Kaiju & Other Giant Monsters (Who Often Fight)


#1

I’m on a serious kaiju kick right now, so if anyone else loves The Big Boys & Girls, I would love to chat!

Shin Godzilla was my favorite movie of last year, and I have scoured the internet for info about a US home video release, to no avail. I just watched the 1954 original for the first time, which gave it some interesting context. Much of Shin Godzilla’s “meeting” structure was present in the original, but really turned up to eleven for the reboot. I thought the farce of jumping from meeting to meeting was hilarious. And the goofiness of Godzilla’s early mutations was a welcome change of pace.

Kong: Skull Island was super fun. I think it was the first example I’ve seen of an action movie clearly influenced by Mad Max: Fury Road, and I hope we see more of that. Yes, the tone was muddled, and none of the characters had any sort of growth, but Kong sure punched those helicopters and Sam Jackson sure was angry.

Colossal is still nagging at me, mostly because I was one of four friends that seemed to like it at all. Its metaphor is hard to piece together, and there are some definite pacing problems (could’ve lost that whole “fireworks” scene). But I like that they went there, as far as alcoholism and abuse, and the ending was pretty creative, mechanically. Totally unexpected.

I’ll close out by saying that Cloverfield is probably one of my top 10 favorite movies, so fight me??


#2

I used to watch old Godzilla movies, and the other Toho kaiju, when my parents let me stay up late when I was a kid. They’re very nostalgic for me, but watching Shin Godzilla definitely brought back a sincere fondness for the King of Monsters. Been thinking of watching a few of my favourites with some friends this year, maybe make a party out of it with a cute cake or something.

Cloverfield is really good, I think one of the better films to come out of the shaky cam trend. And Pacific Rim is among my favourite films of any genre, the kaiju in that are a bit more bulky than most fish/lizard-type kaiju, but I really love their designs. Especially Otachi and Slattern.


#3

Now you’ve got me thinking about a kaiju costume party!

I didn’t jive with Pacific Rim for some reason. And I usually like Del Toro! I think the cities are an essential factor for me - PR had a little too much fighting in open ocean.

Although I did like Skull Island… maybe all it takes is a helicopter to make me feel at home.


#4

I talk a lot about Cloverfield with my pals - I think if you remove the reveal at the end, it’s almost a perfect monster movie. Seeing it directly like that sort of cooled my opinion of the monster itself, if that makes sense, but barring that, the little bits of info you get here and there (and the gap between character knowledge and audience knowledge) keep everything interesting through the whole film.


#5

Yeah, the monster’s design sucks. Too much generic-bug-monster, not enough Megalon drill hands or Gigan tummy saws. It’s also disappointing that that moment marks the end of TJ Miller, the best character by far.


#6

I grew up watching Gamera movies. My dad also really liked Rodan a bunch, but I thought the giant centipedes were terrifying. Shin Godzilla was fucking dope and I’m dying for a blu-ray.

Barugon is a good boy and he shoots rainbows and I love him so much.


#7

Damn, lookit that boy!! I’d never even heard of Barugon, but that looks rad


#8

Shin Godzilla was a fantastic film. I had multiple “oh SHIT” moments throughout, and the execution of the effects hit the sweet spot between modern wizardry and pastel goofiness.

I am also a big fan of the 2014 Godzilla. It’s “Good-zilla” at his best, and the scene where he appears to Ford out of the dust cloud in Chinatown and roars your fucking face off? I applauded. Yeah, it suffers from a miscast Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and a criminally wasted Elizabeth Olsen, but if you focus on the monsters? Just awesome.

I’m torn on whether to classify the Dolem enemies from RahXephon as “kaiju,” but I’ve never been that scared of a mecha before in my life, I’ll tell you that much.


#9

I kinda want to go back and watch a bunch of the not-too old Godzilla movies. Around the time Godzilla 2014 movie came out, I saw Godzilla: Final Wars, which is a fan-service filled send off to that era of Godzilla. Both are fantastic but Final Wars is so much more ridiculous and into being this big dumb thing. Its a cartoon in comparison and I loved the hell out of it.


#10

I’m not familiar with RahXephon, but given MechaGodzilla and Mecha-King Ghidorah, I would say mecha can be kaiju? Let’s find out:

Can mecha be kaiju?

  • Yes, some mecha are kaiju
  • Yes, ALL mecha are kaiju
  • No, kaiju and mecha are eternally at war and I will accept no mingling between the two.

0 voters


#11

I really oughta check that one out. That’s the one where US 2000 Godzilla is “Zilla”, right? And he gets taken out in like 5 seconds?


#12

RahXephon is definitely anime; prepare for a high school boy with a pet robot and a harem of interesting ladies and gentlemen with questionable motives. But it’s also a fascinating psycho-thriller with a mid-season episode that I still have frames of burned into my brain.

Music is a big deal, and the giant robot thing is taken in a very weird direction. Does some things better than Evangelion, in my opinion, and doesn’t guarantee crushing depression. Big, weird, and smart.


#13

Everyone should check out Trollhunter if you haven’t. It has some incredible shots of gigantic creatures, and it’s found-footage style but not too panicky and motion-sickening.

Shin-Godzilla is the best Godzilla movie since the first one (stripping all nostalgia away for what’s in between, I can safely say this) and I’m really excited for what that team does next.


#14

Me, at the end of Godzilla 2014: “Damn, even Godzilla can’t afford to live in San Francisco”

(Also that halo jump was good)


#15

Trollhunter is the coolest. I haven’t watched it in a while, but I remember really digging the song over the end credits.

Oops, here it is.


#16

I still think about Gamera the Brave on a regular basis. The fact that it’s not readily available to gift to friends and family in the US is a crying shame.

I have often joked that once I finish my PhD in comics studies (come on, stupid dissertation!) I should go back and do a PhD in film studies, with a focus on looking at kaiju films through affect theory. I’m not going to, because getting a PhD fucking sucks and I would never put myself through this hell again, but I still think about it sometimes.


#17

I really enjoyed Colossal. It did have some pacing problems and whatnot, but I don’t think any of them impeded my enjoyment of the movie. It felt so inventive and unique in ways that I crave to see in all movies, not just kaiju movies (although, it could be said it is more a movie with kaiju in it, then a kaiju movie.) I won’t say to much more, because I think the experience of seeing it relatively unspoiled is worth it.


#18

Did not know about Colossal before coming here. Sounds awesome.

Also, when looking it up, I saw that Toho apparently went after them for some money because the director used photos of Godzilla and the Godzilla concept in pitches at Cannes. That is really sus, Toho. That’s like From suing everyone who’s ever said “Souls-like” in a pitch.


#19

I loooove kaiju movies, and I’ve been watching the Godzilla films in order of release recently. I’ve only gotten up to Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster.

I highly recommend any kaiju fan to watch Mothra Vs Godzilla and Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster, they’re pretty much essential kaiju films and total classics. The latter is where Godzilla transitions from an angry force of nature to an anti-hero. Plus, there’s a really awesome scene where Mothra, Rodan and Godzilla have a conversation about teaming up to fight Ghidorah.

When it comes to recent stuff, I loved Pacific Rim and Godzilla 2014. I’ve been meaning to watch Kong: Skull Island and Shin Godzilla when they’re available on home video.


#20

The first Ghidorah is my sentimental favorite kaiju film. The scene with the conversation is so good, a real game-changer. I think Ghidorah is maybe also just the coolest kaiju.