GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

For the discussion of Toho produced and distributed films or shows released from 1999 to 2015.

Is GMK the best post-Showa Godzilla film?

Yes, GMK is the best since at least 1975
10
22%
No, but it's the best Millennium series film
22
48%
No, not even close
14
30%
 
Total votes: 46

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Kaltes-Herzeleid
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by Kaltes-Herzeleid »

Godzilla has always been at least implicitly connected to the supernatural. In the original film and Shin Godzilla his name comes from a God worshiped by the people of Odo Island. And his presentation certainly lives up to something divine rather than scientific, in spite of Yamane's theories. He appears on land after a ritualistic ceremony performed by the islanders, in a raging typhoon no less, and hunts down and kills the one person who survived his first encounter with him. Whether intentionally or not. He shrugs off all military grade weaponry and, in at least the sub version of the film I have, Yamane describes Godzilla as having been "baptized" in the hellfires of the atomic bomb and that his existence is basically unnatural. Godzilla has always defied science even when they attempt to scientifically explain him.

When Godzilla first makes landfall in Shin Godzilla it is accompanied by a theme that is literally a prayer for a mercy that cannot and will not come. And yes there's a lot of science talk, but again, Godzilla's presence in the film is treated with the sense of being confronted by some sort of nigh incomprehensible eldritch god and the film literally ends with him creating life in his image.

And then you have films like Godzilla Vs. Biollante, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla and Tokyo S.O.S. making it absolutely nice and sparkling clear that souls and ghosts exist.

Then of course you have Mothra, who's always been overtly divine. King Ghidorah certainly defies scientific explanation in basically every sense. I highly doubt that a being that emerges in the form of an ethereal blaze of fire from a meteorite doesn't have some connection to the metaphysical.

Hell, even Legendary's Godzilla films get this right. Yeah yeah the 2014 movie has some babble about an "ancient alpha predator who feeds off radiation" but he's clearly presented as something far more than that. His first appearance is even accompanied by the Requiem theme associated heavily with 2001: A Space Odyssey, and from it's most metaphysical moments no less.

KotM goes full on with religious and spiritual symbology. Mark's story is essentially the story of a man regaining his faith in God, or at least in benevolent divinity. Mothra shines her light from the sky (i.e. the Heavens), Rodan emerges from a smoldering volcano like a demon. And King Ghidorah, well, what and who he represents should be obvious. They literally included excerpts from the Heart Sutra in his theme for skreeonk's sake.

And this is all just off the top of my head and limited solely to Godzilla, not even getting into Gamera or Ultraman or other kaiju and toku films and series.

The symbology has always been there, movies that go full force with it aren't inserting anything that wasn't already there.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by GodzillaXGomoraFight »

Well said Kaltes. I always felt that there has always been some theme of mysticism or the fantastic within Godzilla films beyond say films with Mothra or GMK. I think it is one thing that I find very appealing when watching these movies. I still stand by my previous opinion that GMK might be the best Godzilla film post-Showa regardless of the fantastic elements being in your face in this movie compared to others. It does face competition from other films previously mentioned, but GMK always has a special place for me.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by edgaguirus »

The mystic elements work well with the movie, but it also has a theme of faith and family that help make this a great film. The love between father and daughter is strongly felt, especially towards the end.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by tbeasley »

I think it's important to note, while controlled by the spirits, Godzilla is still a flesh and blood creature deriving power from radiation, and this is the main reason why humanity can temporarily defeat him (be it by Oxygen Destroyer or D3 missile). Of course, what would really do the trick is Japan acknowledging its past atrocities, but you can only do so much.

So he's still the type of creature Yamane theorized about, he's not literally made up of spirits, he's not a ghost or a zombie. The spirits are just introduced as a concept to explain how and why Godzilla goes after the heart of Japan (Tokyo) and that place only, both past (54) and present (GMK).
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by Terasawa »

tbeasley wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:35 pm I think it's important to note, while controlled by the spirits, Godzilla is still a flesh and blood creature deriving power from radiation, and this is the main reason why humanity can temporarily defeat him (be it by Oxygen Destroyer or D3 missile). Of course, what would really do the trick is Japan acknowledging its past atrocities, but you can only do so much.

So he's still the type of creature Yamane theorized about, he's not literally made up of spirits, he's not a ghost or a zombie.
That's correct, that's pretty much exactly how Professor Isayama explains it to Yuri.
The spirits are just introduced as a concept to explain how and why Godzilla goes after the heart of Japan (Tokyo) and that place only, both past (54) and present (GMK).
I don't think that's the case for '54, I don't think anyone in GMK or even its filmmakers is making that implication.
Last edited by Terasawa on Wed Jan 27, 2021 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by eabaker »

Terasawa wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 12:13 pm
The spirits are just introduced as a concept to explain how and why Godzilla goes after the heart of Japan (Tokyo) and that place only, both past (54) and present (GMK).
I don't think that's the case for '54, I don't think anyone in GMK or even its filmmakers is making that implication.
Although the idea does have roots in critical/scholarly analysis of the original '54 (not that I can remember the name of the critic/scholar in question or anything...)
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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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by tbeasley »

I'm under the impression he was always possessed in the GMK timeline, that he always had the white-eyed look and design. Note you don't see him in the flashback and hear the Millennium roar, and the 54 design in never seen in photographs or stock footage.
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