Talkback: GMK - Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah (2001)

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Crocodile
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Re: GMK

Post by Crocodile »

Well

While most of the Millennium series, was utter shit.

GMK was pretty good, it wasn't gold or anything but it was enjoyable. Where as all the others pretty much suck.
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Re: GMK

Post by Kubo »

GMK is good, but overrated. Maybe that's partially because it stands out as decent in a line of movies that is often classified as a pile of feces. Personally, it's not my favorite of the Millennium and it only beats Tokyo S.O.S when it comes to the Mill films.
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Re: GMK

Post by Tohosaurus »

Well it's probably my favorite of the Millenniums and IMO one of the better Godzilla films for a number of reasons. I like the way all of the monsters look. I like the plot. It doesn't have pacing issues. The special effects were great. It doesn't try to do too many things within its hour and some odd minutes, etc.

But I wasn't initially a GMK fan, mostly because I didn't think much of Baragon as a monster (his look and execution was spot on, though), and I didn't like the KG redesign. I still don't, but I've gotten over it, and at least their suits are well detailed and look good.
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Re: GMK

Post by hammysammy59 »

It's well-written, is a fresh take on each of the monsters, has human characters I actually care about... a lot of fanboys get mad because they don't like a certain monster design, or that Ghidorah's not evil or super-powerful, and it just seems like they're messing the big picture. This rounds out my top 3 Godzilla movies:

-Gojira
-Mothra vs Godzilla
-GMK

By a mile. The rest are super fun and I love them, but these are the three that stand out as well-made FILMS instead of fun movies.
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Re: GMK

Post by Malchik »

Tyler wrote:I didn't like it at first, probably because I had just watched Godzilla vs. Megaguirus beforehand. I wanted another movie like that. It wasn't until I got the DVD that I really got into it.

I can't really put it into words, but to me GMK is the first Godzilla film in a long time that actually feels like a movie. It just has that cinematic feel to it. Some of the other ones just look made for TV. And then there's GFW that looks like a music video.
It has the same feel as the Gamera trilogy and for good reason, obviously. You are right, it does have a solid film feeling.

One of my gripes with the film, like Gamera, is some of it's messages are ham fisted, such as the rebellious youth.

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Re: GMK

Post by Mini-Godzilla »

I liked it better when it was called Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster.
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Re: GMK

Post by Mini-Godzilla »

The "three weaker monsters taking on an overpowered monster" bit was from GTTHM. The whole movie wishes that it could be an early-to-mid-60s Toho monster movie, but it's just too cheap and rushed to even begin to compare.
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Re: GMK

Post by hammysammy59 »

Saying GMK is a rip-off of Ghidrah is like saying Godzilla vs Biollante is a rip-off of Godzilla Raids Again.
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Re: GMK

Post by Julia Bristow »

I'm kinda mixed on this film

Likes:

Godzilla being possed by spirits
Mothra's design (at least it beats plushy toy Mothra)
Music
Baragon
Its dark mood & tone

Dislikes:

Some of the dialogue
Some of its messages are ham fisted
Some of the acting is kinda sub-par
All Movie snobs can just f off IMO

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Re: GMK

Post by attilagodzilla »

In the beggining i didn't really like it especially godzilla's eyes but after watching it again a few times i began to like it more and more.
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Re: GMK

Post by Malchik »

Well, Godzilla is essentially the walking dead in the film, so the eyes are appropriate.

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Re: GMK

Post by Tohosaurus »

I'm not even once reminded of Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster with GMK. No space monsters or alien plots in GMK, which instead was about Japan's history and the war. Now Final Wars on the other hand, wishes it was a 60-70s G flick.
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Re: GMK

Post by Crocodile »

Mini-Godzilla wrote:The "three weaker monsters taking on an overpowered monster" bit was from GTTHM. The whole movie wishes that it could be an early-to-mid-60s Toho monster movie, but it's just too cheap and rushed to even begin to compare.
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Re: GMK

Post by G-fan4life »

I don't think the whole movie wishes to be a 1960-70 movie, but I think there are several shout outs to the past.

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Re: GMK

Post by Crocodile »

G-fan4life wrote:I don't think the whole movie wishes to be a 1960-70 movie, but I think there are several shout outs to the past.
Yeah but what he's saying is like saying

"I liked Saving Private Ryan better when it was called Apocalypse Now"

The very core of the story is the only thing that is the same.
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Re: GMK

Post by kpa »

G-fan4life wrote:What makes Godzilla, mothra, and Ghidorah: All monsters attack so good?
Boy, this topic resurfaces again and again, doesn't it?

Rather than write another long reply, I'll just cut and paste and old long reply explaining what I like about GMK...

GMK addressed a growing trend in Japan to minimize their responsibilities for WWII. This behavior has led many in Japan to see their country as the victims of foreign aggression in that war and now want Japan to once again build up its military forces.

There are also many Japanese who disagree with that thinking. Shusuke Kaneko is one of those people, and he made GMK as a ''Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it'' story, with Godzilla as a reminder of where that path will lead Japan.

To do so, Kaneko followed the basic concept presented in the original GODZILLA. In both GODZILLA and GMK Godzilla is both villain and victim; a representation of many things (the war, the bomb, etc), and a warning to mankind. Honda and the other filmmakers used GODZILLA to address what was happening in Japan at the time it was made and say that worse things were on the horizon if mankind didn't learn from it's mistakes. GMK is the same. Once again, the monster is not a one-note character... Godzilla is a villain, a representation of the victims of WWII, a symbol of the bomb, and a warning.

The "spirits of the war dead" angle is directly connected to the central theme of the movie. Godzilla specifically attacks Japan at that particular time because the souls of those killed in the Pacific conflict feel their sacrifices will have been in vain if Japan continues on its current path. It's the point of the story and the whole motivation for Godzilla's character in the film.

Up to WWII, the Japanese people believed their Emperor was a living god, and over many years the military rulers convinced the people that they were superior to everyone else and the world was theirs by divine right. Those soldiers fought and died for a lie, and the only thing that would make their sacrifice worthwhile would be Japan to learn from it's mistakes and never repeat them again.

The idea that Godzilla represented those soldiers had been around long before GMK. In an interview with the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shinbun, Akira Ifukube described how audiences reacted to seeing the original GODZILLA in 1954: “The terror of the times was such that people thought that Godzilla might be the symbol of the spirits of the departed soldiers at sea.” In 1994, Professor Norio Akasaka wrote that Godzilla was a “representation of the spirits of soldiers who died in the South Pacific during World War II” and compared Godzilla’s actions in the 1954 film to the story The Voice of the Hero Spirits, in which the ghosts of kamikaze pilots appear before the Emperor and accuse Japan of spiritual decay.

That idea fits perfectly with Kaneko's theme for GMK and also provides Godzilla's motivation for why he returns after and attacks again so many decades. Godzilla is a warning... and as deadly as the monster is in the film, he doesn't compare to what could happen if Japan returned to its pre-WWII ways.

General Tachibana is the only character pushing for Japan to stay aware and vigilant against the old threat... but he's also not some right winger pushing for military might. He talks about how a true soldier at heart takes honor in never having to fight, he keeps an open mind about the Yamato Guardians, and disagrees with his superiors belief that more firepower is all that is needed. It's not an accident that Tachibana is the one who helps save the day.

Nearly everyone else (including Tachibana's own daughter) really couldn't care less about Godzilla or remembering the past. Godzilla has become such a distant memory that people are unsure what he even looks like (he's confused with Baragon), and high school kids call him a "poor animal" who would make a good pet. The government refuses to take the threat seriously at first. The Yamato shrines are disturbed by people who (again) have no clue or interest in what they represent. Again, it's no accident that many of those characters end up dead or are proven wrong.

So rather than not gelling, all the major story elements act in service to the central theme of GMK. In fact, the story is so well developed that Kaneko also uses it to make a point about the current public perception of Godzilla. In Japan these days Godzilla is no longer considered "cool"; kids are more into anime and hero shows while adults think the movies are only good for children and geeks. In GMK, notice how many of the characters think Godzilla to be old news, unimportant, passé, or not much of a threat... and how everyone (who lived) has vastly different views by the end of the film.

That's what I like about GMK... just like the original GODZILLA-, it's actually about something beyond the usual monster fare. It's not doing the standard "we should stop nuclear testing", "we should respect the environment" lip-service these films often have but instead deals with a current situation (just like GODZILLA did) on multiple levels. You can enjoy films like GODZILLA and GMK on a simple "monsters smashing stuff" level, but if you're aware of the subtext they become that much richer.

GMK opened well in Japan, and then ticket sales went up weeks into its theatrical run based on positive word of mouth. The positive buzz spread outside Japan (very rare for a Godzilla film)... when it was shown at the American Film Market the audience applauded Kaneko's onscreen credit at the end of the film (the only time I've seen that happen for any movie at AFM). Sony Studios requested a print of GMK for a private screening, they picked up the US rights, and over the past 8 years it is easily the most theatrically booked Godzilla film in their repertory division.

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Re: GMK

Post by Gojira-Fan »

kpa wrote:
G-fan4life wrote:What makes Godzilla, mothra, and Ghidorah: All monsters attack so good?
Boy, this topic resurfaces again and again, doesn't it?

Rather than write another long reply, I'll just cut and paste and old long reply explaining what I like about GMK...

GMK addressed a growing trend in Japan to minimize their responsibilities for WWII. This behavior has led many in Japan to see their country as the victims of foreign aggression in that war and now want Japan to once again build up its military forces.

There are also many Japanese who disagree with that thinking. Shusuke Kaneko is one of those people, and he made GMK as a ''Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it'' story, with Godzilla as a reminder of where that path will lead Japan.

To do so, Kaneko followed the basic concept presented in the original GODZILLA. In both GODZILLA and GMK Godzilla is both villain and victim; a representation of many things (the war, the bomb, etc), and a warning to mankind. Honda and the other filmmakers used GODZILLA to address what was happening in Japan at the time it was made and say that worse things were on the horizon if mankind didn't learn from it's mistakes. GMK is the same. Once again, the monster is not a one-note character... Godzilla is a villain, a representation of the victims of WWII, a symbol of the bomb, and a warning.

The "spirits of the war dead" angle is directly connected to the central theme of the movie. Godzilla specifically attacks Japan at that particular time because the souls of those killed in the Pacific conflict feel their sacrifices will have been in vain if Japan continues on its current path. It's the point of the story and the whole motivation for Godzilla's character in the film.

Up to WWII, the Japanese people believed their Emperor was a living god, and over many years the military rulers convinced the people that they were superior to everyone else and the world was theirs by divine right. Those soldiers fought and died for a lie, and the only thing that would make their sacrifice worthwhile would be Japan to learn from it's mistakes and never repeat them again.

The idea that Godzilla represented those soldiers had been around long before GMK. In an interview with the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shinbun, Akira Ifukube described how audiences reacted to seeing the original GODZILLA in 1954: “The terror of the times was such that people thought that Godzilla might be the symbol of the spirits of the departed soldiers at sea.” In 1994, Professor Norio Akasaka wrote that Godzilla was a “representation of the spirits of soldiers who died in the South Pacific during World War II” and compared Godzilla’s actions in the 1954 film to the story The Voice of the Hero Spirits, in which the ghosts of kamikaze pilots appear before the Emperor and accuse Japan of spiritual decay.

That idea fits perfectly with Kaneko's theme for GMK and also provides Godzilla's motivation for why he returns after and attacks again so many decades. Godzilla is a warning... and as deadly as the monster is in the film, he doesn't compare to what could happen if Japan returned to its pre-WWII ways.

General Tachibana is the only character pushing for Japan to stay aware and vigilant against the old threat... but he's also not some right winger pushing for military might. He talks about how a true soldier at heart takes honor in never having to fight, he keeps an open mind about the Yamato Guardians, and disagrees with his superiors belief that more firepower is all that is needed. It's not an accident that Tachibana is the one who helps save the day.

Nearly everyone else (including Tachibana's own daughter) really couldn't care less about Godzilla or remembering the past. Godzilla has become such a distant memory that people are unsure what he even looks like (he's confused with Baragon), and high school kids call him a "poor animal" who would make a good pet. The government refuses to take the threat seriously at first. The Yamato shrines are disturbed by people who (again) have no clue or interest in what they represent. Again, it's no accident that many of those characters end up dead or are proven wrong.

So rather than not gelling, all the major story elements act in service to the central theme of GMK. In fact, the story is so well developed that Kaneko also uses it to make a point about the current public perception of Godzilla. In Japan these days Godzilla is no longer considered "cool"; kids are more into anime and hero shows while adults think the movies are only good for children and geeks. In GMK, notice how many of the characters think Godzilla to be old news, unimportant, passé, or not much of a threat... and how everyone (who lived) has vastly different views by the end of the film.

That's what I like about GMK... just like the original GODZILLA-, it's actually about something beyond the usual monster fare. It's not doing the standard "we should stop nuclear testing", "we should respect the environment" lip-service these films often have but instead deals with a current situation (just like GODZILLA did) on multiple levels. You can enjoy films like GODZILLA and GMK on a simple "monsters smashing stuff" level, but if you're aware of the subtext they become that much richer.

GMK opened well in Japan, and then ticket sales went up weeks into its theatrical run based on positive word of mouth. The positive buzz spread outside Japan (very rare for a Godzilla film)... when it was shown at the American Film Market the audience applauded Kaneko's onscreen credit at the end of the film (the only time I've seen that happen for any movie at AFM). Sony Studios requested a print of GMK for a private screening, they picked up the US rights, and over the past 8 years it is easily the most theatrically booked Godzilla film in their repertory division.
Most of the things in GMK about Japan's culture would probably be lost to most Americans.
I have not seen GMK in a long time. And I'm waiting for there to be a release of the movie that has accurate English subs.

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Re: GMK

Post by G-fan4life »

Hey thx, its a lot to think about in that manner.

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Re: GMK

Post by Crocodile »

GMK addressed a growing trend in Japan to minimize their responsibilities for WWII. This behavior has led many in Japan to see their country as the victims of foreign aggression in that war and now want Japan to once again build up its military forces.
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Re: GMK

Post by Mecha-Anguirus »

I liked GMK. My favorite part was the new Godzilla design. Though potbellied and sort of immobile, I felt it gave Godzilla a better feeling of mass then I had seen in the other Millennium films. Also, the white eyes made him look suitably evil, and he fit the film he was in perfectly. My only problem with it is that KG got turned into an earth protector. That left a bad taste in my mouth.
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