This has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for us here at Tokyo Lives, and we are attempting to stay on top of the major news items as they happen. We have been going through some changes on the back side of things but please bear with us and make sure you stay tuned to the site for everything Giant Monster related (including a new podcast episode releasing later this week) . Now that I have gotten the disclaimer out of the way let's talk more about 'Shin Godzilla'! I know that most of the internet is trying to avoid spoilers for the new Godzilla film, so I will be staying spoiler free until the very end of this article where I will very clearly mark that you are heading into some spoiler-ish territory. Let's get started!
First up I'd like to share some Spoiler free reactions to the film that have come from a variety of sources. 'Shin Godzilla' has been very well received in Japan and is even being hailed as a masterpiece by some. Other however were not so impressed.
SHIN GOJIRA was an amazing film. The city rampage sequences are SPECTACULAR. This incarnation of Godzilla is the most terrifying version since the original. The story is heavy on dialogue between the various agencies and governments trying to deal with the threat, and I could not make out many key moments due to language limitations. There were many surprises, and it was not predictable by any means. There were aspects of the film that will be controversial, and it is definitely an entry in the series that will divide fans. I do like the film and what it adds to the overall mythos of Godzilla.
After a few hours of sleep and thinking it over here is my spoiler free take on Shin Gojira…..this is a very unique spin on the character. It’s hard to make a full judgment on the film without seeing it subtitled and a chunk of the story I didn’t understand. It’s a film that is heavy on dialogue. There are some wonderful nods to the original film and fun Easter eggs. However I need another viewing of the film.
I can only say that I enjoyed the film. Was it my absolute favorite, not at all, but it isn’t a mess either. With that being said, this film will definitely be divided among fans much like G2014 and final wars was.
There is some wonderful tension in the movie and very unexpected elements. Visually; the cinematography is some of the best in be series in my opinion. The filmmakers get artistic with shots and camera movements and that was something great to see. It also helped engage the audience during the dialogue scenes. But expect things you never saw before for the franchise.
Overall the special effects are good and Godzilla is just this walking death machine. He is massive and you really feel his presence.
There are things about the film that drive me nuts especially with the way he moves but I won’t get into those due to spoiling the film. My major complaint is that the ending is anti climatic. Though the film ends on what is very symbolic shot but it is certainly creepy.
I could go more in depth on the film but I hate the trend nowadays on social media with spoiling films for the mass majority. Movies are meant to be experienced together and to surprise it’s audience. In a culture full of instant gratification we need to take a step back and relinquish that. Shin Gojia either you love it, hate it, or are middle of be road, you should view it for yourself as the filmmakers attended.
The experience of seeing this film is something I won’t ever forget.
And finally a brief comment from a Japanese fan on 2chan:
This is a great movie, but I'm not sure if it's a Godzilla. I could accept 2014, but not this. Also, while I was worried about it, I didn't think he'd ACTUALLY stick Evangelion in.
These are just a few of the great reviews that can be found around the web, but be wary because it is hard to talk about a lot of the film without getting into spoilers. It really seems like this Godzilla film needs to be seen in order to form a full opinion.
The positive reaction from Japan has resulted in huge box office numbers, which is good news for everyone involved. 'Shin Godzilla' has already raked in $22.9 million as of Tuesday 8/9 - a huge amount of money for the Japanese box office. It may seem tiny by american standards but keep in mind that reports are saying this film only cost around $10 million to make, so it is already on it's way to making a good profit for Toho. Even if you are not that excited about this specific film, this profit will allow Toho to make another film after this and truly start a new era of Godzilla films.
There was also a new behind the scenes clip released that shows how the CG model of Shin-Goji was created and added into the real footage. This is really impressive when you consider that Japan has never really had the infrastructure for CGI effects before, but clearly they are well on their way to establishing it. I severely doubt we will be getting another fully Suitmation Godzilla film (especially with how well received the effects in 'Shin Godzilla' are).
Now for the fun stuff...
WARNING! SPOILERS BELOW!
One of the more controversial aspects of the new film is that Godzilla has two additional forms in before he evolves into the final form that we have seen in all of the trailers. We had a couple images of the Bandai vinyls but no concrete look at their actual designs in the film itself. Just yesterday some fairly high resolution images of the maquettes used for the CG creatures made their way online. Check them out:
I definitely am getting a Baby Godzilla ('Godzilla Vs MechaGodzilla 2') vibe from the second form which is cool and really hits that nostalgia button. The first form, which has been dubbed "Turkey-zilla" by fans, is strange and I don't really like it. I do really like the gills on both of them, but I hate that Shin-Goji's tiny arms are even smaller on both of these designs.
Last thing I'll leave you with in this little spoiler section is a quick image and video showing off Shin-Goji's destructive atomic breath. Not much to say but this is going to be a spectacular scene to watch in full when the movie releases stateside.
Well what do you guys think of Shin Godzilla so far? Let us know in the comments below!