If this is your first time here please read our FAQ and Rules pages. They have some useful information that will get us all off on the right foot. More details on our policies, especially our Own the Source rule are available here. If you do not understand any of these rules send a private message to one of our staff for further details.

My Year with Godzilla
Week 45: 'Godzilla vs. Megaguirus' [2000]
Is Godzilla in it? Yes.
Sub or Dub? Sub

Godzilla: Radioactive Mutant, Force of Nature, Pest Controller

Another Millennium movie, another Godzilla timeline. Here, Godzilla was not destroyed in 1954 but continued to wreak havoc upon Japan over the decades. Such was the devastation that Osaka became the new capital and nuclear energy was outlawed, lest it attract the giant lizard. In the meantime, a new form of energy is created, which leads to the invention of Dimension Tide, a mini portable black hole, designed to eliminate the Big G once and for all. However, a trial run inadvertently produces a mutant bug which multiplies and feeds the larger 'Queen' - the titular Megaguirus. Much fly-swatting ensues.

'Godzilla vs. Megaguirus' is a strange mix of old and new which just barely works. The blend of CGI and practical effects is a good example; when it's good (such as the scene of hundreds of bugs attacking Godzilla) it's very effective, but unfortunately there are more scenes that aren't. The climatic battle between the two kaiju is a camp retelling of any of the wrestling matches from the 70s. And yet there is also the gruesome deaths of a couple which could have come from a straight horror film. It leaves the impression that this film doesn't know what it wants to be.

The suits are good: Megaguirus is a cool-looking kaiju, though I wasn't so keen on the purply-pink tints on Godzilla's scales. Like the rest of the film, the miniatures can look great one minute and then cheap and ridiculous the next. The third act pours on the cheese in terms of action, acting and especially dialogue, but I was along for the ride by this stage. This film is unlikely to be in anyone's Top 5 Godzilla films, probably not even in the Top 10, but it has a certain charm, if you can get past its eclectic tone.
It's not the years, it's the mileage.
I'm writing a book! Check out my progress at Good Morning, Page
[+] 2 users Like Garp's post
Reply
BONUS: 'Kaiju Mono' [2016]
Is Godzilla in it? No. Godzilla connection: Features kaiju
Sub or Dub? Sub

A giant beast emerges. A super serum turns a nerd into a muscle-bound giant pro wrestler. Silly but fun antics ensue.

'Kaiju Mono' pokes fun at the kaiju genre in a ridiculous yet charming way. Kaiju Mono looks like a Chinese dragon, with a purposely ill-fitting suit, and the miniatures are similarly basic. But this film isn't trying for realism, capturing the spirit of the genre instead. There are some genuine laugh out loud moments here, though I felt that I was missing a lot of the more culturally specific jokes. It seemed as though there were Japanese celebrities peppered throughout the film, mocking themselves, but these went whizzing over my head. No matter - I enjoyed it nonetheless. Yes, some of the targets are obvious (the protesters who immediately spring up in defence of the kaiju, for example) and the jokes telegraphed by a mile, but it was silly enough to keep me entertained. A few more jokes or a tighter runtime could have helped a saggy middle, though.
It's not the years, it's the mileage.
I'm writing a book! Check out my progress at Good Morning, Page
[+] 1 user Likes Garp's post
Reply
BONUS: 'Negadon' [2005]
Is Godzilla in it? No. Godzilla connection: Showa era homage
Sub or Dub? Dub

This CGI short film sets out to capture the feel of the Showa era kaiju films and almost succeeds. The animation is excellent - in fact, too good to mimic the practical effects of the 60s - and the film overall is too dry and serious. It needs a healthy dose of camp, or at least some element of fun, to truly feel like a Ishiro Honda film, for example. A nice concept, but could have done with a lighter touch.
It's not the years, it's the mileage.
I'm writing a book! Check out my progress at Good Morning, Page
[+] 1 user Likes Garp's post
Reply
Week 46: 'Shin Godzilla' [2016]
Is Godzilla in it? Yes
Sub or Dub? Sub

In a formerly kaiju-less Japan, a beast rises from Tokyo Bay. The aquatic beast confounds the experts by swiftly mutating and rampaging on land. The government, scientists, private sector and foreign powers combine to try and stop the beast they named 'Godzilla'.

This was not the film I was expecting. The newest Toho reboot cherry-picks certain elements of the Gojira legend and places them inside a pseudo-documentary of a nation in crisis. 'Shin Godzilla' is a disaster movie first and foremost; the fact that the disaster relates to a giant sea beast is secondary.

This is a Godzilla we haven't seen before. He has been created by the reckless disposal of nuclear waste rather than the atomic bomb, and has alarmingly quick mutating abilities. When first seen, he is a floundering sea slug with googly eyes, and it takes another three mutations until a more recognisable shape emerges. Even so, this iteration can produce radioactive blasts from various parts of it body and has a creepy-looking tail.

If the original 'Gojira' from 1954 was an analogy of the horrors of the bomb, this Godzilla seems to be channeling more recent disasters - typhoons, nuclear plant meltdowns - and chaos management. It's not a bad idea, and it's an interesting way to convey it, but ultimately it doesn't 'feel' like a Godzilla film. Godzilla spends a large chunk of final act asleep while the humans bicker over the most effective and least destructive way to deal with him. Again, the film brings up some interesting points, especially regarding America's involvement and the morality of another nuclear strike over Japan. But it becomes like a thriller in which the murderer is less important than the procedures used to capture him.

The effects are excellent with nary a rubber suit in sight, which makes the use of the classic Godzilla roar and theme tune seem anachronistic. I watched the subtitled version, which may have been a mistake - there is a lot to read, this being a very talky film, not counting the on-screen name, occupation and location for seemingly every one of the 100s of characters and settings.

That being said, I still enjoyed it, and would probably enjoy it again (dubbed this time) now I know what to expect. It may not be your father's Godzilla, but it might actually have been your grandfather's.
It's not the years, it's the mileage.
I'm writing a book! Check out my progress at Good Morning, Page
[+] 1 user Likes Garp's post
Reply
BONUS: 'Day of the Kaiju' [2014]
Is Godzilla in it? No. Godzilla connection: Features kaiju; Godzilla name-checked at the very beginning.
Sub or Dub? Sub

This 30 minute film is a perfect companion piece to 'Shin Godzilla', being concerned more with bureaucracy than the beast. A month after a purposefully-unnamed kaiju wreaks havoc in Japan, it washes up on the beach of a small town, assumed dead. The town grapples with how to deal with its unwanted resident, caught between its new-found notoriety, offers of extra money from the government and rivalries with other neighboring towns.

'Day of the Kaiju' is a slow-burn film with a small budget feel. The acting is good, especially the lead (Satoshi Iwago) who struggles most with the direction certain decisions are heading. The film builds to its inevitable climax (let down slightly by the effects here). It's well done overall, though especially recommended for those who enjoyed the red-tape aspect of 'Shin Godzilla'.
It's not the years, it's the mileage.
I'm writing a book! Check out my progress at Good Morning, Page
[+] 1 user Likes Garp's post
Reply
BONUS: 'Colossal' [2016]
Is Godzilla in it? No. Godzilla connection: Features kaiju

Anne Hathaway plays Gloria, an alcoholic young woman who returns to her small hometown after her boyfriend dumps her. As she reconnects with a childhood acquaintance, a giant monster appears in Korea. Slowly, Gloria begins to realise how closely these events are linked...

I can't remember the last time I was so blindsided by a film. I knew the basic premise of 'Colossal', and recall seeing a trailer a while back. Based on the preposterous scenario and the cast, I was expecting a comedy. I was wrong.

This film is not really about monsters - or, at least, not the giant rampaging kind, although they do exist in this movie. No, the monsters this film is interested in are addiction, jealousy and our own inner demons. Some of this is presented a tad clumsily and with heavy-hands, specifically Gloria's alcoholism, while others seem to spring from nowhere. 'Colossal' takes such a sudden and dark turn in the second act that it almost seems like a completely different film. Maybe that was the point, but I think some foreshadowing would have been better to alleviate the whiplash.

 If you like Anne Hathaway, you'll probably find nothing wrong here; she plays an older version of her character in 'Rachel getting married'. I'm not a fan, but she didn't ruin the film for me. Jason Sudeikis stands out in a complicated role, and the minimal supporting cast do what the lead's friends do in these kind of movies, being both quirky and anonymous. The effects are quite good, the kaiju having interesting designs. The constant flashbacks that tease the origin of the kaiju neither explains nor adds much to the story, and the film begins to wander aimlessly towards the end. It's almost as if the writer-director had a handful of different endings in mind and chose the least bad. Even for a film that requires a huge dollop of suspension-of-disbelief, I found the ending ridiculous and unsatisfying.

With that said, I still enjoyed 'Colossal'. It has some interesting things to say about relationships, our expectations and desires, and our frustrations when those expectations aren't met. Not all of these hit their mark, and it thinks it's more profound than it is. But it's a different take on the kaiju genre and worth checking out all the same.
It's not the years, it's the mileage.
I'm writing a book! Check out my progress at Good Morning, Page
[+] 1 user Likes Garp's post
Reply
Week 47: 'Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters' [2017]
Is Godzilla in it? Yes.
Sub or Dub? Dub

In this Toho-produced animated film, Godzilla and his mates have royally screwed up 20th Century Earth. So much so, in fact, that its inhabitants up and leave, traversing space in search of a new home. When they decide to head back to Earth, they discover that it is 20,000 years later. And Godzilla is still King of the Monsters...

It's obvious a lot of effort went into this production, which makes me feel bad for stating that I did not enjoy it. The animation takes some getting used to - it's CGI that looks hand-drawn, with 2D graphics that look 3D. It's very stylized and can look amazing when it works, distracting when it doesn't. However, all visual pizzazz aside, it's just a tad boring.

The characters are ultra-serious and SHOUTY much of the time; even the inclusion of alien races - a throwback to an early Godzilla trope - doesn't add much. I nodded off several times, and later on stopped bothering to rewind, as it was clear I hadn't missed anything relevant in terms of plot. The 20,000-years-into-the-future element is intriguing, but so far (this being Part 1 of a trilogy) it didn't mean anything except for new mutations for our heroes to shoot at. (When a Godzilla turns up, it seems it's spent the past few thousand years at a gym - this thing is pumped up!)

It's disappointing as this could have been so much better. I'm hoping it improves somewhat over the next two installments, but my expectations are already in check.
It's not the years, it's the mileage.
I'm writing a book! Check out my progress at Good Morning, Page
[+] 1 user Likes Garp's post
Reply
BONUS: 'Cloverfield' [2008]
Is Godzilla in it? No. Godzilla connection: Features kaiju

The most beautiful 20-somethings in New York gather to wish Rob a 'Bon Voyage' as he is about to embark on a vice-presidency position in an unstated Japanese firm. In the midst of the celebrations, a giant monster attacks the city. Rob decides to lead a mission to rescue Beth, his friend-with-benefits, from mid-town Manhattan, all conveniently captured on film by his idiot buddy Hud.

This found-footage film suffers from the usual downfall of this genre - why on earth would you still keep filming when it's obvious you'd need the maximum amount of vision while this chaos is raging around you? Apart from the fact that this film portrays the cameraman as the dimmest bulb in the group, no explanation is given and so we go along for the shaky, motion-sickness-inducing ride.

The effects are very well done, and the mini-beasts that the main kaiju produces are a nice touch. Does it need stating that this film evokes memories of 9/11? Probably not. The dust covering the city's inhabitants are obvious enough.

The film does just enough before the mayhem starts to craft some backstory for the main participants, but not enough to warrant any sympathy for their plight. Perhaps the film realises somewhere in the third act that it's all too ridiculous, as they stumble from one fatally bad decision to another, adding extra cheese to the drama and dialogue. Still, overall it's well put together with some good set-pieces (the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty is pretty iconic now) although, like me, you may find yourself rooting for the kaiju by the end.
It's not the years, it's the mileage.
I'm writing a book! Check out my progress at Good Morning, Page
[+] 2 users Like Garp's post
Reply
BONUS: '10 Cloverfield Lane' [2016]
Is Godzilla in it? No. Godzilla connection: Part of the 'Cloverfield' Universe

A young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) leaves her boyfriend, gets involved in a car accident and winds up in the basement of a crazy survivalist (John Goodman). Along with one other inmate (John Gallagher Jr), she must decide whether to believe his ramblings about an apocalypse or try to escape.

I wasn't certain I was going to buy cuddly, jolly John Goodman as a man on the edge, but he surprised me; he plays stoically crazy pretty well. The fact that he is crazy isn't really in doubt, the only question being how crazy. Is the outside air truly contaminated? Are extraterrestrial forces really attacking Earth? Winstead is believable as she swings from humoring Goodman to beginning to trust him and back again.

The film doesn't really have much to play with - there are only 3 main characters in one cramped location - but it adequately conveys the confinement of the situation. The film goes for broke at the end, while I would have preferred a more ambiguous climax. Nevertheless, it's entertaining and worth a view, especially for Goodman's performance.
It's not the years, it's the mileage.
I'm writing a book! Check out my progress at Good Morning, Page
[+] 1 user Likes Garp's post
Reply
Week 48: 'Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle' [2018]
Is Godzilla in it? Yes.
Sub or Dub? Dub

This CGI sequel probably follows on from 2017's 'Godzilla: Planet of Monsters', but as that was largely forgettable I'll just have to trust that there's some continuity here. Earth has been taken over by Godzilla, forcing the population to flee into space, returning in a timey-wimey way 20,000 years later. Earnest animated stuff ensues. And talking. Lots and lots of talking.

I'm not sure whether I slept through most of this one or it just felt like it. I had no idea what was going on, or why, and honestly didn't care either way. None of the characters had developed a sense of humour since their last outing - just more love of discussion - and even the visuals seemed lacklustre. It's the sort of middle-entry-of-a-trilogy film that gives middle-entry-of-a-trilogy films a bad name. Everything seemed to be there purely to set up the grand climax of the next film. (Whether there is actually a 'grand climax' remains to be seen. I'm not hopeful.) There are two short female twins, safeguarding an egg. There is mention of a fierce space monster, worse than Godzilla, whose name can only be whispered (the post credit scene gives you the name, if you hadn't already worked it out).

So, yeah, Mothra and Ghidorah are turning up in Part 3. We get it. Why not just tease that at the end of Part 1, and skip this film completely? I suppose it was entertaining for people who missed Avatar's Pandora and wanted an anime version of that, but otherwise this was a turgid mess. Here's hoping that Godzilla, Mothra & Ghidorah go back in time in Part 3 and decide to make a better trilogy on their own.
It's not the years, it's the mileage.
I'm writing a book! Check out my progress at Good Morning, Page
[+] 1 user Likes Garp's post
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)