257 of 304 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2014
This movie was simply perfect. It follows the Godzilla format perfectly while telling a unique and original Godzilla story. Many staples from the Godzilla franchise are all over this movie and plenty of fan service for the old school crowd. The director really captured the heart and soul of the Godzilla franchise. I get the idea that a lot of the hate you hear for this movie is coming from people who aren't old school Godzilla fans. Whether you are a fan of the Shôwa series, Heisei series or Millennium Series there is definitely something in this movie for you. I cant say too much more without spoilers.
On the other hand if you have never seen a classic Japanese Godzilla movie then this likely isn't for you. Like it's predecessors the story focuses on the human characters and the philosophical question of how much control does man have over nature. While there are some great monster on monster brawls if you strap yourself in for that reason alone you will be greatly disappointed. The best way to describe Godzilla is the love child of an art film and a disaster film. This movie was made for the existing fan base, not for the summer blockbuster crowd.
452 of 542 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2014
After seeing it in theaters with friends and a cheering crowd on opening night, i came home to see what the rest of the world thought and was confused by some of the rage people were haveing about it. The film was great but that is coming from a lifelong Goji fan. Don't believe what you hear the acting was good and Godzilla and the mutos are in the film for a collective 41 minutes. the music is perfect for the scenes really sets the mood. But some people just wanted a simple action movie with no characters or a subtle deep plot that some movies have.
169 of 205 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2014
There’s a scene early on in GODZILLA in which Bryan Cranston’s character, Joe Brody, has to make the fateful choice to close the blast doors that will keep a reactor leak at bay—with his wife still in the reactor. His wife, Sandra Brody, played by the amazing French actress Juliette Binoche, works with him at the Janjira power plant in Japan. Joe, begging, pleading for Sandra to hurry back, closes the doors, screaming in anguish when she doesn’t make it back in time—she’s stopped to help a fellow worker back up after he falls, the trembling walls around them only slowing them down. Joe leans against the side of the door and cries, blaming himself, the love of his life gone. But then a quiet knock rings out, tender almost. She’s at the door, looking at Joe through a small porthole. Radioactive gas surrounds her, and we know that “she won’t last five minutes, even with the suit”. Joe walks towards the window and Sandra looks back at him, taking her suit’s gas mask off. She knows she’s dead anyway. "I'm sorry," Joe says, Cranston inflicting every amount of pain and emotion he can muster into the line. Tears run down Joe’s cheeks and the second set of blast doors begins to close, blocking off the window. The last we see of Sandra, she’s smiling back at her husband—as if she wants the last time he sees her to be of her smiling. The final set of steel doors close, lock. Cranston leans his head on them and weeps.
It’s a powerful moment, and the sold-out, IMAX 3D audience I watched it with sat in stunned silence throughout it. We’ve been trained not to expect scenes like the one above in a summer blockbuster that features CGI monsters knocking each other out, and the audience reacted accordingly—I don’t think many were expecting to be tearing up in a movie called GODZILLA. As the doors closed on Juliette Binoche someone behind me whispered “Daaaaaang…”, and that’s when I knew director Gareth Edwards, arguably the next Steven Spielberg, had delivered with his sophomore film. His first film, Monsters, was an indie flick made for half a million dollars. That Legendary Studios and Warner Brothers believed in him enough to give him 160 million for this one says a lot.
It helps that Edwards clearly respects what came before: GODZILLA contains Jurassic Park references (a bus driver wipes the fog from his windshield to see Godzilla just like Malcolm does to see the Tyrannosaur), Jaws references (his spines cut through the water in extended shots just like the shark’s fin; the BRODY family), Close Encounters of the Third Kind references (Cranston sneaks into a military site, nobody believes his wild theories); there’s even a Mothra reference. What helps even more is that Edwards fills the film with talent: the aforementioned Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche give what could quite possibly be the best performances in a monster film ever; Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins plays scientists studying Godzilla; Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen play a husband and wife torn apart by the monsters’ destruction. It helps that every single one of these actors have been in acclaimed indie movies before, for none of them act like they’re in a dumb summer movie. Instead, all treat the material like they were in a smaller, more personal film, an edict Edwards himself personally told Cranston and Binoche to follow. This elevates the film immensely, making the film more about the Brody family then Godzilla himself. (Herself?)
When Godzilla does show up though, it’s glorious. Complete with motion-capture effects by the brilliant Andy Serkis (who played Gollum in the LOTR trilogy and Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes) Godzilla lives and breathes like a real creature we empathize with, feel for. He’s bigger and meaner than ever before, but at the same time the movie makes him our savior. He’s only here to restore balance, and the film makes it a point to show that he’s not out to directly cause harm to mankind. He causes a tsunami simply rising up out of Waikiki Beach, killing hundreds if not thousands in its wake, but it’s only to fight off another monster: a winged M.U.T.O. (Massive Unidentified Terrestial Organism) currently wreaking havoc across Hawaii. Later on his spines shield a bus full of children from some stray missiles carelessly launched by a panicked Navy cruiser.
Though the trailers are a bit misleading—despite what they make you think, it’s Taylor-Johnson who carries the film, not Cranston—Johnson carries the film superbly. Many reviews have criticized Johnson for being “flat” or “unemotive”; it’s simply not true. He’s a soldier, he’s trained to act that way—take it from someone who’s not only worked at a Air Base for two years, but someone who’s dated a girl leaving for the Air Force and is best friends with a current Army soldier. When Johnson is suited up and with gear, he acts exactly like a soldier should. He gets a couple nice scenes with his wife and son early on too, and there he doesn’t act like a soldier, he acts like a husband and father. He laughs with his son. He tells stories with his wife. He emotes perfectly fine.
Even when the film does slow down a bit with several scenes of exposition, “perfectly fine” is still an able description of it. At it’s best it’s applause-worthy though, and my audience burst into applause several times at key moments. Those key moments are worthy of the biggest screen you can find; when Edwards finally cuts loose and lets the monsters rumble, nothing can prepare you for the amount of awe-inducing shots. Director of Photography Seamus McGarvey crafts some of the best wide shots I’ve ever seen before, Edwards and Editor Bob Ducsay keep the cuts to a minimum and give us several extended tracking shots of sheer mayhem, and Alexandre Desplat gives the film a booming, awesome score worthy of the King of Monsters. Akira Ifukube’s classic Gojira theme is missing, but Desplat makes sure you never actually miss it. If there’s anything to miss, it’s Olsen herself—outside of some brief scenes running away from monsters, she’s not given nearly as much to do as everyone else. At times it feels like her runtime was cut, but it’s not detrimental to the movie as a whole.
Still, Godzilla is given plenty of screentime. Many have also complained that the titular creature merely cameos; those that complain must subscribe to the Michael Bay school of thought that explosions and action must carry on for hours on end. What Edwards has done here gives us a more thoughtful, slow-burn monster movie that builds to a fantastic climax, and it does pay off much better than any Transformers movie ever has. Think of it this way: in the original 1954 Godzilla, he only gets 17 minutes of screentime. Darth Vader is only in 12 minutes of “A New Hope”. The Joker is only in 33 minutes of the 152 minute “The Dark Knight”. Edward’s Godzilla is only in about 20 minutes of the movie but like the above examples, it feels like a lot more.
At the end of the day it’s clear everyone behind this film wanted to make the best film possible, and it shows. The King is back, and long may he reign. Gareth Edwards is also here, and long may he reign too.
175 of 218 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2014
Great film, but given how much I liked Gareth Edwards' MONSTERS I had no doubt it would be good. It's a slow build and slow burn of a film, sort of how JAWS and ALIEN worked in the 70s. All the stories of "not enough Godzilla"...naysayers- there is lots of Godzilla, but this comes from people who expect something "special effecty" in every frame of the film. Not a flawless film, and it was studio-edited meaning Edwards' cut of the film is actually 15 minutes longer including a scene cameo with Akira Takarada from the very first original Godzilla film,resulting in odd pacing here and there but on the whole, not a big problem. I suspect this cut material will show up in a director's version or deleted scenes on the disk. The film never tries to make anyone forget the original 1954 Godzilla(which critics in 1956 complained "not enough Godzilla" in that one, to give you some perspective). The film less tries to re-capture the funerary feel of the original and more gives us something of the 1960s and even 70s Godzilla films to call back to. Worth your time. Godzilla looks terrific too like a great samurai warrior which also bears in well with the story...
197 of 248 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2014
Every time he arrived I got the chill down my spine not knowing what was going to happen next. Every time they showed him all I could do was smile. It might not have been for long but when he did come... Oh boy was it worth it. People don't understand the concept of it! You show Godzilla too little and people complain... You show Godzilla too much and people will still complain! How Mr Edwards made the film was spot on. Well done Mr Edwards well done
60 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2014
Just a warning to prospective rentals of this movie. Most of the action sequences take place at night and while this might have looked fine in the theaters, watching it at home was just like watching a black screen. Really was an awful experience because of that. Buyer beware.
105 of 139 people found the following review helpful
There is a line of dialogue spoken in the last half of this year's GODZILLA that encapsulates the film so well it must be cosmic karma. The line is spoken by David Strathairn, who grimly inquires of his aides, "Where is Godzilla?". This sums up perfectly the flaws of Gareth Edwards' otherwise rather breath-taking monster movie. The movie is _called_ Godzilla. The trailers _showed_ Godzilla. We came to _see_ Godzilla. So where in the heck IS Godzilla? So, before we embark on my review on Godzilla, let me remind you that this is just my subjective opinion on the movie, and I'll try not to lose you, because this could get really deep.
First off, the saddest part is that Godzilla could have been so much greater. The trailers certainly showed us the potential (Godzilla, in my opinion, had one of the best marketing campaigns in recent memory). Here was a chance to make a movie that was epic, awe-inspiring and fast-paced, packed with action, humor and the kind of insanity you'd expect from a movie about a 400-foot monster with radioactive breath, fighting other monsters that look like the lovechild of H.R. Giger, a cobra and a butterfly. Instead we get a long movie (that feels much longer) saturated with a thick sense of doom, a convoluted plot that moves at a glacial pace, a collection of dour performances, a sprinkle of jaw-dropping fight scenes and apocalyptic imagery, and a little something thrown in on the side about...scientific hubris? nature out of whack? And all the while things are missing: a sense of fun and adventure, action, and namely, Godzilla.
Let's start with the plot. The way I remember it, GODZILLA is about these evil, flying MUTO's that Godzilla has to fight. Everything else, from the romantic subplot to the military subplot, to the symbolism to the setting to the ridiculous leaps of the imagination that are asked of the viewers is utterly secondary. The film moves at the pace of a lumbering behemoth, as characters go places, talk about things, and make you wonder why they're in the film at all. On the side, there is some action thrown in there. And you'll be happy when it comes, because it is utterly awesome, in the truest sense of the word. More on that later.
Let's talk a little about the acting. Consider last year's monster movie: Pacific Rim. A sincere and often goofy ode to kaiju, in every frame of the movie, every actor and every crewman is having fun. Characters have names like Hannibal Chau and Newton Geiszler. Godzilla has characters with names like Joe Brody and Ford Brody. Everybody plays their roles with grim faces and serious intonations. The only one having fun is Bryan Cranston, who chews the scenery with relish and gets all the best lines. The humans are utterly secondary to the monsters, and some of them have little to no impact on the plot at all. I'm certain there's at least one scientist or soldier who did zilch to advance the plot.
Now, I'm perfectly happy to not see the monster for a while, a la Jaws. We don't fully see the T-Rex or King Kong until almost 45 minutes into their movies, and we feel satisfied. But it works because in the meantime we're spending time with interesting and cool human characters like Alan Grant and Carl Denham. In Godzilla, talented actors like Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, and David Strathairn play cookie-cutter, thick, white bread characters that interest nobody. You'll be aching to see more than the monster equivalent of a little ankle. But maybe all of this works out in the end. Because when Godzilla goes the full monty, we are so pumped.
And that's where Godzilla gets good. That's why you should see the movie. Because when director Gareth Edwards finally gets room to gallop, he freaking gallops. The man has an eye for a stunning image, and he scatters the movie with the kind of jaw-dropping, terrifying, beautiful imagery you expected from the trailer. An abandoned city, given over to nature; a giant kaiju wreathed in smoke; trails of red smoke over a fiery San Francisco, the sheer bulk and might of Godzilla unleashed in the moonlight...these are images that will stay with me. Speaking of our titular character, when he DOES show up, he's unbelievably impressive. Edwards and the visual effects department have conjured up what might just be the best-looking Godzilla yet. They've captured a creature of immense bulk and weight and size, a force of nature...an "alpha predator" that makes the might of Uncle Sam's war machine look like ants carrying little sticks. His foes - the MUTO's, look equally impressive: a vaguely Giger-esque cross between a butterfly, praying mantis, cobra, and bat. They have glowing red eyes and crooked limbs and they fly like your worst nightmare. When these kaiju fight, they fight! The battle between Godzilla and the MUTO's is a hugely impressive action scene. It has weight and gravitas - this ain't the flashy glitz of Transformers or Marvel - this is big, scary, epic warfare that will leave you in awe. I wish we saw more of Godzilla, and less of...Ford Brody.
In conclusion, Godzilla does have some amazing action scenes and is visually stunning. When Godzilla is on the screen, the movie inspires awe and wonder. When he's off - and unfortunately that's for a major portion of the screentime, the film collapses under the weight of its dense, slow-moving plot, cookie cutter characters, and lack of action. But while Godzilla has its impact lessened, it is by no means a film you should avoid. I recommend the movie as a collection of unforgettable and gorgeous images and action scenes, separated by dense filler. If this Godzilla isn't the King of the Monsters, he's at least an Archduke. Maybe a Count. Or a Prince Regent.
Godzilla, Prince Regent of the Monsters, gets 3 stars from me.
P.S. If this review was helpful to you, please give it a like. Thank you!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2014
Godzilla fans and kids that enjoy monsters battling might enjoy this. It was filmed too dark and in several places you could not tell what was going on. But there was plenty of destruction. They hopped around the lead characters too much to give you a feel for them. I couldn't understand how the lead scientist instantly knew that one monster was bad and that Godzilla was good. Balance of nature, yeah well? Godzilla, when you could see him, looked pretty good. It was just missing something to the film. Kids might like to see this, but I can't see them watching it over and over like other Godzilla films. Perhaps it is simply filmed too dark, it takes away from the enjoyment. After all what kids don't want to see giant monsters fighting.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2014
The film is an authentic Benchmark subwoofer.
The shipping was fast.
The package came with default, if not due to simple wrapper with air bubbles or the fault of the manufacturer, as it comes with one of the two flange that joins the two broken and along sides with a small damage on the outside in the same place.
122 of 166 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2014
All in all, I loved the movie. It was a good origin story. I would like to see more monster action in the sequel though. I know many people were dissapointed because it wasn't a Transformers like Godzilla movie with fighting for the entirety of the movie but I feel that the sequel and the last installment of the Legendary series will have just that. I do not want to give away any plot so I will say that the first hour and 20 minutes mainly revolves around the character development with some Monster scenes thrown in here and there but the last 40 to 30 minutes contains more action. It is not the best Godzilla movie ever made, but i personally believe that this is a great reintroduction and start of a new vision of the king of the monsters.