bittah.com!~ [Movie] Godzilla (2014)

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Post » Wed May 21, 2014 12:45 pm

[Movie] Godzilla (2014)

Again, was waiting for DJ on this one, but here goes anyway:

[One-Liner]
- A monster lies deep beneath the sea, but is he out to harm humans or ultimately help them?

[Plot]
- Film starts with a nuclear "test" in the '50s
Spoiler: Show
which turns out to actually be an attempt to kill Godzilla who was accidentally awoken during deep sea investigations
- Cut to the late '90s when a team of scientists led by Ishiro Serizawa are called in to investigate a large skeleton and two parasitic egg pods found in a quarry in the Philippines
- One of which has hatched, left the quarry and attacks a nuclear powerplant in Japan (to feed on radiation)
- Plant supervisor Joe Brody who has predicted problems aims to shut down the plant and escape with his wife
Spoiler: Show
but she doesn't quite make it...
- Brody goes into full tinfoil mode convinced that the Government knows more about what is going on but is covering it up
- Cut to present day where Brody has been arrested, and his son Ford (who has a seemingly innocent military job that definitely won't become critically important later on) flies over to help him
- Ford doesn't empathise much with his Father, and accuses him of not moving on after the accident... Joe counters that Ford needs to stop hiding in the past...
- And they both go off into the now quarantined zone surrounding the power plant to search for clues
- And get arrested... and taken to the super secret plant :|
- Anyway, it is then revealed that yes, Joe was was right... and the seemingly dormant chrysalis at the plant hatches into a MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism) and levels the plant again
Spoiler: Show
killing Joe in the process
- Ford seems... kind of upset at all of this? But really wants to get back to his family as it looks like this is starting to spiral out of control
- But will he get back to his wife and kid in time?
- And what about that other pod?
- And that Godzilla fella? What's he going to do about all of this?

[Pros]
- Can imagine some OCD geek going through and pausing their version to read all the bits that were being edited out in the opening credits, was a nice idea
- Bryan Cranston really sells his character, was fun watching him work
- Ken Watanabe does a pretty decent job of playing what is ostensibly a stoner-scientist ("double rainbow man let nature fight it out")
- SFX in general were quite good
Spoiler: Show
especially the EMP effect charging up on the first MUTO reveal
- Glad they got the Atomic Breath in there, and watching the scales light up just before the attack was pretty impressive
Spoiler: Show
and how Godzilla uses it to kill the female MUTO even moreso
[Cons]
- Suffers a little from traileritus in that a lot of the key scenes / dialogue / reveals had already been in there a few times
- Fights were a little underwhelming... with only what... a few minutes or so of actual fighting? And having various doors closing / cutting to other scenes just as the action got interesting?
- Bryan Cranston could have been in the movie a bit longer imo as he was really the only interesting human character
-
Spoiler: Show
"OK, so nukes didn't really work before... and there are three of them now... what should we do?"
"Bigger nuke?"
"BRILLIANT idea what could possibly go wrong"
- Given the military knew about the MUTO weapons (which was a bit kitsch imo) why still have planes and helicopters flying around the place so close?
- Were we meant to care about the dog that was tied to a tree? Then bolted it and got lost in the crowd? Seemed rather pointless.
- In fact just read this: http://www.100thingsilearned.com/view.php?id=1715 as it has a few gripes that I noticed too

[Rating]
3 KFC buckets out of 5, good fun overall
Last edited by KFC on Wed May 21, 2014 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
KFC
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Post » Wed May 21, 2014 12:45 pm

Godzilla was pretty good, actually! Spoilers ahead.

This film really embraces Godzilla as a style, and is better for it. It felt old-school, and I could tell by the disappointed and bored sighs coming from the 15 year olds behind me that this is going to be a polarizing film. Probably a bunch of Pacific Rim nerds are going to be all like "i wanted more mosnter fightingss!!!!!!!!earfyuoasdgbnmsogbsofnosdmf who cares about the stupid humans????"

There is tons of pretty potent father/son imagery. Also, the film constantly has children who know more about 'whats up' than the adults, because adults are too busy working / doing stuff / gambling etc. It's no surprise that when Cranston dies, Godzilla emerges. This is because Godzilla is played as the ultimate surrogate father to Ford Brody (could they have picked a more hilariously murican name?). There's a reason Broody Ford doesn't cry when his daddy dies -- he's bitter and resentful at his father, and has obviously never shared a moment with him the way he did with Godzilla at the end, both in the street when Godzilla passes out from the building falling on top of him, and at the very end when Godzilla passes out after performing his FATALITY! move on FeMuto. It's the first time he's ever respected his father. I say his father because Cranston and Godzilla are essentially the same character, standing for truth. That's why Cranston dies when he finally uncovers the truth... and then Godzilla awakens.

My audience was completely unaware of the heaps of campy humour in this film. There are numerous wonderful scenes, such as the Admiral delivering the MUTO line with such dramatic inflection: "Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms... that are now no longer terrestrial." - Serizawa's hammed-up, totally campy reveal of Godzilla's name was fantastic as well, but nobody seemed to get it. It was just perfect timing, and where the film lacks any kind of explicit comedic relief, there are these little touches peppered everywhere. Once scene, at an airport in Hawaii, a helicopter crashes into a jumbo jet which explodes, sending streaking fire to another jumbo jet which also explodes, and that sends *more streaking fire* to another jumbo jet which *again* explodes! Nobody laughed in my audience, and my partner got embarrassed when I did, but that's pretty much camp dialed up to 11.

My initial guesses that this was going to overdo 9/11 imagery seems off-base now. It's not so masturbatory (no HOOAHH bullshit) and that was nice. In fact, the US military is constantly shown to make dumb decisions, as evidenced by their plan with the nuke which just goes completely wrong and ends up being relocated in the center of the city (that's a pretty deep mine of symbolism to tap). I don't feel that the film appropriates what Godzilla represents (truth) and the MUTO's represent (trauma, denial - not just denial at the effects of nuclear weapons, and weapons of mass destruction, but Ford Brody's own denial toward his mother's death), and makes them specifically American, which is a nice, so I called that one wrong.

When Serizawa says man's arrogance is thinking he can control or understand nature or whatever, he's talking about himself. He always has this concerned look of dread on his face. It's so funny that they played him completely straight as he's just a ridiculous character, and I disagree with people saying Watanabe was wasted. He fucking nailed it.

I liked it. Probably could have trimmed down the build-up a bit without losing much of the effect, but overall I'm not disappointed.

Edit: Also, Brody Ford's basic story is pretty comical. He's got fourteen months of blue balls, and really, all he wants to do is get back home to bone his wife.
KFC
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Post » Wed May 21, 2014 2:21 pm

I'm lagging behind on the movie front, been slowly working my way through a backlog of samurai flicks :lol:
Deepjay
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Post » Thu May 22, 2014 5:12 am

In this film, family is pretty much shown to be "the bad guy". All the MUTOs ever do is try to have a family, while Godzilla, the surrogate single dad, ruins it (and thereby saves the day). It's also notable that Cranston only uncovers the truth by neglecting his family (he spends years conspiracy-theorizing complete with craziness and newspaper clippings all over his walls), and that Ford Brody so willingly helps defeat the MUTOs by putting his family second. Every time we are shown him thinking about his family (cut away to his wife etc.), something comes up, and he's the first to volunteer to go back into the fight.

The dog being tied to the tree is obviously a gag. Essentially commenting on Independence Day, etc., films with scenes where a dog narrowly escapes danger to survive, here we see a dog that is tied to a tree with an oncoming tsunami. The lead fortuitously snaps, and the audience breathes a sigh of relief as the dog bolts away. Cut to the wave killing people and upturning cars and flooding streets chest high, and then Godzilla stomping around. The dog died. That's the joke. That we're not shown it, means we don't care about it. It's inconsequential. Like the humans who die.

Cutting away from the action was wonderful. Unthinkable that a film should reward patience, but it's more than that. The first cutaway in Hawaii, where MaleMUTO first fights Godzilla, we cut away to Brody's son watching it on the television just as the fight is beginning. It's important for two reasons: the constant theme that children are more clued in than adults (his mother is too busy talking on the phone to notice that it's not a movie); and second, it's a joke. We're watching Godzilla flailing about with his tiny arms trying to get this flying pest thing off his back. It's a direct callback to how silly and charming the fights looked in Godzilla films of old. I enjoyed the cutting away. By keeping the action to a minimum until the final sequence, it remained true to Godzilla-as-a-style, and any proper Kaiju film. By comparison, Pacific Rim (the most recent and obvious comparison to make), apparently Del Toro's "love letter to kaiju films" is not actually one at all, as it blows its load like 5 times.

Stoner scientist is a great way to describe Watanabe's Serizawa. He's just so... convinced the whole time, much like the way you get when you're three j's in and having an epiphany moment. Except that's his whole life. There's this once scene where the admiral and soldiers and crap are theorizing on how to bring down the MUTOs or whatever, and Serizawa literally just strolls into the CIC, and, referring to Godzilla, whispers: "He's hunting.". Then he mumbles something, and walks out. It's hilarious, and Watanabe really nails the character.

In regard to KFC's point about the military still flying their shit within EMP'ing distance, well, I think that's the point... much like their stupid nuclear weapon "plan" that just fails completely, and ends up with the nuke being relocated into the heart of San Francisco -- and it's on a timer with no remote, so they have to send someone in to defuse it. I mean... the incompetence and generally useless and inconsequential people is not only probably quite accurate, but a point of the entire film.

Some of those complaints on the site you linked to are retarded, also.
Spoiler: Show
We can just show them a closing door or blurry news footage of the fair fights and not even bother telling them who wins.
We see MUTOs still kicking after the first fight... so there's your answer, guy?
Godzilla likes to take a power nap after a big fight.
Dude's been asleep for like thousands of years or something. He's just woken up and he's got to fight these two fucking things while they're in heat. So he's a bit out of shape. Also, thematically relevant, as the truth often faces an uphill and segmented battle when facing denial. It's not a one-fight-cure-all process. Downtime is expected.
as incompetence is normal in the army and its not like they do this for a living... Oh wait.
But incompetence is pretty normal in the army... or for people in general?
When following Godzilla in the water, it makes sense to aline the entire fleet along side him, so that when he stands up, you all die.
Okay, now he's just trolling because this doesn't happen at all.
For two hours we wait to see a monster in this film, then like buses - three come along at once.
He's praising the film for once! However, not true, as we get a lengthy MUTO reveal sequence about midway through the movie.
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Post » Thu May 22, 2014 9:25 am

In this film, family is pretty much shown to be "the bad guy".
Brought to you by the same guy who said Optimus was being made out to be Hitlertron.

Haven't read any of the above reviews yet, but still hoping to see Godzilla in the next 1-2 weeks.
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Post » Thu May 22, 2014 12:05 pm

Yeah look... I must say the whole "Godzilla paternity" thing is a little bit of a stretch for me.

Sure, the timing of when things happens (kind of) supports what you're saying Monk, but for me it was more of a Spike / Bumblebee / Optimus vibe instead. The little guy starting to see that Godzilla is actually on their side. Not "and now can we please go for a walk on the beach Daddy" type vibe. Would be a bit lame if a sequel came out and that was accentuated. To me the tension between Ford and his Dad... or Ford not immediately getting back to his family but choosing to fight... wasn't really a commentary on family being the bad guy but more that the situation had necessitated such behaviour.

But that's just me.

And that Transformers vibe was also true of the frustration with the amount of action in this movie tbh. Transformers went waaaay down the other end of the scale with the human emotion crap vs robots smashfucking each other. Granted, Godzilla isn't nearly as bad in terms of that balance tbh, it would've just been nice to see the hulking monsters smashing into each other a little more given the buildup...

And yes some of those points in the link I posted were pretty dumb / nit-picky. But there were a few good ones there too.
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Post » Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:21 pm

Just saw this - really enjoyed it despite the flaws.

Just reading what Monk said above now and am WTFing. Godzilla the surrogate father? The exploding aircraft supposed to be campy comedy? What the fuck in real life. I can appreciate camp - but there was none of it there at all. You laughed at that? Are you a bit retarded? And i don't mean that from a - omg the poor planez! But how you can take that as camp comedy - well see my Optimus as Hitler comment.

Anyway I liked it. It was a lot lower on the human emotion side of things than I expected it to be, and I agree that Bryan Cranston going out so early was bizarrre. His son cruising around the country with the freedom afforded a high ranking general didnt make sense.

What i did like was the sort of serious vibe the movie had in regards to the monsters. From the title sequence through to the discovery. They also looked very cool. It was definitely too light on the monster battles themselves, but there's a very fine line between not enough and too much - though I think they definitely had too little.

The whole human element was mostly forgettable. Watanabe didnt nail anything, that character was weak as piss. He's also the go to actor when you need a typical Japanese guy in a movie. Loved how all the Japanese working in the plant were also basically english speaking americanese. It's a shame more of the movie wasnt actually set in Japan.

There were some wtf scenes though -such as the dog on the leash - luckily we saw his leash snap! Pity we didnt get to see him die 3 seconds later when the tsunami hit. Also thank god that random father and daughter survived by closing the shop door - lucky that glass was so strong. Who cares about those thousands out in the street that just got wtfpwned.

Also couldn't work out what the deal was with the Japanese kid on the airport tram - that inclusion could not have been any more unnecessary. Cracked up at the coincidence of Gozilla travelling from Japan to Hawaii to San Fran.

Anyway what I did like about the movie was that Godzilla was there to fight the monsters and not humanity. I liked the ships moving with him, an the fact he buggered off at the end after his power barf. It really was a nod to the original - not just a monster rampaging in the dark a la the recent american movie. To have a monster fighting other monsters but not just being a mindless beast, is a bit of a difficult sell, so i'm willing to overlook all the weakness in the rest of the movie that basically surrounded that.

I'd definitely give it a solid 3.5.
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Post » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:57 pm

I endorse both of DJ's reviews (the review of Godzilla and the review of Monk's fading grip on reality).
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Post » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:36 pm

Yeah, I agree, 4 jumbo jets blowing up one after the other that we're shown in a smooth continuous pan shot isn't the least bit camp or funny. Which retard sed that, neway?

Edit: After properly reading, most of your criticisms of the film are pretty retarded and insulting, DJ, especially with regard to Watanabe being a token "go to Jap" in a fucking remake of a Japanese classic. Like, just think about what you said for a second. It actually makes no sense, and that you jump to that kind of conclusion (assuming the production team behind Godzilla, re imagining of an original Japanese film about the horrors of nuclear war made less than 10 years after the bombs were dropped, were completely culturally insensitive as to just go "hey we need a japanese guy, oh what about that ken wasabi guy). Not to mention Watanbe's willingness to do it???? I think it says a lot more about you than the film.

But to pick up on something specific:
Also couldn't work out what the deal was with the Japanese kid on the airport tram - that inclusion could not have been any more unnecessary. Cracked up at the coincidence of Gozilla travelling from Japan to Hawaii to San Fran.
If you didn't get the reason why Ford is shown with the little kid, and the entirely symbolic handing over of the toy soldier, in a film chock full of daddy issues and role, responsibility, duty themes, then I don't know what...

E2: cleaned up
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