‘Godzilla Minus One’ & ‘Maestro’

 ‘Godzilla Minus One’ & ‘Maestro’

By Lucas Battista

“Godzilla Minus One”

A dazzling monster flick with a bottomless passion for not just its scaly heritage, but humanity itself.

Occasionally, while sitting in the theater, a good film may grip your seat and drag you onto the screen into the world it paints. In “Godzilla Minus One,” we are presented with Post-War Tokyo, a city mired in rubble at the hands of General Lemay’s relentless fire-bombings, with streets populated by begging Japanese aristocrats and wandering veterans. Not a scene passes that is not filled with life, reminiscent of the same tricks Akira Kurosawa might’ve used in making Yojimbo and Seven Samurai’s hearts beat.

Each character has a certain pulpy quality, much in the vein of the original “Godzilla,” but each still with surprising depth. A mad-scientist, a sea captain with ballsy bravado, a rookie kid full of zeal, and our protagonist- a seemingly yellow-bellied Kamikaze pilot who never fulfilled his only mission.

Just as any other “Godzilla” movie, a fantastic plot is devised to do away with the monster, and we can feel the terror and destruction at the little claws of a giant lizard we’ve grown all too fond of. I cannot emphasize enough how well-crafted this picture was, and it certainly has shown to be a strong homage to the original in literally every regard.


A testament to Bradley Cooper’s tremendous genius as an actor, and total inexperience as a filmmaker.

“Maestro” brings with it a depiction of Leonard Bernstein so real and tactile it’s certifiably surreal. Bradley Cooper has no intention of his “take,” or his “rendition.” He isn’t “depicting” the man, as he transforms completely into Lenny. As a biopic, the film is certainly deceptive, as it often dances around the man himself and focuses more on the people around him, a definitely clever and novel way of doing things.

Nonetheless, it suffers from terrible shots and a slog of a third act. At its core, a film ought to seek to convey a story to the audience. It should be palatable, understandable, entertaining, and succinct. It should be evocative of some kind of emotions, as a film is first-most an emotional affair. If the actors’ faces are hidden from us and all the action obscured, the filmmaker is sabotaging his own picture. It doesn’t matter what the artistic intent is, and it doesn’t matter if it is a conscious decision, it will spoil everything.

“Maestro” suffers from this in many regards, although the performance not just from Bradley Cooper, but its solid supporting cast, redeem it in many ways. It certainly is worth watching, but don’t get your hopes up too high.

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