Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Godzilla........

Yesterday I did what I always do when dealing with the fall out from a slightly pissed off "  black dog mood"........
I went to the cinema...you can't beat a bit of escapism when the chips are down

Well, firstly , can I say that it's nice to see another Welshperson doing well in Hollywood..ok apart from Katherine Zeta jones, Anthony Hopkins, christian Bale ( yes he's welsh) Michael Sheen and
Duffy, that is (.......and before you bleat away... Duffy did make a very passable film called Patagonia in 2010). 
Welsh director Gareth Edwards, has been given responsibility for the latest reincarnation of Godzilla and seems to have directed the biggest smash Hollywood has seen all year....wisely he has taken the movie back to its Japanese roots and has made a  monster movie which  is at times a wonderfully exciting and interesting take on those  1960 far eastern " man in a suit" flicks as well as being a little disappointing journey into old fashioned action movie sexism and American Flag waving.


I think Godzilla looks a little like a bull mastiff 

Edwards has obviously embraced Godzilla's original persona of an avenging hero ( the monster surfaces to challenge two giant praying mantis type creatures reawakened by the 1950s US nuclear tests in the Pacific) but stops short of having a Japanese hero.  Ok he has cast the delectable Ken Watanabe as the lead Boffin in charge of ridding the world of the giant reptile threat but was sure not to give him the major action role.  
The lovely Ken Waranabe with Welshman Gareth
That goes to an American hunk with a pretty blond wife.
The American men take the lead... The Japanese Prof looks angst and ( in my view) sexy but is  allowed  to do nothing as are the women in the movie (Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins and bizarrely Juliette Binoche) who say and do bugger all.....
Juliette...what are you doing?

But I know...I am being just a little picky.

Edwards also plays a great deal of games with the audience, as much of the monster action is "seen" through other mediums almost as an aside......we seen Godzilla battling with the MUTO  Through fictional tv coverage, through the windows of a school and a train and  through CCTV  coverage etc before cutting back to the actors.
It's an interesting if not slightly irritating ploy.

Ok, I have to say that there are some wonderfully inventive visual  set pieces amid the action.
A stunning panorama of chaos as seen through the massive windows of an airport lounge. The eerie view of a monster creeping underneath a railway bridge where our hero lies terrified on the rail tracks and the break neck escape attempt of nuclear reactor personnel from the basement of their crumbling plant , being stand outs in the roller coaster ride.
the airport scene...impressive!
By the end of it all, I was exhausted by all of the action. Irritated that it was all more " American" 
than Japanese and despite my enjoyment , slightly disappointed by its poor use of Watanabe and the female characters.........but I was impressed by the fact that generally it was a " what it says on the tin"
Movie...... Big, brassy, gob smacking........and fun
7/10

31 comments:

  1. This film is all the rage here and all I can think of is seeing, "Godzilla and the Smog Monster", with my Girl Scout Troop way back in the day.....it scared the doo doo out of me.

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    1. John, doo doo is an ancient politically correct euphemism used in North America in place of shit.
      Ann in Canada

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    2. Thanks for that I am now enlightened

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  3. Well hey, long as it helped ya get over that "slightly pissed off black dog mood".. It was a success ...No? :O)............
    When I am in one of those moods I hit the road with my running shoes on, amazing what a run can do for ya....... well that or pour a glass of wine or three ... :O).... Yes amazing how at odds those two are :O).........

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  4. I'm not interested in Godzilla, but I'm interested in what you say about it. As God is my witness, my psychiatrist told me to watch funny movies when I'm down. Thank God for DVDs and Netflix Streaming.

    Love,
    Janie

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  5. A pissed off lizard.
    Jane x

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  6. Godzilla should always be the hero. He has been dissed too many times.
    A good diversion.

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  7. Hi, we're from America! We've come to decimate your jungle, convert your youth, and make you feel inferior!

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  8. I am a huge Godzilla fan.
    In fact I will be posting on a friends blog jump "what movie did you see long ago that made an impact on you and does it whole up."
    My pick is Godzilla.
    First the Hollywood redo of the first Japanese Godzilla with Raymond Burr and then the original Godzilla. A two for one.
    In fact my Japanese family and friend use my made up name... Mumajilla or Mumzilla. more than my given name.
    I hope to feel better soon and get to see it on the big screen,
    Sorry about your crummy day ! But happy to hear your better.

    cheers, parsnip

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  9. I don't go to "Blue Screen" movies. The actors and the scenes are all computer generated , and I assume, so are the scripts.

    I hope that I am not guilted into seeing this by my grandchildren.

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  10. The only reason I can think of to watch this would be Bryan Cranston, and after Breaking Bad he's got nowhere to go but down (because BB was BRILLIANT) so I guess I'll pass.

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  11. Mmmm...... does a Japanese Godzilla eat sushi I wonder ?

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  12. Not one I'm desperate to see, although I'll probably watch it when it's on dvd.

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  13. (Written after I've seen and replied to your latest comment on my own review).

    You don't say if you saw this in 3D - not that it makes the crucial difference between a good film and one less so.
    Maybe in my case my ignorance of the original film was a 'plus' in giving a hearty 'thumbs-up' to this Americanised version.
    I agree about Ken W, - and it was good (and a bit uncanny) to see a convincing younger 'version' of him early on.
    I 'd deliberately held back from mentioning Juliette B. as for me what happens to her is one of the surprises of the film (which you properly also haven't stated).
    I'm surprised you found it "exhausting" as, for films of this category these days, two hours is a pretty modest length. But if you did then you did.

    Anyway, I'm glad that you weren't totally 'down' on it, and as you implied on my blog, our opinions probably have more in common than they differ. I'm wondering if this may find its way into my Top Ten of 2014. At the moment it looks highly likely.

    Btw: I wondering if you ever saw 'Monsters', especially on a big screen (showing on TV here just a couple of nights ago). If you haven't yet caught up on it I reckon you'd like that one too.

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    1. I had big expectations on MONSTERS ray but hated it

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    2. Yes....although I am generally not a fan of 3D , I did see it with my funny little specs on

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    3. Well, knock me down with a feather! (re your not liking 'Monsters') - but it's not appropriate to go into that here. Just shows how one (in this case me) can never tell! :-)

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  14. ..... I wouldn't like to meet any of the Bull Mastiffs in your village!!

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  15. Saw it, liked it, may even see it again if the right person asks.

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  16. This will obviously be one I'll have to see on my own if I want to see it. (Or should I ask Dave R? Nope. I don't think I'm that "right person.")

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  17. I saw it this weekend in the theater, the 3D version, and it was awesome. Oh, and in response to your comment on my post, I don't think being liberal has anything to do with it. It's not a political issue. I didn't write it as a liberal, I wrote it as a person :)

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    1. I have replied to your comment Keith... When I said liberal I mean middle class do gooders and not the political supporters

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  18. Sounds like a nice diversion, and a Welsh connection, sounds like fun.

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  19. This movie opened here on Friday and I'd love to go see it....if I can convince a grandchild to attend with me. I remember the old one with Raymond Burr and the voices not matching the mouth movements.....loved that too! :)

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  20. Just found your lovely blog! Thanks for the movie info. We are planning to watch Godzilla this weekend! Looks like a good entertaining movie for all the family! :)

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    1. Welcome debbie
      Nice to have you aboard xx

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  21. Most of the target audience is there for the special effects, explosions and the requisite romantic plotline, so the presence of an actual Japanese person will no doubt strike them as a serious, in-depth bit of culture and history. Glad to know that it's still worth seeing, even with all the flag waving (which irritates me also!).

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  22. Bet you anything that if Godzilla had spoken he would have had a British accent.

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  23. John: I agree with your assessment that the current incarnation of Godzilla looks like a bull mastiff--or some such bulky creature. When I first saw images of the latest Godzilla, I though to myself, "Paleontologists have made the old, lumbering, stiff dinosaurs into more of the sleek, svelte creatures they probably were, but Godzilla keeps being resurrected with anatomical anomalies that really aren't realistic." Glad you agree.

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