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FLICKS: Godzilla, The Love Punch & the PBS National Memorial Day concert

Posted on 22 May 2014 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano

History shows again and again how nature points up the folly of men.” ‘Godzilla’ by Blue Oyster Cult

People who bingewatched the previous 60 years of Godzilla movies were disappointed in the recent release, but those seeking Popcorneating Saturday matinee entertainment shelled out $93 million in the United States to spend time with the radioactive-breath 350 ft tall giant lizard. The box office performed better than expected and Godzilla 2 has been greenlit.

The plot is very simple; it involves a family dealing with a cosmological crisis of epic proportions. To reveal more would be a disservice to Director Gareth Edwards’ modern vision of ancient mythology. Suffice it to say the tale of Godzilla has been told for many years on cave drawings.

The film is filled with many visual details. Godzilla’s slow reveal (through editing) is recreated from the original Godzilla movie from 1954. The opening credits acknowledge the “Godzilla reboot” from 60 and 16 years ago, respectively. As the primal monster attacks highly populated cities, one recognizes individuals held captive by government bureaucracy. This is good science fiction entertainment because it presents the monster as a metaphor for a given time.

The Love Punch opens tomorrow at area theaters. It is a full out romantic comedy fully realized from beginning to end. Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson are a divorced couple whose retirement nest egg has been stolen by a corporate raider from France. Given that their two children are in college, the couple reunite to reclaim their retirement fortune.

While both characters are suffering from empty nest syndrome, Brosnan’s character is the one who wants to reconcile. As Thompson’s character hatches a heist to reclaim “The Eye of the Rainbow” diamond at a wedding ceremony in a Paris suburb, the couple recruits their best friends (Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie – who should get their own caper someday). As the heist becomes more dangerous, the two couples still find time to bicker about their personal picadillos from the past.

The Love Punch is a simple story filled with farcical elements. Writer/director Joel Hopkins sets the tone very early with the prologue before the colorful credits roll. The film is full of energy, but it is not rushed. Each laugh is logically organized with a punch line that pays off each time.

Both Godzilla and The Love Punch provide fine entertainment diversion this Memorial Day weekend for their respective audiences. For those sticking around the house Sunday night, check out the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS. Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna return as co-hosts, with Jackie Evancho singing the National Anthem. Party hearty Memorial Day, but don’t forget to thank a veteran this weekend.

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