Even the actors who set out to tell the story of prolific screenwriter and former Communist Dalton Trumbo weren’t entirely aware of the scope of his story when they signed on to the project. Blacklisted for his beliefs and forced to churn out schlocky scripts under a series of pseudonyms to keep his family fed, he eventually won two Academy Awards he couldn’t collect until the mid ‘70s. His family business—Trumbo’s wife and three children all play key roles in transporting illicit scripts under cover of night—is highly reminiscent of Cranston’s most notorious role on Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad, and the zippy pacing and editing liken the film to recent gangster dramas more than the typical biopic. Ultimately, the film’s smooth blend of ‘50s and modern sensibilities keep Trumbo both relevant and unfashionably (in the best possible sense) fun.
With his 2010 film, Monsters, Gareth Edwards proved that he was adept at crafting a world believably inhabited by both humans and giant beasts, even when on a shoestring budget. With Godzilla, he has achieved largely the same thing, although this time with an enormous amount of studio money. Putting this to good use, Edwards’ Godzilla is a film which sets a high mark for all other effects-based movies, with some of the most jaw-dropping moments that anyone is likely to see this year. Not only that, but the human element, whilst occasionally strained and never quite matching the pure brilliance of the monster sequences, is a lot better than is to usually be expected in stories of this ilk, helped greatly by an impressive cast. (more…)