Stranger Things Season Three Review: Best Season Yet.

4 and a half stars
Stranger Things 
is one of Netflix’s biggest shows and there was much excitement surrounding its third season.
I enjoyed the first and second season a great deal and was hoping that this third one could live up to them.
Well, I am happy to say that Stranger Things season is probably my favourite so far.
Dropped on the fourth of July, the Duffer brothers take the story in an interesting direction with plenty of great character moments, laughs, horror, and, of course, nostalgia.
After defeating the Mind Flayer, our central characters are no longer kids, growing into their teenage years where they begin to value dating over Dungeons and Dragons, much to Will’s (Noah Schnapp) dismay.
However, when the evil force returns because of experiments committed by stereotypically evil, cold war Russians, it is up to Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and her friends to find a way to stop it once more.

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The Mind Flayer is back with an all new, disgusting, CGI monster at its disposal.

The first few episodes start off slow before it all builds towards an epic conclusion.
Much like the previous seasons, this one has the characters split up into multiple groups, giving them all a chance to shine.
The relationship troubles of Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven are endearing, as is Eleven’s friendship with Max (Sadie Sink), which is a nice change of pace considering Max was treated unfairly for no reason back in season two.
Then there is Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce (Winona Ryder) who make a great pair again, especially with Hopper’s hilarious anger issues.
The best group of the entire season though has to be Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Steve (Joe Keery), Erica (Priah Ferguson) and new character Robin (Maya Hawke).
These four characters have plenty of hilarious scenes that had me clutching my stomach with laughter.
Not only that, they have plenty of great emotional moments as well, with one conversation between Steve and Robin, in a bathroom, giving me a feeling that a life long friendship had been sparked.

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The bathroom scene between Steve and Robin is one of my favourite character moments of the season with Keery and Hawke doing a great job.

This season is sadly not all laughs though because there is plenty of horror to be had with the Mind Flayer’s new weapon.
The CGI is handled very well for this disgusting creature, which begins to influence many characters, including Billy (Dacre Montgomary).
Which reminds me of another thing I love about Stranger Things, character redemption.
The Duffer brothers are able to take characters that seem irredeemable at first only to turn this original perception of them on its head.
Billy is one such character because, even though he is a villain this season, he is made a very relatable one by the final episode.

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Montgomary makes Billy both threatening and sympathetic this season as the Mind Flayer begins to use him as its latest host.

Sadly, he is also where an issue I have lies.
There is an ultimately pointless subplot where Billy tries to have an affair with Mike’s mum and it has absolutely no impact on the story, feeling like a complete waste of time.
This took up so little screen time though that it is forgivable.
Season three of Stranger Things is almost certainly my favourite season of the bunch, and I am excited to see where it goes from here.
Even if some people do have more issues with the season than I do, they still have to admit that there is nothing as terrible as the “Lost Sister” episode of season two.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Review – Cool Monsters, Boring People.

two-and-a-half-stars
I have been a fan of the Godzilla series for a while so I was very excited to see the adaptations.
I found the first of them, Godzilla from 2014, to be good overall but with a lot of problems.
Sadly, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, directed by Michael Doughtery, also has many problems but less good things with the film largely focusing on boring, exposition spewing characters.
I was concerned about this right from the trailers, which were genuinely fantastic but also showed there were a lot of characters in the film, maybe too much even.
My fears were unfortunately realised yesterday when I went to see the film.
Picking up five years after the original, King of the Monsters follows the experiences of the Russel family, including Gary sue Mark (Kyle Chandler), his ex-wife with confusing motivations Emma (Vera Farminga) and their daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown), who I honestly forgot was in the film at times.

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Sadly, the Russell family does not hold that much emotional value. They did have potential but it is bogged down by the exposition.

Speaking of forgettable characters, Charles Dance plays the villain Alan Jonah whose character feels unneeded and, much like Emma, has very confusing motivation.
There are some returning characters like Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins), who are just as forgettable as in the first Godzilla. 
Say what you want about that film but at least it had one interesting character in Bryan Cranston’s Joe Brody.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters does not have one interesting character, and almost every scene has them sprouting exposition in ways that are not at all interesting.
I already got sick of them saying Godzilla was a beacon of hope in the first film, I did not need to hear it multiple times in this one.
Thankfully, the film does get entertaining when the monsters do show up and fight.
These battles between Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, and Rodan have some very spectacular moments.

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Whenever the monsters are on screen the movie gets exciting, with King Ghidorah looking especially threatening.

There are even some points when an updated version of Godzilla’s original themes plays and this is my favourite part of the film, as it left me grinning from ear to ear.
Sure, the shots of the monsters are not as good as they were in Gareth Edward’s original film but they are competent enough here.
It is just annoying that they kept cutting to these boring characters, the worst offender being Emma because of the lack of connection between motivation and goal.

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Emma’s goal makes absolutely no sense based on her motivation. Not only this, but it is never explained why the human villains have their goals either.

Whenever the monsters appeared on screen I was entertained, which is good because they have more of a screen presence than in the first film, but whenever it cut to the human characters I was bored out of my mind.
What makes it worse is that these boring humans took up most of the screen time.
Overall, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a disappointing film.
There are some good moments of monster action, but you have to sit through scenes of boring, unrealistic characters who spew useless exposition to get to it.