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Thread: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

  1. #341

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    I haven't watched old Godzilla movies since I was a kid, what did you guys think about the roster, they had Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Mothra and Rodan, were there any other monsters you guys thought should be there?

  2. #342

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    Anguirus is the biggest name they didn't have but Toho is well known for their brutal licensing fees and he's the least well known of the five.

    It's possible that they originally intended Methusaleh to be Anguirus and gave the former a design that could be shifted over to make him the latter if something could be worked out.
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  3. #343

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    Saw the movie tonight and had an absolute blast. Had a stupid grin on my face the whole time. All the criticisms are valid, but I didn't give a damn. It was a ton of fun to watch.

    I loved how the worked the classic Godzilla and Mothra scores into the movie. Very nice touch.
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  4. #344

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    Just saw the movie. I pretty much agree with the consensus that the human parts were dull (but passable) and the monster parts were fun. I'm not sure I enjoyed as much as some people (certainly not as much as MovieBob), but I did enjoy it. It was good time.

    And with that, I think now might be a good time for me to finally check out all the old Japanese Godzilla films.

  5. #345

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    The human part is totally sacrificed to serve the Monster part. I don't have a problem with that because the monster scenes are all that I care XD. I go to a cinema only because I want to experience the fantastic visual and audio effects rather than to watch a story. It was perfect for me! Michael Dougherty manages to serve the fans well.

  6. #346

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    I saw it last night. I was pretty pleased with it. Yeah the human parts were meh. But the monster stuff pretty epic.

    People are now shipping Mothra DNA Godzilla lol.

  7. #347

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    No,it's NOT a video about Bob going "I loved it so my opinion is right and everyone else's is wrong."
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  8. #348
    Division Commander Daz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    (Not a response to the moviebob video, haven't seen it)

    As someone whos only ever watched Godzilla '98 and Kong movies, one thing that sort of baffles me with the attitude towards the Godzilla franchise are all the caveats that and excuses that apply to them, but not seemingly to anything else.
    When people go "The human parts ALWAYS suck in Godzilla movies! What do people expect?" I'm just wondering...surely the human parts weren't designed to suck? Surely they attempt to have distinct characters, drama, maybe even arcs - and ideally, the audience should like these things? As is the case with pretty much any other film, ever? Saying that everything sucking except Godzilla, who may not be featured all that much, is a staple of a 60 year old franchise just makes me think "They never managed to improved those other bits in 60 years"? Ideally, both the monster bits and the human bits, all the bits, should be good, surely?

    Idunno, to me it sounds like a defense akin to "Why are you bothered that James Bond is depicted as charming despite being a creepy, sexist predator? Its ALWAYS been like this!"

  9. #349
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    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    It's not that I believe a compelling human cast is an unachievable goal for a Godzilla film, it's just that a majority of the attempts have been underwhelming or misguided.

    The struggle is that Godzilla and the other kaiju are gargantuan forces of nature and its hard to compete when just a little showtime from them can make the film for an audience.
    The human cast should be serving as proper buildup for those hype monster moments, but usually end up feeling like meandering busywork that just take away time from our favorite monsters.

    Just imagine a James Bond film where he takes a backseat for a majority of the run to focus on the struggles of a family that was stitched into the plot.
    It's either a daring stroke to change up the dynamic and makes James Bond the lesser seen darkhorse in a film that bears his name or is a criminally inept move that was poorly executed.
    But I suppose it isn't a fair 1:1 comparison until we see how Godzilla plays at poker.
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  10. #350

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by Daz View Post
    "They never managed to improved those other bits in 60 years"?
    Nope. Pretty much the only Godzilla films where the human parts were worthwhile was Gojira itself and, to a lesser extent, the Raymond Burr version since they actually made an effort to make those sequences match the feel and tone of the original film.
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  11. #351

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by Daz View Post
    When people go "The human parts ALWAYS suck in Godzilla movies! What do people expect?" I'm just wondering...surely the human parts weren't designed to suck?
    You maybe should watch the Bob video, it actually talks about that specifically.

    It's a hard thing to explain but the movies have always been cheezy and cheap looking, even to young eyes, and moreso when filtered through being dubbed over. You tune in for the giant monsters and everything else really is set dressing.

    They've tried from time to time to make the human stuff compelling , and the Gamera reboots are pretty good at being a serious take, but its just... its not what they're about.

    When the films aren't treating Godzilla as a full blown natural disaster like in the very first one, well, its hard to take the human parts too seriously because... you have giant rubbersuit monsters going around.

    The James Bond comparison is sort of the right idea... but not quite there since the style of the film varied a lot dependant on the era and the actor. They vary the sexual predator part, and that aspect IS something that has aged badly and they've tried to work away from by having the women be better. Bond changed a lot over the decades until it was just a broad parody of itself, and then they reinvent it every new actor and took it back to basics for the last few years with no gadgets or anything.

    A better comparison might be going to see a Jackie Chan movie. You know Jackie himself is going to be likeable and funny, but the plot is generally going to be thin thing designed to get you from set piece to set piece, and most of the movies are just carried by his sheer charisma... and willingness to break every bone in his body. I've seen Drunken Master 2 more times than I can count, its one of my all time faves. THe characters are all likeable, there's some funny bits, but I'll be damned if i can tell you any of the character names, or more than a super vague outline of the actual plot... but I can describe in detail all the action set pieces Of course, when you've done as many films as Jackie has, the quality varies and some are much more serious and make stronger attempts at a serious story and are a bit more compelling, but... you're always there for Jackie. And you might actually be dissapointed with a "serious Jackie Chan" film where he's doing a dramatic role with almost no stunts, because... that's not what you want to see him for. You will never ever remember his character name, he's always Jackie Chan.

    Godzilla is a star like that. You go in to see what that guy does that no one else can, that part is entertaining and can carry a film, and not much else matters too much.
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  12. #352
    They put em in Smash Bros! Conekiller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    Robby, that just became my favorite post on this entire board!
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  13. #353

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    Yeah, I don't think anyone is claiming that Godzilla movies are Citizen Kane, Casablanca, or even Star Wars or MCU-tier films, but for what they are, they're good cheezy fun.

    It's the same reason I've been watching Super Sentai shows over the last few years. Yeah, the plotting and characters are pretty trite and cliched, but darn if it isn't just fun to watch people in spandex go at it with people in rubber monster costumes.

    And if that's not your thing, that's completely understandable.

  14. #354
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    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

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  15. #355

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    So something I've been meaning to do for quite some time is watch all the old Godzilla films and, over the last few weeks, I've finally gotten around to doing it. As a more-or-less newcomer to the franchises (I've only seen the American films and the MST3K riffs of two of the Japanese ones) I figured I'd document my thoughts and reactions to them. I'll give my general thoughts on the Monster aspects of the films, the (sub)plots involving the humans, and then my overall thoughts. So without further ado, here's my review of the first five Godzilla films:

    Godzilla (1954)

    The Monsters: Or "Monster" in this case, as this is Godzilla's debut and naturally features the big guy going solo. And he does make a pretty terrifying first impression. We all know that this movie was meant to be a metaphor for the atomic bombs being dropped on Japan so naturally this was going to be some horrific stuff. Yeah sure, we know it's a guy in a goofy rubber costume, but the way he's always shown in darkness, the sheer amount of destruction he causes, and his iconic screech makes Godzilla quite scary indeed. And of course he demonstrates his trademark atomic breath right form the get-go. Also, spoiler alert, he dies at the end. So the Godzilla we see in future films isn't even the original Godzilla. Hmm, the more you know.

    The Humans: So it's been said numerous times (at least on this thread) that the human plots from Godzilla range from passable to awful, which is supposedly beside the point as the main draw is really just seeing Godzilla and other monsters. Not that that necessarily is an excuse for poor writing, but here we are. But anyway, how do they stack up in the first film? Well...not bad, actually. The most memorable character is Dr. Serizawa, the eye-patched scientist who develops the Oxygen Destroyer (which you may have heard mentioned in the most recent Godzilla film) that ultimately destroys Godzilla. There's also a love triangle between him, his fiancée, and a salvage ship captain, which works fine enough. Aside from them, there's also scenes of fishermen, villagers, military generals, and countless victims of Godzilla, showing the sheer destruction and misery he (i.e. we) has caused. And since that is the point of the film to show the horrors of nuclear weapons, it works perfectly well on that front.

    Overall: A monster movie classic, though one could also easily label it as a horror or disaster film. It's certainly a different beast (heh-heh) from the Godzilla films that would follow, but it works quite well on its own merits. Sure, it's a bit dated and...yeah, as an American millennial, it's not going to have the same resonance with me as a 1950's Japanese audience who are still reeling from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but I enjoyed it all the same.

    Godzilla Raids Again (1955)

    The Monsters: Godzilla returns and he gets his very first brawl with another kaiju, the ankylosaurus-inspired Anguirus. Well...I say brawl, but what really surprised me was how savage Godzilla's first battle was. When you think kaiju battles, you think two (or more) guys in rubber costumes going at it in a sort of pseudo wrestling match, but the duel between Godzilla and Anguirus feels more like two animals violently attacking each other in a life-or-death struggle, which...makes sense. This is made mostly effective by the use of sped-up footage, which is pretty noticeable, but works well all the same. And it all ends with Godzilla biting Anguirus's neck and then incinerating him with his atomic breath. Nasty. Oh yeah, did I mention that happens halfway through the film? The rest is just Godzilla going at it with some human pilots and being buried in ice, which is...kinda weak.

    The Humans: Oof. Yeah, this is a pretty big step down from the first film. It looks the filmmakers wanted to take a more lighthearted approach after the direness of the first film, which is all well and good, but there's just not much for us to work with here. The main human plot revolves around some pilots who discover and then ultimately defeat Godzilla, but damned if I could tell you anything about them or even care to. There's also some weird padding in the second half about them having a party in some temple or something. I don't know. Oh yeah, and also some random subplot cul-de-sac about some escaped prisoners. Again, don't care.

    Overall: Well, it's a sequel. What do you expect, right? The monster stuff works fine and I guess it's worth seeing for Godzilla's first monster-on-monster battle, but really you could probably just watch the first half of this film and then skip the rest.

    King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

    The Monsters: This film is notable for two things. 1) We finally get to see Godzilla in color, and 2) We get to see his first duel with the other immortal giant movie monster King Kong, which Toho wasted no time in getting too (well, actually this was eight years after the original Godzilla, but still). Also, I'd argue that this is Godzilla's fist bona fide kaiju brawl, as opposed to the savagery of the last film. And as much as I'd love to talk about Godzilla himself, it's really King Kong that gives me more material to discuss (mostly for the wrong reasons). First off, the King Kong costume is...not very good. I mean, I guess at the time the rubber suits were more practical for lizard-like monsters with their scaly skin and all, but with King Kong's lean build, mangy hair, and creepy face, it's just...not pleasant to look at. Although I guess I have to give this film something for giving us the incredibly ridiculous and surreal image of King Kong being transported by balloons. Also, King Kong has electricity powers in this. 'The hell? As for the fight itself, their first encounter is a let down, but the final battle is actually pretty fun with the two going at it full swing, destroying Atami Castle and giving us that meme-worthy image of King Kong shoving a tree down Godzilla's throat. Also, King Kong begins a peculiar tactic of just throwing rocks at his enemies, which we'll see more of later. And in the end I guess King Kong wins...ish? I mean, they topple into the ocean and only Kong emerges. Well, doesn't matter since Godzilla will return and we'll never see that stupid King Kong outfit again (oh, except for his follow-up film in '67. Bleh).

    The Humans: Depending on how you look at it, I think this human plot might be even worse than Godzilla Raids Again. Like, it's not as goofy as the last film, but in that one you at least had the final payoff of the pilots defeating Godzilla, but in this one I don't think these characters have any sort of arc at all. They're just pretty much there to observe the insane shit around them. There's one group that goes to King Kong's island (complete with Japanese actors in Polynesian-face) to fetch the big ape, and somehow put him on a giant raft after he falls asleep(?). Actually, there is sort of a clever role reversal in that Japanese explorers bring back King Kong, while an American sub awakens Godzilla (still trapped in ice in a nice continuity nod). And speaking of the American sub, my god that was some atrociously awkward dubbing. Anyway, later on the token girl gets nabbed by King Kong, ala Fay Wray, but that's really about all I could tell you. Completely forgettable.

    Overall: As far as crossovers go, yeah, this one's sort of a letdown, but I actually am still kinda glad I watched it. I think there is still just enough good material in here to get some enjoyment out of it. If nothing else, it is worth it for the sheer novelty of seeing the (not for much longer) only crossover between King Kong and Godzilla. Here's hoping the 2020 movie will be better.

    Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

    The Monsters: So that's the second film in a row that Godzilla doesn't even top billing in his own movie. Which...actually makes sense in the context of the movie, as this really is Mothra's film. That and at only four movies in, I guess the Japanese general public still considered Godzilla to be kind of a bad guy. And yeah, he's totally the bad guy in this film. Anyway, the main plot of this movie revolves around Mothra's egg, which get washed up on a beach and businessman tries to exploit it for profit, which seems recycled from the original Mothra movie. Oh yeah, as fortune would have it, I watched the Rifftrax Live version of the original Mothra so I at least have some context for what's going on. Not that it makes stuff like the Mothra fairy girls any more sensical (like, I think they're supposed to be guardians, but at one foot nothing how are they supposed to guard anything?). Anyway, Godzilla shows up (after emerging from the earth for some reason, in a not-so-nice continuity disregard) and I guess tries to eat the egg, but then mommy Mothra shows up to protect her egg, fights Godzilla, and...dies, rather sadly. But then the egg hatches, birthing two Mothra larvae, which proceed to beat Godzilla with their mouth jizz, which...yeah, has to be most humiliating defeat of Godzilla's career (so far anyway). Pretty good action all things considered. Can't complain.

    The Humans: Ah, this is definitely a step up from the last two films. I mean, it's still not engrossing human drama by any means, but it does keep you interested enough to see what will happen next. It mainly follows a group of reporters who follow the story on the egg and then make contact with the fairy girls and try to help them return the egg. There's also the sleazy businessmen who try to exploit the egg, which actually leads to a pretty violent confrontation at the end when the two turn on each other. Not much else to say, really. It's an effective plot that's amusing enough as you wait for the monsters to beat the hell out of each other.

    Overall: A noticeable improvement over the last two films, largely due to better plotting and characters. Not just for the human story, but even the monsters have something resembling motivation going on, rather than them just mindlessly beating the hell out of each other. And I can see why Mothra got her own movie series. There's just something strangely charming loveable about that giant moth (and yes, her fairy guardians too, I suppose). So yeah, this is one I would definitely recommend to any Godzilla fan.

    Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)

    The Monsters: Here we go! After a few movies featuring one-on-one brawls (well, two-on-one if you count the Mothra larvae from the last film), we get a whopping four monsters this time around: Godzilla, Mothra (still in larva form), King Ghidorah, and Rodan (who shows up kind of randomly, but whatever). This movie marks the debut of both Ghidorah and Rodan (well, technically Rodan had his own solo movie in the 50's, but this is his first Godzilla appearance), and they're both a lot of fun. Though it is a bit strange that lately Godzilla seems to be going up against a lot of flying enemies, which makes the choreography kind of awkward. I mean, moreso than usual. Anyway, at this point, Godzilla's romps through Japan have become practically routine and even mundane at this point; a far cry from the sheer horror of the first film. Godzilla dukes it out with Rodan for most the film (the sounds Rodan makes when he bonks Godzilla on the head are hilarious), until Mothra convinces them to team up against Ghidorah. After which we get a gloriously bizarre three-on-one match with Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra all doing their part to take down the three-headed dragon. At one point, Godzilla takes a tip from King Kong and just starts hucking rocks at Ghidorah. And in the end, Ghidorah gets sprayed with Mothra's jizz and flies away like a bitch (though what's to stop him from just starting more shit on another part of the world? Whatever). This movie also gives us a look into Godzilla's psyche as the fairies translate his conversation with Mothra. Apparently, he does hold resentment towards humans, which, yeah, if I was transformed into a hideous monster through their nuclear testing, I'd be pretty peeved too (or maybe he's just an ancient monster that they awoke? I dunno, I've never been very clear on that plot point).

    The Humans: So apparently the writers' strategy this time was just to throw in as many plot threads as possible to keep the audience amused until we get to the monster stuff. And...yeah, it actually kinda works for the most part. We have a female journalist, a princess from a fictional country who gets possessed by a prophetic Venusian (or maybe she awakens an ancestral memory? I don't know, the movie was vague on that), the bodyguard assigned to protect the princess, hitmen assigned to assassinate the princess, and a group of scientists investigating a meteorite. Oh yeah, and the Mothra fairies are back (and agree to appear on a cheesy variety show for some reason). I think the big draw of the human element for this film is just introducing all these diverse characters and then seeing how they'll play off each other. Particularly, there was something strangely fascinating about seeing how the fairy girls would react to the Venusian, another mystical entity. So...yeah, a bit chaotic, but I'll give this a pass (though I still have no idea how the princess survived that plane explosion).

    Overall: I don't know if this is necessarily a better film than Godzilla or Mothra vs. Godzilla, but for some reason this movie really managed to keep me engaged, without me having to take a break or check the time or anything. Again, that could just be due to the sheer number of things that were going on in the movie. Lots of monsters and lots of plot threads. It's a fun ride, and considering it marks the debut of King Ghidorah, any Godzilla fan worth their salt is gonna see it anyway.

  16. #356

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    Part 2 of my journey through the Godzilla movie canon:

    Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)

    The Monsters: So while the last film had four monsters going at it, this film only has three: Godzilla, Rodan, and Ghidorah. One could argue that's a step down, but there's still a good amount of fun to be had here. Actually, I think the best fight happens midway through the movie when Godzilla and Rodan fight Ghidorah on Planet X (complete with Godzilla's little victory leap). In the last act of the film there's the obligatory rampaging through cityscapes, although this time Godzilla (and Rodan) only does it because he's being mind-controlled, leaning him more and more towards being the hero. And then there's the final battle with Ghidorah, which ends pretty much the same way King Kong vs. Godzilla did, with Ghidorah fleeing out of the water and Godzilla and Rodan staying submerged. Perhaps not the best action in a Godzilla movie, but still pretty fun.

    The Humans: And here we go. The first film to feature aliens! Well...okay, the last film did have the Venusian possessing the princess, but these are the first onscreen aliens. And they come dressed in all their cheesily-designed glory (Ah, the 60's, when all aliens had horrible fashion sense - "Take me to your tailor, earthling!"). Apart from them, we have two astronauts as our leads; one standard Japanese hero, and his Caucasian co-star, which I imagine is quite a rarity in Japanese cinema. There's also a subplot regarding an inventor and an alien woman who falls in love with the Caucasian astronaut. On paper this all sounds pretty good, but the execution actually doesn't do much for me. Maybe it's because the characters themselves aren't that interesting, or because you can see every plot point coming a mile away, or even just the aesthetic of the film, but I was really squirming in my seat through a large portion of it.

    Overall: I guess this is generally considered one of the better Godzilla films, but for me it felt kind of lacking. I mean, I suppose it is a landmark Godzilla film in that it's the first film to feature aliens in the story, and it is technically pretty good, I guess (I've seen and will see worse Godzilla films). But still, I'm not sure how eager I'll ever be to go back to this one.

    Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)

    The Monsters: In this latest installment of the Godzilla franchise, Godzilla fights......a lobster...yes...a lobster. No, not a cool or freakily-designed lobster, just...a normal lobster blown up. So...yeah, not exactly the most inspired design to come out of the Godzilla monster factory. And the actual fighting is...decent, I guess. Their first battle has this really bizarre sequence of them batting a rock at each other like a game of tennis. And the final battle has a fairly intense, if hard-to-see, underwater battle in which Godzilla rips off both of Ebirah's claws, which was pretty cool. Mothra also makes an appearance (back to a full-grown moth now, apparently), but only shows up to save the humans at the end. Also, there's this weird sequence where Godzilla randomly fights a giant bird. Not sure what that was about.

    The Humans: So, believe it or not, this is where the movie shines. After his brother is lost at sea, a young man, along with two bozos he picks up at a dance competition and a master thief and safecracker on the run from the law, set out on a boat and shipwreck on a mysterious island that's been taken over by a pseudo-terrorist group that's been abducting native islanders for slave labor. And, really, it's just about as crazy and fun as it sounds. Godzilla films, by their very concept, are outrageous, and they deserve outrageous human plots to go along with them. Sure, I guess the characters' personalities are a bit shallow, but the situations surrounding them are so insane that you can't help but be entertained. And you're never quite sure what's going to happen next. Actually, I think my favorite part of the movie is towards the beginning, when the movie takes 5-10 minutes just to focus on the four men sailing on the boat. There's just something about that segment that feels so fun and adventurous (well, I am a One Piece fan after all). Admittedly, the intrigue does peter out towards the end, and there's this really contrived segment where the lead gets tied to a balloon and arbitrarily lands on the island where his brother has been this whole time. But as far as Godzilla films go, it's a pretty minor complaint in what has to be, if not the best, the most entertaining human story so far. Well, that's my take on it anyway.

    Overall: So while Invasion of Astro-Monster is considered one of the better Godzilla films, this film is usually considered one of the worst (MST3K even did a riff on it). And whereas I thought Astro-Monster was kind of dull, I thought this film was actually a lot of fun. And, amazingly, it's mostly due to the human storyline. Sure, the kaiju action is a bit of a letdown, and if that's all you come to Godzilla movies for, I can understand not liking this one. But I'm here for the whole package, and I have to say this movie left me feeling satisfied. In fact, it may even be my favorite out of this batch of films.

    Son of Godzilla (1967)

    The Monsters: A lot more screen time for the monsters in this movie. They don't even waste time and show off Godzilla in the opening scene. And at only eight movies in, Godzilla gets a little kid sidekick. Oh boy. You're playin' with fire there, Toho. Very few movies/TV shows/what-have-you can get the kid sidekick aspect right and, sorry to say, you really didn't manage it here. First off, Minilla (get it? Mini-Illa?) just looks hideous. I mean, he's a contender for the Shrek babies in terms of how unpleasant he is to look at. He looks like a stubby old grandpa in a lizard suit. Just eww. Well, I guess the story behind him is that he's not Godzilla's biological son, but the same (or similar?) species, and Godzilla just sorta adopts him (really, he should've just eaten him). This leads to a number of sequences in which Godzilla bonds and trains with Minilla, which I guess would be cute if not for the fact that you wanted to kick Minilla every time he appears on screen. Aside from Minilla, there's some new enemies, which, like Ebirah, are just blown up versions of regular animals. The Kamacuras are just giant mantises and Kumonga is just a giant spider. Come on guys, it's not enough to make a giant-sized replica of an animal! You gotta give them that extra flair, ya know? Well, whatever. Fights are decent, I suppose, but there is one really badass scene where a severed flaming Kamacura claw goes flying through the air. So yeah, more screen time for the monsters, but I wish they could've done something more interesting with it.

    The Humans: Dullest storyline yet. Some scientists are trying to build a weather-controlling machine or something? I dunno. I honestly have nothing to say about it. Nothing of intrigue happens. It's clear the writers didn't care and were just more focused on the Godzilla/Minilla stuff.

    Overall: One of the least-liked films in the Godzilla franchise and I can see why. It's nice that the monsters finally get more screen time, but again nothing really fun or interesting happens with them. And Minilla is just a really off-putting ugly little turd. Unless you want to watch this for the sheer novelty of seeing the debut of a character who, unfortunately, would appear in other Godzilla films, I'd say you can skip this.

    Destroy All Monsters (1968)

    The Monsters: Here we go. The Avengers: Endgame of Godzilla films (or at least the first one? I'm not sure). Basically every kaiju that Toho has created thus far makes an appearance in this film, even ones that haven't previously been in a Godzilla film. And it's pretty much as awesome as it sounds. We've got Godzilla, Rodan, Ghidorah, Mothra (back to being a larva, strangely, though this is set in the future, so I guess this is the third Mothra?), Anguirus, Gorosaurus, Manda, Bargon, and others (yes, even Minilla makes an appearance, but he thankfully doesn't do much). The monsters go global and start attacking cities across the world, which results in some pretty cool destruction scenes. The true highlight of the film though is the final battle where all (or at least most) of the monsters join forces against King Ghidorah. This is pretty much the awesome kaiju beatdown I've been waiting for with this franchise with all the monsters getting to show their stuff. Admittedly, it is a bit one-sided with Ghidorah only getting the advantage over Anguirus momentarily, but it's still a ton of fun regardless. This battle alone makes the movie worth it.

    The Humans: And here's where the movie stumbles. Again, this is an incredibly dull human storyline that the writers didn't really seem to care about. There are really no characters or plotlines of intrigue here. A group of astronauts, strangely enough, are tasked with investigating the island that the monsters escaped from (Really? Is that something that falls under astronaut jurisdiction or specialization?) and they find that another race of aliens (not the ones from Astro-Monster) have taken control of the monsters and are making them attack Earth. There actually is one innovative idea in that the aliens turn out to be metallic slugs that, I think, just project their human forms. But again, this human storyline is mostly just a dull slog to get through. I guess it's technically better than the human storyline in Son of Godzilla, but whereas that one at least felt kinda short, this one just feels like it goes on and on until you're just begging for them to get back to the monsters. And, unfortunately, that does hurt the movie quite a bit in my book.

    Overall: One of the most acclaimed entries in the Godzilla series and, based on that final battle, I can see why. But, unfortunately, I don't think I can agree that this is one of the absolute best. Yes, the monster stuff is amazing, but the human stuff is tediously dull. And I know I've seen other Godzilla films that are overall more cohesive and entertaining than this. Mothra vs. Godzilla and Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster had cool monster action, but also some reasonably entertaining human drama to keep us entertained in the mean time. And that's really what this movie needed was a more compelling storyline to amuse us while we waited for the monster segments.

    All Monsters Attack (1969)

    The Monsters: Oh, dear me. This is the movie that answers the question "Can a movie be a clip show?" A question no one asked and one really wanted the answer to, but we got it anyway. The first and hopefully only Godzilla movie that uses recycled footage from previous movies to pad for time. Good lord. Now, to be fair, there is new monster footage, but...no I'm sorry, still, god, recycled footage, how lazy can you be? Anyway, the new stuff focuses on Minilla (UGH!) and a new monster called Gabara who serves as his bully. Gabara is...not hideous like Minilla, but really stupid looking. The basic premise is that, in a parallel to the human story (more on that later), Minilla needs to stand up against Gabara. So yes, if we hadn't already, we're completely humanzing the kaiju now. This leads to some...I guess passable action, not that I really care about seeing Minilla fight. Once Godzilla joins in, things do get a bit better, especially when he flips Gabara over his shoulder. But ultimately it's too little too late after the embarrassing clip show from earlier and the agony of dealing with Minilla. And none of it matters anyway since all the monster segments were just the fantasy of a little kid. Speaking of which...

    The Humans: Oy vey. The first Godzilla film that not only has a kid in the main cast, but in fact is the leading role. This gon' hurt. Well...I guess you could argue this is a better human plot than the previous film in that it gives you a character to identify with and that it doesn't bore you out of your skull (it more annoys you than anything), but this is still pretty bad. Ichiro, the "hero" of this story, is your typical down-on-his-luck kid whose parents are never around (though he has a weird toymaker neighbor he hangs out with) and suffers the constant abuse of a bully. To cope with this, he escapes to his dreams in which he hangs out with Minilla (I'm sure I could count the number of real-life kids who actually want to hang out with Minilla on one hand) who goes through the same story arc as him (dealing with Gabara as described above). There's also a plot involving two bank robbers running from the law and - wouldn't you know it! - Ichiro gets mixed up in it and ends up getting kidnapped by the robbers. Naturally, he must escape his captors, which is results in prototypical kids-outsmarting-adults hijinks that I thought only existed in 90's movies, but apparently they've been doing this for a while. Ichiro's story ends with him beating the tar out of his bully and harassing an innocent man who wasn't bothering him at all and knocking him off a ladder. Truly, he is better off than when we found him.

    Overall: Possibly the most loathed film in the Godzilla franchise (and that's saying something, considering Zilla '98 exists) and it did not disappoint. Really, you could condemn this movie for the recycled footage alone, but even the new material is awful. Ichiro is an annoying little brat and his Minilla fantasies are just as annoying. Maybe one or two cool scenes with Godzilla are the only positive things I can think of to say about this movie. At the very least, this movie is only 69 minutes long, but in a way that kinda makes it worse. I mean, they couldn't even make enough new material to fill 69 minutes? God, this movie.

    Bonus Review - Rodan (1956)

    The Monsters: Yep. Rodan (or Radon as he's known in Japan) had his own film before appearing in the fifth Godzilla movie. And pretty much like Godzilla himself, he starts off as a malevolent figure that terrorizes Japan. But he's not alone in his debut film. The movie actually starts off with some miners discovering some giant insect larvae (as in, about the size of a bear) who become the main antagonistic force for the first half of the film. In the second half of the film, Rodan takes over, hatching from a giant egg, and...I guess it was feeding on the larvae? I don't know, I'm actually really confused about the timing and logic of all that. In any case, Rodan, fully grown, begins his rampage, flying through the air, taking down jets, and causing untold destruction with its sonic booms, which it creates by flying just so darn fast. It's actually pretty cool and effectively establishes Rodan as a very menacing force. What's more, there are actually two Rodans in this film! Again, not exactly clear on the how and why of it, but the Japanese military does manage to take them down by apparently burning them to death in a volcano, which is actually a really intense scene. But, of course, we all know Rodan will be back (or at least one of them will).

    The Humans: As stated above, this movie starts with some miners discovering some odd goings-on in their little mineshaft. Mainly in that some of the workers are dying. It actually gets pretty heavy with some disturbing death scenes and we later see the wailing and grieving widows of the miners. And there's a brief subplot in which they believe one miner killed the other miners. Anyway, they eventually discover the insect larvae, but find they can do little to combat them as even their guns don't seem to do much damage. The situation continues to escalate, as they first call in the police, then some scientists, and finally the military gets involved once Rodan appears. The miner plotline pretty much fades away in the second half, with the main miner suffering amnesia and eventually revealing that he discovered Rodan's egg as his last meaningful contribution. After that it's just a bunch of talking military heads strategizing about what they can do to take down the giant birds. So it's a bit sloppy and perhaps not the most engaging human story, but it works well enough in just how creepy and violent it gets.

    Overall: A surprisingly dark entry in the Godzilla universe that actually holds up pretty well. It's not as well-plotted and doesn't have as much to say as the original Godzilla, but its an entertaining enough creature flick, that actually leans more towards the horror side of the scale. If you're a Godzilla fan and want to see the origin of one of the more popular monsters to come out of the franchise, I say give it a watch.

  17. #357
    From Elvis in Memphis Cyan D. Funk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Huxley U.

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    All Monsters Attack weirdly enough works better as a snapshot of late-60s Japan than it does as a giant monster movie.

  18. #358
    Discovered Stowaway
    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    I think probably Godzilla: Final Wars is one of the only ones where the human parts didn't 100% suck. It didn't hurt that it was directed by one of my favorite Japanese directors.

    But Son of Godzilla is still one of my favorites. So funny.

    Anyway...I haven't seen the recent movie but knowing what I do about Godzilla in that new universe, how exactly is Kong going to be any kind of threat to the fire-breather in Godzilla Vs. Kong? If the monsters already took down Ghidora, who was supposed to be like the ultimate big-bad of most of the movies, the who's going to be the Doomsday to their Batman V Superman situation to get them to stop fighting and team up?

  19. #359

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by BattleFranky69 View Post
    Anyway...I haven't seen the recent movie but knowing what I do about Godzilla in that new universe, how exactly is Kong going to be any kind of threat to the fire-breather in Godzilla Vs. Kong? If the monsters already took down Ghidora, who was supposed to be like the ultimate big-bad of most of the movies, the who's going to be the Doomsday to their Batman V Superman situation to get them to stop fighting and team up?
    Zilla got a temporary one time powerup to beat Gidorah, he won't be at that strength in the next movie.

    Kong keeps growing and getting stronger.

    And the last film ended with a loooot of monsters still intact, and Ghidorah parts ripe for cloning. It's not going to be just Zilla versus Kong, even if thats the title fight.
    To support Viz hosting all Jump manga for FREE and day of release, Arlong Park will now support the official release.

    Official chapter discussions now start Sundays at Noon, EST.
    Please do not post threads when scan sites release their version, and just discuss those releases in the spoiler thread.

  20. #360

    Default Re: Oh no, there goes Tokyo. It's a Godzilla thread!

    Just watched a death battle with Mecha Godzilla I didn't realize the oxygen bomb in the 2019 movie was an actual thing from an earlier movie lol

    shows how much I know about Godzilla

    if anyone wants to watch it's right here

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