Godzilla & Kaiju General!

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:45 pm

I appreciated that the movie was willing to go that far out in terms of a main story & concept but the execution was garbage. Putting aside the CG animation which I was not a fan of - like a lot of cheaper CG animation environments & computer readouts looked great but the characters were stiff and all the monsters skin texture looked like dried dog poop, serioulsy Godzilla had the texture of a sentient moving turd - I was amazed at how incompetent the script was. It even commits the boring sin of opening media res, then going back to rush through the backstory before returning to that opening scene all within the first 10 minutes. It's sloppy. The movie then proceeds to dig so deep into world building without proper set up (What's up with these Elf Aliens? How about the Klingon knockoffs?) & zero character development. Honestly, 75% of the movie feels like filler with endless scenes of non-characters rambling off inane technobabble and characters repeating their goals again & again.

Honestly, it feels like what I think it is. Gen Urobuchi was hired to write a script for a feature length Godzilla animated movie. He put together a solid script for something like a 130 minute movie. Then the producers after the fact said "Make it a trilogy" and that 130 minute narrative has been padded with lots of superfluous scenes, technobabble & mindless rambling to fill what will ultimately be 270 minutes. There's about 45 minutes of story in Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters. Even at 85 minutes it felt unbearably long.

And that post credits scene.... oh boy.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:38 am

I did almost fell asleep several times throughout the movie. I'm kinda surprised how right I was in that Godzilla just wouldn't be physically moving much in this movie. Seeing the trailers, I thought "This thing can't look good in motion," and it seemed like the filmmakers also knew that was true, so they kept his movements minimal.

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:Honestly, it feels like what I think it is. Gen Urobuchi was hired to write a script for a feature length Godzilla animated movie. He put together a solid script for something like a 130 minute movie. Then the producers after the fact said "Make it a trilogy" and that 130 minute narrative has been padded with lots of superfluous scenes, technobabble & mindless rambling to fill what will ultimately be 270 minutes.

I was wondering about that. The announcement that Godzilla: Planet of Monsters was going to be multiple movies long seemed to come quite a while after the film's initial announcement, almost like Toho had changed its mind about what they wanted after already making the announcement for the film.

Also, did anyone else notice that the image in the movie's early promotional poster is nowhere to be found in the movie? The poster was very white and had cool colors on it, and showed what looked like a snowy or an ashy environment. The film itself, on the other hand, had very warm and reddish tones throughout. I know posters don't ever show an exact representation of the film being advertised, but changing the whole movie's aesthetic like that is a rather big change.

G:PoM 2 is probably gonna explore those cooler-toned environments a bit more, as I feel like they might have been in the original version of the film prior to the story needed to be padded out for 3 whole movies. It'll probably also make Godzilla a sympathetic character. G:PoM 3 is probably gonna take place mostly in space, showing the aliens trying to take over Earth via their own monsters/weaponry, and Godzilla has to stop them before its too late.

Basically, these movies will be Godzilla's character arc in the Heisei series boiled down to 3 movies, with Showa-era aliens thrown into the mix.

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Postby Chuckman » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:47 pm

I had the distinct feeling while watching that they padded out the first act of a three act story into a stand-alone movie.

Also it’s incredibly weird how they managed to make an animated Godzilla look like a rubber toy.
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Postby Cybermat47 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:40 am

Major spoilers

SPOILER: Show
Actually, I thought that Godzilla Prime and Godzilla Filius looked really good. The bark-like skin, the leaf-like spines, and the thorn-like tail tip... I was skeptical when I heard that these Godzillas had evolved from plant-based life, but they made them look awesome enough for me to get aboard. I’m really looking forward to the next films.
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Postby Chuckman » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:34 am

What I want to know is why no one can make a Godzilla movie with more than ten minutes of Godzilla. Doesn’t matter if it’s $100m worth of CGI, a rubber suit and puppeteers, or animation. A Godzilla movie is not a Godzilla movie unless the meetings about Godzilla run longer than the Godzilla scenes.

I call it the Godzichdel Test.
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Postby Cybermat47 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:32 am

View Original PostChuckman wrote:What I want to know is why no one can make a Godzilla movie with more than ten minutes of Godzilla. Doesn’t matter if it’s $100m worth of CGI, a rubber suit and puppeteers, or animation. A Godzilla movie is not a Godzilla movie unless the meetings about Godzilla run longer than the Godzilla scenes.

I call it the Godzichdel Test.


Honestly, I think that it just works better to build up anticipation around Godzilla. You know it’s coming, but you don’t know when or where. Back in 1954, by only showing brief scenes of Godzilla, and only revealing the atomic breath during the final raid on Tokyo, it wouldn’t surprise me if the audience was curious, anxious, and surprised.

SPOILER: Show
I was frothing at the mouth through all of PotM, even during the Godzilla Filius scenes, just waiting to see Godzilla Prime. And when he did show up, even thought he didn’t have much screentime, I loved every second of it. It was the big payoff to the long wait.


Plus, if Godzilla was onscreen more, it could get boring. The most memorable scenes from Godzilla films are, for me, the ones that have had a lot of buildup, like Godzilla in Osaka Bay in Godzilla Raids Again, the first landing, evolution, atomic breath, and Operation Yashiori from Shin Godzilla, the first fight in GMK, the dockyard sequence in G84, and Godzilla’s main assault on Tokyo in G54.

It’s also worth pointing out that some Godzilla films aren’t actually Godzilla films. King Kong VS Godzilla is a King Kong movie that just has Godzilla in it. Mothra VS Godzilla and Godzilla VS Mothra are Mothra films featuring Godzilla. Invasion of Astro-Monster is a Xilien film that has Godzilla, Rodan, and King Ghidorah in supporting roles.

But I do agree with you 100% when it comes to Final Wars. I mean, Godzilla’s fighting Monster X and Mothra’s fighting Gigan, but all we see is some guys in leather and Josef Stalin beating each other up.

(Damn, I made my autism really obvious with this post, didn’t I?)
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:05 am

^ Building anticipation is worthless if you don't reward it with a worthwhile romp afterwards. It's like Hitchcock's building tension with a bomb that's about to go off, only for that bomb to make a tiny little popping sound. The most amount of Godzilla we've had in 10 years is Shin Godzilla. All of the other ones treat Godzilla with the same amount of screen time as the Son of Kong from the movie Son of Kong.

Best anticipation building with Godzilla since 1954 was in 1975's Terror of Mechagodzilla. Ishiro Honda knew that, after 20+ years of Godzilla films (at the time), you don't build anticipation towards Godzilla. He's a given by this point in the franchise's history. Instead, the film should build anticipation towards the fight, which would be different each time due to the unique capabilities of each new monster/alien technology/human weaponry in every movie. And then you give the audience a fight that delivers what's promised and more.

While Gareth Edward deserves the highest praise for his ability to make the reveal of Godzilla feel unique and exciting for the first time in literal decades, he still looses points for not building up anticipation for the fight afterwards, and then for not delivering a fight to which was worth building the non-existent anticipation. Instead, it's 2+hours of continuing attempts at awe-inspiring monster reveals of monsters that have already been revealed.

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Postby Chuckman » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:31 am

Godzilla 2014 is two hours of edging with no pay off. I still liked it, because Godzilla.

I hope American Kaiju becomes a thing (there’s already a monster verse as well as Rampage, Pacific Rim, and Cloverfield)

It reminds me of the development of superhero movies:

Cloverfield is analogous to Blade, an adaptation of a comic that didn’t really dwell on its comic ness and is well regarded

Pacific Rim and Godzilla ‘14 are analogous to Raimi’s Spider-Man and X-Men, respectively, in that the one is campy and a love letter to the genre and the other is a cautious, serious film that’s a little afraid to go all the way.

Skull Island is like the first Iron Man- not especially bombastic but not ashamed of what it is; while the others tested the waters or pranced around the pool in banana hammock, this one waded out a few feet into the water and beckons you to follow it in with the post credit scene.

I don’t know if the acquired the rights with Mothra, Rodan, and Ghidora, but hopefully they go all the way and bring out Mechagodzilla. IMO the American movies need to follow their own advice: Let them fight.

Which, by the way, was my biggest disappointment with the anime. They teased Mechagodzilla but never brought it out. The main guy in the movie is obviously supposed to find Mechagodzilla and convince it to activate with his fighting spirit or some shit, if he didn’t die at the end. By that point I wasn’t giving a shit and was trying to figure out why the only way a fleeing the only living survivors from Earth can have black aliens and white guy aliens but only Japanese humans.
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Postby Cybermat47 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:05 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:^ Building anticipation is worthless if you don't reward it with a worthwhile romp afterwards.


That’s true. 2014’s biggest problem was that they kept cutting away from the fights until the final one, making the buildup to Hawaii etc. pointless.

View Original PostChuckman wrote:I don’t know if the acquired the rights with Mothra, Rodan, and Ghidora...


You’re in luck, they did, and all three will appear in Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

By that point I wasn’t giving a shit and was trying to figure out why the only way a fleeing the only living survivors from Earth can have black aliens and white guy aliens but only Japanese humans.


They didn’t, it’s just that anime doesn’t lend itself well to differentiating between Asians and whites. It’s the same reason that all the Japanese and white American characters look the same in episode 8 of NGE.

Some characters had European names like Leland, Bindewald, and Lazzari, and we also see some black characters with supporting roles.
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Postby Chuckman » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:36 pm

I knew they had the rights for the other monsters, I was wondering if Mechagodzilla was covered.
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Postby Cybermat47 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:19 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:I knew they had the rights for the other monsters, I was wondering if Mechagodzilla was covered.


It’s doubtful that they would purchase the rights to Mechagodzilla. As far as we know, the Monsterverse ends witn Kong VS Godzilla. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept going, and eventually introduced MG.
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Postby Ray » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:20 pm

My issue with Kaiju movies is that the human characters, no matter the film or the monster being shown. The human characters just feel incidental. Like the filmmakers only put them there because they absolutely had to because if they didn't the audience wouldn't go to see the movie. Yet the filmmakers often just don't put effort into the characters.

At best their one-note cartoons like in the original King Kong, or only exist to exposit the origins of the monster and the mechanics behind the plans to stop it. I have yet to see a Kaiju movie where I care about whether or not the human characters actually live or die.
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Postby Chuckman » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:06 am

I’m in it for monsters smashing shit

Anyway the end credits scene seemed to be setting Ghodorah up as the big villain.
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Postby Ray » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:16 am

View Original PostChuckman wrote:I’m in it for monsters smashing shit


and that attitude Chuck? Is why we have five Sh*tty transformers movies.
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Postby Cybermat47 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:31 am

View Original PostChuckman wrote:Anyway the end credits scene seemed to be setting Ghodorah up as the big villain.


Yeah, I loved that scene. That and Kong tearing the guts out of the Skullcrawler’s mouth were my favourite parts of KSI.

What really interested me is that we now know that Godzilla and King Ghidorah fought each other on Earth in prehistoric times. Can’t wait to hear the story behind that.
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Postby Chuckman » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:09 am

Huh. When I saw that I instinctively assumed it was a prophecy, rather than a record of something from the past.
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Postby Ray » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:36 am

Alright I finally Saw Annos "SHIN GOJIRA". I have to say this movie is. Just okay. It suffers from a lot of weird moments, not very compelling characters, and a Godzila I felt was somewhat underwhelming.

I feel this movie should have leaned more into parody or dark comedy. Because the movie is strongest towards the start when it's spoofing the government bungling that led to the Fukushima Disaster, and using Shocking Imagery from the 2011 Tsunami. I found that pretty compelling and actually laughed about twice because I thought that was pretty clever.

"Everyone here is giving their all!"
(shows everyone sleeping on the job.)

But after that it just deteriorates into a pattern. Pattern goes, exposition with boring people, Technobabble, exposition with old men, GODZILLA, exposition with boring people, moment meant to parody a certain aspect of Japanese Government, Technobabble, exposition with boring people, GODZILLA! Repeat.

The filmmaking here feels very clinical and dry. I've said it before, Anno's live action movies are weird. It seems to me he approaches live action like he does animation. As such there are some shots here that I feel would work better in animation than they do in live action. Occassional Low shots from the ground, characters looking at the camera as a computer (complete with backwards text on the screen).

The problem with the Kaiju Genre is that there are precious few films that get the balance right. Either they do the monster justice, and screw over the human characters. Or they really focus on the human characters leave us wanting more of the monster. Shin Godzilla didn't seem to do either, at least not for me. I mean, I didn't hate any of the human characters. But I didn't really care either way if they lived or not. We know nothing about them, they are very clinical and cold and they just spout exposition. Occasionally they spout exposition with emotions, but still. The only real character we get is the Japanese American character who doesn't want the US government to drop nukes on Japan to stop Godzilla. But we don't find that out until towards the end of the movie. Maybe i'm a coldhearted bastard, but I honestly didn't really care for any of the human characters. Hell, I cared more for Matt Broderick in the Emmeric-Zilla than for any of the human characters in this. Which i felt was really disappointing. Anno is known for his character work, even his more lighthearted works have deeper characters than this.

I mean they killed the PM and I didn't feel a thing.

But of course that would more than be made up if the monster was anything to write home about. and. . .to be fair this version of Godzilla does have it's moments, the part towards the start of the film where he's in his Larval state and towards the middle where he shoots his lasers at the US bombers were the high points. But, I just never got the feeling of dread I did from the original 50's or Legendary Godzilla. I do like the 'Body Horror giant tumor' aesthetic surrounding this Godzilla. But . . . just I'm sorry they totally undercut the threat of Godzilla by having him be defeated
SPOILER: Show
by being force fed poison. NO! Godzilla is a creature that can only be defeated by Something just as powerful and destructive as the atomic power he represents.


I feel Anno REALLY pulled his punches here. Godzilla should be a terrifying existential force, yet we never really see him from the civilian POV. We always see him from the POV of the military, or after the fact through social media. Legendary Godzilla wasn't perfect, but the terror the ordinary people had when they saw the Kaiju was there. On top of that. Here the story only gives you glimpses of the civilian casualties. We don't see anything truly gut wrenching like the burn victims in the 50's Godzilla, or the Football Stadium Converted into a something reminiscent of the Louisiana Superbowl from Katrina (Legendary Godzilla), or Shinji seeing the devastated Geofront and corpses crushed under rubble in 2.22.

Also, I get the appeal of Anno trying to duplicate some of the Aesthetics of Evangelion in live action in this Godzilla film (right down to using the same frickin soundtrack, both 'Decisive Battle' AND an instrumental of 'Famously' show up here) but I wish he had reigned himself in a bit more and tried to differentiate this movie from Eva. Seeing Godzilla spit blood and light up neon purple like Unit 01 in God mode is awesome in the few moments we get them. But all it does is remind me 'oh yeah it's referencing that one moment from Eva" instead of being it's own thing and making me go 'Yeah! That's Godzilla!".

It's fine, but I don't think it's a movie I can recommend watching more than once. It's what Chris Stuckman called a 'Netflix movie' a movie you put on to give you background noise and something to glance at for inspiration while you're drawing or editing videos. Here's hoping the issues in this movie don't carry over to Final.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:47 am

Funnily enough, I watched this again yesterday, having received the DVD as a Christmas present. Now, admittedly this is the only a) Godzilla and b) Anno live action movie I've seen, but I felt it worked and held up for the re-watch.

View Original PostRay wrote:"Everyone here is giving their all!"
(shows everyone sleeping on the job.)
I took that as "everyone has worked until they collapsed", myself.
I mean they killed the PM and I didn't feel a thing.
Anno's political views were being made very clear throughout the whole film; the politicians and the state of politics in Japanese society were more of an adversary than one rampaging atomic monster.
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Postby Cybermat47 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:11 am

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:Funnily enough, I watched this again yesterday, having received the DVD as a Christmas present. Now, admittedly this is the only a) Godzilla and b) Anno live action movie I've seen, but I felt it worked and held up for the re-watch.


I’d recommend that you check out Godzilla (1954) next, then. It and Shin are the two best Godzilla films in my opinion. The two films are very similar (many, myself included, consider Shin to be a remake), but while Shin deals with the issues faced by modern Japan (3/11 and international relations, especially with the US), 1954 deals with the issues faced by Japan in 1954 - nuclear weapons and the arms race. Some have described it as a protest film, but I have to disagree with that. It’s more of a commentary, with some surprising messages about superweapons woven into the storyline.

SPOILER: Show
In the end, the only thing that can stop Godzilla is a superweapon worse than a nuclear bomb. The creator is begged to use it, and eventually relents, but only after he destroys all his research notes. He activates the weapon, and allows himself to be killed by it. It could be interpreted as saying that sometimes superweapons need to be used, but cannot be allowed to remain after their horrific, but neccessary work is done.


After that, I’d recommend Godzilla Raids Again, Godzilla (1984), and Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack, all of which are direct sequels to 1954, ignoring all other films. They’re not as good as Shin and 54, but are still very good films in my opinion.

GRA keeps the uncomforting resemblance to WWII footage that 1954 had, and has a pretty good fight scene between Godzilla and another monster, but it drags at the end. G84 returns to having a relevant message, this time about the Cold War and US/Soviet relations, and the final scene is one of my favourites in the whole franchise. It’s also one of the more intense Godzilla films, with a brutal and brilliantly directed sequence at the Tokyo docks. GMK takes the series in a more fantastical direction, but does it well, and has a strong message about Japanese atrocities during WWII. And, while not as graphic as G84, it has one of the highest on-screen death counts of the series.

Oh, and never watch Godzilla’s Revenge/All Monsters Attack.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:07 am

View Original PostRay wrote:My issue with Kaiju movies is that the human characters, no matter the film or the monster being shown. The human characters just feel incidental. Like the filmmakers only put them there because they absolutely had to because if they didn't the audience wouldn't go to see the movie. Yet the filmmakers often just don't put effort into the characters.

Maybe it's just bias, but dialogue such as "You made me feel a love beyond calculation" and human cyborgs discovering their humanness by bleeding to death on the floor is compellingly strong character development in a sci-fi/fantasy franchise. And there's plenty more behind that, too. There's enough human drama in the Showa Godzilla series to successfully track the social and ideological progression of a Post War Japanese culture.

As for your thoughts in Shin Godzilla, I disagree with your analysis entirely. To be fair, this is the first Godzilla film in a long time that relies on a fair amount of knowledge of the Japanese culture in order for it to emotionally resonate across international boarders, but I'll only point out one discrepancy in your post that doesn't rely on that knowledge in order to understand it and leave it at that.

View Original PostRay wrote:But . . . just I'm sorry they totally undercut the threat of Godzilla by having him be defeated
SPOILER: Show
by being force fed poison. NO! Godzilla is a creature that can only be defeated by Something just as powerful and destructive as the atomic power he represents.

It was made very clear in the film's dialogue and entire narrative events leading up to the climax that Godzilla was never going to be defeated. That was never their goal, and, thusly, it was never achieved. Their goal at that point was to make sure Godzilla was no longer a target for U.S. nukes. Therefore, Godzilla was only paused. The film used various methods to make it explicitly clear that Godzilla can reawaken at anytime and wreak havoc all over again, forcing the U.S. to nuke Tokyo Japan. This is why it makes sense that the characters aren't cheering at the end of the film when they finally freeze Godzilla. They didn't win. They only postponed defeat. They kicked the can down the road, settling to die another day. After all, Godzilla thawed out once before in the movie. They just made it so it'll take longer for him to thaw out the next time around. The giant Godzilla statue at the end of the movie only serves as a reminder that Japan can and will die at any time in their future; within a blink of an eye. That why the camera pans up the tail at the end of the film; it's a dark foreboding to their inevitable demise. It's undoubtedly a haunting ending that leaves the viewers is a state of constant tension that is never truly released by the film's resolution. This ending is no different from Godzilla being buried under ice in Godzilla Raids Again only for him to reemerge from the ice in King Kong vs Godzilla, or Godzilla being wrapped in silk and falling in the ocean at the end of Mothra vs Godzilla only for him to return from the ocean in Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster. Godzilla is never defeated in these movies after the original 1954 film. Godzilla never dies. He can only be delayed until next time. Even when they literally plucked his heart out in GMK: Giant Monsters All Out Attack, his disemboweled heart is still beating on the ocean floor. Shin Godzilla is no different, and the film makes it clear that the characters know of his eventual return.


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