Godzilla: King Of My Heart

I’m about nine hours out from seeing Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, and I am unbelievably excited.

I have been hyped ever since that incredible first theatrical trailer. The image of Mothra, my perfect mom, majestically expanding her wings set to Claire de Lune actually made me cry and I’m a huge fan of Mike Dougherty’s previous films.
WelldocumentedYawningJenny-max-1mb

I thought I would put this thread up preemptively because I have no doubt I’ll want to talk about it after and I’m also interested in what ya’ll have to say as well! Is this movie a triumph of giant monster action and heavy-handed environmentalist messages, or does the team/s who cut the advertisements just deserve all the awards possible?

2 Likes

I’m gonna repost my initial thoughts that I put on twitter, if that’s all right with you guys.

As far as B-grade Godzilla movies go, King Of The Monsters was fucking brilliant. It’s not perfect, the cutaways to human characters gets tedious in the third act, the themes are muddled, the Americanization is definitely present, the climax of Sarazawa’s arc is… a choice and I most likely could have done without the Silicon Valley guy, but none of that truly stopped me from loving the stuff I actually came to see.

The monster action is beyond incredible, a perfect balance of majesty and awe-inspiring terror. Pretty much every moment where they show up is like sensory overload. I cried over Mothra, for various reasons, like, three times.

Give me a solo movie now. NOW, YOU ABSOLUTE BASTARDS.

The image of Ghidorah roaring triumphantly from atop a volcano with a giant crucifix in the foreground is gonna be burned into my brain for a good long while.

Now, personally, I think comparing this film negatively to the original Gojira, Shin Godzilla, and the 2014 predecessor is a bit silly tbh. This is a franchise that’s retiree age, with 35 entries at present, that only really took off because of an east vs west monster brawl, as far as I can tell. I don’t mean to diminish those films, it’s certainly not like I’d rate kotm higher than them, but they are kinda the outliers here, right?

Either way, I’m sure you lot will have your own takes, but I found King of the Monsters to be super good, super fun, and intoxicatingly grandiose at its best. I can’t wait to see it again, bring on Kong

AND DON’T FORGET WHAT MOTHRA DID FOR US. FOR THE PLANET. EVER.

2 Likes

I wrote a short review on letterboxd - I ultimately enjoyed my time with it, but was definitely more negative than you, so prepare for grumpiness if you click through! https://letterboxd.com/jameswheeler/film/godzilla-king-of-the-monsters-2019/

I take your point about the size of the franchise making direct comparisons between instalments less crucial, but I think it has to be fair to measure it against Edwards’ 2014 film, given it is a direct sequel and marketed as such, complete with returning characters (who are even more underserved than before!) A lot (but not all) of my bad feeling toward this and Skull Island is down to my affection for that film, which seems criminally overlooked to me.

I’m seeing it today! I saw Godzilla 2014 in theaters 5 times, and I pretty much never do repeat movie viewings. I grew up on Godzilla as a kid, and watched every single movie multiple times cause I loved it so much. Godzilla’s amazing as both a big goofy monster fighting series and as a series with the potential to tell real-ass stories about Japan’s struggles and fears, like in the original and Shin.

Saw this last night and I had a total fucking blast. The monsters were so incredible every time they were on screen, just bursting with personality and terrible majesty. The animation on King Ghidorah is genuinely some of the coolest I’ve ever seen in a monster movie. Its a big dumb spectacle in the best way possible, and honestly the human stuff being pretty standard in comparison didn’t really bother me. It did a good job of facilitating and contextualizing the giant monster action and had a few good moments, but otherwise mostly stayed out of the way of what we all really come to a multi-monster godzilla movie for.

I also loved how the military was as hilariously ineffectual and useless as they always are in these movies, and their one plan, to use the oxygen destroyer (!!) the weapon designed to kill godzilla in the original series, does in fact kill godzilla (and the entire surrounding ecosystem!!) but not the monster that’s an actual threat to humanity lol. And then later, there’s a big moment where all these planes and ships are in formation with Godzillla and its framed as super triumphant and badass but mere minutes later ALL of them have been destroyed like they were nothing. It’s great.

Also, they fucking LEVELED Boston and as someone who grew up in Massachusetts I was grinning ear-to-ear the entire time. It is an honor to have my home state destroyed by monsters.

Great movie.

2 Likes

Embarassing personal confession:

I’ve stated before on my twitter that you shouldn’t worry to much about reviews of this film if you plan on seeing it, but seeing KOTM called “a BvS level disaster” is a little saddening

1 Like

I legitimately cried for Mothra too. What a queen.

2 Likes

What didn’t you like about Skull Island? That movie has some undeniably thin characters but it used the Vietnam trappings to actually say something and had John C. Reilly putting in the performance of a man who is being extremely well-paid.

I didn’t really get anything out of the Vietnam War setting other than… trappings, as you say. It just felt like regurgitated Vietnam movie clichés combined with a giant monster movie, for novelty’s sake.

I’m by no means an Aaron Johnson fan, but Godzilla’s action hinging around a blank cipher really works in that movie, whereas I find the attempts at engaging characters in Skull Island and King of the Monsters really fail.

1 Like

Godzilla movies almost always get negative reviews regardless of quality. I think a vast majority of critics (and even lots of self-proclaimed film buffs!) just honestly do not know how to relax and enjoy a monster movie.

2 Likes

Maybe it has to do with the human acting in King of the Monsters? I can certainly see how that aspect of the movie hurt it since it wasn’t as strong as I thought it might be.

While I love Vera Farmiga and Millie Bobby Brown, the whole human drama left a lot to be desired. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself at the exposition Vera’s character gave for her reasoning to unleash all the monsters with what was really a prepared video presentation of her plans. It was like what? When did she have time to splice together news footage of human pollution of the Earth like that? And I couldn’t help but think that if she planned this, man what a rehearsed speech this was, haha.

That in mind, I didn’t have a strong connection to any of the human characters except for Ken Watanabe’s character (and even saying strong is sort of a embellishment too). I had more connection to the monsters though maybe that’s because there was the human perspective to explain the actions of these creatures. They were just pretty much narrating a play-by-play for the audience.

I did however EXTREMELY enjoy seeing my old buddy Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) back at his shenanigans. Literally threw my hands up and said, “Frickin’ Tywin” and laughed when he made his first appearance.

2 Likes

It definitely would have worked better if it felt more thematically connected to the battles, because my initial impression tells me the human stuff is largely just exposition dumps that we keep cutting back to because you technically can’t make a virtually plotless movie that’s literally just Kaiju’s throwing down and reclaiming the planet

Some of the more super negative crit still has me scratching my head though, like the being unable to see the monster fighting or the apparent “lack of subtext”

“you technically can’t make a virtually plotless movie that’s literally just Kaiju’s throwing down and reclaiming the planet”

Hollywood continues to be filled with cowards I see.

4 Likes

Yeah. It could have been done a little better with the exposition, but the drama itself with the family was more tiresome. I didn’t mind them talking about what they thought what was happening or their discovery of our boy 'Zilla’s home. I was more interested in the explanation and the mythos of these creatures being worshipped as gods back in the day.

For sure, I think if they were to do more movies… I’d like origin stories. The monsters how they acted through time with respect to the cultures celebrating them (or fearing them). I am not sure if there are movies that depict the kind of ancient culture and times that these monsters were supposed to exist in, but I think that would be such a fascinating part of the lore they could explore. Who built that shit under the water? Was it Atlantis? I don’t know – but please make a movie so we can find out.

1 Like

Pretty much, I’d love a film that’s similar to the recent IDW series Godzilla in Hell that has pretty much zero dialog as Godzilla rampages through the Underworld, trying to get back to Earth

2 Likes

There’s something to be said here about… humans thinking they’re so important a component to the biosphere/environment that they’d NEED to be a focal point of any story about it when like… nah. No? We disrupted and broke that stuff.

It would have been downright incredible if humans had: a) taken a damn backseat to the kaiju
b) been portrayed—at least in part—as the villains that ruined the earth.

But then again… a movie pointing out human insignificance in the grand scheme of things borderlines on some existentialism that the average kaiju audience (weirdly, I think) doesn’t want to deal with because they just want to watch the monsters punch and the humans be safe at the end of the day.

Godzilla 2000, where big G wins but continues the destruction of the city as the credits roll, remains the film with my favorite ending in this franchise.

1 Like

Yeah… I think WB and Legendary have waaaaaaaaaay to much money invested to make a western version of, say, Godzilla Returns or whichever one where the big guy is possessed by the spirits of dead soldiers

Which honestly doesn’t bother me that much because Toho will probably keep making Godzilla films so long as these ones remain somewhat profitable, I bet they put one out after Godzilla VS Kong, and they’re way more likely to get all weird and depressing with it

1 Like

just got back from the movie, my first IMAX film in ~10 years. it was incredible. just a few things

  1. justice for Watanabe and Sally Hawkins. couldn’t the dad have died instead? he was boring

  2. Godzilla should fight The Meg
  3. some sort of Godzilla / Pacific Rim crossover?
  4. next movie…no humans

I haven’t seen KotM yet, but from what I’ve read it almost seems like they tried to recreate the Raymond Burr Godzilla: King of the Monsters Americanization of the original film. I remember seeing it as a kid, but I caught it on IFC last night and was kind of stunned. I thought they had basically just spliced footage of Burr in, but it’s much more extensive than that. Still, it’s a lot of scenes of Burr commenting on things as he looks out a window, or he and his translator standing conspicuously apart from everything else in a scene.

As I wait for a chance to get to the theater, I’ve also been watching the Netflix Godzilla anime movies.

As sci-fi anime, they’re pretty decent. Lots of religious philosophy and theoretical physics and cute anime alien girls.

As Godzilla movies they… qualify? I guess? G is a literal force of nature, directly influencing the ecosystem and evolution of all around him. There are implications that he and the other kaiju are sort of Mass Effect Reaper style beings from the galactic primordial.

This is all from act one of the first movie, but I’ll tag it anyway:

Godzilla rose up from the earth one day and began wreaking havok. A nomadic alien species arrived shortly after, offering to help in exchange for refuge and resources. Their attempts to construct a Mechagodzilla ran out of time and the remaining humanoids were forced to flee. After 20 years of wandering, they are running out of resources, so they decide to return to earth, figuring that since they’ve been traveling at near light speed, thousands of years would have passed on Earth. They return to find Godzilla has had a bigger impact than they could possibly imagine.

It feels like they had an idea for a pretty cool sci-fi anime and someone told them they had to make it into a Godzilla story. If you’re okay with that I can recommend it, just don’t come to it looking for traditional building stomping action.

2 Likes

I loved this shit. So fucking great. Top-to-bottom an extremely fun film. I think it would have benefited from holding back Ghidorah early on and trashing that scientist with the lame-ass jokes, but the human plotline was perfectly enjoyable, the kaiju stuff was top tier, it was absolutely filled to the brim with love for the history of Godzilla, and it fully embraced how outrageous its premise could become while avoiding camp. What a great fucking time. Gonna go see it a few more times.

2 Likes