"Godzilla"(2014; 2D Version), Blu-ray. A Warner release.
The copy I viewed was a Netflix "Rental Special" -- i.e., a disc produced by the Studio specifically for Netflix to use as a rental. As such it included NO Extras whatsoever.
Video on this one is 1080p/24. Audio is DTS-HD MA 7.1 48kHz.
Worth a Rental.
YOU GO JIRA!! YOU GO JIRA!!
Yes, it's 2014 and Godzilla is Living Life Large! He is definitely the king of the plus-sized monsters. Isn't it fascinating how fat monsters can still be so nimble on their feet?
And yet, it's not at all clear to me how viewers are expected to pay attention to this film; what with dealing with all the glass shattering around them, the plaster falling from their ceilings, and the mess of having to mop up from their own, bleeding ears.
For this film definitely pushes the envelope in the "LOUDER is Better" school of shoddy filmmaking. I suspect the Ratings Board is going to have to come up with yet another, Ratings Guidance wording: Rated Ouch! for Excessive Ear Damage.
Of course it's actually a good thing it's impossible to follow what's going on, because otherwise the gaping plot holes would leave people so consumed with mirth they couldn't eat their popcorn. Or stuff it in their ears. Or whatever.
In this film Godzilla basically plays the Chaperone -- the adult whose job it is to tell the rambunctious teenagers that no, they can't mate now. This is difficult because the teenagers have been smoking nuclear doobies, and are too wasted to pay attention.
The HUMANS in the meanwhile, can't do much of anything due to the convenient plot device of EMP -- electromagnetic pulse. For those who might have forgotten their freshman, nuclear engineering, EMP is a sort of shock wave which fries electronics.
The effects of EMP have been well understood since the dawn of the nuclear age, and all modern military gear is as hardened against EMP as it is against, say, being shot at by bullets. The idea that military jets can be knocked out of the air by frying their military-grade avionics with EMP is, shall we say, farfetched.
But the script writers were more focused on the "CONVENIENT" part of convenient plot device. THEIR EMP does whatever they NEED it to do -- whenever they need it to do it! So it fries military aircraft but has no effect whatsoever on a school bus trying to escape with its load of sympathetic brats.
When the military can't approach the action on land -- because the EMP will fry the stuff that makes their Humvees go, don'tcha know -- they drop in by parachute instead, and immediately pull out a completely unaffected, completely electronic, nuclear warhead locator.
Meanwhile their escape plan is to use a civilian boat -- evidently ITS motor is far more resistant to EMP than all their expensive military gear. You see, all IT really needs to get it going again is, well, a jump start!
And for icing on the cake, when the obnoxious teenagers are FINALLY killed by the Chaparone -- who frankly, has had it UP TO HERE with their antics -- *ALL* of the effects of their EMP up to now magically vanish!
You read that right: All the lights come back on. And all the motors and electronic gizmos magically repair their totally fried parts and start working again!
It's one HELL of a convenient plot device!
Now, like all good Godzilla movies, this one also has its share of heavy-handed eco-moralizing. So -- Man thinks he is in control of nature, eh? HAH! You just wait until the Chaparone gets here!
Much as I appreciated seeing so many pretentious locales get utterly obliterated -- I mean, have you ever noticed how monsters in flicks like this never destroy, say, Hackensack? Or Lake Havasu City? -- I still couldn't help thinking this film has all the emotional weight of a Lego movie. Obviously these places exist ONLY to be destroyed! Ya know: Like kicking a Lego office building.
You see that's the fundamental flaw in flicks like this. You WANT to see these places destroyed. And yet you are still supposed to care about the Extras who get hurt while that's happening.
BONUS PLOT HOLE: Speaking of bizarre plot devices, how 'bout that mechanical-clockwork, nuclear bomb detonator? Supposedly ancient technology which just happens to fit neatly into a modern weapon casing. How conVENient!
Now, ignore the fact that no air dropped weapon ever used such a mechanism as its detonator. The only timer ever found in air dropped weapons was an extra SAFETY, which made sure the bomb could *NOT* detonate until it had time to fall far enough below the plane, and even that was electronic.
No, ignore that. But riddle me this. Why was this timer constructed to allow a time-to-detonation which included hours and days?
Where were they planning on dropping this dang thing from? The Moon?
On the plus side, the special effects definitely show the filmmakers got their $160M money's worth. The ability to meld CGI, seamlessly, with live action truly is impressive. For $160M, even MINOR details are well taken care of. Movie making has come a long way from the days of the guy in the rubber suit.
It's a pity the script writing hasn't kept pace.
I was also pleasantly surprised Pokeyvision was not as annoying as I had feared it might be in the 2D version of this flick. (For those new to my reviews, "Pokeyvision" is my term for the egregious use of "negative depth" in 3D flicks. You know, things that are Poked Out at the audience for shock effect. It looks even sillier when a film composed like that for 3D is shown in 2D.)
Also on the plus side, the sound design is intelligent. It is neither arbitrary, nor muddled, nor inconsistent with the action, nor at odds with the emotional content of the scenes.
It's just too, effing LOUD!
I can't say the same about the intelligence of the musical score, which often struck me as approaching parody. You know: The action film equivalent of having a comedic moment scored as, "Wah, wah, wah, wah!"
I had low expectations for this film, but I was still astounded how rapidly I switched into total, Point 'N Laugh mode. Viewed THAT way -- i.e., as a subject for derision -- this film is actually, quite entertaining!
Worth a Rental.