Blu-ray: Godzilla 3D (Warner Bros.)

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Godzilla 3D


English Blu-ray Title (Region A)

Godzilla 3D

Sound:

English (7.1 Surround), French (5.1 Surround), Spanish (5.1 Surround)

Subtitles:
Length:
Release:
Company
:
Discs:
Aspect Ratio:

English, French, Spanish
123 minutes
2014
Warner Bros.
3 (1 DVD)
2.40:1 Anamorphic

Movie:

Godzilla (2014)

Blu-ray

Extras

  • Menus (English)
  • Chapters (12)
  • Godzilla Forces of Nature (19 minutes)
  • New Level of Destruction (8 minutes)
  • Into the Void: The H.A.L.O Jump (5 minutes)
  • Operation Lucky Dragon (3 minutes)
  • Monarch: The M.U.T.O File (4 minutes)
  • Godzilla Revelation (7 minutes)
  • Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy

Captures


Review

By: Chris Mirjahangi‚Äčr

Godzilla 2014 took a long time to get to theaters and it took quite a lot of work to not only design the creatures but the general look of the film. Lighting ,cinematography, detail, color timing are all important aspects of this film and they have all been robbed of their glory due to a transfer that not only darkens the film, it mutes the color and lacks detail seen not only in theaters but in trailers and even the special features on the Blu-Ray disk. The transfer is something that never should have been let out the door and it's a disservice to the work of everyone involved in creating and marketing the film.

Now this release contains three discs in total. Two Blu-rays, one DVD plus a digital copy. It is the largest in scope of the home video releases for the film and I will cover each.


 Video: Star Rating


Blu-Ray/DVD
Both the DVD and the Blu-Ray seem to suffer from the same darkened, lifeless video transfer with little to no detail. In fact when reviewing this release, a friend asked if I was watching the DVD but when I told him it was the Blu-Ray, he was shocked at the quality. In daylight scenes, there's a darkened haze over the film which lowers the brightness and mutes the color. For the night scenes, the darkness is even more noticeable and because of it, everything seems murky. I must point out that although the image quality will vary per TV set up, the film won't look as good as it's meant to be due to the bad transfer. This is easy to demonstrate when comparing the video track to the earlier online trailers that were released. For example, here is a trailer to DVD comparision for the atomic bomb detonation, tidal wave and Las Vegas helicopter scenes.

Star rating for both is 2.

3D Blu-Ray
Things are different for the 3D Blu-Ray however. The image quality is truly astounding with deep blacks and vibrant colors. It's a tad darker than what is in the trailers/special features but that can easily be attributed to simply wearing the required 3D glasses.One other thing to note is that the 3D really adds to the depth of field. It really pops and makes the whole viewing experience very enjoyable. There are a few blemishes however. At times, a purple shadow will appear on objects like Joe Brody's Janjira ID badge or the rocket in young Ford Brody's bedroom at the start of the film. Also, one of the Monarch scientists in the beginning of the film is transparent. These quibbles aside, it's a pretty solid transfer.

Star rating for the 3D version is 4 ½ stars.

Digital Ultraviolet Copy
In my experience, the digital version was the worst offender in terms of quality. Fight scenes between Godzilla and the MUTOS were barely visible on portable devices for example while the human scenes/scenes with well lit lighting were darkened to a great degree. I could see what was going on in those scenes but the film still looked too dark. I tried on a Samsung Galaxy S3 and a Kindle Fire, both with their brightness at maximum and could barely make anything out.

Star rating for the digital version is 1.

Overall video quality note: The only way to see how the film originally looked outside of the 3D version is in film clips in the featurettes in the special features section concerning the behind the scenes section. They have remained untouched by the terrible transfer process.

Godzilla is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.40:1 on all versions and is anamorphic for widescreen TVs.

 

 Audio: Star Rating


The audio mix is PHENOMINAL! Every explosion, roar, creak and subtle sound is beautifully mixed. The sound is very clear and powerful and it really brings the film to life-well, as much as it can with the current transfer. This is true for all versions of the film contained in the set.

While the audio is done very well, there is a lack of a Dolby Digital 2.0 option for those who don't have surround sound speakers which is a shame. Also, outside of looking at the tiny print on the back of the case, there's no evidence of what mixes are available. The menu just lists English, French, and Spanish. Only by reading the back of the case will you find in small print:

DTS: Master Audio: English 7.1

Dolby Digital Francias (French) 5.1 (Dubbed in Quebec), Espanol 5.1

Mysteriously, the 3D version has 12 language audio tracks beyond English, Spanish and French. Some of the additional tracks include Chinese-Cantonese, Chinese-Mandarin, Korean, Portugese and Indonesian and each has their corresponding subtitle tracks. These aren't listed anywhere on the packaging at all which is even more peculiar. I assume these are 5.1 surround mixes for all 12 as well.

 

 Extras: Star Rating


Six featurettes are included on the disk and are pretty cool for what they are. My only real complaint about the existing featurettes is that I wanted even more of a background on the production and the story and the writing process and things like that. Again, it's also only in these featurettes that you can see how the film is actually supposed to look (outside of the 3D version that is).

Godzilla: Force of Nature (19:18) - This featurette is about how Godzilla was re-imagined in the 2014 film. Sub par quality, heavily artifacted clips from the 1954 film is used in this featurette which is a shame. This featurette contains most of the original film not destroyed by the terrible transfer in the form of clips. It is here that anyone who watched the film's terrible transfer will start to wonder why the footage looks different than the film they saw.

New Level of Destruction (8:24) - Gareth Edwards and key film makers go over the set design for the film. It's pretty interesting and has some great behind the scenes footage.

Into the Void: The H.A.L.O Jump (5:00) - Showing off the animatic of one of the films key scenes, Edwards and Co. describe how the H.A.L.O Jump scene came about.

Operation Lucky Dragon (2:44) - Done in the style of old top secret film footage, this featurette goes into the background of Godzilla's first appearance before the film.

Monarch: The M.U.T.O File (4:29) - An interesting look into the background of the M..U.T.O.'s and Godzilla. This piece contains a flub saying that Godzilla was codenamed "Godzilla" while the other two featuettes concerning Monarch say Godzilla is codenamed "Gojira".

Godzilla Revelation (7:25) - This piece goes into the events of the film from an outsider's point of view. It almost seems like it's a "world builder" for the next two movies. Really well done and a very interesting watch!

In terms of the cover art, it's pretty standard fare for a 3D release. It's a plastic 3D photo of the movie's poster (or alternate artwork) attached to a cardboard slip cover and underneath is the case itself with the same artwork in 2D. Inside are two partitions to hold the three disks. One side has the 3D Blu-Ray version and on the other side is the DVD and 2D Blu-Ray stacked on top of each other. I was surprised to see the disks stacked as this usually is a sign that the company doesn't care much about the release. Also included is a slip of paper for the download code for the digital version.

The menus for this release seem like they were just slapped together quickly with the least amount of imagination possible. It shows the cover image and then a generic menu below, which is that way across all three discs. There are a couple of oddities as well. First up is the extreme brightness of the thumbnails for each of the chapter stops. It looks like they did a screen capture of the bad transfer version (the one you're buying) and then upped the brightness to an unbelievable degree making the thumbnails and menu look even more like an amateur job. Here is a shot of the DVD menu to demonstrate this. Finally, for a 2+ hour movie, there are only 12 chapter stops. That's it. If there's a key scene you want to see, you'll have to fast forward or rewind to it (if it's not at the chapter stop). The choice to design the chapter stops this way is very lazy.

Sadly, the biggest fault of the extras is what could and in some cases should have been on here. Much has been made of original Godzilla (1954) film actor Akira Takarada's cameo in the film which originally started as a grassroots Facebook campaign led by Godzilla fan, Tim Bean. The campaign worked and on the first day of filming, the first footage ever shot for Godzilla 2014 was Takarada's cameo. When the film hit focus groups, it was decided that the film was too long and the scene was cut which caused huge fan uproar. When Godzilla was preparing for release, it was mentioned in interviews that the cameo would be on the Blu-Ray and digital version. This was not meant to be as it is mysteriously nowhere to be found anywhere on this release which will most likely again cause a huge fan uproar.

Also missing are features that would have been, in my opinion, great to include such as the 2012 Comic Con teaser that much to the delight and RELIEF of fans, leaked online and let them know that the franchise was in good hands. It would have been great to have for this release. Other interesting features (which I feel are hugely missed opportunities) missing that would have been nice to have been included are:

-Trailers- While I was able to get most of the trailers in excellent quality for Toho Kingdom, they should have been on this release not only as a cool bonus feature but because they contain alternate scenes, shots, and dialog not included in the film.

-Audio commentary - No commentary from director Gareth Edwards is perhaps one of the biggest missed opportunities in the set. It would have been interesting to hear, in depth, all the inside information and stories about his experience creating the film from pre-production to post production.

- Designing Godzilla's roar - while there IS a short YouTube video about making it –and it mistakenly states that the 1984 roar as the original roar-would have been very interesting to see. Only the MUTO's get any sort of discussion on how their sounds were created on this release and it's very brief which is a shame.

-Writing the story -Godzilla writer Max Borenstein makes no appearance on this release and it would have been nice to have heard from him and others who helped craft the story for the new film.

- Creating the music - There was a video with a very brief interview with Desplat about how he created the music for the film. Music fans and Godzilla fans both would love longer interviews I'm sure.

-Acknowledgement that this is Godzilla's 60th anniversary! While it's true that there is a Target exclusive featurette on Godzilla's history, it should have been included on the actual Blu-ray itself rather than be pushed off as an exclusive as an afterthought.

 

 Overview: Star Rating


It's really tough to recommend this release because of the transfer for the digital, Blu-Ray, and DVD being of such poor quality. It seems that the only way to view the film properly is to watch the 3D version and that's not how this release (or any other release) should be and it's frustrating when you see in the special features how it's SUPPOSED to look. Even official screenshots posted on the Godzilla Facebook and Twitter account look more accurate than the Blu-Ray/DVD transfer. In 2014, consumers should be able to expect a quality transfer for a recent film they're spending their money to own. If your Blu-Ray player (if you have one) can't play 3D or if you don't have a TV with 3D capability, you're pretty much out of luck for a pleasant viewing experience. This, combined with the shoddy menu, the too few chapter stops, and the absence of a few extras we should have gotten, might make it a pass for some fans.

In fact, there's an online petition written by fans already asking Warner Bros./Legendary to re-release the Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital copy in its corrected form and to put in the Akira Takarada scene.

If you can wait for Warner Bros, to fix the transfer issue or the extended version that Legendary CEO Thomas Tull mentioned in his interview with me for Toho Kingdom which hopefully will come to pass, then skip this release. If you want the movie and the bad transfer doesn't bother you, then by all means, pick it up. Again, although some TV's are different than others so it will looks different but no matter what on the DVD/Blu-Ray, the film will look different when you switch over to the special features. Simply put: if you don't have a Blu-Ray player than can do 3D and a 3D TV along with the 3D version of the film, you'll never see this film in a respectable representation. This beautiful film deserved better than this release and viewers deserved to see the film as the film makers intended. Hopefully this will be fixed either on a re-release or on the mentioned extended cut. Until then, this is the best it's going to be.

 

Extras
Captures
Review
Chris Mirjahangi​r

 


 Video:

 


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 Extras:

 


 Overview: