Lordxar’s review published on Letterboxd:
Can't say I've ever watched this or if so it was so long ago I have zero memory of it. So I enjoyed sinking into the classic of classics and starting down the path to watching this series of films. Having recently watched Shin Godzilla I can safely say the formula that started in 1954 is still very much alive today. Shin focused a bit more on the politics of everything but all these years later it was still pretty cool to see the basics there in what is really a modern telling of this same story.
But were back in the 50's which amazingly was not very much past Hiroshima and Nagasaki if you really think about it. Duh I know but watching an interview with a Japanese movie critic from this time period really put that into perspective. Its something that we nowadays are far removed from and it almost seems like two different centuries when someone says WW2 vs the 50's. Really it was like a decade later that this film came out so the fears of another nuking, fallout damage or even the simple memory of it was like a fresh wound.
In this film we get Ikiru himself as a scientist who is fresh out of parks to build. Instead he's out to save the dinosaur thing that is flat out annihilating Tokyo. His role was decent in the woe is me why can't we study it idea but at the same time he was right there at the end to fight. So that story thread was a bit of a fail I think.
What was really surprising for me was the breath. I mean right out of the gate this thing is breathing fire like Puff the Magic Dragon without cough syrup. I kind of figured that would come later on in the series and he'd be doing more stomp action. I also see that pretty much immediately he gets a villain to fight in one of the next entries. I just thought these built up over time to what we know today but that does not look to be the case.
What I love about these creature features from the 50's was the models. I mean there was some craft to making model trains, tanks, planes, buildings, bridges, and whatever else went in for a dude in a suit to smash through and record on film and I honestly do prefer these kinds of effects to poor cgi. Good cgi I'm ok with but give me strings and paper buildings over Playstation 2 graphics any day.
I know there are quite a few American films from the same time period that I'd love to check out or revisit and it kind of sucks that in today's age we can't get much like this anymore. Sure Cloverfield is there but its crappy found footage. Pacific Rim was a decent attempt I guess. After that we have newer Godzilla entries but not a whole lot else. I'd love to see a resurgence of big monster films remade but with decent effects. If all were going to get is a cgi fest of giant ants from a Syfy original then I will pass.
So with that I'm embarking on this marathon of what Filmstruck has to offer for Godzilla and it looks like Hulu might have the rest or another chunk at least, providing I can get through the first batch before they expire anyway.