Shin Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence)

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Re: Shin Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence)

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:33 pm

My thoughts on SHIN GODZILLA:

In a word - WOW!
Those reports you may have read of Shin Godzilla being a divisive film are not kidding. This feature is 100% an artist statement about serious minded issues & as a viewer you're either going to go with the flow of the film or rebel against the movie entirely. I think A LOT of anime fans going in to Shin Godzilla this week expecting a rip roaring monster flick with crazy explosive action scenes are going to walk out incredibly upset & will vocally attack the film as "Anno Trolling". Thankfully, I completely ADORED the movie Hideaki Anno was making & it has surpassed "Everybody Wants Some!!" as my favorite film of 2016 to date!

Shin Godzilla moves FAST yet also takes its time. Scenes move along in that punchy, quickly edited, sharply focused style that is familiar to Anno but here he's really finessed his style into a beautifully mature aesthetic. There's definitely a few "kooky Anno" shots - one early on has a guy literally place a phone receiver on top of the camera lens - but nothing is as out there as the shots from inside a microwave or bowl of ramen like in "Love & Pop". Instead Anno is using his shot usage to carry us through the story & provide us with as much information & context as possible. It's easily his most mature work yet as a live action filmmaker.

Shin Godzilla is damn funny. The screening I had was only myself & four colleagues but I'm curious to see how it will go in a packed house. The film truly is about the insanity that is bureaucracy while also being a celebration of it as well. The movie mocks the safe bubble of meetings upon meetings made behind closed doors while world events go on outside - Godzilla's initial landing is played almost entirely off screen as the army of bureaucrats go over paperwork about how to best deal with the situation - but also applauds the idea of public service & that government is truly needed for society to function! While very tongue in cheek it really does portray the Japanese government in a good light & does for the same for other nations as well. Yes, the US is portrayed as a bit of an aggressor but the movie also makes clear the US would be just as adamant in killing Godzilla if he "had landed in NY". In the end the film showcases multiple nations working together to stop Godzilla even if it against their best interest - really if the US was evil they would nuke Godzilla at the hour mark. I particularly loved two moments where the movie pointed out that the military's job isn't just to be offensive against a threat but also be defensive & help civilians evacuate a troubled area.

Technically the film is a damn fine specimen of filmmaking prowess. The cinematography by Kosuke Yamada is quasi-documentary but also sharp, gorgeous to look at yet stark at the same time. There's not 100 lights set up to illuminate a board room like in a Hollywood movie but the picture also doesn't look cheap. It just looks real. I'm genuinely surprised to see this is only his fourth feature. The editing by Atsuki Sato (& Anno) is kinetic but focused. You never find yourself lost geographically. A curious surprise for me was the music by Shiro Sagisu. Not the fact that the score is almost entirely old Godzilla & redone Evangelion tracks - there's very little music by Sagisu in this film that you could classify as new - but the fact that a lot of the film doesn't have music. I think I went in expecting a bombastic rarely pausing score like in the three Rebuild films but I believe there isn't a piece of music in the film until about 15 minutes in. The effects by Shinji Higuchi are perfect for what they are. Do you ever for a moment believe Godzilla is a living, breathing creature that exists in the real world? Nah. But he is damn fine to watch move as a special effect. Though I will say the CG work for a lot of the non-Godzilla elements - tanks, helicopters, etc - is flawless.

Action wise I can see people getting disappointed. The film doesn't really have much in the way of classic explosive action scenes. There's about four moments you could classify as "action". But, each scene is done with great skill & is drastically different from the action scene that preceded it. There isn't much of it but what is there works like a charm.

Acting wise it's a pretty stellar bunch. I was especially fond of Yutaka Takenouchi who plays the main characters mentor, Shin'ya Tsukamoto as a biologist & the main lead. Satomi Ishihara is pretty great in her role too even if her English is clearly lacking - if English is your first or second language you'll never buy her as a native English speaker who grew up in the States - not to mention poor Satomi gets stuck with one of the few so-dumb-it-hurts bits of the film - she has dreams of becoming the President of the United States in her 40s & people around her treat it like it's a real possibility... it never works. I don't know who the actress is but a favorite side character of our screening is this one girl who delivers exposition like a boss & is as close as a live action Rei Ayanami as you can get. She rules! Actually, there aren't really any bad notes in the entire Japanese speaking cast. I recognized a lot of actors in bit parts from other films but it was never distracting & everyone emoted well & really carried the film. Only negative is the few small English speaking roles played by Caucasian actors. You can tell English is their first language but you can also tell no one on set could tell their line readings were flat & emotionless. Some grade Z acting from the English cast which is a bummer but they're all super miniscule roles.

Be prepared to read when you get in the theater. Subtitles & text abound! In regards to the script the closest comparison I can think of is Aaron Sorkin's writing. Or Oliver Stone's script for JFK. The dialogue flows fast & with purpose like in The Social Network or Steve Jobs. The film is DENSE. Everything is 100% laser focused on what is needed for the story & nothing is superfluous. You'll most likely miss a few lines & small character beats - I sure know I did - BUT there's so much you'll barely notice. Also, don't even bother trying to catch the names & titles of all the characters listed on screen cause you're head will explode. A recurring gag in the film is almost every character who speaks is introduced with their job title flashing on screen & their job titles are increasingly obscure & overly wordy, i.e. some character will talk & you'll be bombarded with “Vice Director of Bureaucratic of Internal External Third Level Miniature Affairs Hannani". This gag is especially funny as the main character Rando Yaguchi goes from being just an aide to the leader of the Creature Research Team to a job title that genuinely takes up the ENTIRE SCREEN. The movie has a wicked sense of humor & the script delivers. No one talks about their personal hopes + dreams - except for Ishihara wanting to be the President of the US & like I said that's the worst thing in the movie - & the script is instead focused entirely on being a procedural about dealing with a disaster. By the way, I'm very happy to say this film is 100% a dramatization of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake + tsunami & Fukushima incident only with a giant monster.

I've got two tickets to actual screenings of SHIN GODZILLA with a paying audience so I'm excited to see the film again. While I loved the movie dearly on a first time watch it is A LOT to take in & I'm positive there's a lot of things I missed. As I said at the top of this rant I'm especially curious to see how a traditional audience is going to react to this picture. I'm not sure it's going to be an easy film to love for non-native Japanese speakers. Not because the movie is "Anti-American" but because the movie is just dense & you're brain is going to have be fully engaged just to follow the story, this of course being exacerbated when having to read subtitles. Also, anyone going in expecting a blockbuster comparable to Hollywood actioners or even Anno's three Rebuild movies is going to be majorly disappointed. It's a political satire in the vein of Dr. Strangelove first & a monster movie second. Or third. BUT, Anno is more than kind enough to give Toho a hell of a lot of interesting options to pursue in sequels, which the film basically ends saying "Yeah, there's gonna be a sequel". Let's just say this Godzilla has the potential to be the most malleable version of the classic character yet.

So yeah, I loved SHIN GODZILLA. I'm coming to this film as a Hideaki Anno fan first, a filmmaker second, an Eva fan third & a Godzilla fan last (I love the 1954 original, have enjoyed a handful of the sequels & think Gareth Edwards 2014 remake is a genuinely thrilling blockbuster experiment but I can't tell you crap about most of the franchise) & it exactly delivered for my interests in that fashion. If I was making a personal ranking of Hideaki Anno's feature films I would probably call this his third best film behind End of Evangelion (his true masterpiece) & Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo (a film that moved me emotionally & intellectually in ways I previously thought unimaginable). But, that's just where I find myself as individual & I am an opinionated supporter of the messy heartfelt outpouring of thoughts & emotions that is You Can (Not) Redo. I could easily see someone calling this Anno's best movie as easily I can see them calling it his worst. It continues his long held legacy of making artistic works that fulfill his personal interests first & places audience expectations a distant second. Basically, it's no 'You Can (Not) Advance'. This is another 'You Can (Not) Redo' or last 'Love & Pop' or 'Ritual'. You're as likely to fall as head over heels in love with the movie like I did as you are to despise it with every bone in your body.

Either way, Shin Godzilla is definitely a project worthy of Anno taking the few years off from the last Rebuild film.

Tried to refrain from heavy spoilers. Curious to see other people's opinions of it in the near future. I can't wait to see it again tomorrow!

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Re: Shin Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence)

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Postby robersora » Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:21 pm

^
Awesome. I'm sure I'm going to love it... Now, if they would just finally announce dates for Germany&Austria! :angry!!:

Anyways, here's an interview with the editor of the movie.
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Re: Shin Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence)

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Postby Tumbling Down » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:44 pm

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:Be prepared to read when you get in the theater. Subtitles & text abound! In regards to the script the closest comparison I can think of is Aaron Sorkin's writing. Or Oliver Stone's script for JFK. The dialogue flows fast & with purpose like in The Social Network or Steve Jobs. The film is DENSE. Everything is 100% laser focused on what is needed for the story & nothing is superfluous. You'll most likely miss a few lines & small character beats - I sure know I did - BUT there's so much you'll barely notice. Also, don't even bother trying to catch the names & titles of all the characters listed on screen cause you're head will explode. A recurring gag in the film is almost every character who speaks is introduced with their job title flashing on screen & their job titles are increasingly obscure & overly wordy, i.e. some character will talk & you'll be bombarded with “Vice Director of Bureaucratic of Internal External Third Level Miniature Affairs Hannani". This gag is especially funny as the main character Rando Yaguchi goes from being just an aide to the leader of the Creature Research Team to a job title that genuinely takes up the ENTIRE SCREEN.

Mike and James were right. We need a dub.

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Re: Shin Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence)

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:47 pm

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:Yes, the US is portrayed as a bit of an aggressor but the movie also makes clear the US would be just as adamant in killing Godzilla if he "had landed in NY".

This interests me. I remember in The Return of Godzilla (1984) both the US and Russia had made offers to nuke Godzilla after his first landing in Japan, and the film made a point about how both counties would not have nuked Godzilla if he hand landed in their respective major cities. This perceived change in America's attitude by the Japanese says something about the kind of disaster Godzilla is supposed to be a metaphor for, as well as how they think Americans would deal with that disaster.

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Re: Shin Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence)

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Postby Tumbling Down » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:44 pm

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2016/10/ ... h-america/

"Funimation is already thinking ahead to the eventual Blu-ray and DVD release, which will include an English-dubbed version of 'Shin Godzilla.'"

Nice.

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Re: Shin Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence)

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Postby KnightmareX13 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:53 pm

Just back from the theater and I liked it. The best way I could describe it would be if you take the all the bureaucratic mess from the Jet Alone episode and combined it with Operation Yashima at least that was went through my mind in the theater. It didn't quite come off as polished or big budget as the 2014 film but that is perfectly fine cause I got a greater sense of satisfaction from this then I did in 2014, mainly because they weren't trying to cram so many things into one movie.
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Re: Shin Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence)

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Postby Reichu » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:57 pm

View Original PostTumbling Down wrote:Mike and James were right. We need a dub.

I'm amazed (not sarcastically) how people can follow a bombardment of movie dialogue even in their native tongue. My listening comprehension is low enough that I put on subtitles/CCs for practically everything. I'd point to non-dialogue audio both in-film and out- as a source of trouble; I think I may be below average at filtration...

Boyfriend and I showed up for a local screening of Shin Godzilla, only to find that the theater had reached maximum capacity. Yeah, we were both too short-sighted to order our tickets. I honestly wouldn't have thought that many people would should up for a subtitled film that's only playing a couple of days. Maybe being so close to the Rutgers campus has something to do with it? Anyway, we got our tickets for the Thursday showing. Can't wait.

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Re: Shin Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence)

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:07 pm

Shin Godzilla: You Do (Not) Need a Dub.

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Postby esselfortium » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:26 pm

Saw it tonight with some coworkers. It was fun. Gendo'sPapa's interpretation makes sense to me, I think. We ended up stuck in the front row, so I had no hope of keeping up with enough of the onscreen job titles to get the joke there.

Some of the messaging felt a bit on-the-nose in later parts of the film and I think some parts of the soundtrack could have been better, but the dry humor of endless bureaucracy was good and the occasional action scenes were well-done.

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Postby wintermute » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:32 pm

I don't have proof but I have a feeling (or at least hope) that this sounded much better in Japanese theaters than it did on usually-reliable surround sound system at my local theater.

The projection was just fine (IMHO) but however the film was sent to theaters, it just didn't sound as big and immersive as I'd hoped. And yes, a lot of American movies are unnecessarily loud but that's another issue altogether. There was scenes in this where I wanted to feel the rumble and hear sounds sweeping from all around me and it just wasn't happening. I don't understand this stuff on a technical level at all so I don't know how to explain what I'm talking about any better than that and I certainly don't understand how film soundtracks are recorded and routed into theater audio systems but but if there's ever a movie that demanded the surround sound experience that we've all grown so accustomed to, it was this one.

And that's not to say that this movie wasn't "immersive". That, it certainly was.

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Re: Shin Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence)

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Postby NAveryW » Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:16 am

Godzilla's first second(?) form was so cute! <3<3<3

Also www @ the Ideon
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Postby MuscleRobo » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:31 am

Wow, just wow! I thought this film was amazing! This is easily my favorite film in a couple years! I can understand why someone wouldn't enjoy this film but honestly it would be because they came in with little knowledge of Japanese society, politics or nuclear energy more so than the fault of the film. I love it enough all I want to say is "Go see it!" because I don't want to spoil even a little; hold me accountable if you hate it. I am not saying the movie is perfect though! In fact there was a big question I had that I wondered if Toho was behind instead of Anno. Warning this is seriously spoilers for the end of the film! I highly recommend you go watch it first so you can enjoy it as well. However, the reason I would put this as my second favorite is also my question ...

SPOILER: Show
The lack of an "oxygen destroyer" type weapon. What makes the original film so scary is in the end the only way to defeat him is to create a weapon more powerful. The fact that the final weapon was the scrappiness of youth in Shin Godzilla reminded me of a plethora of political manga like Sanctuary or First President of Japan where I can't help but roll my eyes. However, do you think there was a mandate that Godzilla couldn't be killed? This movie was insanely expensive by Japanese standards so Toho probably wanted to launch more right? This was meant to be a reboot similar to Star Wars VII where they wanted to make a new world filled with new directors and stories, right? Killing Godzilla and then having to make another film explaining and being surprised by the monster might not have worked. Also Kaiju B was MOE!!!!!!


-Edit: Also, that one scientist otaku girl got so much fan art I was suspecting her to be a bigger part of the film! :lol: She honestly seemed like a cross between Rei and Tomoko though so no wonder otaku loved her.
Last edited by MuscleRobo on Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:47 pm

SPOILER: Show
Since this itineration of the character is partially a response to Fukushima his not being killed is most likely a dramatization of that fact that until we come up with a better power source to nuclear we have to coexist with something that at any minute could create tragedy. That or Toho explicitly told Anno NOT to kill Godzilla so sequels are easier to make.

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Postby lastcody » Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:04 pm

It was everything I wanted it was amazing!

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Re: Shin Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence)

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Postby robersora » Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:05 pm

Envy is eating me.
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Re: Shin Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence)

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Postby SoryuUberAlles » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:29 pm

I can't wait for a deep eva-geeker to see this film. I wanna know if it's just Andromeda Syndrome: The Anime: The Live Action Movie.

http://wiki.evageeks.org/Theory_and_Ana ... eda_Strain
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Postby Tumbling Down » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:33 pm

I can't believe my local theater showed Psycho-Pass: The Movie but isn't showing this. It's like they went out of their way to show a Funi title that wouldn't have wide recognition, and not one that would.

View Original PostNAveryW wrote:www

Is this like UwU?

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Postby NAveryW » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:51 pm

View Original PostSoryuUberAlles wrote:I can't wait for a deep eva-geeker to see this film. I wanna know if it's just Andromeda Syndrome: The Anime: The Live Action Movie.

http://wiki.evageeks.org/Theory_and_Ana ... eda_Strain
No, Shin Godzilla's closest comparison would be a feature length "Jet Alone". You'll notice similarities to various other things Anno's been involved wi-

SPOILER: Show
Oh! Those square-shaped glyphs, those are the same as the ones in Q, aren't they? That made me laugh in the theater and I was the only one laughing.
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Re: Shin Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence)

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Postby Reichu » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:58 pm

View Original PostTumbling Down wrote:Is this like UwU?

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Re: Shin Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla Resurgence)

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Postby backseatjesus » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:58 pm

I enjoyed it, though in the theater I saw it in, I don't think they had the sound levels right. Didn't feel like I was seeing it a theater.

I didn't have any issues with the subtitles, though I am a fast subtitle reader.


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