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Godzilla Open Thread – Because Why Not

People are seeing Godzilla — apparently in droves. Here is a place to discuss the monster movie, which has a shot at visual effects.

73 Comments on this Post

  1. Al Robinson

    Probably not going to see it until Tuesday (20th). I will pay the cost for a ticket, but I’d be willing to pay double if I was seeing The Godzillafather. I’m sure if it was a real movie, it would win the award for “Best Dramatic Film to feature a Sci-Fi twist”.

  2. Al Robinson

    I still have to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2 this weekend, as per my roommate’s request.

    Too bad it isn’t The Amazing Godzilla-Man 2. :-)

  3. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Too bad it isn’t The Amazing Godzilla-Man 2

    wait a couple of years.
    :-/

  4. Al Robinson

    Ryan,

    LOL :-)

  5. Al Robinson

    Since this is the Godzilla thread, I have to ask, did anyone like the 1998 version of Godzilla? I think it’s one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Especially how slyly cool Matthew Broderick is.

  6. Al Robinson

    No shit?..

    IMDb trivia:

    While shooting this film, cinematographer Seamus McGarvey accidentally went to a lakeside set of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), which was also shooting nearby in Vancouver and looked very similar to the set for this film that he was set to shoot on that day. He described walking around with his light meter, not recognizing anyone, as a “surreal, dreamlike experience” until he realized his mistake.

  7. Al Robinson

    This is pretty cool too:

    IMDb trivia:

    This film stars Bryan Cranston known for playing chemistry teacher Walter White on the AMC television series Breaking Bad (2008). Walter White is a man who strives to leave behind both a legacy and money for his family after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The original Godzilla (1954) starred Takashi Shimura, who also played a man dying of cancer who wishes to leave behind a legacy in the Akira Kurosawa film Ikiru (1952).

  8. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    oh hai, Sergeant Tre Morales
    hai!
    hai!!

  9. James

    It’s solid. Not great. Not terrible. Visually breathtaking. Very good cast aside from Aaron Taylor-Johnson. I don’t know if it’s the actor or just simply the bland character that’s he playing. Cranston is quite a bit of fun(guess he has to with him competing against Godzilla for attention), but nearly everyone else spouts exposition. Appreciate Gareth Edwards’s patience. Sadly though it causes us to spend time with familiar archetypes who just aren’t that interesting or witty. See that’s the tricky thing about a Godzilla film. If you spend too much time with Godzilla, you kind of lose that human connection. If you spend too much time with the humans, you shortchange Godzilla. Still there are some “Hell yea!” moments. It’s well made if nothing else. Felt like a child with a low attention span. More Godzilla please. Props to Warner Bros for taking a risk on Gareth Edwards, but this is no Jaws. Those 3 primary characters were interesting. Nor is it Alien.

  10. Manuel

    I was pleasantly surprised that I liked this Godzilla movie so much. I do remember the 1998 version which is a guilty pleasure for sure.

    This one is much better and the actors are all given it, even the handsome Aaron Taylor-Johnson. But is he a bland character or actor? Anyway he had a sweet connection with Elizabeth Olsen. Was good to see her again

    My fav scene is the multi parachuting scene. Spectacular!

  11. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Here’s another thing that’s not Jaws: Alien
    Here’s another thing that’s not Alien: Jaws

    but alright.
    Godzilla is not any of these things:
    Jaws
    Alien
    Jurassic Park
    The Thing
    Marijuana
    Jesus Christ
    The Cure for Alzheimer’s
    The Best Blowjob You Ever Got (or Gave)

    but here’s something I think Godzilla could be:
    Maybe the best monster movie of the past 20 years.

  12. Here’s something I know Godzilla is not:
    Maybe a good monster movie at all.

    Gareth Edwards tries, but I felt that there were duelling creative forces behind it. It was hastily edited, which made Edwards’ visual compositions lose their impact – they had no time to settle on the screen, there was no respect paid to them. And the characters are paper-thin, which doesn’t seem to matter until the script inexplicably attempts to set its attentions on them and the film falls apart. Nor does Edwards seem to care that he’s got a top-notch cast – the performances are poorly directed, and the A-list casting is redundant.

    It’s also ignorant of its female characters. Remember we discussed this about World War Z last summer, Ryan? Godzilla doesn’t treat its women with the same ignominy that World War Z did, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that it sticks two very talented female actors (Juliette Binoche – basically a cameo, it’s almost entirely in the trailer – and Elizabeth Olsen) in the usual wife-and-mother roles, and that there’s barely a second where Sally Hawkins is on screen and Ken Watanabe isn’t standing in front of her.

    There’s my review: http://screenonscreen.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/review-godzilla-gareth-edwards.html

  13. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    I’m thrilled to death when women get great roles in movies. But I find that I’m able to like many movies that don’t have great roles for women. Am I a horrible person?

    For example, am I fucked up for liking There Will Be Blood? …Jaws? …Dr. No? …The Bourne Ultimatum? …Zodiac? …Shutter Island?

    I wish to hell there were more great movies that featured rich roles for women. But that doesn’t make me disqualify every movie that doesn’t provide those roles.

    Here’s what I thought of Bryan Cranston. I found him more believable and more heartbreaking in Godzilla than Richard Dreyfus was in Close Encounters. Or Richard Dreyfus in anything.

  14. Niles

    Godzilla was good but Interstellar trailer looked really really good. That is going to be an amazing movie!

  15. phantom

    Usually not that into the this kind of film, but after the pleasant surprise that was World War Z a year ago, I gave it a try yesterday on opening day here. Promising start, I got VERY excited when I learned from the opening credits that the likes of Cranston, Binoche, Hawkins, Watanabe, Olsen, Straithirn are in it, I thought with so many acclaimed indie darlings the script must be amazing. Well, after a promising start, for me it fell flat quickly. I didn’t get as much screentime from the talent I mentioned as I hoped for, I didn’t care for the lead Taylor-Johnson even though I did see him in films where he showed promise but he couldn’t live up to it here, he simply didn’t seem to have what it takes to carry a film like this. The visual effects were great but that should be a given in any case where the budget is this high so all in all, a solid but completely unspectacular effort.

    P.S. I must have been living under a rock in recent weeks because I wasn’t aware the Interstellar trailer came out, so you can imagine my surprise/delight/excitement when it started in the movie theatre. Looks amazing, based on this footage I guess it feels like a cross between War of Worlds and Gravity but I’m sure it will be much more complicated and unique than that. McConaughey looks VERY strong once again (after his recent features and ESPECIALLY True Detective, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised) and though I was hoping for more than one brief shot of Anne Hathaway and another one of Jessica Chastain, I hope they will have prominent parts. We’ll see, we’ll see !

  16. If Godzilla doesn’t die in the end, I’ll go see it.

    I loved Godzilla when I was a kid, and don’t get me started on baby Godzilla.

  17. Bryce Forestieri

    “It’s also ignorant of its female characters”

    How? I think the roles played by women were smaller ones by design and they were really well executed; they were not meant to be 3-dimensional characters studies, Binoche, Olsen and Hawkins bring with them a baggage of gravitas that helps you feel for them in their moment of affliction even if you didn’t know what conditioner they preferred. This would not be possible with some random bit-part player. If you would have liked a female-led ‘GODZILLA’ I can understand that, and I agree with the sentiment, but it’s not what the movie was. You wanted a different movie. I, for one, was extremely impressed by how powerful the Binoche character’s death was, given that she had been on-screen for just a little while; I suppose it was one of the first of many pay-offs of the film thanks to the beautiful execution by Evans. To my mind, the very first minutes of ‘GODZILLA’ can be compared to the very first few minutes of ‘CAPTAIN PHILLIPS’, a film I didn’t enjoy much, but it’s well regarded among many AD readers; but stylistic disagreements aside, I actually very much like that scene in ‘PHILLIPS’ because in a couple of minutes a connection between the audience and Phillips’ affections is established. Evans, his editor, Binoche, Cranston, and the child actor work beautifully to establish that connection in those two short sequences, the “birthday” one and the one inside the car. These “devices”, if you allow me to be so cold, work only because you have Juliete Binoche and Catherine Keener playing those unworthy little roles. That is if they worked for you in the first place, but if you were pissed off the moment Binoche died then there’s no hope to discuss another of your complaints, the cohesiveness and consistency of the director’s vision throughout the end — but I respect your opinion as I’ve known for a while you have solid taste and to varying degrees we’re in agreement about most films.

  18. Bryce Forestieri

    Finally just another thought, for now. I remember saying when I saw the trailers that the film looked to me like a monster/disaster/apocalyptic genre film married to a CONTAGION-like ensemble approach, and I think I was mostly right with perhaps Ken Watanabe and Aaron Taylor Johnson having larger roles than everyone else that I’d still not categorize as “leads”. Now that I’ve seen the movie I am frankly too lazy to go back and read dissenting reviews, but the noise I heard was that among mainstream critics one of the chief complaints was that during the final acts, the film abandons any kind of attention to character that might have attempted at first. I would say that is in part the point of the human plot or lack thereof. I could get into it, but I’d rather wait for someone smarter to write about it and I’ll just direct y’all to it, but in essence an exposition of human arrogance/egocentrism vs. nature. The movie gives up, though not entirely, the pretense and cliché of being about one man, The Man, the protagonist. But that sounds terrible you might think if you haven’t seen the movie, I don’t really care about a bunch of explosions and destruction. But here’s why it works (or doesn’t). ‘Godzilla’ himself becomes the central character in those final moments. Now I realize this is easier to appreciate and accept for genre fans and less so for more casual/touristic visitors. The production designers and animators/vfx people did a magnificent job rendering fat highly expressive and idiosyncratic ‘Godzilla’ and if you -like many- are with the story up to this point, you can’t help but empathize with the monster. I don’t want to describe everything that happens from the moment ‘Godzilla’ arrives in San Francisco to the moment he leaves, but that’s then the magic happens. Hey, don’t think it’s an embarrassing or childish admission — it’s the same principle of why animation works emotionally when it does. It’s not a real person, no, it’s not even Andy Serkis in motion capture, but it’s the art behind the fat, coarse yet gracious design, and the execution.

  19. Binoche was so excellent I was mad there wasn’t more of her. Same with Elizabeth Olsen. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is a good actor and I can believe him as a military man since most military leading men in movies are big and buff and sound like macho men. But his character wasn’t written as anything other than a vessel. The amount of dialogue he has is relatively small. Cranston was totally believable, I really, truly bought into his character and motives.

    The visual effects were really great but to me the MVP was the sound design, especially with the MUTO. !!!SPOILER ALERT!!! The scene with Taylor-Johnson and another soldier laying down on a bridge while a MUTO passed above, then under them and the sound effects that were used had me in goosebumps.

  20. Bryce Forestieri

    “But his character wasn’t written as anything other than a vessel. The amount of dialogue he has is relatively small. Cranston was totally believable, I really, truly bought into his character and motives.”

    Yes. He was a soldier and he was very fine in the role in the physically/look and sense of mission, but other that that he is and dare I say designed to be almost passive, as are all the others, I don’t think anyone was supposed to traditionally “carry” the film. If anyone was going to be the protagonist it was going to be Cranston because with almost no info avail he seemed to have figured most everything out, because he had quite a few of the “answers”, and because he played the hell out of it with righteous anger, but he died. Aaron Johnson is a good actor and plays what he’s told, it’s a directors’ medium — just wait and see how charming/dazzling and Whedon-ianly witty he is in AVENGERS 2.

  21. Bryce Forestieri

    Kane, the Vfx were nothing revolutionary or near-perfection, but they were highly effective and that’s what I value the most. For instance, the Vfx in OBVLIVION were impeccable, but they meant nothing to me as I really didn’t care for the story, characters, and concepts behind the images; I can cite what videogame those compositions were airlifted from. That’s pretty much how I go about these things; same for let’s say, the cinematography in a fiasco like IN TIME, you could very well praise it, but why?

  22. phantom

    Agreed, Binoche’s scenes were the highlight for me, too.

  23. ‘I wish to hell there were more great movies that featured rich roles for women. But that doesn’t make me disqualify every movie that doesn’t provide those roles.’

    ‘I think the roles played by women were smaller ones by design and they were really well executed; they were not meant to be 3-dimensional characters studies, Binoche, Olsen and Hawkins bring with them a baggage of gravitas that helps you feel for them in their moment of affliction even if you didn’t know what conditioner they preferred.’

    They didn’t need to be smaller by design. The film would have made just as much sense and been of equal dramatic strength were Juliette Binoche cast in Bryan Cranston’s role and vice versa, Elizabeth Olsen in Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s role and vice versa, and Sally Hawkins in Ken Watanabe’s role and vice versa. I too have a huge amount of love and respect for films with few female roles in them, but it’s perfectly excusable in There Will Be Blood, due to the content of the narrative. In Godzilla, it’s not. Sally Hawkins gets to stand behind Ken Watanabe for an entire film save a few scenes where she’s shoved forward into the spotlight to grow increasingly hysterical. Elizabeth Olsen gets to be a caring mother and a devoted wife, while her husband saves the world. Consider also: why was their child a boy? Why was David Strathairn’s character male? Why was the Japanese kid on the train a boy? Why was Godzilla referred to as male throughout, without any discussion of how knowledge his gender had been ascertained? And you had better be kidding about conditioner plz Bryce.

  24. Bryce Forestieri

    I just skimmed though the Twitter, and, to put it kindly, there seems to be a lot of indifference for Aaron Taylor Johnson as the “lead”… and I mean…that’s valid, I guess? If you didn’t like his face of wonderment you didn’t like his face of wonderment. It’s beyond me.

  25. ‘just wait and see how charming/dazzling and Whedon-ianly witty he is in AVENGERS 2.’

    Aaron Taylor-Johnson is a passable dramatic actor for me, but a marvellous comedic one. I thought he was brilliant in the first Kick-Ass movie.

  26. Bryce Forestieri

    Paddy, I wholeheartedly agree. Movie would have been just as good if not better were all those roles reversed. Hey, I’m on the right side here. Just judging it for what it was.

  27. Bryce Forestieri

    “I thought he was brilliant in the first Kick-Ass movie.”

    +1000

    Regardless of what you though of the films overall, You didn’t think much of him in ANNA KARENINA, SAVAGES, or NOWHERE BOY?

  28. Paddy, the biggest female in Godzilla was the mama MUTO. Just had to get that in there :P

    Bryce, maybe before Pacific Rim the effects would be praised a bit more. The one thing I will say was flawless regarding the effects was Godzilla swimming through the water, the waves he produced and the splashing of the water…I thought it was good. But again, the sound is the shit.

  29. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Bryan Cranston’s incredible essential central presence in the film was made all the more horrifically sad by his sudden absence. He made an impact and then left a hollow place that haunted me in a way not unlike the aching void left in the plot when Janet Leigh was abruptly eliminated from Psycho. Without such callous disregard for the lives of humans we are made to care about then there is nothing at stake in a disaster movie. If nobody misses Binoche or Cranston then the movie has failed to impart any sense of jeopardy or consequence — but because we do hate to see them reduced to “cameos” in Godzilla’s story, it’s a fantastic tribute to the performances they give — and a stark reminder that this movie was never meant to be their story. It’s not the story of any human heroes at all.

  30. Bryce Forestieri

    Couldn’t have said it better myself, Ryan. Really couldn’t; and people would be wise to keep in mind your list of things GODZILLA isn’t (and isn’t trying to be) — they’re all sounding like Spielberg amateurs, and I will not link to Armond White.

  31. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    If any of the strong male roles in Godzilla (or any of 1000 great films in the past 50 years) had been given to women instead then I would absolutely award extra points of admiration to any movie anytime that happens. But I am almost never inclined to *deduct* points when that does not happen. Neither in movies or in real life. I just never find myself thinking, “Sure, Einstein and Freud are awesome but I think less of their contributions to our culture because they have dicks. If only Mozart didn’t have a dick I would like his symphonies so much better. Why couldn’t Spielberg have made a series of movies about Miss Indiana Jones? Deduct points for all the swinging dicks in 2001: A Space Odyssey? Does anybody complain about the lack of roles for women in Lawrence of Arabia or Seven Samurai? No.

  32. “If nobody misses Binoche or Cranston then the movie has failed to impart any sense of jeopardy or consequence…”

    Ryan, ever the wordsmith. Some people wanted more action, more fighting and less people doing people things. If that’s the case, then the world is just a playground and it becomes more like the old Godzilla movies, which are fun in a campy sort of way. But that’s not the story Edwards wanted to tell. Also, completely agree with you about men/women in film.

  33. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    David Strathairn’s Admiral Stenz looks at Watanabe’s Dr. Serizawa in frustration at one point and asks him directly: “What are you suggesting? That we just step aside and watch the creatures go at it?!”

    The movie explains its focus and intentions right there.

  34. ‘Sure, Einstein and Freud are awesome but I think less of their contributions to our culture because they have dicks.’

    Nonsense. They could hardly help it. Some of the major creative team behind Godzilla could easily have switched around the genders of any of their major roles. Not even just some of them, any of them.

    “What are you suggesting? That we just step aside and watch the creatures go at it?!”

    I disagree that this was the intention of Gareth Edwards. Note how little we actually see of the fights between the monsters. Nothing at all on Hawaii. Once the action begins in San Francisco, the film cuts away for a lengthy period. Even when we do see some of their fight, it’s consistently of secondary interest, whether that is to the immediate concerns facing the human characters, or to Edwards’ visual spectacle. That’s where his intentions were focused – spectacle. Production design and visual effects. And I admire him for being so committed to making a blockbuster that’s more about its inanimate objects, its visual design, than it is about any of its living creatures. That’s ballsy.

  35. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Some of the major creative team behind Godzilla could easily have switched around the genders of any of their major roles. Not even just some of them, any of them.

    None of the human characters in Godzilla had any special powers or extraordinary strengths or held any superior dominion over the outcome of events. I hardly see how it would help The Campaign for Stronger Women in Summer Movies if Admiral Stenz was a female Admiral standing around powerless to do anything.

    Sally Hawkins should thank her lucky stars that she wasn’t saddled with the chore of saying “Where’s Godzilla now?” David Strathairn must have drawn the short straw to get stuck with that line.

    I’m a little bit sick of hearing how it’s not important enough for a woman to be a mother and a doctor in a movie. I don’t need to see a bunch of girls shooting pellet guns at a ginormous monster to know that the women on this planet are important.

    I refuse to be guilted into using a stopwatch to see how often women are onscreen before I decide if a movie is diverse enough to entertain me.

    The two major female characters in Godzilla provided a huge amount of heart and soul. I’m so bored with hearing that it’s an insult to be somebody’s mother in a movie.

    Why wasn’t anybody crying about the lack of female soldiers in The Hurt Locker?

  36. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    I’m just catching up to your question about World War Z. If I recall, the thing that stuck out as odd to me in World War Z was that there was one memorable woman who was a person of color and she was featured in close-up as the #1 scariest zombie maniac. Like, as if to say: what’s worse than a zombie? A ghetto zombie with PMS!

    That’s what bugged me about World War Z. Not the fact that it didn’t star Sandra Bullock.

  37. Ryan, didn’t you know? The fight for women in cinema is a very selective thing. When The Hurt Locker released it was about the fight for a woman to win the best directing Oscar. Once Bigelow won, it became “The Academy almost gave it to Cameron, a MAN who probably dumped the shit out of Bigelow.” Since The Hurt Locker was directed by a woman it’s immune. But wait, Jane’s Got a Gun is centered on a female…but as soon as a man was named to replace Ramsay it became a whirlwind of bullshit. Forget that a woman is front and center IN FRONT of the camera, it’s not enough apparently.

    I’m sick of being guilted too but that’s the world we live in. I don’t care if the main character was male or female but I’ll say this, we’re much better off having a movie with great actors like Juliette Binoche, Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Olsen, thank you Gareth Edwards for bringing them onto the screen. Even Aaron Taylor-Johnson, he’s not a Tom Cruise or a Channing Tatum, he’s not even a man’s man. He’s still coming into his own as a leading man so I’m grateful these actors are given such an opportunity to show what they have, gender or not.

  38. Bryce Forestieri

    Those “cuts” were cold and calculated to advance the plot with a pretty decent pace — just recall what the following scenes were. The movies. The Hawaii battle couldn’t last more than a couple of minutes (in movie time) because there was no offspring making the Muto stick around, so instead of that Evans continues to build toward that final focus the military guy talks about; that line would not suggest such a crazy prospect should the movie shot its wad already in Honolulu — and the cut is to that most funny/cute moment of levity, “dinosaurs!”

    The final showdown pays off because we’re not wore down by ‘Godzilla vs Mutos actions and because itself is not overlong. Film’s 120 min and it shouldn’t be a second longer. I’m not sure what you mean about it being about inanimate objects. What I think you mean is moments like that glorious parachute sequence, probably the most artfully choreographed and composed set piece in ages (in “blockbusters”), glad he showed that while the monsters were already at it, and instead of it, even it’s part of the dull humans’ plot.

    I don’t see at all a clash of sensibilities between the directors’ vision and a Pixar-like ‘Committee to Oversee The Final Product”

  39. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    and the cut is to that most funny/cute moment of levity, “dinosaurs!”

    Another respectful homage to the master of moments of innocence in awe.

  40. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    I will absolutely sing the praises of women-centric movies whenever good ones get made. I love and respect and support those movies wholeheartedly. But I just get exhausted trying to be mad about all the great movies that weren’t correctly retro-fitted with enough roles for female astronauts and female sailors and females with guns.

    There could be a multitude of interesting casting variations in a multitude of movies — but if I had to cook up some way to make Godzilla more female-friendly, replacing Ken Watanabe with Rinko Kikuchi would be far down the list of things that would ever occur to me as an improvement.

  41. Bryce Forestieri

    Yup :)

    Foggy school bus window…

  42. ‘I refuse to be guilted into using a stopwatch to see how often women are onscreen before I decide if a movie is diverse enough to entertain me.’

    Good, because nobody’s trying to guilt you. And nobody’s saying a movie can’t be entertaining and non-diverse.

    ‘I’m so bored with hearing that it’s an insult to be somebody’s mother in a movie.’

    It’s not so much insulting as it’s just a cliche.

    ‘Why wasn’t anybody crying about the lack of female soldiers in The Hurt Locker?’

    Maybe for fear of being criticised for guilting people over not noticing the lack of diversity in the film.

    ‘I’m not sure what you mean about it being about inanimate objects.’

    This was actually my favourite aspect of the film. Gareth Edwards put so much of his energy into the film’s visual designs. Often, character development and action was sacrificed in order to lavish focus on the production design or the special effects. Where I noted a conflict between Edwards and the producers was in the hasty editing. Maybe I’m seeing something that isn’t there, but I felt that there was a hurriedness to the film, to skim over Edwards’ carefully-constructed images so as to get to the monster-mashing asap.

    Ryan, I seem to recall you also took issue with the fact that the few female characters in World War Z were portrayed as helpless and reliant on the men in the story. For example, when Brad Pitt’s character pauses to tell the little kid he’s just met to look after his wife and daughters before he leaves for Korea, or when Mireille Enos can’t get the van started no matter how hard she tries, nor can she calm her asthmatic daughter down, but he’s capable of achieving both with ease.

  43. ‘I will absolutely sing the praises of women-centric movies whenever good ones get made.’

    I guess I’d just fucking love it, Ryan, if you weren’t just to sing the praises of those movies, but of the concept of making more of them. And if Godzilla’s entire cast was female, wouldn’t it be a significantly more woman-centric? To think how much the cinematic landscape could be improved just by recasting men with women. That is, indeed, as simple as it gets.

    I have a very limited online audience as a writer, but I do my best (and in all earnestness) to promote equality and diversity in film. I’ve seen several films from respected directors in the last few weeks which were atrociously sexist, and I’m sick to shit of the disrespect served to the entire female sex in films today.

  44. I’m with you Paddy. Someone has to say something. As long as we just shrug our shoulders it gets us nowhere. Sometimes people can’t separate criticisms for the lack of meaningful female roles that truly represent women with criticism of the film.

    I LOVED this movie, but your criticisms are valid and definitely deserve an ear. It’s time we look at all films this way and start asking the same question. Women are 50% of the population but still relegated mostly to the sidelines both in front of and behind the camera in films. And surely we are all suffering for it.

    Doesn’t mean we can’t love films unnecessarily marginalize women. If you really love cinema, it’s kind of your duty to ask these questions b/c we only get better films when the breadth of humanity is explored and represented.

  45. This is just a test, carry on screaming in fear of the fire breathing monster. :-)

  46. Cool! Ha ha, it worked. Test over. :-)

    Carry on. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7yCLn-O-Y0

  47. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Mel and Paddy, allow me to introduce myself. I’m the guy you two used to like because I have ALWAYS championed women in film. ALWAYS.

    I don’t do it as much as Sasha does because too much redundancy on one site all the time might come across as unnecessary overkill, and it would risk looking like I’m trying to ride the coattails of territory Sasha has very effectively staked out for over a decade, and I truly do I think if I wrote post after post letting my gay-feminist freak-flag wave, it might actually be annoying and counterproductive.

    But hey, let me ask you. Do you two think me and my wee voice grousing every time a movie comes out that doesn’t have rich diverse roles for women will help convince the heads of studios to do what they do any differently?

    Quite a task you set for me: expecting that I can wield influence with my powers of persuasion over billionaire strangers — especially when I seem to be helplessly unable to hold any sway whatsoever over two of my closest online pals, as you both are.

    Paddy, you know you’re welcome to come here anytime day or night and forever suggest that every movie all year long could have been cast with half women and half men — or 100% women if you like. I won’t argue with you anymore.

    In fact, if you want to force me to consider that Godzilla herself has a gargantuan prehistoric radioactive vagina, I’ll fucking accept the possibility if it makes you happy.

    It would be easy enough for me to chime in and say that I wish Godzilla had an all-girl cast, because wow wouldn’t that be something — Godzilla on a planet populated entirely by women.

    I could pretend to think that I’d like Godzilla better if all the soldiers and sailors were girls and all the people standing on the sidelines cheering for the army of women were sweet supportive boys waiting for their brave girlfriends to return home to families consisting only of daughters and never any sons.

    I could say I’d like Godzilla better if Juliette Binoche had stuck around to shoot a rocket-propelled grenade at the Muto. But I’d be lying. I’d be lying. You want me to lie?

    Fact is: I do not think Godzilla would be improved if only Sally Hawkins had been allowed to explain where radioactive dinosaurs come from. Shut up, Ken! You dick. Let Sally tell it!

    No. I Like This Movie Just Fine Just The Way It Is.

    And a good damn thing too. Because no amount of me complaining about it now would ever force the studio to burn all the prints and reshoot Godzilla to suit me. I’d be fucking wasting my time to worry about things that have already been done, things I have no control over, things that turned out pretty great (to my eyes) in spite of Godzilla (most likely) being a radioactive lizard BOY.

    So again, please do feel free to refuse to enjoy any movie than doesn’t have enough females for you. I’ll be over here appreciating ALL the movies I love even without counting how many lines of wacky dialogue in a monster movie women get to speak.

    I’ll be over here praising ALL the movies I like, no matter what the relative percentage of men to women they employ.

    But trust me, I’ll always sincerely reserve special praise for all the movies that offer rich wonderful fascinating roles for women. As I have always fucking done.

    But I do that because nothing else I do or say is going to change Hollywood or society. I choose to use another tactic: positive reinforcement.

    I’m not trying to believe I can make Hollywood do what I want — but instead I’m simply always being very vocally grateful and showing my deep appreciation whenever the film industry does things I like.

    (and by the way I try to never even go see chauvinist movies. KI don’t know what these chauvinist movies are that you’ve been seeing, because I don’t support movies like that by going to see them. So maybe you might rethink whether it’s useful for you to keep spending your money buying tickets to chauvinist movies. No good can come of that. You just get mad and the studio gets your money anyway.)

    But please forgive me if I don’t suffer from any delusions that I can change Hollywood and American society by sulking about things that rub me the wrong way, or writing about how mad I am that Anne Hathaway isn’t the #1 lead daredevil of every shitty Tom Cruise movie.

  48. ‘So again, please do feel free to refuse to enjoy any movie than doesn’t have enough females for you.’

    That’s just nonsense. i’ve hugely enjoyed a great many films with very few women in them. The Thin Red Line, for example. That’s a masterpiece, and there’s hardly a vagina in sight. And Terrence Malick has proven himself to be so far from sexist in his other works.

    ‘It would be easy enough for me to chime in and say that I wish Godzilla had an all-girl cast, because wow wouldn’t that be something — Godzilla on a planet populated entirely by women.’

    A film comes along with an all-male cast and no-one makes snarky comments about it being set on a planet populated entirely by men.

    ‘I don’t know what these chauvinist movies are that you’ve been seeing, because I don’t support movies like that by going to see them. So maybe you might rethink whether it’s useful for you to keep spending your money buying tickets to chauvinist movies. No good can come of that. You just get mad and the studio gets your money anyway.’

    I had no idea that they’d be so misogynistic when I chose to watch them. Philippe Claudel’s Before the Winter Chill, Cedric Klapisch’s Chinese Puzzle, Onur Unlu’s Thou Gild’st the Even, Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem, Giuseppe Tornatore’s The Best Offer – all repulsively sexist films from acclaimed filmmakers (some of the films, themselves, broadly acclaimed), and who would have known how derogatory their portrayal of women would be?

  49. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    That’s just nonsense. i’ve hugely enjoyed a great many films with very few women in them.

    That’s probably my point, Paddy.
    You accept and admire some movies, no matter how many women are onscreen
    You reject and disdain other movies, no matter how many women are onscreen.

    Let’s not pretend that you might’ve liked Godzilla if Sally Hawkins had a few more lines.

  50. I loved Godzilla but I do wish Sally had more lines…for the same reason I wish Ken had more lines. I wanted their characters to have more meaning. Everybody but Cranston (I’ll exclude Binoche because her death propelled Cranston’s performance forward) could’ve been developed more. At the same time it’s a MONSTER MOVIE. Sally’s career is doing great, fresh off an Oscar nod. If we’re talking sidelines, let’s be real. Every character save for Cranston was on the sideline, literally and metaphorically, while the mayhem ensued. That includes Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

  51. Bryce Forestieri

    Yeah, if you’re incapable of having a good time at these movies, I don’t think the presence of women will improve your situation. Just come at it from the right angle: These movies are garbage because so and so, even the ones they try to tell us are good because so and so, and everyone seeing them is dumb.

    “That’s just nonsense. i’ve hugely enjoyed a great many films with very few women in them. The Thin Red Line, for example. That’s a masterpiece [You mean unlike GODZILLA, jeez], and there’s hardly a vagina in sight. And Terrence Malick has proven himself to be so far from sexist in his other works.

    So if Evans next film features a strong female co-lead, no wait, if he makes a new adaptation of LITTLE WOMEN you will see GODZILLA in a new light, now coming from a confirmed non-sexist?

    But hey, would they really be satisfied if Taylor Johnson and Olsen’s roles were reversed? Wouldn’t then the complaints be “Oh sure, they feature a female a lot but they make her Mrs. coincidence soldier who always manages to be where the action is and has only dumb lines, and only she only gets to be around because she’s supposed to do something with a bomb and not really because she’s “strong” and in control of her destiny? Really? Would they really like EMPIRE STRIKES BACK more if Luke were Lucy with all the same stupid lines about The Force? Somehow doubt it, but I’m just re-stating the point Ryan already made.

    Hey now I think about it, I also think THE MASTER would have been awesome if Amy Adams had been ‘The Master’ and Phillip Seymour Hoffman just the husband yet with the more than-decent characterization PTA gives the wife. Oh but it was the 50’s it would not have been realistic…so he gets pass, and if you argue and think about it enough, probably every original film with an original script at Cannes or Venice deserves a pass because “That’s a masterpiece”

  52. ‘Let’s not pretend that you might’ve liked Godzilla if Sally Hawkins had a few more lines.’

    No, I probably would have liked it more. That’s the difference. I still wouldn’t have liked it that much.

    ‘So if Evans next film features a strong female co-lead, no wait, if he makes a new adaptation of LITTLE WOMEN you will see GODZILLA in a new light, now coming from a confirmed non-sexist?’

    My point about Terrence Malick wasn’t that The Thin Red Line is only good in the context of his career. I made two points: that The Thin Red Line is a great movie, and that Terrence Malick’s filmography has been sufficiently female-focused that I’m not concerned by the lack of women in that film. I don’t care what Gareth Edwards makes next; in fact, I expect – based on the two films he’s made to date – that he is indeed not sexist at all. I believe it’s a script issue, and a casting issue, and an issue higher up in Warner Bros. Let’s not forget that this is the same studio which wanted to cast a man in the lead role of Gravity – their only 2013 release to feature a woman in the main role in 18 movies.

    ‘But hey, would they really be satisfied if Taylor Johnson and Olsen’s roles were reversed? Wouldn’t then the complaints be “Oh sure, they feature a female a lot but they make her Mrs. coincidence soldier who always manages to be where the action is and has only dumb lines, and only she only gets to be around because she’s supposed to do something with a bomb and not really because she’s “strong” and in control of her destiny?’

    Those complaints do exist, only it’s Mr. coincidence soldier, not Mrs. It’d be refreshing had their roles been reversed though. Look to Sigourney Weaver in Alien as an example, and how famous that casting decision has become over the years, and rightly so.

    ‘if you argue and think about it enough, probably every original film with an original script at Cannes or Venice deserves a pass because “That’s a masterpiece”’

    Not for me. Films don’t get passes just because they’re good in other regards.

  53. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    I think it’s wrong to think that every movie that earns $800 million is earning that same $800 million from the same 100 million people. It’s pointless to compare the two. Gravity drew a different crowd than Godzilla.

    There’s overlap in the Venn diagram, to be sure. But my mother wanted to see Gravity. My mother wouldn’t want to see Godzilla under any circumstances, not even if Meryl Streep was playing Margaret Godzilla. I’m real sorry to have to explain that different kinds of movies are made for different kinds people and sorry(not sorry) that not every movie is everybody’s cup of tea.

    But I’m so tired of hearing that some types of movies should cease to exist or else movies need to alter their elements in order to try to satisfy every viewer sensibility, viewers who admit that they will never like some types of movies no matter how many concessions are made.

    Seems to me there must be about 5000 better ways to empower women in movies than the idea that’s on the table here: Give Sally Hawkins more lines about Godzilla and make Elizabeth Olsen an explosives expert! I don’t see how that makes Godzilla a better movie than it already is. All I care about is this: How to improve the movie. (Here’s my idea: Cast somebody else besides Sally Hawkins altogether because she sort of annoys me in every movie she’s in.)

    ugh. hey, here’s one alternative: How about put Sally Hawkins and Elizabeth Olsen and Juliette Binoche in a movie that gives them all something smarter to do than fighting giant lizards.

    why the fuck do we need great actresses chasing lizards? Want a movie where smart complex well-rounded women team up against a sympathetic monster, a sympathetic monster with vagina? That’s August: Osage County, isn’t it? Go watch that again. Make more and more movies like that, by all means. Please do.

    In short: Make more movies like August: Osage Country instead of trying reshape Godzilla into Godzilla: Osage County.

  54. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    basically, too, one thing that really bores me is prescriptive movie criticism. “The movie would’ve been better if it had been this other thing I wanted instead of being the thing that it is.”

    shut up, Dr. Moviefixer.

    “I don’t much care for the colors in that painting. What’s with Picasso and all the blue. Less blue next time, Picasso. I fucking hate blue. Failure. I give it one and a half stars.” — some total asshole at the Museum of Modern Art

  55. Mattoc

    I saw this yesterday, and in 2D if that matters. The movie bored me, which is the worst thing a movie can do. No stars.

  56. Bryce Forestieri

    Speaking of Venn diagrams, I’m finding that just as many genre/fanboy bloggers as mainstream film critics can’t get over a series of *major* quibbles they had with the film. Call it Aaron Johnsons’ insufferable lack of talent, not enough Godzilla, not enough character attention, not enough women roles. After having done a quick survey of most reviews I tend to read for any movie, I’m finding that fanboys who’d feel comfortable regarding an Antonioni frame and high-end cinephiles who’d, in turn, admit enjoying both versions of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS are the types better equipped to thoroughly enjoy GODZILLA, flaws and all — because I, too, have a few quibbles with the movie, but they are so minor compared to the jolly good time I had seeing it that going over the SAME complaint for days -as some are doing- is beyond me.

    …but I love this discussion

  57. Bryce Forestieri

    …and the JERSEY BOYS head butting is imminent.

  58. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Match the giant lizardlover to the quote

    (May 15)
    here’s something I think Godzilla could be:
    Maybe the best monster movie of the past 20 years.

    (May 17)
    “Godzilla” is the best action movie since “Jaws”

    Andrew O’Hehir?
    or Ryan Adams?

  59. Robert A.

    “Godzilla is the best action movie since Jaws”–Andrew O’Hehir.

    “Here’s something I think Godzilla could be: Maybe the best monster movie of the past 20 years.”–Ryan Adams.

    “Not even the best monster movie of 2014.”–Mattoc.

    “I haven’t seen Godzilla yet, so I have no opinion.”–Robert A.

  60. Mattoc

    Here is my review. contains Spoilers
    Godzilla keeps falling asleep and everyone thinks he’s dead. He’s like a whippet…really, really lazy. Or he might have a medical condition? There was some cool shit in it though. Like when the “hero” rides a helicopter from Japan to San Francisco. I didn’t know they flew that far. They normally just hover over my house. Also, when I say Hero, I mean the protagonist not the sandwich – although a sandwich would have made more sense.

  61. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    There was some cool shit in it though. Like when the “hero” rides a helicopter from Japan to San Francisco. I didn’t know they flew that far.

    Since we know from past happy acquaintance that this reviewer is not dumb, we have to assume that he just wants to play dumb for comic effect.

    Here’s the thing about the helicopters in Godzilla. In the trip from Japan to Honolulu to San Francisco, helicopters were the mode of transportation for maybe a grand total of 100 miles. None of the helicopters flew more than a few miles before they landed on aircraft carriers, refueled and then took off again. It’s hard to miss the presence of those enormous aircraft carriers and paratrooper/cargo planes. Unless the reviewer fell asleep, or maybe he’s lazy, or maybe the reviewer has a medical condition.

    But I suspect it’s just the reviewer playing around, trying to make Godzilla sound dumb by deliberating misleading us about what really happened in the movie.

    I suspect it’s more fun for the reviewer to play dumb than for the movie to play dumb, but I guarantee you than I’m not going to play along and play dumb and let this dumb remark stand without challenge.

  62. Mattoc,

    Are you one to be trusted, or do like to fool around, and try to mess shit up?

    Either way, I don’t have a problem, I’m just curious. I like learning about the other frequent commentors, so that way I can tailor my comments to them.

  63. “I saw this yesterday, and in 2D if that matters. The movie bored me, which is the worst thing a movie can do. No stars.”

    Oh yeah, I forgot you wrote that. Still though….

    I’m looking forward to seeing it Tuesday night. I just hope, I, or my roommate doesn’t flake out and we don’t go. Sadly, this has happened before.

  64. Mattoc

    Hi Al,
    You shouldn’t be reading this thread if you haven’t seen it. I work with an 83 yo man and he loved it (I’m a stripper btw) and most other peeps and the vast majority of critics liked it, some quite a bit. I’m in the minority. I really did hate it. And I hope you love it, because I don’t wish you hate it to.
    To answer your question Al, none of the above…

  65. Bryce Forestieri

    Mattoc is a lot of fun in this site and his only problem is he doesn’t comment nearly enough, but yeah, I did take it he was just fucking around — you just have to be quick and about. I remember, Al, you misunderstanding his joke about SE7EN or something.

  66. Mattoc, don’t worry, I’ve only read the non-spoiler comments so far. But I appreciate the sentiment.

    You’re both right, Mattoc, Bryce, I do have trouble sometimes understanding the intent of some comments. I mean no harm of course. I enjoy every kind of comment, whether they are complimentary or the opposite.

    Bryce, I think it probbably a Fight Club joke, because I remember Mattoc saying something about “I am jack’s dissapointment”.

    :-)

  67. Bryce Forestieri

    I remember now.

    In other news, Beauchamp goes a little over the edge -as always- with some of his views, but nevertheless, this is one of the best takes I’ve read on this new GODZILLA’s sharp allegorical/metaphorical edges -and as with David Ignatius and GRAVITY last year- comes from a non-movie person.

    http://www.vox.com/2014/5/19/5730782/godzilla-realism-nukes-offense-defense

  68. Mattoc

    Al, I’m not sure you are capable of inflicting harm, verbal or otherwise…
    I don’t mean that as a negative, just saying that you are one of the least offensive and most positive commentators here. Much less offensive than ATJs performance.

    Ryan, I am actually that dumb. I did think they flew from Hawaii (not Japan) to SF. I did see the aircraft carriers and I do remember someone from Hot Shots paying for gas with a credit card. So you’re right, Maverick and Iceman could live happily together on this vessel.

    Bryce. I had a screaming baby girl recently which has kept me busy. That and this site seems to kick me off the browser when I use a mobile device. This thread is stable so all my comments will be here from now on.

  69. Mattoc,

    “Al, I’m not sure you are capable of inflicting harm, verbal or otherwise…
    I don’t mean that as a negative, just saying that you are one of the least offensive and most positive commentators here. Much less offensive than ATJs performance.”

    Thanks for the compliment. I always try to see the bright side, because if I just don’t like something, then I no longer even care, and therefore don’t feel like discussing it.
    Unless it’s really really bad. (In my opinion of course), such as Precious and The Tree of Life.

  70. Mattoc, by the way, if I get confused by something you say again, and it’s something I feel like engaging you in, should I just ask for clarification first?

  71. Mattoc

    Yes. Sure.

  72. Okay, I will do that. Thanks again Mattoc.

    BTW, strippers are awesome! :-)

  73. Meredith Leigh

    I’m late to this party but hope to get to participate on my favorite movie website again now that I am out of the corporate world once again and can stay up late while the loved ones sleep. Anyway, we took our boys to the film Friday night, even made homemade Godzilla shirts because we’re dorks, and the excitement for them reminded me of seeing Return of the Jedi when I was the same age as my oldest (12). I’ve lived through many a Godzilla film from my childhood, and have enjoyed watching my boys grow up watching the old films and giving the 1998 film the nickname “Godzilla with the babies” They must’ve watched that one and Godzilla vs. Gigan a bazillion million times. Even having me find Godzilla music to put on their iPods. I give you this background (not that anybody is reading this but I’m in paradise right now so I don’t care too too much) because we’ve been anticipating this film since it was first mentioned being made. So the night came, we watched with glee, and none of us were disappointed. Actually – we were delighted. (My dear daughter is only 5 and couldn’t make it. But she requested we make her a Mothra shirt, which we did since she couldn’t go) Anyway, it was the most memorable movie experience I’ve had in years. There was a good deal of crowd excitement – major applause , especially when Godzilla’s atomic breath scorched the Mutos. And I must admit, as much as I was hoping to get a glimpse of one of the classic Godzilla baddies, I actually like that Gareth chose to go with new monster villains. They were magnificent to look at. And someone on here mentioned the fabulous sound. YES! The sound in this film is beyond impressive. (Which makes me think of the sound I heard come out of the very sexy Aaron Taylor Johnson’s mouth when I saw an interview with him on youtube. It was high pitched David Beckham-ish which is a boner killer – sorry for my immaturity but dude needs to swallow a bassoon during his next interview). Okay – I’m done yapping. Thanks for this thread. Godzilla is still King of the monsters!

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