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Godzilla Cinematic Universe Thread


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On 30. Mai 2019 at 6:41 PM, Chen G. said:

 

It doesn't "need" to be (even though I personally like it that way, but never mind).

 

It just worked for 2014's Godzilla, is all I said.

 

And contrary to what people will tell you, that approach is not a 2000s thing. It just peaked at that time, after two decades of gradual maturation.

 

KotM is reaonably serious. 

You need to be very careful with seriousness in this kind of movie, especially one with that background and history. A somewhat "serious" plot belongs to Godzilla just as much as the tongue firmly in cheek. There are also shades of seriousness. I would much prefer a really dark Godzilla movie, almost in the horror realm, to that standard Hollywood drama that also feels like it has to send some sort of message.

Godzilla 2014 was on the verge of being silly in its seriousness at a few points.

 

There is a line that shouldn't be crossed in these kind of films because then you deny the audience access to the film, when the over the top images they see clash with the overly serious tone of the story. That's what is then perceived as stupid or trashy.

It's one of the major reasons why the SW prequels are considered trashy or bad movies. Because the overly dramatic, verbose, and self-indulging seriousness of the script clashes with the visuals of all the iguana riding, lava surfing, and Jar-Jaring.

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Heck, the original Godzilla is a very serious film, if an allegorical one.

 

The aftermath of Godzilla's attack is treated like a nuclear attack would be treated in an earnst war drama.

 

Makes it feel more mature as a piece of storytelling.

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34 minutes ago, Larry O said:

 

Pretty sure Ishiro Honda answered that one 65 years ago

 

I'm also pretty sure you can't retell the same exact story for 65 years. Without the subtext of the Hiroshima bombing, which was still fresh in memories, Gojira is just a monster film. A great one, but still just that. 

On top of almost all the Millennium series' films being reboots, and Shin Godzilla being a reboot, and Godzilla 2014 being a reboot, I'm pretty sure we don't need another reboot repeating the same theme.

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Regarding the Oxygen Destroyer in the original film...

 

Spoiler

Of course, anyone whose seen KotM will know it makes an unexpected appearance in the film, but it's really garish in contrast to how it's treated in the 1954 film. In that original, it's treated as a terrifying new weapon that Dr Serizawa treats with absolute dread and mournful regret, that it's this heavy moral dilemma at the decision to actually use it. But in KotM, military guy randomy Skypes in and says "We have a new weapon called the Oxygen Destroyer, we're gonna use it to end this once and for all, get outta there, it'll kill everything in a two mile radius!". And so they deploy the weapon and it goes off like a friggin nuke and not like the unsettling bubble effect of the original, but all it does is give Godzilla a severe case of drowsiness, instead of dissolving his flesh off in a disturbing manner like in the '54 film.

 

It's amazing how they sucked all the meaning and significance away from that '54 element to become a throw-away ID4-style Houston nuke moment.

 

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5 hours ago, Larry O said:


that's not really the same thing you were initially complaining about, though. It doesn't have to be the exact SAME thing in order for it to be "reasonably serious." 

The idea you keep going back to, that the monster's nature (and more specifically, it's size) precludes it from any "reasonable seriousness" being applied is pretty arbitrary, overall. Monsters are monsters. You can tell serious monster stories. Many have. Is the specific monster story in "King of the Monsters" deserving of the reasonably serious approach being taken? Not really. Or rather - they didn't execute the seriousness so well that it justified the approach. 

But you're repeatedly making the argument that there's something inherently lesser in the very premise of Godzilla, that Godzilla as a concept itself is somehow beneath "reasonable seriousness" and that's an argument I think fails out when applied to films like, for example, "vs. Destoroyah" or "Shin" or even the 2014 version. You don't have to take Honda's original out of context (Why would you want to, by the way? What good would that do? Even with the context removed it's still "reasonably serious") in order to strengthen your assertion that the series is inherently silly. What the series is, is malleable - it can be whatever it needs to be based on whatever the person in charge of that movie wants it to be. It's flexible, and very much so. That's part of the reason it still resonates after 65 years.

You're arguing that it's inflexible, and that its very nature is baseline stupid, and aspiring beyond that base (and stupid/silly) nature is pointless. I disagree strongly. There's a lot of value in approaching monster stories with reasonable seriousness. That seems self-evident to me. Have people executed it well? Not as much as anyone would like, I'd guess. But that doesn't mean it should no longer be attempted. 

 

 

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Ughh you know, James used to do fun movie reviews and he was pretty good at placing them within a fairly digestible cultural context, but reviews like this one demonstrate how he seems more content these days to just lounge out with his nobody mates and pick apart films in superficial video listicles. It's a bit sad to watch really. It's a big reason why I migrated to RLM as a stronger authority on pop movie criticism - whether I agree or disagree with Mike and Jay's conclusions, they do have a deeper understanding of the language of film that James seems to lack the ability to articulate. He used to be a pioneer at online video critiquing, standing as an inspiration to other fledgling content creators, but now he's fallen into the worst of YouTube geek culture excesses.

 

 

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15 hours ago, Larry O said:


that's not really the same thing you were initially complaining about, though. 

 

But it is. 

Your point is that the original Gojira proved a serious approach to Godzilla can work. But it's only perceived as very serious because the World War II bombing is the context and background. The shots of the wounded and the dead for example wouldn't be half as impactful without it.

If you wanted to do a similarly earnest film, you'd need to either a) do a remake, or b) find an equally tragic historic event to base a movie on.

Which, by the way, Shin Godzilla does by evoking the Tsunami and Fukushima.

 

I cut the text that follows because I said none of the things you think you read.

 

Also, concerning above tweet, likeable characters and a great story aren't the same.

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27 minutes ago, gkgyver said:

likeable characters and a great story

 

Thank you!

 

Some filmmakers made a career out of telling stories centered around unlikable characters!

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32 minutes ago, gkgyver said:

Your point is that the original Gojira proved a serious approach to Godzilla can work. But it's only perceived as very serious because the World War II bombing is the context and background.


That's not the only reason "Gojira" is percieved as serious at all though. And it also ignores other films that took a "reasonably serious" approach, such as Ghidorah (91), Destoroyah, Biollante, 2014, Shin, etc. Not to mention literally any other "reasonably serious" monster movie (The Descent, The Mist, King Kong, Alien, Predator, etc.) that's ever existed outside of this series, many of which didn't need a near-genocidal wartime tragedy as inspiration to generate a sense of depth and meaning. Was "Cloverfield" a 9/11 riff? Absolutely. Does it work as a "reasonably serious" monster movie without that allegory being present? Absolutely. Same way most kids who first saw "Godzilla" (even the Burr re-edit) understood that movie is meant to be serious without realizing it was a comment on America dropping nuclear bombs on Japan. 

The whole of your argument is "It should be nothing but stupidity and weightlessness, there's no need for anything otherwise" and I disagree with that stance. There are way too many positive examples of fantasy & science-fiction being approached with "reasonable seriousness" for me to accept your premise. 

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3 hours ago, The Original said:

 

Quote

However, “King of the Monsters” will come somewhat closer to “Kong: Skull Island,” the second installment in the Dark Universe franchise. That film took in $61 million in its 2017 debut.

Quote

Dark Universe

 

When you don't care enough about something that you forget which universe it's in and which studio it's by.

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Wasn't that supposed to be Universal's monster universe that they completely botched by regenerating The Mummy with a failed crappy movie starring Tom Cruise instead of Brendan Fraser?

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Just now, Dieter Stark said:

Wasn't that supposed to be Universal's monster universe that they completely botched by regenerating The Mummy with a failed crappy movie starring Tom Cruise instead of Brendan Fraser?

 

That's the one.

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Saw the film today, in IMAX, today and visually it was impressive. The story was somewhat thin but not as bad as everybody makes it out to be.

 

But I think the 2014 film was better in terms of structure and pacing. There’s no suspense or buildup in this film.

 

The sound mix is pretty loud and hard to make out the music. My seat actually shook during the opening logos. I did enjoy the end credit version of Godzilla’s theme minus the chanting.

 

Charles Dance’s character was a wasted opportunity as well as Mothra.

 

 

Before the film started there was a nice montage of almost every Godzilla film / cartoon. From the Hanna Barbara series, Showa, Heisei, Millennium, Shin, 1998, 2014 and Anime.

 

 

Oh, they were also giving away these mini IMAX posters.

 

 

44892141-49E2-459E-B3F6-EDDBD6CB1205.jpeg

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One unintentional chuckle, it looked like Tony Stark and Mark Russell were living in the same cabin. 😉

 

 

 

Things I didn’t like.

 

 

 


1.  Mothra was underused. The trailers show all her action for the most part. 

2. Too many characters. Had they just focused on the Russell family and Serizawa it would have kept the plot more focused.

3. killing Sally Hawkins, although I suppose it was meant to be the shocking moment especially after she just saved Mark Russell

4. the music was buried in the mix, especially during adult Mothra’s birth. That should have been the moment to let Mothra’s song shine, instead you can hardly hear it.

5. Charles Dance’s character was underused. It would have been better to just let Emma be the mastermind.

6. There’s no sense of wonderment or buildup. The Mothra larva hatches 10 or so minutes into the film and Daugherty steps on the accelerator from there and really doesn’t stop.

7.  Rain, rain, rain and night battles......

 

 

 

Things I liked

 

 


1. Serizawa, it’s a shame he had to die but his scene is powerful. And Ken Wantanabe is a fantastic actor and brought credibility to the series.

2. Ghidorah, this is the best performance / rendition of the monster. Each head had its own personality.

3. The same for Rodan, minus the multiple heads.

4. The family drama. Had they just focused on that, I think people might appreciate the story more.

5. The nod to the Shobijin with Zhang Ziyi’s character’s family history. Although it was somewhat awkwardly inserted in.

6. The Kaiju battles were fierce and well done. 

7. “You’ve gotta be fucking kidding!”  Yeah I laughed.

8.  The use of the older Godzilla roars from the Showa era.

 

9. The opening logos, my seat actually shook.
 

 

 

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In regards to Godzilla vs Kong next spring:

 



 

Charles Dance isn’t listed as a cast member, it looks like only 3 characters are returning from GKOTM, so it’s going to be interesting how the after end credit scene plays out.

 

In case you’re curious, Godzilla rips one of Ghidorah’s heads off during their second fight. Ghidorah manages to regrow a new head.  After the credits we see Charles Dance and his team being lead to the severed head in a warehouse, where a fisherman wants to sell it. Dance says he’ll take it before the scene ends. 

 

 

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It's interesting that this is the first American Godzilla movie to actually be directed by an American. The '98 film was directed by a German and the 2014 one by a pom. To me, it really shows. The film feels like a modern update on the 90s Trendmasters toys, as if Dougherty was a committed collector and read all the character bios on the trading cards that featured.

 

Anyhoo, in KotM Godzilla himself becomes a bold symbolic statement of American military might, ready to defend the homeland against space monsters when called upon. And it's oddly appropriate, since even in the '54 film, he was a metaphorical embodiment of American nuclear destruction. Dougherty decided to spin that in America's favour, and essentially keep in the tradition of Americans adopting Godzilla as an immigrant of their very own. In this movie, all that mournful dilemma about the nuclear age is glibly chucked away when they decide to blow a nuke in his face just to wake him up. Such a casual use of a terrifying weapon! And I was guilty of this approach as a kid playing with Godzilla dolls too. It's almost creepy how Dougherty hit this movie so close to home.

 

As for thIs movie's box office, it disappoints me deeply that general audiences just weren't interested enough. I think it just demonstrates that giant monsters are probably too larger-than-life for regular people out there - sigh, they're just not realistic and relatable enough. Even as a hardcore fan, I can't deny that there's a wide disconnect between a human being's ability to emotionally connect with big kaiju - they're just a bit too animalistic and maybe even a bit too foreign for regular viewers.

 

Ah well, after Godzilla vs Kong, I'll definitely say it was good while it lasted.

 

IMG_20190603_141538.jpg

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3 hours ago, The Original said:

  

IMG_20190603_141538.jpg

 

Did Godzilla grow between this and Gareth Edwards' entry?

 

The size of 2005's Kong works much better than scaling up Kong so he could fight with Godzilla for Skull Island. If you make Kong too large, he can't interact with people convincingly anymore, which he does both in King Kong (2005) as well as attempts to in Skull Island.

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10 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

Did Godzilla grow between this and Gareth Edwards' entry?

 

Yes he did! In the 2014 film, he's 108 meters, and in the 2019 film, he's 119.8 meters.

 

Someone illustrated the difference.

IMG_20190528_025527.jpg

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4 hours ago, The Original said:

As for thIs movie's box office, it disappoints me deeply that general audiences just weren't interested enough. I think it just demonstrates that giant monsters are probably too larger-than-life for regular people out there - sigh, they're just not realistic and relatable enough. Even as a hardcore fan, I can't deny that there's a wide disconnect between a human being's ability to emotionally connect with big kaiju - they're just a bit too animalistic and maybe even a bit too foreign for regular viewers.

Well, PJ's Kong went for something a little more manageable with the 'relationship' between Ann and Kong and perhaps the size of the monster might've played a part, but back then Kong looked fucking huge, but not like a crazy, oversized thing like in Kong: Skull Island.

 

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Well, there's a lot more buildup to Kong's appearance in King Kong (2005) than in Skull Island, so that helps with making his appearance more dramatic.

 

He's also more animalistic: basically a scaled-up, more intelligent silverback as opposed to the bouncer that is Kong in Skull Island.

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He's a stop-motion puppet?

9 minutes ago, The Original said:

He's really more like his 1933 self in KSI.

 

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On 6/3/2019 at 3:35 AM, Stefancos said:

 

No, they made Godzilla huge because skyscrapers in the USA are far far larger than buildings were back in 50's/60's Japan.

 

 

Toho actually did that in 1984, when they brought Godzilla back after a 9 year absence. The original Godzilla was 50 meters from 1954 to the last film in 1975. 

 

To compensate for modern skyscrapers they increased his size to 80 meters, 2 films later they bumped it up to 100 meters until his last film of the 90’s in 1995.

 

The 1998 US film had him around 70 meters. When Toho restarted in the 2000’s he was around 60 meters until the last film in 2004, where he was 100 meters.

 

2014 film made him 108 meters, Shin Godzilla was 118 and to finish the “my dick is bigger than yours”, Warner Bros made him 119.

 

Oh and let’s not forget the anime trilogy that concluded last year that made him a ridiculous 300 meters. But that was set like 2000 years in the future or so.

 

Anyhoo, here’s a size chart thru Shin Godzilla.

 

 

 

6E78105A-D8A9-45F5-AB1A-3DC72645CB8B.jpeg

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Godzilla Earth is just ridiculous, TBH. There's no reason for it to be 300+metres and since there are no cities or buildings for it to compare to, the size impact is totally lost.

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1 hour ago, Stefancos said:

Hopefully Netflix will pick up the franchise and the Monsterverse will continue as a series of streaming films?

 

Couldn't be any worse than those awful Anime flicks.

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I cannot imagine how that is possible. The more I think about it the worse the film becomes. 

 

I cannot think of a worse movie Ive seen in 2019.

Ooops I Stand corrected. I saw pet Semetary. Makes many bad films look better. 

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I caught the finale of the 2014 movie on TV again. One thing I really noticed is how slow both Godzilla and the MUTOs moved during battle. It lent an incredible amount of weight and heft to them. They felt real. All other CGI fights these days, including in KotM, make the movements of the CGI beings really fast and consequently, weightless. I seem to recall Rodan's maiden flight was handled really well though. It was the one sequence in the whole movie that left an impression on me. The music helped too. 

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2 hours ago, Hurmm said:

I caught the finale of the 2014 movie on TV again. One thing I really noticed is how slow both Godzilla and the MUTOs moved during battle. It lent an incredible amount of weight and heft to them. They felt real. All other CGI fights these days, including in KotM, make the movements of the CGI beings really fast and consequently, weightless. I seem to recall Rodan's maiden flight was handled really well though. It was the one sequence in the whole movie that left an impression on me. The music helped too. 

 

The only thing I notice in the 2014 finale is the bold heroic Hollywood music for Godzilla retreating to the sea. It's so unfitting for a Godzilla movie it's not even funny.

If you could condense all that's wrong with the film into one scene, this is it.

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