building in Ivy Day is not as expansive as that in her superb Andermatt County: Two Parables, Jones manages to tap into the nostalgia of video stores and moviegoing without veering into sentimentality. Her penchant for developing engaging characters is also on full display, including its title character—who gives Shirley Temple and Audrey Hepburn a run for their money. Behind the façade of celluloid, Jones has such sights to show you.

ONE PERFECT EPISODE / Vampire Diaries: "The Return" / Phoebe Cramer

Though the myth of Katherine Pierce haunts the show from its pilot episode, showing up in flashbacks to Stefan and Damon’s human days, “The Return” is Katherine’s first appearance in the present, the first time her actions are allowed to speak for themselves, freed from the framework of the Salvatore Bros.’ memories. 

100 WORD FILM REVIEWS / Rocketman

100 WORD FILM REVIEWS / Rocketman

Elton John’s music defines my life. When Rocketman was announced, I was equally excited and skeptical. Thankfully, the film is whimsical fun with its inspired musical numbers, thanks to Lee Hall’s (Billy Elliot) script. But Rocketman is also emotionally honest about Elton’s struggles with love, fame, and addiction. While I can forgive the film for not being entirely accurate, pacing is an issue; many important events feel rushed. At its best, it reminds us why his music holds a special place in our hearts. I hope the Academy is listening; Taron Egerton deserves an Oscar for portraying my musical hero.