Best New Movie Bets: May 16 | 'Godzilla' & 'Chinese Puzzle'

"Godzilla" starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson

The most notorious movie monster returns to the silver screen in this reboot. Looking to transcend the failure of 1998’s “Godzilla”, this new version appears to be sidestepping all that film did wrong. The trailer gave viewers a glimpse at some highly impressive special effects and jaw-dropping moments. The shocked reactionary shots from characters, and a spine-tingling look at Godzilla were enough to earn anticipation.

The masterful hint the teaser offered, effectively gave a chilling assessment of Godzilla’s gargantuan size as flares kept reaching up without ever lighting up its apex. It is clever gimmicks like that, which add credence to this imagining.

The top notch cast is lead by rising thespians Aaron-Taylor Johnson (“Kick-Ass” franchise) and Elizabeth Olsen (“Oldboy”). They are joined by a supporting cast, comprised of "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston and the superb Ken Watanabe ("Inception"). With all of that talent, there is a formula for something potentially marvelous.

Gareth Edwards, whose directorial debut “Monsters” effectively used a limited budget to create big moments, seems to have a firm grip on this telling. The script is certainly more plausible and fantastically imaginable, this time around. Less is more when it comes to monster movies and with a creature like Godzilla you don’t have to go overboard proving how horrifying a scenario like this would be.

"Chinese Puzzle" starring Romain Duris

On the other end of the film spectrum comes a romantic comedy starring the tremendously talented Romain Duris (“Heartbreakers”, “The Big Picture”). He stars as Xander, a father who leaves Paris so he can stay close to his children when their mother moves to New York to pursue a new love. This film is the third in the Spanish Apartment trilogy that has followed the same characters throughout each installment.

Beginning in 2002 with “L’Auberge Espagnole” and then picking up in 2005 with “Russian Dolls”, the latest is being released nearly 10 years later. With the same cast returning, viewers who have followed their journey should enjoy another stop-in. There is no need to be concerned if you’ve missed the previous films. Early reviews indicate “Chinese Puzzle” is a straightforward follow-up that won’t leave newcomers behind.

Intimate films focusing on character development and family dynamics are hard to come by and “Chinese Puzzle” seems to possess those allusive components. Watching a family endure the awkward transition of life in a new country could presumably lead to its fare share of organic comedy, a refreshing bet.

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