Updated: May 27
There are a good amount of movies out now as the Summer movies kick in. The one movie I was dying to see I finally saw tonight. He’s tall, rough and green, but not really that mean. Yes, I saw “Godzilla.” I wasn’t expecting the greatest movie ever, but had heard some good reviews. One thing I had heard beforehand a few times was how good Bryan Cranston is and how he should have been in the film more.
The screenplay is very good. It’s such a great set-up at the start with Cranston’s Joe Brody losing his wife that I felt they could have kept him on to help out. Ken Watanabe’s character, Dr. Ishiro Serizawa, points to Cranston’s character, Joe Brody and his son, Lt. Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and says he wants ‘them.’ Really, he wants Joe Brody who knew why things were happening and was tracking these frequencies and seismic events. Joe Brody was by far the strongest character. Aaron (“Kick-Ass”) plays a solid lead, but the audience member isn’t truly rooting for him like they were or at least I was for his father. There’s this picture Joe finds of himself, his son and his wife when he investigates his old home and then its discarded. It’s cliche, but would have made a nice emotional connection and possible moment for the son to have the photo and re-connect with his mother. We do see that Lt. Brody has a photo of his own wife and son, but it doesn’t ring as truthful. And although Lt. Brody leads some great action, the title of the film is “GODZILLA.” [INSERT LOUD DINOSAUR ROAR HERE].
I felt like the battle between Godzilla and these other ancient creatures, the MUTOs, were more in the background and the military were more in the spotlight. As soon as Nevada was mentioned I knew they were going to Yuca Mountain and sure enough there it was. One of the MUTOS found there goes and destroys Las Vegas, but we see it through TV and other screens. It would have been nice to see and hear the creature damaging casinos and seeing tourists there run for their lives, but perhaps it was a budget call. (I hope the creature left Downtown LV alone as I really like it and Summerlin since my parents live there. Better call Mom & Dad tomorrow and make sure they’re okay. Perhaps Tony Hsieh bribed the ‘female’ creature with a million boxes of shoes. She was pregnant after all. Zappos would probably have to work out the size issue. )
Godzilla Old School
For a moment I thought there might have been an interesting exchange between Lt. Brody and Godzilla as both were battling these creatures, but had some sort of mutual respect for each other. Perhaps this was a missed opportunity for a connection. The only other thing I would have liked to have seen is a little more recognition of Godzilla being a hero. The following is definitely a missed opportunity! This poor Japanese boy gets stuck on the train away from his parents and Lt. Brody looks after him. Wouldn’t it be a perfect callback to have this little boy at the end shout “Godzilla!” He could have been watching it on TV maybe with his parents.
I’m picking on a few things here, but I really enjoyed it. A great popcorn film! I sneaked in some chocolate into the AMC in Marina Del Rey. I wanted to check out AMC and its wonderful luxury seats. Frankly, I had been in a theater like that before. I’ve taken forever to go to this theater as seats are $20!!! I was comfortable and opened the seat to lay down, but I didn’t need the waiters and waitresses interrupting throughout the movie. Water or a Coke shouldn’t cost $5 either. There’s always Pacific Theater down the street in Culver City. (I wasn’t going to make the 7:45pm showing in Culver City so I opted for the 9:30pm show at the AMC.)
I purposely skipped the 1998 Godzilla remake as it looked cheesy. This 2014 version at least makes Godzilla some sort of hero. He’s always been my hero. Godzilla is a symbol for my childhood. I must have seen a few Godzilla films at the Drive-Ins as I remember, but I definitely and religiously watched Godzilla movies growing up. To me, Thanksgiving and some other holidays meant a bunch of monster movies would be on back to back. King Kong, Jason & the Argonauts, Laurel & Hardy, etc. Those were the days. Go go Godzilla!