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GODZILLA 2014 Post Release Discussion - Printable Version

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- turingmachine75 - 05-16-2014

AYour let down was as big as this bus.


- bradito - 05-16-2014

AI honestly can't understand why a Godzilla fan would be disappointed by this movie, unless they're a 5-year-old and just want to watch monsters punch each other for 90 minutes.


- bigmclargehuge - 05-16-2014

It just depends what era you prefer. I wouldn't be surprised if a Roger Moore Bond fan didn't like Skyfall.




- agracru - 05-16-2014

Alright, well, my own thoughts on this:



Obviously, I liked it. In fact, I liked it a lot. The film engages with the same sort of social stuff that the original did, in terms of using this giant monster (or, these giant monsters) as a means of reflecting the contemporary concerns of society. In this case, you could argue that Godzilla '14 is a disaster movie for an America that is seemingly constantly being hammered by all sorts of destructive natural events - mudslides in Washington, sinkholes in Baltimore, tornadoes in Middle America, and let's not forget about storms of yesteryear like Nemo or Sandy. But the film doesn't just dovetail imagery from the events that have hit the United States. You may also think of earthquakes in Haiti or floods in Malaysia while watching the film, and if the genesis of Godzilla's first of two big bads doesn't evoke memories of Fukushima, well, I don't know what does.



So this feels like a Godzilla that can speak to an international audience, rather than a strictly American audience. Clearly Edwards hasn't calibrated his picture to satisfy the modern blockbusting expectations of both US and international viewers, though apparently this movie will make stupid amounts of money anyways, which is something I'm so incapable of fathoming that I kind of want it to fail. (I don't really, but a strong box office take will wrinkle my brain on numerous levels.)

Everything that's been said about Godzilla in the press is true. It's slow. It takes its time. It teases Godzilla throughout before really going nuts with him at the end. The characters are mostly bland. Some could have been cut out entirely. It's incredibly well-shot. The effects are great. There's not much else I can say to add to that, but all of these elements work in tandem with one another, because unlike Roland Emmerich, Edwards understands what a Godzilla movie should be all about. The '54 original is about the only film in the franchise that I would genuinely describe as "good" (and I do love the franchise as a whole). Most of them just engage high camp and use literally everything as an excuse to justify Godzilla's presence, behavior, and choices.



This movie is much the same way. All of the stuff that goes into the story is there in service to building toward Godzilla's arrival. If you can't live with that, this isn't the film for you. It's not that the material buffering monster sequences is really bad; it's not. It is mostly functional at best, with Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Ken Watanabe representing the only interesting people in the film - and Watanabe is only interesting for his wild-eyed, shell-shocked performance, which requires him to wander into frame, mutter philosophical nonsense, and wander off. Taylor-Johnson is actually pretty terrific, but apart from the two of them (and Bryan Cranston), no one here really matters.



Except Godzilla. Godzilla matters a lot. Edwards clearly adores the King of All Monsters; he shoots him in absolutely breathtaking ways, and yes, the image of him swimming blithely through the Pacific while flanked by absolutely tiny military seacraft is stunning. You can take Badass Digest at its word on this.



Everyone complaining about how "nothing happens" until the third act is fucking wrong. A lot happens. It's just that most of it doesn't involve Godzilla. Most of it instead involves MUTOs stomping the shit out of Las Vegas and generally acting like assholes. There's great disaster stuff here; the train scene in particular is pretty harrowing, and Edwards directs it perfectly. The aftermath in particular raised my eyebrows; most movies would have the hero walk away from that looking mostly clean. Taylor-Johnson walks away looking like a mud-caked corpse. It's great. And those sorts of details are all over the place here.




- subotai - 05-16-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

I honestly can't understand why a Godzilla fan would be disappointed by this movie, unless they're a 5-year-old and just want to watch monsters punch each other for 90 minutes.


Because the characters more or less sucked.  Monsters good, humans bad.  Hopefully they straighten that out if they do a sequel.




- bradito - 05-16-2014

AI liked how the movie kept coming up with reasons to involve Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the action.

But if you go to a Godzilla movie expecting a character study, you're a weird bird.


- Richard Dickson - 05-16-2014

I did like the understated nature of the ending, how we'd just seen all this fury unleashed and now the waters are eerily still once again.  But there was a part of me that wanted to see Godzilla suddenly wake up, look around, and head off purposefully, and as he does, we see news reports of another monster having arisen somewhere else in the world.  Big G on the job once again.



Of course, we've been so conditioned to movies that tease the next entry, something that just tells its story and ends can be seen as a disappointment.




- cccc - 05-16-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 

I did like the understated nature of the ending, how we'd just seen all this fury unleashed and now the waters are eerily still once again.  But there was a part of me that wanted to see Godzilla suddenly wake up, look around, and head off purposefully, and as he does, we see news reports of another monster having arisen somewhere else in the world.  Big G on the job once again.



Of course, we've been so conditioned to movies that tease the next entry, something that just tells its story and ends can be seen as a disappointment.


I do like complete movies.  I honestly hate the stinger credit thing that is so popular now.  For me movies are becoming like a TV series and stingers are previews for next week.  Blah.




- Nooj - 05-16-2014

AWanting engaging characters and performances doesn't mean we suddenly want a Godzilla movie to be a character study.


- bradito - 05-16-2014

AElizabeth Olsen has pretty eyes. I was engaged.

The movie fucks up by killing Cranston off because he's more interesting than Taylor-Johnson.

But I was still relieved the script didn't fall into the typical Hollywood screenwriting trap of making everyone a complete asshole. Even the Admiral wasn't a total cocksucker.


- MichaelM - 05-16-2014

I was also glad we didn't get the typical "Each character as a tragic past or emotional crisis which will be solved at the end of the movie" bullshit shoehorned into these kinds of films.




- bradito - 05-16-2014

AEach asshole had an asshole thing happen to them that made them an asshole.


- stelios - 05-16-2014

It's a vicious cycle of assholes.




- bradito - 05-16-2014

AJuliette Binoche should've come back as Female Dr. Manhattan.


- don swoosh - 05-16-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by cccc View Post
 

I do like complete movies.  I honestly hate the stinger credit thing that is so popular now.  For me movies are becoming like a TV series and stingers are previews for next week.  Blah.


This has been my problem with the Marvel Studios films from the get.  They're television on the grandest scale.



Nolan ruined me when he ended Wayne's journey in RISES.  And now, I want films to be more complete stories than ever.  It's the reason I like Man of Steel so damn much.  Yeah, we know what WB wants but you can watch that movie and not have to see anything else and you get where Clark is going to go in his life.  It's a one-off movie.  And I love that this one was as well.  Love it!




- agracru - 05-16-2014

If I had to change anything about this movie: make Cranston and Watanabe the leads. Cut out Hawkins entirely. Cut out Taylor-Johnson. Replace him with Olsen as a lead.



I like Aaron, and I think his story works. At the same time, we've seen the military try to tangle with Godzilla and other gargantua before, and I think the strength of Monsters stems from being on the other side of that. Letting Olsen try to remain calm and cool in the mayhem, helping people along the way as she can, would have been more interesting to me, to say nothing of that fact that she's one of the most underused and most dynamic actresses of her generation.




- agracru - 05-16-2014

And yes, I also liked that Godzilla just submerged and swam off. If he's meant to represent a force of nature, that just makes sense; the typhoon comes, wreaks havoc, and then dissipates, leaving calm and destruction in its wake. It's appropriate that Godzilla more or less does the same thing here.




- cccc - 05-16-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by agracru View Post
 

If I had to change anything about this movie: make Cranston and Watanabe the leads. Cut out Hawkins entirely. Cut out Taylor-Johnson. Replace him with Olsen as a lead.



I like Aaron, and I think his story works. At the same time, we've seen the military try to tangle with Godzilla and other gargantua before, and I think the strength of Monsters stems from being on the other side of that. Letting Olsen try to remain calm and cool in the mayhem, helping people along the way as she can, would have been more interesting to me, to say nothing of that fact that she's one of the most underused and most dynamic actresses of her generation.


A earlier draft of the script had a female as the lead.




- ryoken - 05-16-2014




- mikei - 05-16-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by cccc View Post
 

A earlier draft of the script had a female as the lead.



You mean... a wo-man?




- shaun h - 05-16-2014




- shaun h - 05-16-2014

And here's some more photos from last night: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.713799795329432.1073741845.394419627267452&type=1




- cccc - 05-16-2014

LOL!  Looks fun.




- shaun h - 05-16-2014

Alamo's the greatest. I wish you all could have one. People who take the time to hang out in a place like CHUD deserve them.




- bradito - 05-16-2014

AThe more I think about this movie, the more I like it.


- agracru - 05-16-2014

Yeah, the more you think about this movie, the more I like it too.




- cccc - 05-16-2014

It does grows on you.  That's how Monsters was.  Now see it again and you'll even enjoy your second screening more.  I did.  Of course I did IMAX 3D and it blew my mind.  you pick up all the little details and shit.



- chris dogg - 05-16-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

I honestly can't understand why a Godzilla fan would be disappointed by this movie, unless they're a 5-year-old and just want to watch monsters punch each other for 90 minutes.

That was everyone else in my group.  I'm honestly the only one that really liked it.  They couldn't get over the Hawaii fight not being properly shown.  It only made things worse when they cut away after the bomb shelter doors shut in Frisco.



Most of my audience had similar reactions.  Lots of groans and boos actually.  The theatre was pretty silent when it ended.  I stayed out of my friends' bitchfest afterwards. It bummed me out.



Through the other forums I've browsed it seems A LOT of people are really disappointed in this.  Shame.




- bradito - 05-16-2014

AI guess people go to the movies now expecting a series of climaxes loosely strung together by coincidence. I didn't think the movie was perfect, but it's a damn sight better than what's in store for us this summer.


- jacob singer - 05-16-2014

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Dogg View Post
 

Through the other forums I've browsed it seems A LOT of people are really disappointed in this.  Shame.



If by "A LOT" you mean "about a third" then ok.




- bitches leave - 05-16-2014

AThe visuals were amazing but come on guys, the characters and the endless exposition from Watanabe and that female scientist (and from everyone in a uniform) almost became a joke. When the general walks around that command center giving his little Muto speech, while no one in the room listens to him, the audience at my screening couldn't help laughing.

I had hoped that this Godzilla would have some kind of arc so that we actually cared whether he'd be hurt or not. At the end when he lay there I felt nothing as opposed to crying like a little baby whenever I see King Kong die in the (otherwise pretty awful) 77 version.

The slow reveal of Godzilla is OK but it should have come a little earlier. It's also OK that they choose not to give him much character and treat him as a force of nature killing hundreds in his wake, but then the human characters should be a helluva lot more interesting.

People compare this in some ways to Spielberg, the difference is that Spielberg almost always make sure the central characters burn through the screen and make us care.


- bradito - 05-16-2014

AGeneral? He's an Admiral!

Bitches, were you even paying attention to the endless exposition?


- bigmclargehuge - 05-16-2014

Quote:
When the general walks around that command center giving his little Muto speech, while no one in the room listens to him, the audience at my screening couldn't help laughing.


No, this is great. The scene sets up the Admiral as a intelligent, reasonable man. He's in the Jun Tazaki mold of army leaders.



You have a point that the movie assumes you're rooting for Godzilla though. I can respect that someone going into this movie blind might not care, and isn't given any reason too.




- Nooj - 05-16-2014

The exposition wasn't even endless.



It was just without drama.  Just word salads going in one ear and out the other.  And none of it really mattered to me other than... "LET DEM FWOOOIIIGHT."  Because the rest of it was the usual "NATURE IN BALANCE" jumbo that I could hear in my sleep.



The cover-up was not compelling aside from Cranston's loony drive to expose it for himself.  So from there, it's just people doing their jobs and doing them well.  I appreciate that the military is doing its best and not becoming some defacto villain... but that lack of human conflict isn't replaced by anything else that's engaging or resonant.  So when the movie constantly teases the monster fights (which I'm totally fine with in concept), what was there to cut to?  For me, not much.  And the fact that the movie also wants to illustrate how humanity is utterly insignificant to these GODS... makes the lack of drama within the human stories really hurt the movie as a whole.  I know Ford ends up destroying MUTO's children... but that seems like a gimme so that the humans don't come off TOO insignificant in a film that REALLY just wants to be a KING OF THE MONSTERS movie.





Finally, BL.  

WE FWWOOOIIIIGHT SIDE BY SIDE.




- bradito - 05-16-2014

AMUTO = Motherfuckin' Ugly-Ass Terrestrial Organism.