Talkback Thread #16: The Return of Godzilla

For discussion of Toho produced and distributed films or shows released from 1980 up to 1998 (includes Gamera 3)
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kamilleblu
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Re: Talkback Thread #16: The Return of Godzilla

Postby kamilleblu » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:24 pm

Based on a quick glance it looks like Terasawa is right. The references to Godzilla (1954) are pretty vague. Just a few pictures of that film's Godzilla and characters saying that he attacked thirty years earlier. You could get away with this not being a sequel to the original film.

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Jeff-Goldblum2
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Re: Talkback Thread #16: The Return of Godzilla

Postby Jeff-Goldblum2 » Sun May 05, 2019 5:23 am

Hi guys just rewatched Godzilla 84.

Anyone notice that the political conference between Japan, America and the USSR regarding the use of nuclear weapons against Godzilla is one of the most important scenes thematically but the acting in that scene seems below par?

Or maybe the bad acting seems more pronounced because of the importance of the scene.

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Re: Talkback Thread #16: The Return of Godzilla

Postby eabaker » Sun May 05, 2019 9:18 am

Jeff-Goldblum2 wrote:Hi guys just rewatched Godzilla 84.

Anyone notice that the political conference between Japan, America and the USSR regarding the use of nuclear weapons against Godzilla is one of the most important scenes thematically but the acting in that scene seems below par?

Or maybe the bad acting seems more pronounced because of the importance of the scene.


Toho has never bothered to seek out top-knotch talent for the foreign language performers in their flicks.
Tokyo, a smoldering memorial to the unknown, an unknown which at this very moment still prevails and could at any time lash out with its terrible destruction anywhere else in the world.

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Kaiju-King42
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Re: Talkback Thread #16: The Return of Godzilla

Postby Kaiju-King42 » Sun May 05, 2019 3:26 pm

eabaker wrote:
Jeff-Goldblum2 wrote:Hi guys just rewatched Godzilla 84.

Anyone notice that the political conference between Japan, America and the USSR regarding the use of nuclear weapons against Godzilla is one of the most important scenes thematically but the acting in that scene seems below par?

Or maybe the bad acting seems more pronounced because of the importance of the scene.


Toho has never bothered to seek out top-knotch talent for the foreign language performers in their flicks.


I think that's one of the reasons I like Raymond Burr and Nick Adams so much. They were really a cut above most other English speaking actors – and this is coming from the guy who has a difficult time noticing or appreciating acting.
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Godzilla21 wrote:What is up with the American trope of hide the monster?

Jaws happened


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Ryguy wrote:When the new director is announced, I guarantee this fanbase will be torn through the middle...

We're always split down the middle. TK is like a giant buttcrack.


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Re: Talkback Thread #16: The Return of Godzilla

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Mon May 20, 2019 4:54 am

Finally in the Heisei era with only a week or so before KOTM. I have to admit, I think I used to not really like this film, and thought it was really subpar. In my mind I used to criticize it for not having enough monster action, and really just being a standard Godzilla attacks japan plot.

However, I’ve really grown to appreciate it this time around, and it’s definitely up there.

I think the cinematography nails it. The film is so devoid of color, minus some of the apocalyptic reds and the bright blue of Godzilla’s beams that the entire film feels really bleak and somber. It adds to the creep factor of the film, and it makes Godzilla be taken really seriously. The shot of Godzilla going through the trees, and then cutting to the reveal shot is so dang creepy and effective. Likewise there’s some amazing shots of Godzilla being reflected on the buildings. Additionally, due to showing people trying to evacuate, having them watch over Godzilla’s corpse, and the train scene, really makes the whole thing really dreadful and horrifying to watch. The amount Of flames and fire at the end really do make it feel like the end of the world.

I also really do appreciate Godzilla’s beam in this film; it’s pretty unique, and does feel like a quick fire atomic blast. The way that Godzilla very briefly charges up, and then just instantly blows away the military defensive line, who are silenced in a few seconds, really shows the destructive power of the monster and is horrifying.

The film has a sufficient build up to Godzilla, a nice reveal, and then the last 45 mins is broken down into decently sized segments of Godzilla briefly fighting the military, destroying Tokyo, waking up and fighting the Super X, and then continuing his rampage. It’s probably one of the best paced Godzilla films IMO.

I think the best part of the film is actually the primate minister. The scenes with him kill it, and it’s reallt tense watching him listen to the USSR and American representives, as well as him listening to his subordinates. His silence speaks louder then his actions, and the actor maintains a great facial expression throughout the whole scene. You can tell a lot is going through his mind. Similarly, this is definitely the Cold War Godzilla film, and it’s awesome because it definitely makes Godzilla relevant to the, then, modern era. In the same way nuclear weapons and power have evolved, so has Godzilla and the message of this film. I also think this is actually the first film that makes Godzilla feed off radiation directly, which of course also sort of ties Godzilla into the mythos of a nuclear power plant disaster. The fact that the nuclear missile was also accidental, is actually in some ways more scary then the idea that it was intentional.

I can also appreciate how in some ways, how “realistic this film is”. While of course it’s a film about a giant radioactive monster, the Super X is fairly subdued, and feels like something that could actually exist, especially now. The front line of tanks and rockets, while relatively small, feels like a realistic military force. And yeah, while there’s those laser cannons, only having two of them, and making them comparatively weak makes it feel realistic. While I’m not saying Godzilla films should be grounded in realism, the lack of any truly absurd fantasy military vehicles, like Mechagodzilla, Dimension Tide, the quickly constructed electric towers and so on, leads the film to feel more grounded and helps it’s nuclear message.

So, if I’m praising this film so much, why am I not likening it to the two big favorites of mine, Shin and 54? Well, to begin with, let’s get to the worst part of the film; the random thief.

Okay, the thief isn’t the problem; I love him so much. In the brief scenes he’s in, he has so much character and he’s intriguing. I’m not being sarcastic. I find him super interesting how while everyone is freaking out, he just decides to enjoy himself, and it leads to the impression he’s a really downtrodden individual. What’s more, is that instead of running away, he decides to help our protagonists. So he’s not a completely rotten dude. So what’s the problem?

I like him more, and he has more development, then pretty much everyone else. I realized in the scene with him being chased by Godzilla, I was more fearful of him dying then Naoka and the reporter guy. The two main lovers, have zero chemistry, minus some forced staring, and they’re so hollow. There’s some brief drama early on with the reporter guy sort of selling out, but that’s it. The only reason why they’re there, in Shinjuku, is to add tension to Godzilla’s attack, but it’s really lame because at this point the doctor with his magical weapon is completely safe, and able to do his thing. It also feels weird to focus on them, when thousands of people are dying around them. The super X crew randomly getting horribly crushed is honestly more sad because at least they were brave guys. It’s not like Naoako or her boyfriend contributed anything to the creation of the magnetic bird wave thing. The doctor did.

And speaking of the doctor, he’s the worst. The actor seems fine, but he’s just the most generic. He’s this weird sterile hybrid of Dr. Mafune and Serizawa. He’s given a few lines about how Godzilla killed his parents, but it’s never revealed what his actual feelings are on Godzilla, other then Godzilla is a sign for what’s to come. And that brings us to the next issue, which is the solution.

The magnetic bird thing, while seemingly interesting in concept, is executed so poorly. This, and the characters weigh down the film and seriously prevent the film from being up there. In the original 1954, there was a certain build up to the oxygen destroyer, and the backdrop that the oxygen destroyer could be just as bad as Godzilla itself. Additionally, it’s revelation was tied into the emotional triangle of Emi, Serizawa and Ogata. The oxygen destroyer felt earned. Likewise, Operation Hydra, in Shin Godzilla, felt earned. Rando and others spend the majority of the film, compiling data and unraveling the mystery of Godzilla before coming up with a plan to stop him. This is built up throughout the film, and emphasizes the importance of outsiders and as the film puts it “losers and crackpots”. The creation of operation Hydra is an intellectual coming together. Likewise, the construction trucks, military drones, and other pieces of operation Hydra, represent a physical coming together. It’s earned and ties in directly to the film’s philosophy.

How does 1984 get it’s big anti Godzilla weapon? The doctor sees Godzilla fly towards a bunch of birds, that’s if. And it happens so early in the film, like 40 mins in, right after Godzilla first appears. Even if you hadn’t seen the film prior, it’s easy to guess that this is how they’ll do it. They randomly create a McGuffin to stop Godzilla really early, and there’s no stakes to it at all. And while YMMV on this, I think it’s also damaging to Godzilla’s status in this film. It makes him seem like an instinctual animal, which in many ways while interesting, I think in this film loosens things way too much to what the film is trying to accomplish with its otherwise subperb Cold War and nuclear bombing allegories. It also just makes Godzilla look dumb. There’s a good reason why the Heisei era conviently drops this weakness of Godzilla. The next film, has a far better weakness, the ANEB, which ties directly into the bio-genetic component of the film. There’s a reason why no one on this forum EVER brings this method of defeating Godzilla up.


Overall, it nails all the nuclear stuff, and the atmosphere and tone really make this one special. It’s one of the few truly horror oriented Godzilla films. However, it’s dragged down so badly by its poor characters and weird McGuffin.

Added in 11 hours 59 minutes 53 seconds:
kamilleblu wrote:How strong are the ties between Godzilla (1954) and this movie? Does anyone mention Doctor Serizawa, the Oxygen Destroyer, or Godzilla's death?

Fresh in my mind as of yesterday, I`m led to believe it was intentional to keep it vague. It allows for what they wound up doing, which was later tying it in more directly to the first film with some elements and Destroyah. I can believe that the Oxygen Destroyer, or what it was capable of doing, was kept secret, and never revealed to the world. Technically, other then Serizawa and Ogata, no one saw what it was capable of. The few things that actually don`t click are the bizzare lack of any mention of Dr. Mafune. If they really wanted to connect it more, they could have easily tied the lead doctor as a student of his.

Godzilla`s origins in the film, are also random and completely unrelated to 54. He`s awakened by a volcanic eruption. But I agree that its not a direct sequel. It could have had a modified version of 54 take place, where Godzilla did rampage but that was it.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.


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