A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
Japan is thrown into a panic after several ships explode and are sunk near Odo Island. An expedition to the island led by paleontologist Professor Kyohei Yemani soon discover something more devastating than imagined in the form of a 164 foot tall monster whom the natives call Gojira. Now the monster begins a rampage that threatens to destroy not only Japan, but the rest of the world as well.
Following my love affair with Pacific Rim and after the news of the upcoming Godzilla reboot, I knew that sooner or later I would be walking into Barnes and Noble to pick up that b-e-a-utiful Godzilla Criterion BluRay.
And my prophecy came true.
Even when opening up the criterion and seeing the popup of the big Godzilla head unfolding in front of me, I was smiling. Reading the booklet I was smiling. At the menu I was smiling. I was never not smiling watching this massive reptile stomp around Tokyo. Even saying the name "Godzilla" gets my blood pumping faster and my imagination kicked into top gear.
I'm 150 feet tall. I am virtually indestructible. I'm strong. I can…
Of all the metaphors for nuclear holocaust, Godzilla was perhaps the most unlikely and indeed one of the more memorable in cinematic history. Developed by the now iconic Toho Studios in Japan, Ishiro Honda's legendary introduction to the titular 'monster' spawned an enormous franchise of creature features that have since spanned decades, and look in no danger of abating in their various forms. Honda's film may of course be dated sixty years on when it comes to effects but it remains a striking and effective piece of work in many places, a towering B-movie shot like a black & white film noir and touching on several universal themes that give the piece a level of depth missing from many other movies…
All hail the king of the monsters.
Overflowing with Japanese postwar paranoia, Godzilla is without a doubt the king granddaddy of the modern monster movie. Without this gem, millions of kids would be deprived of the simple thrill of watching a 100-foot tall mutated lizard crushing a house with a swipe of his tail. But what's more, so many standards of the monster movie genre would probably be set a lot differently, if not ending up completely nonexistent. There is a specific formula present in this Godzilla that so many other disaster monster movies follow nowadays, but none ever managed to touch the greatness that this film achieved.
I was one of the few avid supporters of Gareth Edwards' Godzilla…
I'm a newcomer to the original Godzilla flick and seeing it on the big screen for my first time was the perfect experience for such an amazing film.
Seriously can't wait to see what Gareth Edwards brings to the remake next week.
***Long Live the King - G-Marathon 2014, Film 1/30***
Few films could claim to have the legacy that Godzilla has. 60 years and almost 30 sequels and remakes later, and the big guy is still going strong. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't at least heard of Godzilla, even if they've never seen a single one of his movies. With all that history and pop culture penetration it would be easy to loose sight of something important, before he fought epic battles, before he saved the world from aliens, before he came to America, Godzilla was featured in one of the greatest films ever made.
It started with a simple idea, a few men wanted to make…
I showed this to my dad for the first time tonight, and this was his response after the final frame:
"Well, that wasn't about Godzilla at all."
I think I may have a new convert on my hands.
After an irritatingly hectic opening half hour, the Japanese government sets up the “Counter-Godzilla Headquarters” with startling efficiency and then it all takes off: characters get room to breathe, Godzilla rampages in stunningly nightmarish monochrome and the film invokes Hiroshima/Nagasaki with even less subtlety than I’d expected — but also graceful, moving profundity.
(Also: why does everyone think dinosaurs/the Jurassic period was 2 million years ago? It's more like 200 million years ago...)
And if you’re into this sort of thing, check out the Kaijusaurus Podcast.
It would be easy for me to write a lengthy essay about the circumstances that affected Japan so seriously it ended up creating Gojira (to give him his proper name). Okay, it would take some more time and research, but I would still end up covering ground that has already been well covered, and by better writers than myself. It would also be relatively easy to look upon this film and laugh, albeit with affection, at some of the melodramatic plotting and hokey special effects. But I’m not going to do either of those things.
Instead, as it has been many years since I first saw this movie (and, in fact, I cannot guarantee that I’d only ever…
Amazing, super realistic special effects aside, this movie is very good.
Unlike many of the sequels, remakes, and parodies, this one takes itself pretty seriously. I know everyone points it out, but if you didn't know already, this movie is about nuclear repercussions. I think this makes for a really good reaction to the current state of it all back in 1954.
When you see something so obviously dangerous, you react more than just some Bill Nigh the Science Guy talking about the danger. The story makes for a great vessel of how to discuss safety as a society.
The general plot also involves pretty good character relationships, and how they all feel this Godzilla guy should be stopped. I like seeing the need to stop Godzilla, but also the uneasiness of killing Godzilla. When is it okay to kill an animal doing as it is bred to do?
I'd say whenever it is going on a deadly rampage.
" The human plot-lines in Godzilla films have a tendency to be less interesting than whatever the monsters are up to. This is a problem more-so with the sequels than the original, which works as a straight laced drama for much of its duration. There is a compelling mystery in the first act, as villagers are shocked by their sunken fishing boats and destroyed land. Even loss of lives. There are rumblings of monster talk, but the beast remains unseen. There is a growing anticipation in his debut, with a payoff that's a little more gruesome than todays generation of viewers might expect. The towering figure grazes the city streets, lumbering, but destructively. Each step shattering the buildings and roads…
Summer of the Beast film #36:
I have a little bit of trouble getting past some of the special effects, but it's such a good and important movie it's really easy to look past.
The fact that the movie seems to be implying that Japan may have brought this upon themselves is haunting.
This film is so much more than it had to be. Godzilla totally owned itself and then some.
Not only does it tackle the horror/monster-genre, its cliches and flaws while inventing some new genre-conventions along the way, but it also takes a much stronger dramatic standpoint than most other horror flicks. And it's mainly this serious tone that makes that Godzilla carries so much power. The continuous references to the atomic bombings in WWII, the slow pacing and the specific way of slowly revealing the monstrous threat, make it feel more like a war movie than anything else.
The funny thing is that all these elements don't get overshadowed by the slightly dated special effects and sometimes hokey acting. If…
Some movies are great not for a single outstanding reason, performance, or gimmick, but because their separate aspects all function in such a way that's hard to describe beyond "it just works". Godzilla is one of those movies. Everything here "just works" - the script strikes a tough-to-achieve balance between pleasing the viewer's urge for destruction and immersing us in the human cost of said destruction, the cast is suitably believable, and the production design brims with darkly chilling majesty. It's still as brilliant and influential as it once was, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
This movie, and this franchise is the reason I love movies. Growing up, I was obsessed with all things Godzilla. I even had a few figures that I would make little stop-motion fight films with. I would even use Lego as the people and buildings and draw the backgrounds. I thank I still have the tapes somewhere in my house.
Godzilla gave me the passion to make movies, even if I didn't fully understand what cinema was fully capable of. I just loved the campy fun of the franchise.
When I saw this movie for the first time, at about 15, I really realized what cinema was really capable of. Beyond just entertainment, this film showed what themes and philosophy…
Godzilla isn't a monster in this - anymore than a hurricane could be a monster. He's treated like a force of nature, and the effect he has one society is shown through one close-knit family. Wonderful.
Edgar Wright's 1000 Favorite Movies via MUBI.