Posts Tagged ‘kaiju’

The King is back!

Fri ,09/04/2021

and by King, I do not mean Kong. Saw the latest G v K movie just now – and here’s my review – (major spoilers ahead, so you have been warned).

So it was inevitable, by the end of the last movie (and if for no other reason that he has ‘king’ in his name) – it was Kong’s fate to fight Godzilla. Last time they fought (in the 60s), it was a draw. This time, it was largely the same outcome, but a lot more plot challenges along the way.

Without boring the reader too much, there are, simply stated, too many plot elements stolen from other movies, monster or otherwise, recent or old. I’ll simply name a few and you can figure out where you think they showed up in this movie: 2001 Stargate Sequence; Crazy Godzilla watchers tearing around in a van; Human-kaiju interface being used for ‘new’ mechas; little kids being used as a ‘friend’ for the kaiju; – i’m sure I saw more but simply can’t remember them all.  And you may spot some of your own?

There are other silly mistakes (the old-school Transformers problem of scale depending on scene and camera shot comes to mind in several places, just like it did in Cloverfield).  One unexpected amusing part – when the ‘evil Richard Branson‘ (effectively a Bond villain that thinks he’s saving the planet while stroking his own immense ego, immensely) gets killed by his own creation *just* as he starts “monologuing” – thereby saving us from having to hear it – but then a central character complains he ‘wanted to hear the speech’? Too funny.

I also liked that while it’s arguably partially stolen from Godzilla 2000 (specifically, the Godzilla Prediction Network in that movie) – the daughter of the GZ scientist from the previous movie (who is in this one too but only gets 2-3 token scenes this time around) is running around with a computer geek and connects up with another crazy kaiju conspiracy theorist who has a podcast they both follow. Arguably the best parts of the ‘human’ plot are with them, hands down.  The little girl who is Kong’s “muse” (akin to the tiny Japanese fairies in all the classic Mothra movies but not near as corny) is good, but her reactions are obviously meant to make you root for Kong (and that’s just wrong, of course 🙂 )

This makes for an interesting side plot/comment – in monster movies, one of the easiest traps to fall into plotwise is to have too much human interest plot and NOT ENOUGH MONSTERS! I would argue that the first of the GZ remakes balances this nicely, this movie somewhat goes slightly too much in the wrong direction (meaning more monsters, please). There have been unique takes on this angle though, e.g. Cloverfield is all about the disaster effect on the humans, and the monsters are the cause, but arguably not otherwise the center of the plot, really.

But a key point – does it deliver on the actual monster battles? Arguably the most important of any ‘monster’ movie – By and large, yes. There really weren’t enough of them, but for the most part, we get to see a lot of taxpayer-funded military hardware going to Davy Jones’ Locker, and a lot of future Hong Kong real estate developers are going to be pretty rich about 20 years from now, to be sure. I’ve never understood why in monster (or superhero) movies all the crowds seem (still) to be ‘hiding’ in skyscrapers when the all the fighting starts? I guess it makes for interesting camera work and effects? At least the crowds in Cloverfield actually seem to be trying to GET AWAY, excepting the roof rescue near the end of the movie.

So we get to see both GZ and Kong get in their hits, although the big ‘e-ax’ Kong wields is a bad version of Excalibur meets Harry Potter’s wand in the end with a little bit of Krull thrown in – although having it around pays off when the ‘real’ villain shows up in the end, courtesy of Evil Richard Branson (see villain snark above). And as per usual in these movies, apparently these megacorps have so much money as to build giant underground, magnetic tunnel transport systems and THEN be able to afford building a mecha-Gz only to know it doesn’t have enough power to actually DO anything for longer than a few minutes? Seems like bad decisionmaking to me, but hey, I’m no CEO. 🙂

In the end, as with all the non-Toho Gz movies of late (and their latest, Shin Godzilla, although it’s arguably closer to the 70s one) – the original, classic 70s ‘roar‘ of Gz is still left out of these movies, and that’s arguably the biggest plot flaw of all, besides no Ken Watanabe (and he is missed!). Of the three recent Godzilla movies, the first one (directed by Gareth Edwards) is still the best. The second one arguably has some of the best ridiculous monster battles (and still has Ken Watanabe), but is otherwise simply a set up for this movie, really.

Bash on, Titans – you make too much box office to stay out of the frame for long – I’m sure someone will make another – maybe Gz will fight a Jaeger or one of the Avengers or something – they did it several times with both Predator and Alien, after all :).

I would hope so…

Tue ,14/11/2017


Gz goes all Trump on us…

Thu ,19/10/2017

as discussed on Weekend Update



Sun ,13/12/2015

I love it – Frosty Tree Kaiju!


Gojira’s a musical genius!

Sun ,19/04/2015

I always knew he could…. 🙂



Somehow I doubt this….

Fri ,13/03/2015

I think this is a ‘cover story’ for liking to SMASH 🙂

savage chickens



Mon ,19/05/2014

Finally saw the new Godzilla movie last night – great stuff! Nerdy review:

Likes – Godzilla (big surprise); the comparative size of the monsters (huge) and that they don’t mind stomping the crap out of everything they see or that bothers them. Also kudos to newbie-ish director Gareth Edwards, who after cutting his teeth on the earlier Monsters from 2010 – which you can actually watch online here – was selected to write and direct this movie – well done, sir! I also liked the fact that you are intended to feel sympathy for the Motu even when her babies are getting the ‘Ripley treatment‘ – well I did, anyway 🙂

PuzzledKen Watanabe‘s constant ‘thousand yard stare’ even when people are asking him questions (and he’s supposed to be the decades-long chief scientist who knows everything?!?) Maybe he lost his Godzilla Prediction Network card…? 🙂

Major nit – *no classic Godzilla roar*? I realize this is a ‘re-imagining’ (aren’t they all these days) but people, Come ON! And the roar provided is adequate but nowhere near loud or powerful enough? At least they didn’t forget the firebreath (oops, spolier alert!)

Minor nit – not enough monster battle scenes. I realize they did this in part to build tension and not just have a big battle at the start and then nowhere to go with the plot, but at least 5-10 min. more of battle would have been fine, guys. Maybe with the kaiju crushing Oracle’s HQ in downtown SF, or possibly John Woo’s office at Berkeley? now THAT would have rocked!

all in all, a very good film, however, and definitely up there with Cloverfield and other recent monster fare….see it – or be stomped!


Only a few days, and counting….

Sat ,10/05/2014

here’s where I’ll be, hoping Thu night!

Cinerama – Coming Soon

in the meantime, 3 comics from another person who can’t wait for the new movie…. (keep scrolling)…..

aquaman, bitter


Summer movies, 2013 – belated…..

Tue ,19/11/2013

So the summer movie-going season kind of hit a wall in mid-July due to work and other commitments, sadly. But that’s why the DVD was invented, rightl? 🙂 So I finally saw Pacific Rim this afternoon on DVD. While I’m sure the effect of mecha-robots and kaiju slugging it out was diminished somewhat by watching it at home – it was still entertaining.

Likes: – the way the soundtrack draws you in when the battles intensify (this was done well IMHO in other recent movies, notably The Avengers);

– The robots are pretty cool, even if not that original (we’ve seen them all pretty much a zillion times before if you have seen Transformers or any anime mecha from Gundam onward through Evangelion) although I was a bit disappointed the majority of the battles occur at sea rather than on land – gotta smash up those buildings and stomp the people and cars! One of the mecha uses an actual ship as a bat at one point, so that’s pretty cool, too, even if I think they have a bit of a comparative scale issue on that point;

– The actors are all fairly unknown (to me, at least) save Idris Elba, who seems to be really hitting the big time of late. Charlie Day also resembles Sam Rockwell more than a little bit – I was surprised it wasn’t the latter. I’m glad they did it that way and not just have a bunch of big names who demand more money and more screen time – stories like this are about kaiju and the men/women who waste them with huge robots, first and foremost!

– the fact that the robots didn’t just win the war at first go and that the kaiju kept coming back, meaner and more vicious.

And, then the inevitable gripes and spoilers (alert!)

– it’s been pointed out many times over that building big robots to take out big monsters wouldn’t work. Godzilla proved that with Mechagodzilla, and that was guys in rubber suits (and arguably, both characters were bad guys anyway)! Suffice it to say that with mecha, you just have to disbelieve from the word go, or you can’t enjoy it;

– why, oh why don’t the robots simply RIP OFF THE MONSTERS’ HEADS when they fight them? It’s obvious from the start of every fight that trying to punch them out (especially when half submerged in water) DOES NOT WORK. Nor does throwing them around, on the few times they try it. And when you have pilots trained in martial arts and that have flexible swords mounted in the back of the mecha, using those skills and weapons more than as an afterthought *might* make sense – who knew? Again, a boxing match works best on land, and more likely between guys in rubber suits who don’t have the benefit of CGI weapons. 🙂

– the whole thing of the monster shorting out all the mecha in one of the later battles excepting the Gypsy Danger because they were ‘digital’ and it is ‘analog’ is completely bogus. Do you really think that shorting out wires and hardware depends on whether there’s a CPU? The answer is NO. Fried wires and computers are fried, period, guys. Ask any Cylon, old or new.

– there are a few too many ‘fight to the last man’ cliches here, but at least the movie doesn’t drag them out, so they don’t distract *too* much.

– I don’t care how many helicopters you use – there is no way they could lift a mecha like that? But barring some other plot device (like how the Autobots could fly when the plot suited it), not sure how you resolve that one….?

All in all, an entertaining ride, even if not seen on the big screen. Next up, catching Elysium and Oblivion on DVD to finish out summer movies …. three months late!

A final word – throughout this movie I was constantly saying to myself – Gojira would have kicked ALL their a**es! Thankfully we only have to wait until the start of next summer to see it happen……muhhahhah!


Kaiju – LEGO?

Mon ,28/10/2013

Not sure if i’d have the patience to create something this detailed, but it sure is cool!

LEGO Kaiju diorama