Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Shin Gojira ("Godzilla Resurgence") was retro fun!




I understand that the film will only be released sometime in October for youse in the States so those who want to avoid any form of spoilers can steer clear from reading my rant on the film below....
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Seriously, you can navigate away from this page now....
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Last chance!
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Ok....here goes!

Since its debut sometime in the 50s, Gojira or Godzilla to the rest of the world has been redefining pop culture's monster/creature feature with profound impact. With close to 30 films by Toho Pictures done on the creature, it was a matter of time before Hollywood dip their hands into the franchise (more on this later).

Let me be clear. I love classic retro action movies no matter how  cheesy or goofy the special effects might be. During my student days I'd spent many hours in between late night studying sessions watching Akira Kurosawa/Toshiro Mifune's films because I loved the blood spraying/splattering effects and flying limbs sequence so much. Honestly, those classic films immediately sprung into my mind when the classic Toho Pictures and the 50s/60s inspired opening theme opened this 

Having said those, I also enjoyed the retro score throughout the film. Real throwback to the classic Toho films of yesteryear.

I find it rather fitting for the Japanese to finally revisit their favorite kaiju in light of the recent release of Gareth Edward's 2014 movie i.e. "Godzilla" which was in my opinion, a great savior of the whole Godzilla/Gojira franc hise after the tragedy that is 1998's Roland Emmerich's flick of the same name. 


Drama, action (albeit not as much that I hoped for) and humor (?)....is the recipe of a great monster movie....right?

There were light hearted moments and sometimes they felt a bit comedic too especially scenes involving the Japanese Prime Minister. I don't know how other audience would react to these but the audience in the cinema my family and I went to burst into fits of giggles and laughter whenever the PM was caught in some sort of on-the-spot decision making situation. Unintentional I supposed but the comedy worked!

I find it amusing that a Japanese American presidential envoy/hopeful is thrown into the fray with all of her political connotations and references. Thus it made me wonder....could it be that the film is somehow subtly mirroring real-life US-Japan relations? Let's not go there....LOL.

I gotta admit that I almost dozed off a couple of times too during the many and over used 'board room' discussion scenes between the Prime Minister and his ministers/advisers. Truthfully I felt that the film could've done more without many of the scenes.

Now let us get into the star attraction of the film!

This is your classic Japanese Godzilla monster here from the short snout design, the stubby legs, the radiation glow on his body,  the unmistakable spikes on its back and right down to the goofy googly eyes. Make no mistake though as he is one mean kaiju as he terrorizes through Tokyo with his sheer might. Godzilla started out as a marine type of sea monster who ploughed through the Japanese metropolis (think seals or walruses) by moving slowly using its belly.  He evolves slowly into the Godzilla that we know as we progressed to the final act of the film. 

I love the combination of CGI, men in rubber suits and practical live effects as what I saw on screen was convincing enough for me as compared to the many other overly-CGIed monster flicks of recent time.

I was left in awe every time Godzilla unleashed his radioactive prowess by emiting rays and such via his mouth and tail. 

Gone are the days of unconvincing miniaturised models as most of the building and vehicle models used were seamlessly mashed up with the real ones during the many chaotic scenes.


Personally, I felt that there wasn't enough rampaging by Godzilla himself although we got to see a great deal of destruction throughout the movie. The movie however opened up so many possibilities for more outrageous sequels in the future, perhaps even one with crossovers or cameos from other Japanese legendary screen characters e.g. Ultraman etc.? I can't wait.


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