Sunday, May 11, 2014

"Godzilla" and The Critics

by Armand Vaquer

Above, "the King's" statue in Hibiya. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Comic Book has snips of the "first wave" of reviews of the Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros. Godzilla.

For the most part, the critic reviews are generally favorable to the movie with the biggest kudos going to the cinematography, the monsters and the movie's ending. Most are saying that Godzilla put back the "awe" in "awesome" and that the film will satisfy the monster fans.

In a nutshell: "It delivers!"

On the negative side, the consensus among critics are that the characters aren't "fleshed out" as well as they could be or that they are superficial. Well, who goes to monster movies for fully fleshed-out characters? The Godzilla movie with the best-developed characters of all has to be the 1954 original.

Still, this Godzilla is a "marked improvement" over the 1998 Sony/TriStar Godzilla.

What hurt some of Toho's "Millennium" series of movies was that the characters they came up with had "personal issues" that were more annoying than moving forward the plot. The two that stand out as suffering the most from this were the Mechagodzilla movies, Godzilla x Mechagodzilla (2002) and Godzilla x Mothra x Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003) (the second one being the worst).

I will quote one critic whose comments are in the article (chosen at random):

DEN OF GEEK: "Most Creative & Striking Summer Blockbuster We’ve Seen In Years"
"This new Godzilla lacks the sense of despair present in Ishiro Honda’s 1954 original. But in its place is something relatively fresh in films such as this: an absence of cynicism. There’s an underlying theme in here about parents protecting children, and of people simply trying to do the right thing in the face of disaster. In Edwards’ reading of Godzilla, there isn’t necessarily any such thing as good or evil. There’s merely humanity and nature, with the former standing awe-struck in the destructive presence of the latter. Most importantly, Godzilla himself emerges just as he should: a bellowing, powerful force; a true king of the monsters." - Ryan Lambie
If you are interested in seeing what the other critics are saying, go to the link at the beginning of this blog post.

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Burbank, CA – March 29, 2010 – Legendary Pictures announced today that they will develop and produce a new film based on Toho Company’s famed GODZILLA character. Through the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a movie inspired by Toho’s Godzilla, a franchise the Japanese company created and has nurtured for over fifty years.

Toho’s GODZILLA franchise boasts one of the most widely recognized film creatures worldwide, resulting in a series of books, television programs, video games and more than 25 films worldwide. Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible. The company will, in the near future, announce a filmmaker to helm the film for an intended 2012 release. The film will fall under the company’s co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Toho will distribute the film in Japan."

"Godzilla" is coming back -- this time, with Legendary Pictures taking the lead, co-producing and co-financing with Warner Bros. for release in 2012.

Legendary announced Monday it had obtained rights to the iconic monster character from Japan's Toho Co., which has overseen more than 25 "Godzilla" films. Toho will release the pic in Japan.

Legendary said it's planning to announce a director shortly.

In addition to Legendary, producers on the new film will be Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Brian Rogers. Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira and Doug Davison will exec produce.

"Godzilla is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise," said Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary. "Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has."

Legendary noted the film will fall under its co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Legendary's productions with Warners have included "The Dark Knight," "300" and "The Hangover."

Speculation about a new "Godzilla" has been active since last summer. The Bloody Disgusting web site reported in August that the project was in development.