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Godzilla Rises by ranger613

ranger613

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Hi all, have been working on a few edits on and off and the latest one completed is an extensive recut of this year's Godzilla. There's been a lot of love and hate thrown on this particular movie for a while, overall I'd have to say it was not a good movie. It ran for far too long focusing on paper-thin clichéd characters: the all-American hero with obligatory wife and kid, the determined but conflicted general, the noble scientist, the not-crazy-after-all kook, etc etc. I love the way the monsters were shot, especially in the fight sequences, but they were way too brief to justify the running time. The teasing cutaways pretty much ruined the movie for me, like, either show it or don't build it up at all! Nothing short of an actual studio re-edit can salvage this for me, but for what its worth, I put together a faster paced cut which focuses on the core of the story-- much more emphasis on Dr Serizawa and the military team (relevant to the situation) than on Brody's family (all irrelevant in the big picture) and their attempts to stop the monsters. If you enjoyed the theatrical cut, I agree that I'm cutting out and losing the arguably "emotional" or "human" moments of the film (family, power plant, etc) but its only to get a better Monster movie, which is what I want and it is. Hope to release it this week.

Original runtime: 122 min
Edited runtime: ~78 min (44 min cut)


Rough cutlist:
1. Removed credit sequence and replaced with brief titles
2. Trimmed helicopter ride/ mine shaft sequences in the Phillipines with Seruzawa
3. Bryan Cranston is one of my favorite actors--Breaking Bad was awesomeness. Here, he just drags the story unfortunately--entire power plant/Janjira sequence cut. As an intelligent audience, I don't think we need this to piece together what happened to his family when he talks about it with Brody in later sequences/ in his ruined house. It'd be a different story if Cranston was the hero of the film, then it would be more important to retain this sequence, but he is a minor character in this story (like Godzilla himself ;p)
4. Mine sequence cuts to San Francisco 15 years later. Cut Ford tucking son in/ making out/ packing. Phone call during homecoming party leads to Japan.
5. Trimmed Japanese detention center scene
6. Trims to Ford and dad in quarantine zone / Janjira plant.
7. Cut Elle (his wife) and son watching news at home.
8. Cut Cranston being choppered away--he dies in the initial attack and is never seen again. Ford and Seruzawa alone are helicoptered to the destroyer.
9. Cut shots of Cranston in bodybag. The debriefing is left intact--I thought this sequence was great.
10. Cut Ford going to Hawaii --He is not a monster magnet like in the theatrical cut, and is NEVER in Hawaii.
11. Cut Brody in train and no kid rescue. Train attack rearranged-- everyone dies ;/
12. Trimmed Hawaii beach sequence to cut dog/family escaping the tsunami. Everyone presumably drowns ;/
13. Las Vegas --cut the Elvis "Devil in Disguise" suite. This scene was illogical. Why would a military squad break into a hotel suite? Was the President staying there?
14. Cut Seruzawa's Hiroshima watch scene. Too heavy handed. Nukes are bad.
15. Cut Brody calling his wife / scenes of her in hospital
16. Cut entire train sequence. This did Nothing for the plot-- they chopper the bomb into the city anyway. Worse, I'm not sure if they were going for horror movie tropes with the lone soldiers in the dark and ominous music etc, but it didn't work. If cutting the train sequence and losing a Jurassic Park-style shot of the Mutos in the dark means getting to the main attraction quicker, then cut. Removed references as to why this was an analog bomb
17. Cut shot of helicopter retrieving bomb from ruined train
18. Cut scene of Brody's wife dumping his son on a school bus in the middle of a disaster
19. Trimmed several shots of Brody's son in the bus to de-emphasize his presence
20. Cut Brody looking for his wife in camp
21. Trimmed planning sequence for halo jump by removing references to the train, etc
22. Shortened scenes of finding and evacuating the bomb and edited monster fight sequence to flow closer together uninterrupted
23. Cut Brody and son's reunion with wife--she dies in this cut after the building collapses during the final battle. No happy endings

As you see from the list, the edit minimizes Brody's / family's characters resulting in far more emphasis on the monsters themselves. I think it has good flow and is a version I personally prefer to the theatrical. I hope you will enjoy it too. Any thoughts?

Cheers guys,
Kris
 

TM2YC

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ranger613 said:
1. Removed credit sequence

That was the best bit, I'm out ;-).
 

ranger613

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TM2YC said:
That was the best bit, I'm out ;-).

Respectfully disagree. This was the best scene, and the reason I went to watch it (in fact one of the most brilliant sequences I've seen, with the music evoking the monolith theme from 2001):


Rest of the movie didn't come close. Credits were fine, but I removed them to give my edit a different identity. ;-)
 

slekyr

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Cut list sounds great. Too bad you couldn't do a mash-up of this and Pacific Rim since you are doing both ;-)
 

ranger613

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KobaKommander said:
Cut list sounds great. Too bad you couldn't do a mash-up of this and Pacific Rim since you are doing both ;-)

Lol thanks! Too different in tone tho-- although that's a good thing in many ways. In any case, I hope they'll both be enjoyable. Any cool ideas for a title? I was thinking Godzilla Rises.
 

slekyr

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Oh man, I'm not very good coming up with titles, just kind of know a good one when I hear it. Godzilla Rises is good but what about "Crouching Heisenberg, Hidden Gojira" cause neither of them are in it for very long :-D

Seriously though, even with it's faults this movie had more of similar tone to the original Gojira (1954) so you could consider using that spelling in your title. Sorry I couldn't be more help.
 

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I just watched this on a plane the other day and was thinking 'man, this movie needs a fan edit' - the Jurassic Park mine site opening AND the Nuclear Plant opening were just too much, IMO - it took too long to get to '15 years later' and the real setting of the movie.
 

ranger613

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coinilius said:
I just watched this on a plane the other day and was thinking 'man, this movie needs a fan edit' - the Jurassic Park mine site opening AND the Nuclear Plant opening were just too much, IMO - it took too long to get to '15 years later' and the real setting of the movie.
Hey [MENTION=9214]coinilius[/MENTION], All fixed my friend [emoji6] This should be a good monster movie, not a family drama.
 

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KobaKommander said:
Oh man, I'm not very good coming up with titles, just kind of know a good one when I hear it. Godzilla Rises is good but what about "Crouching Heisenberg, Hidden Gojira" cause neither of them are in it for very long :-D

Seriously though, even with it's faults this movie had more of similar tone to the original Gojira (1954) so you could consider using that spelling in your title. Sorry I couldn't be more help.
Lol good idea man!
 

Zarius

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Heh, I was thinking exactly the same as you with the ending.
 

ranger613

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Hi yup, it creates a darker tone overall-- thousands of people actually die in an attack like this. The goal was not to turn Godzilla into Pacific Rim, but to make it a better, grittier and more realistic monster movie by removing the superfluous family moments and not making the lead a superhero (which was ridiculous in the original-- the dude was literally a monster magnet). I kept the 'arrogance of man' aspect in to retain the feel of the original Japanese classic, and in the end I think this shorter version makes better use of the theatrical cut's inherent strengths by telling a darker story.
 

slekyr

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ranger613 said:
Hi yup, it creates a darker tone overall-- thousands of people actually die in an attack like this. The goal was not to turn Godzilla into Pacific Rim, but to make it a better, grittier and more realistic monster movie by removing the superfluous family moments and not making the lead a superhero (which was ridiculous in the original-- the dude was literally a monster magnet). I kept the 'arrogance of man' aspect in to retain the feel of the original Japanese classic, and in the end I think this shorter version makes better use of the theatrical cut's inherent strengths by telling a darker story.

This reminded me of this...

 

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Lol [MENTION=30073]KobaKommander[/MENTION] that was hilarious! Yes, the ending here is better than the original
 

bionicbob

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Will you be adjusting the colour/contrast/brightness to make the night scenes clearer?
 

ranger613

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bionicbob said:
Will you be adjusting the colour/contrast/brightness to make the night scenes clearer?
Hi bionicbob, going in I knew this was a frequent issue. I tweaked the contrast and brightness during the final battle only , but not much and only in the darkest scenes as it was clear enough in the bluray source I used to make the edit. The end result is clear. The dark train scene is competent excised
 

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Article from DVDTalk:
Whether or not you appreciate the slow reveal of our scaly hero in the flesh, it's easily Godzilla's most admirable element. Much like Jurassic Park's T-Rex or Jaws Himself, this approach does a fine job of building dramatic tension and, combined with the film's jaw-dropping visuals and grounded "street-level" perspective, succeeds in creating an appropriately epic atmosphere. This is by no means a rubber suit monster and Godzilla fares all the better for maintaining such a difficult illusion...and even if its lesser elements drag everything else down equally, this film has earned the right to exist on visual merits alone. But the sound design is even better, as the guttural growls, fierce roars, chaos, and carnage hit viewers on almost every possible level. What's more is that Godzilla doesn't just serve up a punishing sonic barrage from start to finish (like Transformers, for example), which actually gives our ears more reason to celebrate when the action arrives.




WARNING: Moderate to heavy spoilers ahead.
As for the film's less admirable elements...well, unfortunately, they're about as difficult to ignore as a 355-foot monster destroying a downtown district. Perhaps Godzilla's most noticeable flaw is its bland characters and the flat performances that make most of them feel even more vanilla. Ford Brody is our focal point during much of the film for whatever reason, and most viewers will struggle to root for such an obtuse hero. Ford abandons his wife and young son almost immediately after returning from active duty. He makes very few attempts to contact them and, when he does, asks them to wait for him to return instead of, you know, leaving the damn country. His wife literally hands over their son in one of the film's most baffling moments. In both cases, they put their jobs ahead of their family, and for basically no real reason. But don't worry: they'll be conveniently reunited almost immediately after the chaos settles down, much like a similarly lost little boy that Lieutenant Brody nestles under his wing. These baffling decisions are only rivaled by flat performances, and even supporting characters like Admiral William Stenz (David Strathairn) and Dr. Serizawa just feel completely phoned in.


Yes, and about those convenient reunions: they wouldn't bother me nearly as much if Joe Brody weren't killed off long before the halfway mark. It's a relatively pointless act of bait-and-switch that basically wipes out Godzilla's only memorable human figure, both due to Cranston's committed performance and the way his character is established. This, combined with his wife's early death, tricks us into thinking anything can happen and, from a human perspective, a lot of crazy stuff does happen. But since certain loose ends are tied up in a wildly uneven or (worse yet) clichéd manner, that earlier act of cinematic trickery just feels all the more deflating. Geez, they could've at least given the poor guy a more heroic death (or a more charismatic son, while we're at it). So while the hard-hitting presence of monsters and the film's visual prowess give Godzilla a "popcorn pass", from a human standpoint it runs on fumes during the second half. In an accompanying featurette, director Gareth Evans---during production, presumably---ensures us that he aimed to make a timeless film and not a cheesy Hollywood blockbuster. But from more than one vantage point, that's pretty much what we got anyway.


Either way, Godzilla shines from a technical perspective and, in that respect, it'll sporadically knock your socks off as the chaos ensues. The end result almost plays out like the polar opposite of Pacific Rim, though: while Guillermo del Toro's ambitious free-for-all buried its technical innovations in goofy, almost mind-numbingly stupid layers of story aimed at 12 year-olds, Godzilla takes slightly more serious source material and aims for a more realistic, ground-level experience. Both miss the mark for different reasons, but they're still loaded with eye candy and worth getting lost in for that reason alone.

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/64961/godzilla-2014/
 

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ranger613 said:
....As for the film's less admirable elements...well, unfortunately, they're about as difficult to ignore as a 355-foot monster destroying a downtown district....

Reminded me of this article talking about the relative size of Godzilla and the depth of the water under the golden gate bridge and the inaccuracies of the scene that takes place when he attacks it. This is one issue I had with the film but only after having several discussions and analyzing the film in great detail.

This is extremely nit-picky but I feel that the scale of Godzilla seemed to change throughout the film. He caused a tsumani when he went ashore on Hawaii but didn't cause one when he entered back into the San Fransisco bay.

http://www.godzilla-movies.com/community/forums/topic/35936

Since I am talking about Godzilla's size, here is a cool image I found showing how it's size has changed over the years.

godzilla-size.jpg



Oh also on a completely unrelated note, here is a cool video talking about who would win in a fight by the guys at Screw Attack. Apologies for taking the thread on a detour [MENTION=10544]ranger613[/MENTION]

 
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