Happy Monday! This was a great week for everything on the big and small screens, and finally, I have something to talk about that doesn't involve superheroes! Here's everything I watched this week, along with this week's Pull List.
SPOILER WARNING for Godzilla vs. Kong and the most recent episode of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Godzilla vs. Kong
While I was a fan of the current iteration of the Monsterverse, this movie would be a nice place to end the franchise. Aside from Skull Island, these movies were always a bit rough whenever monsters weren't fighting on screen. I've heard the argument that when making a Godzilla movie, any story involving the people on the ground is guaranteed to be bad. I strongly disagree with that point. Godzilla is at his best when used as a metaphor for disaster for real human events, dating all the way back to his first appearance where he served as a representation of the Atomic Bomb. If you want a high-quality Godzilla story, I highly recommend 2016's Shin Godzilla.
That being said, if you came to this movie for the action, you were rewarded immensely. Each fight between the titular characters was awesome. Most intermediary scenes existed solely to set up a fantastic set piece in which Godzilla and Kong could duke it out, and each one was great in it's own way. The final fight in Hong Kong was the perfect amount of ridiculous, as Kong jumped from the center of the Earth with an ancient axe to shove down the throat of Godzilla. The special effects on both monsters are excellent as well, allowing you to get a feeling of the magnitude of each titanic blow. While I thought the final battle against Mechagodzilla was a bit underwhelming, the tag team moves that Kong and Godzilla were able to perform were super fun.
Basel's Score: A fun action adventure with a solid cast, but outside the fights, it felt too similar to the last Godzilla movie in this series.
Basel's BONUS Fight Score: Big monkey punching big lizard makes my brain produce a lot of dopamine.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier-Episode Three
Last week, I mentioned how Marvel doesn't seem to be sure of what they want from the Flag Smashers, and this week's episode only further proved that point. Despite fighting a sympathetic battle, as they appear to be helping all of the people displaced by their sudden return, this show is constantly juggling whether or not to depict them as noble outlaws, or monsters. A prime example comes in this most recent episode, where the Flag Smashers raid a supply camp in Lithuania. After taking supplies that the Global Repatriation Council was hoarding so they can be used to help refugees, Karli Morgenthau blows up an entire building full of innocent people in order to "send a message." For the viewer at home, that message is very cryptic.
Regardless, this episode did have some highlights, most notably with the re-introduction of Daniel Bruhl's Helmut Zemo. Zemo is a lot funnier in his second MCU appearance, and provides an interesting addition to the Sam-Bucky dynamic. While I'm sure a betrayal that sets up some future MCU project from Zemo is inevitable, I really like the Hannibal Lecter type role he currently serves, as Sam and Bucky try to navigate the underbelly of the world in their search for the Power Broker.
Basel's Score: Zemo is a great addition, but the main conflict continues to become more and more confusing.
My Pull List
Magic: The Gathering #1: I've been playing Magic for a few years now, but have yet to venture into a lot of the expanded lore and stories that provide a lot of flavor to the game. Hopefully this series inspires me to dive a bit deeper.
The Walking Dead Deluxe #12: While I abandoned the show several years ago, I'm really enjoying reading the original series for the first time in this re-release. There's plenty to enjoy in this series for new and longtime fans.
Star Wars-The High Republic #4: This has been one of the best projects to come out of Disney's Star Wars acquisition, and if you haven't checked it out yet, I'd do so now while the series is still fresh.
What I'm Into This Week-The Star Wars Vintage Collection
I never thought this was going to happen due to the new canon, but Disney + just dropped what they call the Star Wars Vintage Collection, featuring several shows from the 1980's all the way up to the 2000's, all featuring some classic Star Wars deep cuts, my favorite of which being Genndy Tartakovsky's original 2D Clone Wars series. Tartakovsky is a master of traditionally animated action, and he was able to turn what was supposed to just be long toy commercials into a timeless classic.
See you next week!