Watched Aug 17, 2012
This is a strange, but very good entry in the Godzilla series. It's a standalone entry not really related to any other film that does a lot of recasting of its characters. Godzilla is a straight up villain here, with direct malice toward humanity, and King Ghidorah appears as a guardian monster. What madness is this?
Watching the film reminded me strongly of some of the touches in the 90s Gamera films, so it was not really a surprise when I found out they have the same director. Having a director with a strong personal vision makes all the difference in films like this, and it's certainly his additions that carry this entry up a notch. His camera work is energetic and full of motion, giving the monster scenes a much more dynamic quality than is usual for these types of films. The monster sequences are some of the best in the entire series.
The story does falter and drag a little bit by the end, but it manages to capture and combine ideas and tones from many other entries in the series in an interesting way. The characters are likable and the special effects hold up quite well. Kow Otani's (Shadow of the Colossus composer) music is also fantastic, and gives another unique touch to the movie.
Definitely in the top tier of Godzilla films and worth a look, even if it's not usually your bag.