Escape to the Movies: Godzilla - Breaking Kaiju

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Would this movie have worked better if Ken Watanabe is to Godzilla what the fairies were to Mothra?

longjones:

tdylan:

What? Do you think Batman should be like, some kinda..."ninja" or something, with a smaller, more mobile and lightweight costume that allows for speed, flexibility, maneuverability and cunning, as opposed to "I'm here to beat down everyone in the room" body armor? Pssh! Where ever would you get an idea like that.

No. But I don't think that armor should depict a naked man.

That's because it's not really armor.

That's all Affleck under there. Sort of like how more agile characters like Spider-man and Captain America don't run around in 100 lbs of kevlar.

OT: Who would imagine that the best part of a Godzilla film is Godzilla, and that when Godzilla isn't around we're all waiting for Godzilla to show back up again.

I'll give it this: no way can it be worse than the LAST Hollywood Godzilla film.

Kumagawa Misogi:

Andrew Siribohdi:
I think you're fair in this review, especially since you make the comparison to Jaws so we understand where you're coming from.

Also, I'm hearing a lot about this old-guard critics vs. geek critics a lot from you lately. Has this become an actual problem?

If you disagree with Bob you are racist, sexist, homophobic, ignorant, bible bashing non thinker. So yeah Bob's lashing out at those who get paid far, far more than him in his profession that think he's full of shit that is everyone that is not him.

Uh, have anything intelligent to discuss in these topics? Or are you just here to bash and hate with no rhyme or reason? At least tell us why you disagree.

OT: Yeah, this film was largely disappointing. If it wasn't for that last fight, I'd say not go...but that last fight is really, really awesome. Still, if you don't care for the big screen, see it on DVD or wait for a matinee showing.

Sniper Team 4:
Say it ain't so, Bob. Say it ain't so...

Why do movies feel they need to focus on the humans in these types of movies? It's the same thing that killed the Transformers movies. That is not what people go to these types of movies for. Humans should be the supporting B role in the stories, not front and center. Sigh...

Still going to go see this at least once, but I fear my expectations have been extremely lowered.

Because watching a monster vs monster battle for more than 15 minutes would get boring?

I think a lot of people predicted this was going to happen, Is it at least better than the 1998 Godzilla movie?

Andrew Siribohdi:

Also, I'm hearing a lot about this old-guard critics vs. geek critics a lot from you lately. Has this become an actual problem?

No. This is a phoney thing that some of the self proclaimed "geek critics" have been trotting out lately. Seems like maybe they are feeling a need to justify their opinions/nostaligia for some of the drek out there.

Not sure why they are feeling the need to defend themselves since I can't think of any critics that carry any weight on what people will actually go and see since the old days of Siskel and Ebert. Back then a review could effect viewership, but who out there really bases their decisions on what an blogger has to say? That time has passed.

This basically what I've been hearing from everyone, including the positive reviews. The parts of Godzilla with Godzilla are amazing, but we spend too much time on boring humans.

I also agree with Movie Bob. Watching a movie that is almost great is much worse than watching a movie that is truly bad.

tdylan:

I think Pacific Rim knew what it was/wanted to be and it embraced it. How do you have a movie called "Godzilla," that barely features Godzilla? To Bob's credit, as he said, that worked for Jaws, but the reason it worked was because we didn't keep cutting to the police chief trying to get back to his wife and child while other people on the boats were hunting Jaws. Also, the only reason we got the Jaws movie that we did was because they couldn't make the shark swim correctly, or something to that effect, so they had no choice but to use it/show it less. Godzilla doesn't have that excuse. Based on the review, how little Godzilla is apparently in it, and how little he is seen, why even call it "Godzilla?" Why not call it "Kaiju Rising," or some other such nonsense, and make us say "man! Could you imagine if they made a Godzill movie with those effects?"

a movie without much godzilla in it being called godzilla you say? Well i might just have to draw your attention to this little know cult classic made in 1954 called Gojira you may have heard of it. Snarky ass comment aside if the shark in jaws had worked that movie may not be remember half as well as people do now, a movie that holds back the action will i think be remember longer than one that doesn't because that feeling of YES FINALLY AND IT IS GLORIOUS leaves a longer lasting impact. Coming back to pacific rim I enjoyed almost every moment of that movie but that movie climax's with 45 minutes still to go and by the end i was thrilled with what i had just seen but also completely exhausted.

Is it just me or was this video in serious need of a spoiler warning? Maybe I missed it but Bob really does mention and discuss some pretty big chunks of the plot, particularly with the way the titular monster is characterized.

Kumagawa Misogi:

Sniper Team 4:
Say it ain't so, Bob. Say it ain't so...

Why do movies feel they need to focus on the humans in these types of movies? It's the same thing that killed the Transformers movies. That is not what people go to these types of movies for. Humans should be the supporting B role in the stories, not front and center. Sigh...

Still going to go see this at least once, but I fear my expectations have been extremely lowered.

Because watching a monster vs monster battle for more than 15 minutes would get boring?

True, but the action should never take a back seat to the human characters. In Transformers 2 and 3, during the big battles, instead of showing us the robots fighting, it keeps focusing on Sam and his girlfriends running through the explosions while we see the robots fighting in the background. Go read the very first comment on this clip about how the action cuts to a little boy watching TV to see that this film is committing the same sin. Yes, humans need to be involved in these movies because otherwise it does get boring, but having the humans override everything else in these movies is never a good idea. Like I said, they are not the reason people go to see these types of movies.

I didn't even feel that the fight was all that good. Discounting that it was all at night and in a haze making it hard to focus on, everything felt like it was in slow motion and utterly underwhelming. All the angles were wrong, and what we did see was uninteresting.

Sounds like a classic Godzilla flic. He never gets much screen time until the End, and that's usually just for the fight. The Human story has always been on one side of crazy. Most of the build up is for who he's going to fight, and not him.

Really, had the 98 Godzilla been just as bad as it is, but had a real Godzilla it would have gotten a pass. The Sin of 98 was that it wasn't Godzilla. It was a monster Godzilla eats for breakfast.

As for motivation it's actually fairly simple. Why did the Wolves kill the Coyotes in Yellowstone? They didn't eat them. The Coyotes aren't a real threat. They just brutally murdered the coyotes. However, the Coyotes are a real predator that is in its territory. That's all the reason the Wolves needed. The same question can be posed as Why do we bother to kill Wolves? Whatever answer you give is why Godzilla goes after other monsters that show up. If you don't understand, or can't give a real answer then you fail to understand humans, and other predators. It's assumed that being human would mean that you'd know this, but that's not always the case I guess.

Bob thinks that if it weren't for all the other human characters, Godzilla would be a perfect monster movie.

So its sorta like the Transformers movies, where the human characters are more important that the beings that name the movie?

From the looks of it the whole thing is ruined by Hollywood's belief that audiences need a white male family man character to feel identified with or they won't go to watch the movie.

I get the feeling they were trying to make a franchise opener with this, that the point of this film is to pave the way for more films to come and we might never get that one completely awesome Godzilla film because they're driven to make sequels and a complete film can't have those.

Sniper Team 4:

Kumagawa Misogi:

Sniper Team 4:
Say it ain't so, Bob. Say it ain't so...

Why do movies feel they need to focus on the humans in these types of movies? It's the same thing that killed the Transformers movies. That is not what people go to these types of movies for. Humans should be the supporting B role in the stories, not front and center. Sigh...

Still going to go see this at least once, but I fear my expectations have been extremely lowered.

Because watching a monster vs monster battle for more than 15 minutes would get boring?

True, but the action should never take a back seat to the human characters. In Transformers 2 and 3, during the big battles, instead of showing us the robots fighting, it keeps focusing on Sam and his girlfriends running through the explosions while we see the robots fighting in the background. Go read the very first comment on this clip about how the action cuts to a little boy watching TV to see that this film is committing the same sin. Yes, humans need to be involved in these movies because otherwise it does get boring, but having the humans override everything else in these movies is never a good idea. Like I said, they are not the reason people go to see these types of movies.

'Looks at how much money the Transformers films have made'

Oh look your right the Transformers films bombed so very badly!

I've heard many people complain about that in Pacific Rim, a film I thought was terrible but not for not focusing on the action.

I'm seeing Godzilla on Tuesday so I'll give you my opinion of if it doesn't focus enough on the action then.

Uriel_Hayabusa:
Is it just me or was this video in serious need of a spoiler warning? Maybe I missed it but Bob really does mention and discuss some pretty big chunks of the plot, particularly with the way the titular monster is characterized.

When bob doesn't really like a movie i think he tends to skip spoiler warnings.

medv4380:
Sounds like a classic Godzilla flic. He never gets much screen time until the End, and that's usually just for the fight. The Human story has always been on one side of crazy. Most of the build up is for who he's going to fight, and not him.

Really, had the 98 Godzilla been just as bad as it is, but had a real Godzilla it would have gotten a pass. The Sin of 98 was that it wasn't Godzilla. It was a monster Godzilla eats for breakfast.

As for motivation it's actually fairly simple. Why did the Wolves kill the Coyotes in Yellowstone? They didn't eat them. The Coyotes aren't a real threat. They just brutally murdered the coyotes. However, the Coyotes are a real predator that is in its territory. That's all the reason the Wolves needed. The same question can be posed as Why do we bother to kill Wolves? Whatever answer you give is why Godzilla goes after other monsters that show up. If you don't understand, or can't give a real answer then you fail to understand humans, and other predators. It's assumed that being human would mean that you'd know this, but that's not always the case I guess.

I didn't know about the wolves vs coyotes thing, but I'll give you that. That said, how does that work with regard to this film? Godzilla sees them as predators in his territory. Okay. What does Godzilla prey upon? After the wolves killed the coyotes, did they go back to their dens and fall asleep? The wolves themselves continued to hunt their prey, yes? And the wolves didn't migrated to Yellowstone because "coyotes are there. we need to kill them," right? Godzilla should have been stomping around doing Godzilla stuff until these guys showed up, and then went all "wolf on their coyote." I mean, tell me if I'm wrong. Was Godzilla in hibernation during the movie, and had to be "woken up?" If so, how was he "put back to sleep?"

Almack:

tdylan:

I think Pacific Rim knew what it was/wanted to be and it embraced it. How do you have a movie called "Godzilla," that barely features Godzilla? To Bob's credit, as he said, that worked for Jaws, but the reason it worked was because we didn't keep cutting to the police chief trying to get back to his wife and child while other people on the boats were hunting Jaws. Also, the only reason we got the Jaws movie that we did was because they couldn't make the shark swim correctly, or something to that effect, so they had no choice but to use it/show it less. Godzilla doesn't have that excuse. Based on the review, how little Godzilla is apparently in it, and how little he is seen, why even call it "Godzilla?" Why not call it "Kaiju Rising," or some other such nonsense, and make us say "man! Could you imagine if they made a Godzill movie with those effects?"

a movie without much godzilla in it being called godzilla you say? Well i might just have to draw your attention to this little know cult classic made in 1954 called Gojira you may have heard of it. Snarky ass comment aside if the shark in jaws had worked that movie may not be remember half as well as people do now, a movie that holds back the action will i think be remember longer than one that doesn't because that feeling of YES FINALLY AND IT IS GLORIOUS leaves a longer lasting impact. Coming back to pacific rim I enjoyed almost every moment of that movie but that movie climax's with 45 minutes still to go and by the end i was thrilled with what i had just seen but also completely exhausted.

You keep missing the Point, you CAN have a monster Movie that doesn't show the monster half the time, that works for suspense just fine. Here is the thing though, what you put on screen INSTEAD of the monster, has to be INTERESTING, and this is not. Brody doesn't even do stuff that are related to Godzilla during his segments. He just keeps trying to get back to his family who are just as boring as he is. Why is he even in the Movie? He doesn't have any skills that are related to the monsters or anything. His big thing is that he is a bomb-expert and he doesn't even deactivate the damn bomb. There is quite litterary NOTHING he does in the Movie that other characters couldn't have done just as well. And his Connection to Godzilla is marginal at best.

Almack:

tdylan:

I think Pacific Rim knew what it was/wanted to be and it embraced it. How do you have a movie called "Godzilla," that barely features Godzilla? To Bob's credit, as he said, that worked for Jaws, but the reason it worked was because we didn't keep cutting to the police chief trying to get back to his wife and child while other people on the boats were hunting Jaws. Also, the only reason we got the Jaws movie that we did was because they couldn't make the shark swim correctly, or something to that effect, so they had no choice but to use it/show it less. Godzilla doesn't have that excuse. Based on the review, how little Godzilla is apparently in it, and how little he is seen, why even call it "Godzilla?" Why not call it "Kaiju Rising," or some other such nonsense, and make us say "man! Could you imagine if they made a Godzill movie with those effects?"

a movie without much godzilla in it being called godzilla you say? Well i might just have to draw your attention to this little know cult classic made in 1954 called Gojira you may have heard of it. Snarky ass comment aside if the shark in jaws had worked that movie may not be remember half as well as people do now, a movie that holds back the action will i think be remember longer than one that doesn't because that feeling of YES FINALLY AND IT IS GLORIOUS leaves a longer lasting impact. Coming back to pacific rim I enjoyed almost every moment of that movie but that movie climax's with 45 minutes still to go and by the end i was thrilled with what i had just seen but also completely exhausted.

With regard to "Gojira," in all seriousness, I've never heard of it. I have no idea what that movie is, or what it's about. I'm assuming Kaiju, somehow.

We can speculate until the end of time about what Jaws could, or could not have been. We know what it is, and we know why it is. Again, it's because the build up to the reveal didn't revolve around a generic, cornfed, "all american" character "just trying to save his wife and kid(s)" when there are much bigger things at stake. "The needs of the many." A military man should exemplify that. Pacific Rim didn't hide the action from view. It reveled in it. They didn't cut to shots of humans bickering and battle planning each time the titans were about to come to blows. Pacific rim also showed restraint IMO: The fight in the harbor between Striker, Cherno, Crimson, Otachi, and Leatherback could have been a drawnout affair, but they got the 3 Jaegers out of the picture quickly in order to "up the stakes," but also make it easier to focus on the battle between Gypsy and the Kaiju. And you could see everything happening in the battle. You didn't need to wait until the end of the movie for glimpses of a fight, and Gypsy's male pilot wasn't desperately trying to get back home to save his non-descript wife and child. They tried to have that "family element" in the first Transformers movie as well, but I thank god they didn't go the "The battle is taking place WHERE? OMG! MY FAMILY IS THERE!" route.

tdylan:

With regard to "Gojira," in all seriousness, I've never heard of it. I have no idea what that movie is, or what it's about. I'm assuming Kaiju, somehow.

"Gojira" is Godzilla's Japanese name, the title of the first Godzilla movie.

Said it before and I'll say it again.

Pacific Rim knew what it was, and did it's thing. It paid homage to all the stuff that influenced it, and didn't try to be something it's not. I walked away from Pacific Rim having had a blast. Now, if you asked me the character's names I couldn't tell you. I don't remember. What I do remember was the name of the very first Kaiju, "Knifehead." I remember that and the fights. That means the movie did it's job. So here we have a Godzilla movie advertised as such where he isn't in the movie even though he's painted as a "good guy." This movie has failed.

I don't care if you want to have characters and neat little arcs surrounding the action. Fine. But they are second tier compared to what should be the action. Also, the whole, monsters just fighting would have been boring garbage? Not if the people making the film are any good at their job.

HOW CAN YOU NOT MENTION THIS!?!
The first time Gozilla, and the MOTU are having a fight, the movie cuts away! The ONLY part of this epic monster battle you get to see is through the "News cam" in the living room of Sgt. Borrings wife and son! The do this 2-3 times in total!

This was the absolutly biggest tease in monster movie history, and NOT the reason I went to see a Godzilla movie! The wait to get to the final fight was too long and, just as you said, the borring human caracters did not help.

I blame whinny fans. Lets get one thing straight original Godzilla movies are boring for about 80 percent of the run time broken up with one fight half way through and another at the end. No seriously this is the kind of movie that fans could never be happy with no matter how faithful they tried to be to the source material. If they followed the same pacing as some of the earlier films people would complain it wasn't as action packed as Pacific Rim and boring. If they started out with Godzilla wrecking shit people would say the pacing was terrible and the movie blows its load to early.

Even as a kid renting VHS tapes from blockbuster I would fast forward through about half the movies. Don't even get me started on the 20 minuet long duel song by miniature twin island girl scene that is "Completely necessary" to wake up the other monster to help/fight Godzilla.

So what are executives and directors suppose to do with that? They throw in a bland every man characters that will appeal to the average person to project onto. They will be entertained enough by the action because of the spectacle and scope of the whole movie. Cause when all that the critics and fans do is complain you eventually tune it out and do whatever is the better business decision.

There is a time and a place to give constructive criticism and the squeaky wheel gets the grease but if all you do is squeak then you will get replaced.

I'm not surprised by any of this considering the director's first film was also a giant monster movie where the actual monsters (and native Mexicans the plot was supposed to be thinly veiled metaphor for) are background noise to 2 uninteresting white people walking through jungles for 2 hours.

honestly im gonna go see this if its bad but with good parts I think its worth supporting so it gets a sequel that may do better. I mean there have been some bad movies that got better with sequels due to people expressing their opinion of what they liked and what they hated, while still going to the first movie.

I found the "human side" of things so clishee and boring that I went "get on with it" every time they showed Ford with his wife+son.

Only good things about this movie was the last 15minutes and Bryan Cranston..that's about it.

So just wait for a fan cut that cuts out all the human parts then?

Sounds good.

Dammit Bob, what you described with Ken Watanabe's character having history with Godzilla sounds WAY better than what I learned about this movie today! I had no idea there were other M.U.T.O.'s (oh what the hell, I'm calling' 'em Kaiju) for Godzilla to fight. Every trailer and commercial for it I watched implied it would be Godzilla vs. humans, with Bryan Cranston running around and yelling (or "acting!"). Godzilla vs. other monsters sounded freakin' SWEET if they were just up front about it.
Sidenote: I had a good chuckle at the dig at Breaking Bad, since all the hype around it kind of turned me off of it even more. I didn't have to see a single episode to get what that one episode of American Dad! was using as references fro jokes.
Alaso: am I the only one kind of squicked out by how the two actors playing husband and wife in Godzilla will play twin brother and sister in Avengers: Age of Ultron?

So I wonder if it's true that that made a whole lot of cuts to the Japanese/science part of the movie to go the 'all American route', maybe enough that they could have edited the movie to be about that and make the soldier+wife&child into minor characters? If that was a case, then considering how important the international movie market is these days it's a shame they couldn't have made two cuts of the film, one American the other international.

...Though maybe that wouldn't haven been allowed. One shouldn't forget, that Hollywood cuts deals with the US military. The military provides the movie production with all the authentic military hardware they need in exchange for having a say in story and editing decisions. Now it's not that nefarious, and if you don't want to work with the army you don't have to, you just don't get access to their toys (and these days I'm sure CGI helps a lot there). I just wonder though if this is why the image of the glorified US soldier is so prevalent in movies.

...So, wait, does MovieBob not like Breaking Bad or something? Eh, whatever. When I thought how MovieBob could complain about human characters when pretty much every Godzilla movie has boring/annoying human characters to drive the story and build up to Godzilla, I was hoping he'd address the hypocrisy... which thankfully he did. Yeah, you might want to try and improve on some of the Godzilla franchise's shortcomings if you're actually going to do a big-budget movie like this, and by that, I DON'T mean messing with the DNA of the franchise so much like the last American Godzilla movie.

Darth_Payn:
Alaso: am I the only one kind of squicked out by how the two actors playing husband and wife in Godzilla will play twin brother and sister in Avengers: Age of Ultron?

If it helps, I'm pretty sure there was an incest angle between them in the comics at some point as well. Not 100% sure, and it may have been retconned

Almack:
I cant say I'm surprised with bob's review. He is clearly a lover of the campier 60s-70s godzilla movies and is probably still burnt out on the more serious types of movies that were once campy i.e the dark knight trilogy (though godzilla started out serious then got campy and is now returning to serious). idk i just seems like bob really just wanted pacific rim with godzilla instead of gypsy danger. And speaking of pacific rim bob as much as you may or may not want to admit it that film suffered from similar issues but you didn't seem to care at the time so what changed? I would actually contest that yes the slow build works better than in pacific rim since after the hong kong battle the battle at the breach just didnt seem that great compared to it.

Huh, I don't think Godzilla Final Wars was serious; the thing had aliens, mutants, every single monster except for the godzilla clones like biolitthe or space godzilla. As for the Pacific Rim thing, I saw traces of Rei in Mako and some decent framework for the action. Also build up is good but I get bored easily so I need good character moments: they could have had Watanabe talking with the American forces and some tense scense between the military and him. We get development and tension all while building up to the epic fight

Transformer syndrome, the title character(s) play second fiddle to boring humans.

Its funny when the movie is named after "the thing," you'd expect them to show off "the thing."

Andrew Siribohdi:
I think you're fair in this review, especially since you make the comparison to Jaws so we understand where you're coming from.

Also, I'm hearing a lot about this old-guard critics vs. geek critics a lot from you lately. Has this become an actual problem?

Only in Bob's mind basically he's getting more up himself and it's been especially prevelant in recent weeks. He's entitled to his opinion but I wish he'd review the damn film and not try to bear grudges on films or now other critics instead of giving his opinion. It's why I listen to Bob for 5 minutes every week and I listen to this man.image

For 2 hours because whilst both have strong opinions which I don't always agree with the old school critic tries to review the damn film without any baggage.

Seriously Bob I want to listen about the film that stuff is good but I don't care that you disagree with other critics or you need to take another dig at Spider-Man (this years whipping boy it seams after Man of Steel, Green Lantern and oh I loose track).

Wouldn't it be awesome if they took out the Americanized pap out of the new version for the Japanese release and made it awesome again?

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