Godzilla (Blu-ray / DVD)
Directed by Gareth Edwards
Distributed by Warner Bros.
As a lifelong Godzilla fan, I cannot fully illustrate to you, the reader, how excited I was for Legendary Pictures’ new take on the exploits of everyone’s favorite Kaiju. It had everything going for it, and no matter what, it could not possibly be any worse than Sony’s incredibly botched 1998 version. The good news is Legendary’s Godzilla is far better than watching an iguana-chicken attack the Big Apple. The bad news? Godzilla is actually in this movie for a grand total of about 11 minutes. That’s right. 11 minutes. “Dimmy? Why you do this to me, Dimmy? Why?”
Instead we get to spend about 80% of this flick with two creatures known as MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms), and truth be told, they kick a lot of ass. But where the hell is Godzilla? This is his movie and not Cloverfield 2, right? Don’t get me wrong; when Godzilla is onscreen, this movie is pure magic, but saddling us for the majority of the flick’s runtime with two newbie monsters no one has ever heard of, a forever slack-jawed Ken Watanabe who’s only here to stare at things in a state of wonder, and a familial storyline that no one is likely to care about was not exactly a smart move on director Edwards’ part.
Godzilla spends the majority of his screen time obscured by smoke and water and fighting on other people’s TV sets. Every time you think something’s about to get good, we either cut away or fade to black. It’s absolutely infuriating. To make matters even worse, Godzilla looks amazing when you can see him. Want to talk about the biggest missed opportunity of the year? Look no further.
For a more comprehensive and positive look at the movie, read my colleague Sean Decker’s Godzilla review. I’m mainly here to talk about the home video package.
First and foremost, the Blu-ray is nothing short of a textbook example of exactly the way a high-definition film should be presented. Everything looks gleefully sharp and detailed with robust colors that really pop and black levels that are just deliciously deep. It’s stunning really. Couple that with an outstanding DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless soundtrack that needs to be heard to be believed, and you’ve got yourself a winner here, fiends.
In terms of special features… eh… not so much. There are three featurettes placed under the MONARCH: Declassified section of the bonus stuff that flesh out the world in which the MUTOs and Godzilla live. If you’re not privy to the back story, these are fun if not forgettable. Runtimes of the featurettes are between 3 and 7 minutes each. From there we get a bit more technical and delve into the actual making of the movie under the sub-heading The Legendary Godzilla. Comprised of four featurettes that run anywhere between 7 and 19 minutes, it takes a look at some of the film’s key sequences like the Halo jump and locations. Of special note here is Godzilla: Force of Nature, which takes a look at not only this film but the director and even the franchise’s origins. This is easily the best featurette this disc has to offer, and you’d be fine with just that. Everything else is gravy.
Rating the movie itself is a real conflict for me. As a monster movie it’s easily a 3 out of 5. As a Godzilla movie, though? It’s just okay. I’m not saying Godzilla is a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it’s a wonderful, if not silly, good time. It just big-time lacks what we all went to the theater to see…
- Operation: Lucky Dragon
- MONARCH: The M.U.T.O. File
- The Godzilla Revelation
- Godzilla: Force of Nature
- A Whole New Level Of Destruction
- Into The Void: The H.A.L.O. Jump
- Ancient Enemy: The M.U.T.O.s