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GODZILLA (2014)

Blu-ray/ DVD/ Digital Copy combo pack

 review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  123 minutes, featurettes, DVD, digital copy

VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO: English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 DD

Subtitles:  English SDH, French, Spanish

 

STUDIO: Warner Bros Pictures/ Legendary Pictures

Blu-ray/ DVD RELEASE DATE: 9-16-2014

I have always been a fan of Godzilla films (except for the ones with baby Godzilla) and I was very excited when I heard Gareth Edwards was directing the new reimagining of GODZILLA.  This 2014 take is like a 1970s summer blockbuster in a Steven Spielberg fashion without the sentimentalism.   The movie builds along with a nice opening titles sequence which shows some of the atomic bomb tests were an attempt to kill Godzilla by a secret organization called Monarch.   Flash forward to 10 years ago in Japan when a nuclear reactor disaster claims the life of a man’s wife.  Both of them are scientists and the son becomes distant from his father (Bryan Cranston) who now sounds like a crackpot conspiracy nut who just wants to know the truth in what happened.   His son, Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), is now in the military and he is called to Japan (when he is on leave to see his wife and son in San Francisco) to bail his dad out of jail.  Soon his dad convinces the son to come with them to get some old data and they discover a giant monster (aka the MUTO) is about to come out of hibernation to mate.  The MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms) escapes after Monarch fails to kill it and it draws the attention of Godzilla.   Godzilla goes face to face to fight the MUTO from Hawaii to San Francisco. 

 

I loved this Godzilla remake even though it isn’t a perfect movie, but people should go check out Gareth Edwards directorial debut MONSTERS after seeing this one.   The monster battles are good and the monsters aren’t shrouded in rain (like in PACIFIC RIM).  It also shows sometime mankind isn’t control of nature or big monsters for that matter (and they have to let them fight).   I enjoyed for a popcorn movie despite the lack of political allegory like the original Godzilla.   The story does a good buildup and wisely uses Godzilla without having Godzilla on the screen all of the time.   The only two complaints are most of the human characters fall flat (especially the family dynamics) and the best character (who they should have kept around instead of leaving behind a character you could care less about to help carry the story) is eliminated about halfway into the movie.  The story has a good build-up and the monster action and destruction is also good to see on screen, but I wish the story of Ford and his family was more fleshed out and interesting (where his Dad is the most interesting of the whole bunch combined).  Ken Watanabe seems to have not enough to do as a scientist within Monarch (and his character seems to do a lot of staring in awe type of looks).  A sequel is on its way and I hope Gareth Edwards and the producers improve the formula (and flesh out the human characters more and use some recognized Godzilla foes). 

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

MONARCH DECLASSIFIED:

OPERATION: LUCKY DRAGON- a film on the operation to use an atomic bomb to destroy Godzilla in the Pacific

MONARCH: THE M.UT.O. FILE-  a video primer for people new to the Monarch organization

THE GODZILLA REVELATION- a look at the conspiracy behind the M.U.T.Os and Godzilla, and the destruction they left in their wake

 

 

THE LEGENDARY GODZILLA:

GODZILLA: A FORCE OF NATURE- looks at the origins of the movie and how the director got involved

A WHOLE NEW LEVEL OF DESTRUCTION- how they used real locations and visual effects to create the destruction in the new GODZILLA

INTO THE VOID: THE H.A.L.O. JUMP- a look at one of the highlight scenes of the movie that Gareth Edwards envisioned for the movie

ANCIENT ENEMY: THE M.U.T.O.S.-  a look at the creation of the ancient creatures in the movie

 

GODZILLA: REBIRTH OF AN ICON (Target Exclusives featurette)- a history of the iconic monster from the days of the first Toho film to the latest reimagining of GODZILLA.  This featurette reuses some material seen in other featurettes on the disc.

 

Movie in Standard definition on DVD

Digital HD Ultraviolet copy of the movie

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  GODZILLA is a good start for presenting a new version of the iconic giant monster for the 21st century, but I do hope they improve the human story for the sequel (which does fall a little flat in this first movie) and give Godzilla more screen time.  I did enjoy some of the making-of featurettes which do come off more as promotional material at times instead of a thorough behind-the-scenes look.  My favorite extra is the OPERATION: LUCKY DRAGON short film.

 

This review is 9-23-2014 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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