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Monday, May 26, 2014

The newest Godzilla movie smashes the box office

Movie Title:  Godzilla [HD]

PG-13, 2 hour 3 minutes

Grade:    A-
In a Nutshell:   I love it when a movie trailer doesn’t reveal major plot points in an upcoming movie so that you’re pleasantly surprised.  Godzilla [HD] has all of the intensity, stunning visual effects, impressive sound design and suspense you’ve been wanting from this franchise for years.  Suspend your disbelief and enjoy the monstrous fun.

Uplifting theme: 

  • There are good monsters and bad monsters.  Humans too.  Awww.
  • There are nice examples in the flick of heroism, loyalty, sacrifice, and honor.
Things I liked:

  • Disaster movie lovers will get a kick out of watching Las Vegas and San Francisco get destroyed.  Great special effects.  I loved the TV ticker line “Breaking News: Live Terror in Vegas!”
  • The movie makes it current by including present-day concerns about compromised Japanese nuclear power plants being a danger to nearby communities and beyond.
  • I liked how it tried to wrap the story around the 1954 Godzilla movie’s fear of the atomic age.
  • Bryan Cranston makes everything better.
  • Monsters Director Gareth Edwards is great at creating chaos and pandemonium.
  • I watched it in IMAX 3D, which offers some moments when I really felt inside the movie.  At one point, I thought an audience member was standing in front of me and I almost asked him to move, but then realized it was the 3D effect.
  • Go Army!
  • (SPOILER ALERT)  I loved it when a “certain” monster glowed with fire inside.  Godzilla spews cool blue fire.
  • I loved the scene where the skydivers dropped from the clouds, trailing red flares.
  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson conveniently arrives in the right place at the right time to offer the ongoing thread that keeps the human story running alongside the monsters.  He’s likeable enough to get the job done as hero and provides another shout-out to the real everyday heroes in today’s U.S.Army.  My oldest son is an officer in the Army, so can I get a “Hooah!”?
  • It was clever to show old movie clips in the beginning to bring newbies to the Godzilla franchise up to speed.
  • One of the few funny moments of the flick featured some Japanese parents in an airport getting annoyed at their Emo kid.
  • I loved seeing the city and aerial views of Tokyo.
  • One of the best lines in the movie was when a Japanese doctor gets to say “We call him… Godzirra.”
  • There are a few scene transitions that made the audience laugh out loud because they were expecting to see a real monster, but instead, saw a pet chameleon and a toy dinosaur.
Things I didn’t like:

  • Audiences can’t help but compare this film to last summer’s blockbuster Pacific Rim .  They’re both fun, but Pacific Rim had some fresh elements that Godzilla [HD] can’t compete with (uber cool, digital kaiju, gigantic robot soldier fight scenes).  Click here for my review of Pacific Rim.
  • While the 1998 Mathew Broderick version felt more like a cartoon, this one is full of drama.  In fact, it needs a touch of humor to offset the fact that it takes itself so seriously.
  • The back story provided some meat, but was a bit contorted at times.
  • Not nearly enough monster fight scenes.  Not nearly enough Godzilla.  He almost plays a supporting role.
  • Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza does two things well in the movie: utter profound statements about Godzirra, and stare in disbelief with his mouth open.
  • Thanks for the uncomfortable reminder that I live near Yucca Mountain...
Interesting lines:

  • “The arrogance of man is thinking nature is under our control and not the other way around.” – Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza
  • “The king of monsters is the savior of our city.”
  • “Nature has a power to restore its bounds.  I believe he is that nature.”  - Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza
Tips for parents: 

  • Loving married relationships instead of sexual content is refreshing.
  • Very mild profanity that’s hardly noticeable because so many other things are going on.
  • Lots of destruction and monster violence.  That's what you came to see though, right?