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Godzilla and Godzilla: King of the Monsters Saturday, March 20, 2021



Godzilla (2014)

The opening credits of “Godzilla” are a montage of archival footage and documents from Monarch of Godzilla’s previous appearance in the 50’s. It’s kind of an artsy opening and a nod to the original movie made at that time. In contrast to “Kong: Skull Island” you won’t get a good look at Godzilla for a long time. To paraphrase Guillermo Del Toro “Godzilla” is a shrine to its monster. There is a lot of build up and pageantry surrounding the reveal. Considering how good Godzilla looks, it’s a bit of a shame we see so little of him. 

After the credits there is a fairly long sad introduction. The human story is set up well and the main conflict of the film is established. Unfortunately the human story fizzles out into a fairly nonsensical uninteresting drag.

The cinematography is artful at times and usually from a human perspective. It generally keeps the film grounded, but keeps our view of the action obscured.

There are some scary scenes, but the violence is relatively reserved. There is very little gore particularly in relation to humans. Course language is mild and mostly surprised or scared exclamations. I haven’t let my mini-reviewers see this one, but it’s on the low end of the PG-13 rating for sure.

I found “Godzilla” reminiscent of the classic movies, with a different identity. You wouldn’t confuse this American movie for one of the Japanese entries in the franchise. I think this modern movie would be more palatable for more viewers than the Japanese movies, at least the ones I’ve seen.

I give Godzilla a 6/10. If you are curious about Godzilla I think you should watch this one, but know there are better ones out there. 


Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Taking place a few years after the 2014 movie we meet a family broken by tragedy from the events of the first film. Madison lives with her Mother, Emma, who works for Monarch to try and find a way to influence monsters. Madison’s Father has rejected Monarch. Godzilla hasn’t been seen by the public since the first movie. As you might imagine, things don’t go smoothly for our little family. What follows is a far more compelling human story and more exciting monster action. We catch glimpses of several monsters in this one and they all look great. The battles are excellent and more diverse than the first movie. I mean no disrespect to the foundations of the Godzilla franchise, but this is how Godzilla was meant to look. Other than a few soft moments, this movie looks excellent, but is often pretty dark which may hinder your experience if you watch in a bright room.

The film deals with themes of our stewardship of the earth and the importance of protecting the environment. I actually quite liked how they dealt with this and it didn’t leave a bitter taste like some more preachy movies can. There is more violence and a greater quantity of more aggressive course language than the 2014 Godzilla. I think the filmmakers wanted to make King of Monsters more serious and added the course language to do that. Which I, of course, think was mistake. Watching the two movies close together makes the language in King of the Monsters feel quite excessive.

Over time you get used to your tv and your sound system and it can be easy to forget what you spent your money for or think you need better. I often watch or listen to reviews of home theatre equipment and I know I have what people in the audio industry would call a budget set up. It can make me want more. But then something might happen that makes you grateful for what you have. “Godzilla: King of Monsters” did that with my audio equipment. It has a phenomenal audio mix that turned my living room into a movie theatre. I have a 5.1 system and can only imagine how Atmos sounds. King of the Monsters put me at the feet of giants to feel and hear their battle surround me. It’s movies like this that remind me how fortunate I am and what a great audio mix can do.

“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is my favourite Godzilla movie, but only gets a 7/10 due to shortfalls in humour and some story weaknesses. I would absolutely recommend King of the Monsters to any adult interested in the genre and would recommend it to many others.

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posted by Logan Smith at 7:10 am

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