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GODZILLA 2014 Post Release Discussion - Printable Version

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- filmmkr - 05-19-2014

"Wanna get drunk and fool around?" has more characterization in one sentence than I saw from all of the human characters in GODZILLA combined.




- sebastian ob - 05-19-2014

The characters weren't bad, the were just ordinary, because they were supposed to be ordinary people dealing with the extraordinary. They weren't superheroes or fascinating iconoclasts, they were army guys and scientists and nurses. They were meant to represent normality. This isn't making excuses, this is understanding who the characters were and what purpose they were meant to serve. You weren't meant to want to go outside afterward and play Brody the army guy. You were meant to go outside and play Godzilla.




- Nooj - 05-19-2014

Ordinary people can be compelling.  That's what strong storytelling does.



Chief Brody was simply a small town police chief who wasn't comfortable around water.  That didn't stop him from being engaging and compelling.



I don't think anyone in Godzilla is bad.  I just don't think they're used for much effect in terms of 'functionality.'  When I say they're barely functional, I mean to say that they just get us from point A to point B so that the movie doesn't seem like random scenes of 'where is MUTO now?'




- shaun h - 05-19-2014

The Mayor was compelling.




- sebastian ob - 05-19-2014

Expecting every movie to measure up to Jaws is maybe setting too high a standard. This was no JAWS, I'm not arguing that it is. But it was good.




- Nooj - 05-19-2014

I get that.



And I can empathize with those who found the characters in Godzilla good enough.  I have no doubt that there are other films I've given a similar pass to.



I just question the whole 'post-human' malarkey being used to legitimize the base functionality as some genius artistic choice.




- filmmkr - 05-19-2014

I think it's absolutely fair to expect lead characters with multiple scenes to have...personalities.



Godzilla has more character and personality in his body language for what little time he's on screen than any of the humans do who are in the whole movie.




- cccc - 05-19-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by Filmmkr View Post
 

I think it's absolutely fair to expect lead characters with multiple scenes to have...personalities.



Godzilla has more character and personality in his body language for what little time he's on screen than any of the humans do who are in the whole movie.


As do the Muto's and isn't that what this movie is about?  Them.




- Nooj - 05-19-2014

If not JAWS, I could stand for something on the level of JURASSIC PARK.  It's no great shakes.  But the personalities are clear and given contrast without conflict... particularly in the case of Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum.



Yes yes... not everyone can be Jeff Goldblum...




- agracru - 05-19-2014

Right. That's what I'm saying - that this is more Godzilla's/the MUTO's stories than the humans' stories. But, you know, I'm just distorting facts to make a point. Fuck me, right?




- agracru - 05-19-2014

See, I felt like Ford did have a clear personality. Loving family man and dedicated serviceman, ready and willing to help others even if it's not always in his best interests, etc.




- cccc - 05-19-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

If not JAWS, I could stand for something on the level of JURASSIC PARK.  It's no great shakes.  But the personalities are clear and given contrast without conflict... particularly in the case of Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum.



Yes yes... not everyone can be Jeff Goldblum...


Agreed, but then again they have to be.  The dinosaurs are pretty mindless in JP.  They see humans and want to kill them.  In Godzilla they have empathy and a reason for doing what they are doing.  They actually have a story arc, compassion, and a reason for being.  The humans are only in peril because they are in the way.




- Nooj - 05-19-2014

Well, at first it was the story of Bryan Cranston's obsessive search for the truth.  That was the actual story.  The mating ritual of the MUTOs is just events within that story.  It's no more a story than a Planet Earth segment.



Then they drop the Cranston POV.




- cccc - 05-19-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by agracru View Post
 

See, I felt like Ford did have a clear personality. Loving family man and dedicated serviceman, ready and willing to help others even if it's not always in his best interests, etc.


Exactly!  It might not be your typical Hollywood hero, but in his own quiet if not realistic way is.




- agracru - 05-19-2014

As I said earlier in the thread, I do wish we had a Godzilla '14 with fewer characters and more time to flesh them all out better on the page. I really think having Cranston and Olsen as the leads would have been a better choice than putting the brunt of the narrative focus on ATJ, even if I think ATJ did solid work here. But I don't think these characters are all empty, boring, blank slates, and I think there's enough there to make the waiting game played in between moments of monster action perfectly satisfying.




- Nooj - 05-19-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by agracru View Post
 

See, I felt like Ford did have a clear personality. Loving family man and dedicated serviceman, ready and willing to help others even if it's not always in his best interests, etc.



That is certainly there.



Doesn't really feel like a personality.  Just a general drive.  The guy really had no personality.  




- agracru - 05-19-2014

Also: I love that Godzilla is basically about the biggest Godzilla fanboy ever, Serizawa, quietly doing what he can to orchestrate events so he can see his idol go at it in the streets with two MUTOs. He only seems to know everything about Godzilla because he just does. Wouldn't be surprised if he had a Godzilla Fan Cave in his home, littered with 'Zilla collectibles and copies of every non-Emmerich Godzilla film ever made.




- cccc - 05-19-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 


That is certainly there.



Doesn't really feel like a personality.  Just a general drive.  The guy really had no personality.  


He's a military guy.  He's calm collective and just doing his job.




- Nooj - 05-19-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by agracru View Post
 

Also: I love that Godzilla is basically about the biggest Godzilla fanboy ever, Serizawa, quietly doing what he can to orchestrate events so he can see his idol go at it in the streets with two MUTOs. He only seems to know everything about Godzilla because he just does. Wouldn't be surprised if he had a Godzilla Fan Cave in his home, littered with 'Zilla collectibles and copies of every non-Emmerich Godzilla film ever made.


THAT would be a great reveal.



Watanabe's final close-up?  More personality than the sum total of the rest of the 'character' stuff in the whole movie.




- cccc - 05-19-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

THAT would be a great reveal.



Watanabe's final close-up?  More personality than the sum total of the rest of the 'character' stuff in the whole movie.


No, that would be stupid.  That's something a lessor movie does.




- Nooj - 05-19-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by cccc View Post
 

He's a military guy.  He's calm collective and just doing his job.



Also pointless in this 'post-human' work.



Not gonna excuse boring characters simply because he's a military guy.  Especially since he becomes the default lead once Bryan Cranston goes.




- Nooj - 05-19-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by cccc View Post
 

No, that would be stupid.  That's something a lessor movie does.


That's just how bored I was by the rest.



I'll take anything!!!



And clearly agracru and I weren't being serious.




- agracru - 05-19-2014

Which is why my version of this movie has him in a more prominent position as one of the leads. Watanabe just injects SO MUCH into a single character by widening his eyes a half a centimeter. He's great. I would have loved to spend more of the movie with Serizawa and Joe. They would have been a great screen pair together.



Ford might not have much by way of personality traits - he's funny/sweet/kind/loves Cheetos/hates reptiles/etc - but he has enough of a foundation to give him real drive and, honestly, to make him relatable. I'm no EOD tech, but I was on-board with his mission, which is a lot more about getting home to finally bang Lizzie Olsen than it is about stopping The Monster. He doesn't give a shit about this stuff. He's spent his WHOLE LIFE not giving a shit about this stuff. He just wants to be with his family, since he never really had one growing up.




- cccc - 05-19-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 


Also pointless in this 'post-human' work.



Not gonna excuse boring characters simply because he's a military guy.  Especially since he becomes the default lead once Bryan Cranston goes.


I don't know.  I never found him boring or annoying in any way.   He's exactly what a imagine military guy is suppose to be like in a situation (however crazy it may be) would be like.




- filmmkr - 05-19-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by cccc View Post
 

As do the Muto's and isn't that what this movie is about?  Them.



Absolutely. Humans dealing with the destruction they are causing.  Yes, I think it's fair to say that is what the bulk of the movie is comprised of.


Quote:

Originally Posted by cccc View Post
 

The dinosaurs are pretty mindless in JP.  They see humans and want to kill them



Even the clever girls? lol




- Nooj - 05-19-2014

And yet never did I feel any of that.



Never was that compelling drama.



I don't doubt that the foundation was there.  But the storytelling sure wasn't.



Which was the same thing I had against Pacific Rim.  Except in Pacific Rim's case, it tried to stuff too much onto simple archetypes without the storytelling really doing anything with them.




- agracru - 05-19-2014

Yeah, the comment about Watanabe is mostly jocular, but watching the movie, I just couldn't help but see him as a giant Godzilla nut. Dude wants to see Godzilla fight those MUTOs so bad. And he has so much geek-love for Godzilla before he even shows up on screen. He's just DYING to be at the forefront of the action here.




- Nooj - 05-19-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by cccc View Post
 

I don't know.  I never found him boring or annoying in any way.   He's exactly what a imagine military guy is suppose to be like in a situation (however crazy it may be) would be like.


Then you don't have a problem.




- art decade - 05-19-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 


Not gonna excuse boring characters simply because he's a military guy.  Especially since he becomes the default lead once Bryan Cranston goes.



I didn't find Ford boring at all. I thought he was extraordinarily real & normal. I know too many guys just like him. He was far away from the empty cipher of the leads in Tron: Legacy or Kingdom Of Heaven.



What would make him more compelling? An arc? Snappy lines? Angst?



The presence of the Ford character was perfectly balanced. Brad Pitt was a compelling lead in World War Z - it didn't make the movie better.




- cccc - 05-19-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

That's just how bored I was by the rest.



I'll take anything!!!



And clearly agracru and I weren't being serious.


How on earth could you be bored.  You had what 4 amazing set pieces leading up to the final battle.  Every single one meant something and was perfect in execution.



I don't get this.  I see the same reaction with kids these days finding Aliens boring because the first hour is leading up to the no holds bared action.




- Nooj - 05-19-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by Art Decade View Post
 

Brad Pitt was a compelling lead in World War Z - it didn't make the movie better.


He was compelling?



Actually, I'd say he's very similar to Ford... except without Pitt's screen presence.




- agracru - 05-19-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by Filmmkr View Post
 


Absolutely. Humans flailing uselessly over the destruction they are causing.  Yes, I think it's fair to say that is what the bulk of the movie is comprised of.



It's also comprised of lots of shots that focus on the monsters doing the damage, to the point where they're prominent in the foreground and aren't just incidental CGI creations causing lots of mayhem. Yes, I think it's fair to describe them as leads in the movie.




- Nooj - 05-19-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by cccc View Post
 

How on earth could you be bored.  You had what 4 amazing set pieces leading up to the final battle.  Every single one meant something and was perfect in execution.



I don't get this.  I see the same reaction with kids these days finding Aliens boring because the first hour is leading up to the no holds bared action.


I'm talking about the rest of the human stuff once Cranston is gone.




- agracru - 05-19-2014

...oh great, now this is going to become the World War Z thread all over again too.



I'm gonna have to abandon ship here.




- art decade - 05-19-2014

Jeez...sorry I brought it up.