On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby Vandarker » Sat May 18, 2019 4:45 am

NBG2 wrote:Five years and his new origins still make me ashamed to be a Godzilla fan. Yes, this movie makes me ashamed to be a Godzilla fan. I hate this movie and don’t understand why people enjoy it, but I don’t fault them for finding some relatively minuscule enjoyment in this poorly written reel of celluloid. Visually it is impressive but the writing and character development is an utter travesty. For a movie marketed to bring back Godzilla into his destructive and menacing roots, it is Rian Johnson levels of subversion for the MUTOs to do everything Godzilla should have done. I do not find this version particularly thematic, and find it saddening for the sake of empty nostalgia. Lip service to Hiroshima notwithstanding. I will find KOTM a better experience for the sake of more Godzilla, but the thematic elements, or apparent lack thereof, still make me annoyed that this particular poster child of the franchise exists. I now look at new entries with apathy and weariness. I’m sure at some point a colleague of mine will be able to phrase it better than I ever could since he’s currently working on a retrospective more honest than the one on this site. But hey, Godzilla’s back in all his puppeted rotting glory. I have to deal with it.

Jeez that's harsh, but I can totally see where you are coming from.

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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby Dv-218 » Sat May 18, 2019 4:48 am

G2000 wrote:
NBG2 wrote:Five years and his new origins still make me ashamed to be a Godzilla fan. Yes, this movie makes me ashamed to be a Godzilla fan. I hate this movie and don’t understand why people enjoy it, but I don’t fault them for finding some relatively minuscule enjoyment in this poorly written reel of celluloid. Visually it is impressive but the writing and character development is an utter travesty. For a movie marketed to bring back Godzilla into his destructive and menacing roots, it is Rian Johnson levels of subversion for the MUTOs to do everything Godzilla should have done. I do not find this version particularly thematic, and find it saddening for the sake of empty nostalgia. Lip service to Hiroshima notwithstanding. I will find KOTM a better experience for the sake of more Godzilla, but the thematic elements, or apparent lack thereof, still make me annoyed that this particular poster child of the franchise exists. I now look at new entries with apathy and weariness. I’m sure at some point a colleague of mine will be able to phrase it better than I ever could since he’s currently working on a retrospective more honest than the one on this site. But hey, Godzilla’s back in all his puppeted rotting glory. I have to deal with it.


While I disagree on most of this post, I will definitely agree with you that the marketing was an utter travesty. From the Oppenheimer teaser to the initial trailers to statements from the director we were promised the most grimdark and relevant Godzilla film in years, and what we were given was a film that seemed a spiritual successor to the late Showa films, with Godzilla as a heroic savior whose victory is quite literally greeted with cheering from humanity. Which, in my mind, would have been okay as long as Legendary hadn’t openly misled the public with deceptive marketing that made it seem as if it would be returning Godzilla to his roots as a nuclear allegory (and making it seem like Bryan Cranston would be the star of the human cast, but that’s another thing entirely).

I can also agree on the “lip service to Hiroshima” aspect. It does seem like we will get a bit of payoff on this in KoTM, but in the context of G14 it’s not nearly as weighty as it could have been. The scene seems almost an afterthought compared to the rest of the film.

I most definitely disagree on the MUTOs being “Rian Johnson levels of subversion.” There’s definitely a valid argument that the film meant to reintroduce Godzilla to global audiences spent too much of it’s time focused on developing these new and somewhat generic foes for Godzilla to fight, but at the same time there’s nothing inimical to Godzilla as a character or as a franchise. Like above, I’d argue it’s somewhat reminiscent of some of the older vs. films in that it treats Godzilla as a sort of established character while spending most of it’s time developing the villain monster that Godzilla has to come in and put down during the final act.


I agree with your take on this. The 2014 marketing was definitely tricky for the most part, with nearly all of the trailers building Godzilla up to be some sort of a harbringer of destruction and a destroyer in the vain of 1954- only the Asian trailer and the spots somewhat showcased the film's actual nature. But as you said, the MUTOs taking up a majority of the screentime was hardly a subversion- they simply tried to build them up, and as you said, assumed that everyone knows who Godzilla is (perhaps wrongly). And I agree in regards to the Hiroshima lip service, so i'm too glad it will be touched upon in KOTM.

Overall, it's definitely far from a perfect movie- but honestly, it did it's job of reinventing Godzilla for western audiences properly. Heroic Godzilla is a part of his character as much as the world destroyer. And now that we got Shin as a solid thematic homage to 1954, there's now even less of a reason to harp on Legendary G for that matter. But alas, apples ad oranges. Everyone has the right to hold his own opinion on this :)
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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby NBG2 » Sat May 18, 2019 5:08 am

G2000 wrote: snip

That’s the one thing I like about this site. In the right context you can have civil discussions. Tell anyone on YouTube any of this and they’ll flat out call you a “giant idiot” or, my personal favorite, “take your nukes and politics out of my enjoyment of Godzilla and shove them up your ass.” Yes, that is verbatim what someone said to me on YouTube about Godzilla, a franchise rooted in politics. That’s why I’m weary of new entries. The more hardcore fanboys of Legendary are almost mindless.
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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby Dv-218 » Sat May 18, 2019 5:15 am

NBG2 wrote:
G2000 wrote: snip

That’s the one thing I like about this site. In the right context you can have civil discussions. Tell anyone on YouTube any of this and they’ll flat out call you a “giant idiot” or, my personal favorite, “take your nukes and politics out of my enjoyment of Godzilla and shove them up your ass.” Yes, that is verbatim what someone said to me on YouTube about Godzilla, a franchise rooted in politics. That’s why I’m weary of new entries. The more hardcore fanboys of Legendary are almost mindless.


The hardcore entry-specific portions of each fanbase are often absolutely insane with their devotion. Always dealing in absolutes. Personally, i'm able to find enjoyment in both serious and thought provoking entries like G54, G84 and Shin and in Showa-type monster brawl movies with good guy Godzilla- like the Monsterverse or the late 60's-70's movies, for example- and anything in-between, like the Millenium series. That's what I love the most about him, he's very flexible as a character and can be interpreted in various ways depending on the circumstance. And if someone simply prefers one interpretation over the other? Sure, why not- it's his opinion :)

I'm sorry you had to come in contact with the Youtube part of the fanbase. Speaking from personal experience, they can be quite batshit insane and overly anal when it comes to opinions :lol:
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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby NBG2 » Sat May 18, 2019 5:40 am

G2000 wrote: snip

Also, while I agree that we might get more of a payoff with Serizawa’s character in KOTM, like I implied before, there is thematic incompetence afoot.

Spoiler:
I get that the “nuke reviving Godzilla” concept has been done before, but the Serizawa reference character makes it feel kind of empty, given the sacrifices the 1954 counterpart took and why. This may seem like an homage to his character to some, but to me, it feels like a switch has been flipped and he accepts nukes as necessary to Godzilla’s survival and accepts that he must be the one to do it, almost as if nothing bad could come of it, which, given the context in-universe, nothing sadly will. Nukes save the world in the minds of Legendary’s execs. Nuff said.

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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby Gojira-Fan » Sat May 18, 2019 8:00 am

^While I am curious about what's underneath that spoiler tag, I hope to go into KotM as fresh as possible.

Anyway, in regards to my experience when I 1st saw this movie in the theater: I felt quite disappointed by it. We knew about this movie since early 2009, so it felt like such a long wait to get to this film (similarly, KotM felt like it took awhile to make also). I was cautiously optimistic about the movie. I wanted to like it, but told myself I wouldn't watch it in theaters unless it was good critically. I questioned going to see it just out of my love for Godzilla, given that Hollywood relied so much on remakes/reboots that I didn't want to support more of that same business model. I could be missing out on watching a good movie with an original idea just to watch a retread. Still, the Rotten Tomatoes meter was pretty high initially. So I did decide to purchase at ticket for the Thursday before the film's official release date. The Tomato meter only went down as the days passed so that caused me to worry.

I went to the film that night dressed in my t-shirt with artwork from the 1956 American release of Godzilla, King of the Monsters! printed on the front. I was accompanied by one of my classmates who I had recently worked on a short film with for the community college we both went to.

While watching the movie I think I started to dislike it after Cranston died. As has been said many times before Brody was not that interesting of a character. Plus I felt at the time the film still kind of messed up the nuclear metaphor by having Godzilla trying to be killed by American nuclear tests. I feel like it sort of sidesteps the irresponsibility of America testing nuclear weapons by giving a justification to use them. Nor does the film really tackle the horrors of nuclear warfare.

There are other criticisms I had, but it's been a long time and I don't clearly remember them all. I remember leaving the theater feeling underwhelmed. I thought to myself that maybe Americans shouldn't try to make Godzilla movies. Maybe it wasn't possible for a Hollywood blockbuster movie to be satisfying and thematically relevant/faithful to the character. My stance has softened on the movie with subsequent re-watches, but I still think a lot of the criticisms I and others have had are valid. Still, I can at least enjoy the movie now and it seems like we are getting the American Godzilla movie we always wanted with KotM.

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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby _JNavs_ » Sat May 18, 2019 8:38 am

Rewatched it last night in its entirety right before rewatching K:SI. Still holds up as a solid Godzilla film. Clearly inspired by late Showa, Heisei, and Millennium in their own ways. While it does sidestep the nuclear origin of Big G, this is also an American film, they're not trying to be made out to be the bad guys. It's a perspective film, which makes sense both literally and in the context of the film. It shows how America would react to these monsters, ala Nuclear warfare. MUTOs being representative of a nuclear pulse and an EMP. While Godzilla is representative of the bomb itself, pure radioactivity. When they clash it's as if the bomb had just went off in the middle of San Francisco. This film is about showing metaphors as literal translations. The miles long car pile ups, plane crashes, EMP blasts, Hawaiian floods, multiple deaths because of it. I could go on and on.

That's not even getting into the aspects of the film itself, such as the tension it builds, the first and third acts being absolutely somber, dark, gritty, post apocalyptic. Yes, you can bring up the somewhat anti-climactic second act, however the entire 2nd act builds up the MUTOs as these threats to humanity, as all 2nd acts of Godzilla films tend to go. Yes, there was a lack of Godzilla, but his presence was felt throughout the entire film. Yes, the trailers were misleading, but then again, the entire 1st and 3rd acts bring that apocalyptic trailer vibe right back to the forefront.

The score, iconic.
The sound design, iconic.
The characters, weak. (However Bryan Cranston as Joe Brody was epic)
The monsters, epically proportioned.

This film tells me that America clearly knows how to make Godzilla films. To generalize an entire country based on a couple of writers/directors visions, is silly at best. Could the film have been better? Yes. Did they succeed in what they set out to do? Yes.

I'm sure some American director can show the tragedies of a nuclear lizard someday, but that's not what they were aiming for in this film. Just like in Kong Skull Island, they are making these titans come out the woodworks because they are forces of nature, not the results of nuclear testing.

8.5-9.0/10 for me
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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby NBG2 » Sat May 18, 2019 9:04 am

Gojira-Fan wrote: I felt at the time the film still kind of messed up the nuclear metaphor by having Godzilla trying to be killed by American nuclear tests. I feel like it sort of sidesteps the irresponsibility of America testing nuclear weapons by giving a justification to use them. Nor does the film really tackle the horrors of nuclear warfare.


Oh, my God, I thought I was alone on this thought! Thank you for saying that!

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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby cloverfan98 » Sat May 18, 2019 12:37 pm

NBG2 wrote:
Gojira-Fan wrote: I felt at the time the film still kind of messed up the nuclear metaphor by having Godzilla trying to be killed by American nuclear tests. I feel like it sort of sidesteps the irresponsibility of America testing nuclear weapons by giving a justification to use them. Nor does the film really tackle the horrors of nuclear warfare.


Oh, my God, I thought I was alone on this thought! Thank you for saying that!


My biggest issue with this series is how tangential nuclear weapons are to this Godzilla. There's a bit of Lovecraftian elements with the idea of mankind traveling somewhere he was never meant to go with the Nautilus traveling so far down into the sea which is kinda cool but its paramount to me personally that Godzilla's origin be tied into nuclear weapons or testing. This is one of the reasons I like G98 so much is because they DID keep that element of Godzilla's origin intact whereas the 94 script abandoned it and G14 did nothing with it. The marketing was VERY misleading with all of those apocalyptic lines from Bryan speaking about the MUTOS being edited to link with Godzilla instead. While I loved the film when I first saw it I was also disappointing at how friendly this Godzilla was. It left me wishing for a darker take on Godzilla that didn't play it so safe. Then Shin Godzilla came out and was everything I was hoping for in a darker take on the character which is one reason I love Shin so much.

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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby _JNavs_ » Sat May 18, 2019 12:46 pm

cloverfan98 wrote:My biggest issue with this series is how tangential nuclear weapons are to this Godzilla. There's a bit of Lovecraftian elements with the idea of mankind traveling somewhere he was never meant to go with the Nautilus traveling so far down into the sea which is kinda cool but its paramount to me personally that Godzilla's origin be tied into nuclear weapons or testing. This is one of the reasons I like G98 so much is because they DID keep that element of Godzilla's origin intact whereas the 94 script abandoned it and G14 did nothing with it. The marketing was VERY misleading with all of those apocalyptic lines from Bryan speaking about the MUTOS being edited to link with Godzilla instead. While I loved the film when I first saw it I was also disappointing at how friendly this Godzilla was. It left me wishing for a darker take on Godzilla that didn't play it so safe. Then Shin Godzilla came out and was everything I was hoping for in a darker take on the character which is one reason I love Shin so much.

I agree that the marketing editing did make Godzilla out to be the "antagonist" of sorts, but I feel like we kinda got that briefly when he pulled up to Hawaii and swept up a few city blocks worth of People, animals, cars, stores.

I do agree that Godzilla's origin should be tied into Nuclear testing. But the way they explained Godzilla as this ancient god-like being predating man, like you said, gives a very Lovecraftian vibe. Which I really like, and it's a really cool alternative to the traditional origin.
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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby GodzillaFan1990's » Sat May 18, 2019 1:01 pm

Loved the film though I did have problems like the main lead Ford (Not as bad as I used to make him out to be but he could had been done better), some poor pacing and dragging in some scenes, should had Joe joining Ford living at the end or dying in the third act, more fighting (Like a three minute fight in Hawaii between Godzilla and the male M.U.T.O.) and the unneeded cutaways (Once would had been fine and I get the suspense but this movie has been being waited for a decade so I felt that was a long enough wait otherwise I wouldn't complain).

That said though the film should had been what Gamera: Guardian of the Universe was which IMO is on whole other level and superior film.
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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby Smuggers » Sat May 18, 2019 1:36 pm

I feel like a lot of issues with the film are due to the script rather than Edwards' directing. Like the characterization. Seriously, what were those guys supposed to do with the stuff they were given? Max Borenstein is not a very good writer and the rewrites it got were not a good sign.
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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby kaijukurt » Sun May 19, 2019 4:21 am

Well, speaking of themes (or lack of it) regarding G14, Id just like to post my thoughts.

This quoted text of mine was in reply to a TK user who was critical of the downplaying of the dangers of nuclear weaponry & the whole govt. conspiracy-heavy theme of Monarch.

kaijukurt wrote:I do agree with you on some points on how they removed most of the anti-nuclear symbolism from the character, and how theyve basically made Godzilla very much "an American monster."

Its a viewpoint thats been shared by a number of Japanese critics, and American writers such as Ed Godziszewski.

But I dont think theyre trying to outright say that "We're better off with nuclear weapons." So far in the series, nuclear weapons attracted the MUTOS in the first place, were ineffective in solving the Godzilla "problem", and only served to complicate the military's intentions to secure the city in the finale.

Plus at least they tried to pay lip service to Hiroshima. I think their intentions were good, just jumbled up and clumsily handled.

I dont think we ever wouldve seen a big budget Godzilla meant for worldwide audiences to have such a vocal anti-nuclear message at the end of the day. This kind of thing just doesnt happen with blockbusters, plain and simple. The Monsterverse following the path taken by modern blockbuster franchises shouldnt have been surprising to any of us. That doesnt excuse it completely, obviously.

Its very much an aspect of the series worth criticizing, but its not something that immediately puts the entire Monsterverse in a negative light. I mean, the same Japanese critics who pointed out those flaws also admired how the series tried to resemble the Japanese series (if only on an aesthetic level). Its not like the Japanese themselves have called out the reboot as a disgrace.

The series also tries to point out "the folly of man" with giant monsters being something beyond human understanding. "The arrogance of man," "This planet never belonged to us," etc. Maybe the series is just finding ways to look at the series from a different perspective, how world powers think theyre all superior with nuclear weaponry and technology but in the end they cant solve our problems, and the only thing we can do is let Mother Nature do its thing. Its an idea worth exploring, I think.

EDIT:I think it still falls in line with how the entire franchise has always been about man's hubris and arrogance. Tokyo S.O.S. focused more on how not letting the original Godzilla rest was an affront against its being, GMK focused more on Japan's actions during the war and the need to remember what really happened in WWII, and stuff like Godzilla vs Hedorah outright tackled environmental pollution. Nothing outright anti-nuclear comes up in a LOT of giant monster entries.

EDIT:In the Monsterverse, we've seen it in Godzilla, we've seen it in Kong that monsters are meant to remind humanity that despite all our achievements, we're just ants in the big picture. Its still very much a humbling lesson for mankind, even if it doesnt directly address what we've done to degrade the environment and harm our fellow man.

Not every monster in the series has been a symbol of the follies of man either. King Ghidorah? Gigan? Aliens. Ebirah? Naturally big lobster.

Sometimes, monsters are just...monsters. Nothing more, nothing less.

As for the whole conspiracy-esque timeline, maybe its another point of symbolism for the series. How people nowadays dont tend to trust whatever the government sells them anymore. I dont think Legendary is outright trying to say the US is clean of any transgressions its done in the past.

I think the Monsterverse has good intentions, but it just hasnt manifested yet in a way that everybody would like. Hope you stick around and give it another shot.


kaijukurt wrote:Thanks.

I really do think the Monsterverse couldve used its blockbuster status to say a lot of things about what happened all those decades back, but they clearly decided to go on a safer, audience-friendly path.

I'm not exactly faulting them on that though, thats just how blockbusters roll.


NBG2 wrote:Also, while I agree that we might get more of a payoff with Serizawa’s character in KOTM, like I implied before, there is thematic incompetence afoot.

Spoiler:
I get that the “nuke reviving Godzilla” concept has been done before, but the Serizawa reference character makes it feel kind of empty, given the sacrifices the 1954 counterpart took and why. This may seem like an homage to his character to some, but to me, it feels like a switch has been flipped and he accepts nukes as necessary to Godzilla’s survival and accepts that he must be the one to do it, almost as if nothing bad could come of it, which, given the context in-universe, nothing sadly will. Nukes save the world in the minds of Legendary’s execs. Nuff said.


This will indeed be an interesting thematic discussion once the movie has been released. IMO,
Spoiler:
The casual attitude towards nukes in the movie seems to be more reflective of the heavy action/sci-fi angle we've been seeing in the Dark Horse/IDW comics & some Heisei entries IMO. While the comics were clearly not an influence on the filmmakers, I think characterizing Godzilla's nuclear biology as being "bad-ass/cool" rather than something to be afraid/guilty of is the default way to present the Godzilla universe as a more conventional science fiction franchise.

Not saying that its better, but the way I see it..it happens to be the side of the franchise which made most of us becomes fans of the character in the first place.
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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby king_ghidorah » Sun May 19, 2019 2:30 pm

I think the US taking a more “nukes as a necessary evil” approach to Godzilla and nukes themselves in this film are reflective of the actual attitudes found in the west vs Japan.

As the only country to ever drop a nuclear bomb on a population I think it’s actually more fitting that the film depicted nukes/Godzilla in this way vs the fear and dread when at the hands of Japanese film makers.
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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby NBG2 » Wed May 22, 2019 10:24 am

king_ghidorah wrote:I think the US taking a more “nukes as a necessary evil” approach to Godzilla and nukes themselves in this film are reflective of the actual attitudes found in the west vs Japan.

As the only country to ever drop a nuclear bomb on a population I think it’s actually more fitting that the film depicted nukes/Godzilla in this way vs the fear and dread when at the hands of Japanese film makers.


Then, wouldn’t that, in theory, mean that 2014 is not in fact respectful to Godzilla’s legacy?

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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby king_ghidorah » Wed May 22, 2019 10:49 am

Huh?

How so?

It examines the impact of nuclear weapons from the other side of the coin.

Japan: Godzilla=nukes=something to be afraid of. Walking death.

America: Godzilla=nukes=something to be respected and feared, used rarely and only to stop greater threats.

Both use Godzilla as an avatar for nuclear weapons. I think that’s about as respectful to his legacy as you can get

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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby gottatalktothefake » Wed May 22, 2019 10:57 am

I love it 3000
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Oh well. Guess I won't see the movie for myself and form my own opinion, I've basically already seen it in my mind from what I've read online and I know a lame duck when I see one. Time to whip out the 'ol 12 gauge

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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby Mr_Goji_and_Watch » Thu May 30, 2019 5:02 pm

Just rewatched it. I continue to flip flop on it cause this time around I liked it way more. Slick direction, although some of the lines are crap and it doesn't have a thematic punch.
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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby Smuggers » Thu May 30, 2019 5:06 pm

Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:Just rewatched it. I continue to flip flop on it cause this time around I liked it way more. Slick direction, although some of the lines are crap and it doesn't have a thematic punch.

Rewatched it recently and had similar feelings, while divisive it undeniably carves its own unique place in Godzilla's wide catalogue of films. I'll admit that I am a bit disappointed we'll never get to see how Gareth would've handled a follow-up.
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Re: On this day, May 16, 2019, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla turns 5 years old

Postby Mr_Goji_and_Watch » Thu May 30, 2019 5:09 pm

AHHHHHHHH GARETH COME BACK YOU CAN EVEN BRING BORENSTEIN PLEASE JUST COME BACK I TAKE BACK EVERYTHING I SAID

Spoiler:
that bit where Ford and Godzilla both go underwater was honestly kino
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