Abraham Lincoln

Ken and Robin Consume Media: Godzilla Minus One, Star Trek Discovery, City Hunter

June 4th, 2024 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.


Godzilla Minus One (Film, Japan, Takashi Yamakazi, 2023) When the dinosaur-like creature he encountered on a remote island in the dying days of the war comes back as a radioactive gargantua, a young man trained to be a kamikaze pilot (Ryunosuke Kamiki) gets a second shot at heroism. Reverent retelling of Ishirō Honda’s 1954 original makes effective, sparing use of its kaiju destruction scenes as it shifts the theme from the cosmic trauma of the H-bomb to survivor guilt and redemption.—RDL

The Last Stop in Yuma County (Film, US, Francis Galluppi, 2024) Stuck in a diner waiting for the fuel truck, several strangers cross paths with escaping bank robbers (Richard Brake, Nicholas Logan) in a neo-Tarantino bottle drama that crosses into Coen Brothers vantablack-humor territory before too long. Jim Cummings’ sad-sack knife salesman and Sierra McCormick’s wannabe Bonnie Parker are only the tip of a superb casting iceberg. What Galluppi lacks in originality he makes up in technical proficiency, and in quickly limning character against a classic American cinema backdrop.—KH

Private Life (Film, US, Tamara Jenkins, 2018) Desperate for a child, a frazzled artsy couple (Kathryn Hahn, Paul Giamatti) enlist their college-age aspiring writer niece (Emily Robinson) as a potential egg donor. Indie drama observes the humiliations of being alive and cognizant with a bleakly funny yet humane eye.—RDL


Hellbender (Film, US, John Adams, Zelda Adams and Tony Poser, 2022) Teen (Zelda Adams) raised in woodland isolation by her loving, protective mother (Tony Poser) discovers that they are beings who gain immense witch-like powers when they consume living things. Indie folk horror fairy tale explores the ambivalence of relationships between teen girls and their moms, ending where its third act ought to start.—RDL

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 (Television, US, Paramount+, Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise, 2024) To prevent a dark future where the Breen use the technological secret of humanoid life itself to destroy the Federation, Captain Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and crew race against lovestruck mercenaries to gather a series of puzzle pieces. The Trek iteration that was never the same show for two consecutive seasons completes its arc from its starting point of jarring revisionism all the way to Next Generation-style comfort viewing..—RDL


City Hunter (Film, Japan, Yûichi Satô, 2024) Combat-machine, horndog PI (Ryohei Suzuki) reluctantly teams with his murdered partner’s sister (Misato Morita) as he investigates the super serum conspiracy behind the killing. Latest adaptation of the popular manga series delivers some fun action, dragged down by the dire, jokeless schtick of the protagonist’s canonical lechery.—RDL

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