New Godzilla design (derp)

Posted by Supersentai 
I typically make myself watch entire Godzilla movies, and not just bip to the fight scenes, mostly because I appreciate the build up and the effort put into the productions. There are a few I groan through more than others, but I think it goes without saying that if you minus the monster parts of these movies, you'd be left with cinema circling the same proverbial drain as Plan 9.

I think in the case of this American made Ziller', the synergy of the military backstory kept my attention better than most. I have a feeling that the $160 million dollar budget may have cramped the amount of Kaiju-time they were allotted due to the caliber of effects. I thought it was stunning, and can imagine they had to hold the line somewhere. I didn't feel cheated, and look forward to the next installment, which apparently already has the green light.

I can imagine the next movie, if they go back into the Toho box, would have to involve a non-space alien opponent, as it would be tricky to force the suspension of (dis)belief for the franchise into the Nick Adams era so soon. A Hedorah movie, where a spore comes down attached to a meteor, would open up the spacey-talk, but still not go full chock into alienville, three-headed space dragon-town, or buzzsaw bursting out of chesterfield. Just a thought.
I just about called it when I referenced Monsters in terms of what to expect from Godzilla. To me, the film was generally awesome because it delivered what I wanted to see - a "serious" Godzilla film. Kudos for grounding it in some reasonably believable life-cycle landscape of living organisms and not attempting to anthropomorphize the monsters.

But apparently some people really don't want to let go of the idea of Camp-zilla and were pissed that it wasn't cheesy enough despite having decades of films already in that genre. Which doesn't make sense to me. Were people pissed that Nolan's Batman wasn't in the same vein as the Adam West era? Ugh.

And other people were pissed that it took time to build up to the big fight. Which I also don't get. The typical Michael Bay film has four big action sequences strung together with no pacing. The typical Spielberg film holds back for an hour until the big reveal. At what point did Bay eclipse Spielberg in terms of critical quality? Double ugh.

The only things I hated about the film were the utterly vanilla genericness of Kick Ass as the male lead and Watanabe as the hippy Japanese scientist.

Kick Ass was too young and stiff for the role of a married lieutenant with a kid. To fit that timeframe he would have needed to marry right after high school and pop out a baby while still half way through college. Moreover, he has a little kid's voice and I cringed every time he spoke. And there was one scene in particular in which he did a short jog that was so typically gym-rat "I'm going to tip over because I don't know how to balance my massive pecs" awkward that I laughed out loud. Totally miscast for the story, but perfect for being a generic video game like white avatar for the teenage boy demographic. They really could have used someone in their late twenties who didn't look so much like a fresh faced underwear model.

Watanabe's acting wasn't a problem. It was the dialog. He sounded like a goddamn hippy the whole time, pining away about "nature balancing things out". In all my time around real scientists I've never once heard someone talk like this. It seems to be a stereotype that exists only in certain genres of entertainment. If they had cut his dialog it would have been so much better.

Did anyone catch that the whole film was actually about family? Losing family, keeping family, making a family, protecting a family, being in a family... The humans and the MUTOs were all in some similar kind of social-familial dynamic. Boy MUTO tries to get to girl MUTO. Boy star tries to get to girl star. The only thing without a family was Godzilla, and it ended up destroying everything by the end. "Nature don't give a fuck about your family."

Anyway, I hope they don't do a sequel. History shows that 99% of sequels tend to also water down the original along their inevitable path to suckatude. I'd prefer they just leave well enough alone and reboot again in another four years, hopefully in a musical where an in-the-closet Godzilla has to deal with his racist dad visiting town for a week when an army of radioactive clowns from a space circus attack Seattle.
Additional rambling:

As for the arrogance of man versus the ignorance or insolence or whatever... I thought the arrogance bit was directed at two points - the idea that first they could contain the creatures and then that they could destroy them in a way that was guarenteed to both work while also needlessly claiming huge swaths of human life.

As for the useless wifey... She did choose her career over her kid in what would prove to be a pivotal scene. And she needed to be in the story so that Kick Ass would have a reason to try so hard to get home. As a video game avatar, he needed several important fetch quests and escort missions in order to get to the final boss battle.

As for Godzilla being the hero... Was it? I didn't get that. The way Godzilla moved around casually destroying things make it seem like it was ambivalent at best. It plowed through every scene with utter disregard for humans. Which was appropriate since Godzilla came across as more of a theme ("force of nature") instead of a character ("bad guy").

As for the MUTO designs... I liked them. The sexual dimorphism and life-cycle aspects were great touches. They were easily the most interesting monster designs to me in the last 40 years of Godzilla films. And I believe the story explained that they created an EMP field as the result of their physiology - the initial EMP pulse occured because the creature was waking up. Or not. Whatever.

As for this take on insignificant humans not being fresh... All the interaction was completely unidirectional - Godzilla affects humans, humans can never affect Godzilla. And I don't remember another film where Godzilla's attention to humans was so damn ambivalent. In previous films it always seemed that Godzilla was either out to destroy humanity deliberately, or it was out to protect humanity by destroying another monster. They all struck me as being very anthropocentric. This film definitely came across as Godzillacentric. Sometimes Godzilla swims right past the destroyers, other times it smashes right through them. No matter what the humans in this film did, Godzilla didn't even react. Godzilla didn't even notice all the tanks and artillery when tearing through the bridge. That shit was just in the way. Godzilla ain't got no fucks to give, honey.

As for what the Japanese box office thinks... I don't give a fuck. (Like Godzilla, I'm all out of them, too.) We got a solid film and a SH MonsterFarts Godzilla from it in the pipe. What more is there that we need to know besides that?

Other thoughts...

Did anyone else think that the armor plates on Godzilla's neck looked like gill covers?

What did the skeleton belong to that they found in the mine? The MUTO had parasitized it. So, what was it?

If Godzilla is an apex predator, does that mean it eats MUTOs and not radiation? Or does it eat / absorb radiation, too? Why didn't it attack any nuclear sources then? Or why didn't it eat the MUTOs after it killed them? What the fuck does Godzilla eat?

How much ambergris can a Godzilla make in a year?
Sanjeev (Admin)
I mostly agree with all points except the one about not wanting a sequel! Sure, sequels have a tendency to be watered-down and all that...but not always. I mean, they sure worked out pretty well for the original movie! ;) Granted, the tone shifted quite a bit through the showa era, but whatever. I feel that as long as what I'm seeing on the screen is "good enough" and that new toys are being made--and more importantly, that kids are actually excited about Godzilla--I'll be satisfied.

I guess really, as a second generation fan (having grown up during the heisei period), I just want to see the legacy continue into a new, third generation. And at the end of the day, for all my criticisms, I feel that this new movie is a great way (far better than GINO) to kick that off.
I'm telling you guys, the sequel needs to be Godzilla vs. Pacific Rim. I want to see Gipsy Danger (wow that name is kinda racist) beating the fuck out of Godzilla and vice versa.

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Y'know...I could actually dig a Pacific Rim x Godzilla crossover...but only after each movie has had a least a couple more sequels to develop their respective universes. I feel they need more fleshing out to have real identity first. Sorta like Aliens vs Predator (only, y'know, have it come out amazing like the original comics...NOT like the movies!)
Here's a really compelling reason to buy the big Godzilla:



-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Haha....okay, that's pretty dope!

Incidentally, people seem to be digging the 6" (12" from head to tail) NECA G'14. I may give the 12" one a whirl when it comes out.

Either way, I think 24" is a bit too beaucoup for me...
Sanjeev (Admin)
Some modern sofubi Godzillers by Marmit for very friendly preorder prices. And while we're at it...I was talking to Ben today and he said something I totally agree with: my *dream* G'14 toy would be the equivalent of one of these semi-realistic/semi-old-timey Marmit vinyls.



I know a lot of you don't get down with modern sofubi because of the high price tags (and the hipster implications!), but I gotta say...these are SUCH excellent toys. They're simple and fun to bash around, their size and weight are super-satisfying to even adult hands, and their colors are crazy. And at the same time, each one is hand-made by some old dudes trying to preserve an obsolete form of manufacturing toys. So it IS a piece of history and culture you're smashing Hot Wheels with!

Yeah, a modern sofubi can run around $100, but I'd honestly take a few of these guys a year over the equivalent value in, say, your typical not/Transformers toys in a year. Or one or two high-end modern gokin per year.

And Marmit sofubi, in particular, are dope because their sculpts are a little more "realistic" and edgy than your typical M1 or Marusan...so I think they really work well for heisei+ kaiju. The nearly-all-black NECA and Bandai figures look super-bland. Actually....they kinda look like boring statues with really jarring cut-joints everywhere. The few joints on a sofubi would look fine, given that style of toy, and I can imagine Marmit's sculptors would come up with a suitably dramatic pose for G'14. And the colors....ooohh... :P
The price is still a huge sticking point for me, man. I got 7 of those 1993 big ol' Power Rangers vinyls MISB for $70!

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Truuuu! It's hard to argue with THAT amazing value!

But can you imagine if Marmit did a Rita or a Goldar??? Holy crap...it would be heavenly! ;) I just don't think they'd make more than a few characters...certainly not as many as 7.
Look if they Rita/Bandora I would DEFINITELY buy it, but Bandai never did one except for the 3 1/4" action figure a few years ago!

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
Look who fixed Ziller's orthopedic problem?

[www.bigbadtoystore.com]

That's a spicy meatball!
Sanjeev (Admin)
Haha...I saw this as well!

And while I think the feet look overall better, they also look kinda...generic. The whole design looks a little too much like heisei Godzilla (circa '94) in my opinion. :P

I hate to say it, but if I'm gonna get a fancy-schmancy akshun figger, whose main selling points are articulation and screen-accuracy, I'm probably gonna want it to match the movie design better than that. Those feet just aren't canon.
At this point, it looks like the MonsterArts version will be the Godzilla 2014 toy to get, over NECA's....

But does that mean Bandai will also be doing Mr and Mrs Muto?
Sanjeev (Admin)
Well, the *big* (12") NECA hasn't come out yet...and as we all know, size *does* matter! ;)

I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a MonsterFart Muto wedding set. The media blitz has just begun in Japan, incidentally, and Toho's going all out to market this film. It doesn't come out until July 25th, but I'm super-curious to see how it does...
"Frozen" will still probably be #1, trumping G's ass.... the Japanese sure love to "Let it Go"...
Sanjeev (Admin)
Har!

I know my girl's gonna make me watch Frozen at some point. And I will grudgingly concede.
The first time you watch Frozen, you will struggle to find a moral to the story, indelible message, internal meme, etc.

By the sixth or seventh viewing, you'll learn that it's just best to let it gooooooooo...

Saw this for pre-order on TRU...hurm...

[www.toysrus.com]

nifty!
RE: Godzilla Foots - With all the talk of their hideousness, I can't remember if we got a good look at them in the film or not. It seems that most of the images online of the feet come from promotional material.

RE: Monsterfarts Feet - I can't be certain, but the look of the figure's hooves might be because of the articulation as opposed to any proportional meddling.

RE: Frozen - The movie was utterly vapid, but the translation of the songs into Korean was fucking genius. I was hearing it in Korean and I could literally catch the same "Disney-esque Nearly Human" vibe that I would get if it were in English. Actually, I never saw it in English - but I feel like I already know the songs. If they did the same thing in Japan, with the same level of quality, it would go a long way in explaining its infectiousness. You can't unhear it.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Now, is that '94 Godzilla figure 12" tall? Or just "from head to tail"? Someone on instagram suggested that NECA was forced to list the figures' sizes like that to get around some kind of licensing thing (competing with Bandai, I guess).

Yeah, we do get to see a closeup of one of G'14's feet stomping down on something in the movie...and it's indeed brachiosaur-like. But I dunno--I've seen a lot of pics of the MonsterFarts figure from a lot of angles...and it really seems like they altered the proportions subtly to make it look more "traditional"...

And you guys have convinced me: no Frozen for me, thanks.
Quote
Sanjeev
And you guys have convinced me: no Frozen for me, thanks.

It is eXtremely Disney. All the way through, out one side, and back in through the other.

You either love that or you hate it.

I happen to hate it. I think you would, too.
Watched Destroy All Monsters, G v Hedorah, v King Ghidorah (91), v Mothra (93), v Mechagodzilla (Old School), all in the last week.

Old movies...something inherently campy about them...whether it's Japanese sensibilities or not, it sure is missing from the new G which I saw a second time today. It's a serious film, not meant to be taken lightly. No giggle moments or comic sub-plot.

On second viewing, I realized something about Godzilla's movements...they didn't seem "organic", but rather like Trading Card poses...like the ten times he does the full body build up the roar...in the old movies, he just roared like anyone else would breath, it's wasn't an entire production in and of itself.

Godzilla is either rising from the water, preparing to fight, falling down, but rarely engaged in just simple walking or anything resembling a natural sequence. Some of the best scenes of Zilla are just him walking, like toward the end of DAM before the big battle, or the approach to the first Kaiju battle in GvKG.

The new movie is definitely an immersive experience, it's a dark film, very somber, with the cheering for Godzilla at the end seeming very contrived and out of place. I would have rather seen everyone hold their breath in silence rather than treat it like the end of Hedorah with the kid running after him yelling Thaaaank Youuuu Godzillla!

The effects are still outstanding, likely more money spent on this than all Godzilla (minus GINO) films made together from the start (many were 10 million dollar movies, and if you go back far enough, likely 1 million dollar productions).

I enjoyed it again (with friends who hadn't seen it yet), but I hope they improve on the design a bit (less chunky-sloshy) and the feet (which they do show in the dark for the close-ups). I am not sure where a sequel would take things, hopefully they'd loose the human actors and move onto a new cast. I didn't find myself all that attached to any of them.

That's it for now, until DVD time.
Sanjeev (Admin)
This is all I really wanted in a G'14 toy: super-cheap, crappy, but simple and decent-sized vinyl...



But of course, the reality is that it *actually* looks like this:



But for around $10, ya can't go wrong. Just so stupid that it's a Japan-only release (at least so far...).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2014 11:49AM by Sanjeev.
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