godzilla-spoilers-plot-details-revealed-world-premiere-review

Godzilla Shines Amid Wasteland of Tent Poles

It’s a miracle when a good movie rises from the ashes and from the Twitter buzz so far it looks that Godzilla is poised to do just that. Despite a pan from TIME mag’s Richard Corliss, and a few lackluster reviews, the monster pic has charmed almost everyone else, especially the key demographic that helps to spread the word, so much so that you could be looking at one of your top five earners for the year, very likely. Good word of mouth at the outset can make the difference between a regular old blockbuster and a worldwide phenomenon. I’m going to guess that Godzilla is known the world over, which ensures those coveted international dollars and that, with the hype that’s been building here, it will do enough business to launch it into the Oscar race, at least in the tech categories.

Of course, where there used to be a handful of these kinds of effects-driven films, now they dominate the market, along with family movies. Sooner or later, as we keep saying, the Academy is going to have to address this. Godzilla is the perfect kind of film to be considered for a category that might be called Best Effects Driven Motion Picture. This seems to me the way the Academy can evolve towards film’s inevitable future. Just a thought.

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49 Comments

  1. Bryce Forestieri
    May 12, 2014

    Oy what a stinker from Ol’ Corliss. I’m avoiding all reviews so I have no idea what he said. What I’m hearing though is the few people who hated/though it was just meh are strangely compelled to rig their ‘reviews’ with spoilers. *shrugs* I’ll be wise and wait ’til I see it before getting into arguments about it…but it looks like my cup of tea, like Mrs. Miller’s, strong tea.

  2. Bryce Forestieri
    May 12, 2014

    And at the if end of the year we end up with a damn good WINTER SOLDIER, what we’re already hearing about GODZILLA and mighty promising JUPITER ASCENDING, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, THE MAZE RUNNER, INTERSTELLAR…we could end up with one of the strongest “blockbuster” years in the last decade. I mean, under Lawrence (ugh yeah I said it), I have really high hopes for MOCKINGJAY. I’m fairly optimist they’ll find a way to make two decent movies out of such thin material.

    GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, anyone?

  3. murtaza
    May 12, 2014

    I don’t think Academy should introduce a new category for effects driven films, instead it should grow up and be more open towards honoring the effects driven films the big prizes IF they’re really good.
    I hate it when categories are broken down to many classifications so that everyone can have an OSCAR of his own. Like best comedy film, actor and actress in comedy film and blah blah…

  4. Bryce Forestieri
    May 12, 2014

    “[Academy] should grow up and be more open towards honoring the effects driven films the big prizes IF they’re really good.”

    My position too.

    I also oppose ‘Best Cinematography with CG’ or whatever the fuck.

  5. JPNS Viewer
    May 12, 2014

    “I’m going to guess that Godzilla is known the world over, . . . . ”

    I’m glad to have spotted that kind of benevolent guesswork because it conveys a sense of international optimism in light of the level of public awareness of this semi-legendary Japanese film monster.

    However, in all honesty, I would venture that the level of public awareness worldwide no matter how high it may have been subjectively perceived, in the end, though understandably, may have never been up to par with some of the American counterparts.
    (Think X-Men et al. Those American [reading: global in a sense] characters have their own league — for better or worse.)

    I’m glad, though, that American production teams have laid eyes upon Japanese pop culture character, in this case, “Gojira”, once again.

    But for now, I’m hoping our beloved monster friend would be in hurry to find a good gym in L.A. (West Coast) or Manhattan, NY (East Coast), and do itself a favor by purchasing some how-to-lose-90,000 pounds-in-3-months package and getting jiggy with it in no time! (I mean, Hollywood will need its service in another remake next decade, given the current acceleration rate, from Godzilla 1998 to Godzilla 2014 . . . .)
    Just saying.

  6. May 12, 2014

    Here’s the disheartening thing about summer tent-poles. The middling average efforts easily earn just as much as the truly groundbreaking movies that reach for higher goals artistically. Beyond enjoying Winter Soldier, I really admire it. There was a great deal of intelligence and cinematic verve on display, with respect for the material and even more respect for audiences. Captain America has a metacritic score of 70 which is actually higher the metascore for 8-time Oscar nominee Inglourious Basterds.

    Yes, truly sub-par or mediocre movies like Transcendence that fumble and fail can be hurt by sneering twitter buzzkills. But movies like that also take a hit the same way any other movie of any genre do, the old-fashioned way that stinkers have always flopped throughout movie history: shitty word-of-mouth kills them like any weak thing falters, through natural selection.

    But look at The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Nobody on twitter was saying it was great, a must-see. They didn’t bash it either. It just didn’t have any discernible presence on social media at all. Major critics were meh as well. It has a perfectly average metascore of 53. And yet — and yet… The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has already become the 2nd highest grossing movie worldwide of 2014 — $550 million in only 2 weeks! Winter Soldier stands at $695 million. Amazing Spidey 2 will almost certainly match or overtake Winter Soldier at the box-office.

    That doesn’t bother me because I do not care how much money movies make. In fact, I’ll be clear, I’ve said over and over: I’m HAPPY when any movie makes money. What’s to be mad about? Who am I going to mad at? Why do I care? I might be a bit baffled but I’m not bothered.

    To be honest, I’m not even baffled. To use the old standard saw, comparing tentpoles to fastfood, nobody should be baffled that people eat a shit ton of McDonald’s french fries either. People who pay billions of dollars for that kind of food and that kind of movie populate the planet in abundance. MOST PEOPLE ENJOY JUNK.

    Vastly fewer numbers of people have sophisticated refined taste — but, lo and behold, even people who possess sophisticated and refined taste can ALSO enjoy junk. Therefore nearly EVERYBODY enjoys junk now and then. Junk is hugely popular because some of it is quite fun and tasty. So? What’s wrong with that? How does that hurt me?

    These magical movers and shakers on twitter who supposedly hold sway over ticket-buyers didn’t rave about The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Not in the least. But it’s still going to easily earn $700 million. It’s still going earn Gravity money. And it only has a critics score of 53.

    I tried to say some of this on the podcast we recorded last night, but as usual when I’m speaking off the cuff I didn’t express my observations very clearly. I said some cliche thing about how most tentpoles are bullet-proof to critics and twitter buzz.

    Those of us who are on twitter have a tendency to think EVERYBODY is on twitter, or at least everybody who matters. But I know for a fact that some of our most active readers on the site, some of our smartest and most interesting voices on the discussion pages here ARE NOT on twitter. So you guys are not influenced by the noise on twitter, right? Of course not.

    I think surely that the vast majority of people who buy tickets to billion-dollar tentpoles never heard of Devin Fucking Faraci. I mean seriously, I doubt if 1% of the worldwide movie audience would know Faraci from a Yeti. I mean it.

    Honestly. Let’s not kid ourselves. SMART MARKETING and BRANDING sell these movies. Not bloggers on twitter.

    I hope Godzilla is fun and I think it will be. But it does not to me (at this point) look to be any sort of summer movie masterpiece. It just looks very encouragingly above average.

    So naturally that’s all it takes to earn a billion dollars: Just Don’t Totally Suck and your $500 million-in-2-weeks is pretty much guaranteed.

  7. Bryce Forestieri
    May 12, 2014

    Ryan,

    On the whole I agree with some nuances. I mean we’re not twins, right?

    While I’m not on twitter I frequently survey it via ‘search’, but most importantly I do visit most film blogs/critics worth two minutes of my time which surprisingly happen to be quite a few.

    Of course there is a distinction to be made between national/mainstream “major” critics, the metacritic type, and the hordes of fanboy/bloggers from “minor” outlets. There was a lot of contempt among the latter of AS2 which of course I attribute to there being more passion about the source material and their reviews were much more on point about the films’ shortcomings. At any rate your point stands that critics/twitter or whatever don’t influence box office and if they do it’s only marginally. But American audiences aren’t at as much fault — domestic box office for the Spiderman franchise has been steadily declining with each new installment Webber’s 2nd will make roughly half of what Raimi’s 1st did around these parts. It’s the “international” audiences that keep the TRANSFORMERS/PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN afloat.

  8. Bryce Forestieri
    May 12, 2014

    But let’s keep our sight on what’s important and that’s the movies themselves. I can’t lose my mind thinking by how much will TRANSFORMERS 4 beat JUPITER ASCENDING worst of all if I like JUPITER half as much as I loved CLOUD ATLAS.

    Happens with prestige flair too. How is it that the awards/smart crowd that came through for MIDNIGHT IN PARIS bailed on THE MASTER. Perhaps these aren’t even the same groups.

    If you ask an average movie goer from Omaha, Nebraska or Beijing which out of THE AVENGERS or TRANFORMERS 3 they liked between you will get about 50/50, or even worse plenty of “about the same”.

  9. Bryce Forestieri
    May 12, 2014

    Also this isn’t much in reponse to your post Ryan.

    I haven’t seen GODZILLA so I cant speak specifically but wether GODZILLA is just above average, a masterpiece, or at least a future genre classic. I wouldn’t count on the Metacritic/Tomatoes’ Top Critics of the day to be the most reliable barometers. Historically, “major” critics have had basic difficulties assessing greatness in genre, at least from day one — just ask THE SEARCHERS or BLADE RUNNER.

  10. Al Robinson
    May 12, 2014

    Will someone smarter than me on this subject please explain to me what might be going on here??

    I just checked IMDb, and Godzilla has gotten over 4,000 votes so far, and it’s at 77.5 % of 10 out of 10.

    The movie can’t be THAT good, can it….???

  11. Bryce Forestieri
    May 12, 2014

    Let me give this a shot. GODZILLA hasn’t even been released to the general public yet — so whoever these 4000 people are, who have gone through whatever trouble it took them to have seen the movie by now, would qualify under one or several definitions of ‘fanboys’ (A LOT of die-hard Kaiju fans). ‘Fanboys’, who are the “demo” most likely to think Godzilla is the most amazing entity to grace the screens since, say The Avengers? Especially if the movie is as well-made as most ‘fanboy’ outlets are suggesting. Hence a “10/10″. The overall score will significantly go down as more non-Kaiju-enthusiasts get to see it. Just see what it is next Monday.

    Secondarily and on a more general note, I’d advise not to pay much attention to IMDB user ratings. I can go on about this, but I’m sure you’ve heard all the arguments against the “metric” by now, and I happen to subscribe to a great many of them.

  12. Al Robinson
    May 12, 2014

    Bryce,

    Thank you for the explination. That makes sense that those who’ve voted so far are, as you describe, “fanboys”. I’m sure the movie is good, but not 9.3 good.

    Yeah, I try to fall somewhere in the middle between giving credit to voting/rankings, and ignoring it. For instance, I love E.T., and I belive many many others do to, yet on IMDb, it only has a 7.9, which doesn’t even put it in the top 250. I’m no expert, but I know that E.T. is easily a top 100 film of all-time.

  13. Al Robinson
    May 12, 2014

    BTW, thanks Ryan for fixing my typo. :-) (I noticed that right away.)

  14. May 12, 2014

    Al, we have to ask ourselves who these 4000 people could possibly be. Since the movie hasn’t opened in theaters to the public yet then it’s 3 kinds of people.

    1(a). Insiders, “VIP” bloggers invited to preview screening.
    1(b). Insiders, studio people invited to preview screenings.
    2. Liars. People who haven’t even seen the movie yet but have already prematurely ejaculated on the basis of hype, trailers and clips.

    All three of these types are Godzilla “Early Adapters” — they’re the equivalent of iPhone junkies who stand in line for 30 hours on the day before iPhone 5s 2.0 1/2 is released — instead of waiting like a normal human to get their iFix when the mob disperses and the dust clears.

    People who pre-order Blu-rays for delivery on “Day 1″ and people who enjoy the crowds on opening day when a movie premieres are naturally already predisposed to spot their panties over whatever they’re there to be first in line to see. “First” mentality can’t be trusted because it’s so jacked up on adrenaline and other hard-on-inducing endorphins. Ask somebody standing in line at the break of dawn to get the new iPhine if the iPhone is the greatest phone of all time. What do you think they’ll say?

    ===

    There’s fantastic electricity in the air at press junkets and invitation-only preview screenings. There’s the intrinsic rush and undeniable thrill to drive past the guard gates and enter the enclave of a studio lot and be ushered into plush deluxe studio theaters where you can spot famous faces in the seats all around you. That jazzed-up sensation spills over into the pleasure of seeing the movie before anyone has seen it. It’s a real thing. It’s not faked. It’s immensely satisfying. But it’s not all about the movie.

    Although in addition to that suger-rush, whenever a much-anticipated movie unreels and it glides along without any restless hiccups then it’s like watching a Olympic figure skater executing a flawless routine with no mistakes. But is every mistake-free free-style skate program a gold-medal winner? Of course not. Every smoothly delivered skate routine isn’t gold — it just means the skater didn’t fall on her ass. And there’s a rush of relief to see that too! Right? It’s an exhale moment when you know you’ve seen something very special and can now go tell your friends that it was “perfect.”

    – which is a heckuva lot more fun that tweeting to your 5000 followers that you got invited to a VIP screening of a movie that sucked.

    ===

    From the look and feel of the footage we’ve all seen of Godzilla so far, I’d be inclined to say it looks like a solid reliable 8 or 9.

    I’d feel ok going on IMDb right now and voting 9 on Godzilla. (hang on. brb….) I just did. I just voted for Godzilla and gave it a 9. So there? See? I haven’t seen more than 5 minutes of Godzilla and I gave it a 9.* How about if all 1000 people who worked on Godzilla have done that too. Is there any reason they wouldn’t? In fact, wouldn’t we expect them to?

    So that’s my best explanation of how a movie starring a CGI mutant reptile that nobody has even seen yet is already better than The Godfather — according to the authorities who have cast their votes for its perfection at IMDb.

    *(I can change my vote later, so remind me on Friday that probably I need to do that).

  15. Al Robinson
    May 12, 2014

    Ryan, I always, ALWAYS enjoy reading your explanations. You have a way with words. But, you did explain (as Bryce did), very well. I know exactly how people think like that, because I used to all the time, and sometimes still do. But, since I’ve grown up, I’ve tried having more patience when it come to crowing a true achievement in film.

    I actually prefer movies that don’t get much attention, or respect right away, but gradualy gain adoration, like 2001, or The Shawshank Redemption. I have a feeling that we will see that happen with some of the more recent releases, such as:

    Looper
    Crazy, Stupid, Love.
    Warrior
    and
    Inside Llewyn Davis

  16. May 12, 2014

    Bryce, if I sound passionate or ranty it’s only because I’m excited too.

    I have really high hopes for Godzilla. I’ve only seen maybe 7 or 8 of the 35 or 50 Godzilla movies ever made, but I was lucky to see them when I was (a) a kid or (b) stoned out of my gourd in college, so I had a blast at all 7 of my previous Godzilla experiences.

    I’m not going to see Godzilla with Rex Reed as my companion and I’m not going to see it till I’m fully baked either. So I fully expect to have a rip-roaring good time this Friday. It looks like everything I’d ever want or need a Godzilla to be.

    As I said before, Godzilla will have to suck many exotic species of smelly balls before I won’t enjoy myself on Friday. It looks great and I want it to be great, and I don’t see any need to snarl if it’s not The Godzillafather of Godzilla movies. I’m ready to regress and enjoy it as if I was 13 years old. If I can enjoy it on a more adult level, all the better.

    Trust me, I don’t rely on critics to tell me what I should like or dislike. You and I don’t need fucking metacritic to know whether or not we admire The Counselor.

  17. Al Robinson
    May 12, 2014

    “I don’t see any need to snarl if it’s not The Godzillafather of Godzilla movies. I’m ready to regress and enjoy it as if I was 13 years old.”

    Classic!! Ryan, have you ever thought about being a poet?

    Here’s my rhyme of your words:
    I don’t need to snarl, if I see with my friend Karl.
    It’s not the Godzillafather, so I don’t need to bother.
    I’m ready to regress, and hope I’ll be impressed.
    As if I was 13 years old, and before I get too old.

  18. May 12, 2014

    Al, I swear to Godzilla, I actually tried to fave your reply. Then I realized there’s no twitter star to click.

  19. Bryce Forestieri
    May 12, 2014

    Ryan,

    Very well said, and you don’t sound ranty at all — all the opposite. Even if this kind of film might not represent what you want for a main course (more of a cheat meal?) you are much more appreciate of the filmmaking merits of solid fun and much more aware than the average critic on how to approach them. Now, I have nothing against the “major” US critics, I just take them with a grain of salt when they’re obviously out of their comfort zone (e.g., Mothra, McCarthy), but they are essential curators — just look at the NSFC list of ‘Best Film’ winners over the years. No offense, but it’s arguably a better looking bunch than the Palme d’or winners, as a whole.

    Excited for the podcast.

  20. Al Robinson
    May 12, 2014

    LOL. :-) :-)

  21. Al Robinson
    May 12, 2014

    “Only Godzilla Forgives
    Waiting for Godzilla
    Children of a Lesser Godzilla
    In Godzilla We Trust
    Godzilla Bless America
    omfg(zilla)”

    Taken from Ryan’s Twitter page.

    I’ll add a few more:

    No Country for Old Godzilla
    The Godzillaparted
    American Godzilla
    Saving Private Godzilla
    Godzilla’s List
    Godzillafellas
    Star Wars: Attack of the Godzillas
    Star Wars: The Godzilla Strikes Back
    A Godzilla Orange
    2001: A Godzilla Odyssey
    Lawrence of Godzilla
    The Wizard of Godzilla
    Godzillablanca
    Gone with the Godzilla Breath

  22. Al Robinson
    May 12, 2014

    A few more:

    The Silence of the Godzillas
    King Godzilla-Kong
    Requiem for a Godzilla
    Godzillamento
    The Lord of the Godzillas: The Two Reptiles
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Godzillas

  23. Bryce Forestieri
    May 12, 2014

    p.s. Devin Faraci is on the Marvel payroll and has a baffling fixation about Bryan Singer’s affairs.

  24. Al Robinson
    May 12, 2014

    Oh heck, a few more:

    City of Godzilla
    The Godzillas Must be Crazy
    Oh, Godzilla
    Oh, Godzilla: Book II
    Godzillas and Monsters
    The Godzilla Complex
    Conversations with Godzilla
    For Godzilla and Country
    Godzillas and Generals
    Godzilla the Barbarian
    Kill Godzilla: Vol. 1
    Kill Godzilla: Vol. 2
    Godzilla Unchained
    Godzilla’s Not Dead
    Godzilla’s Heaven Is for Real

    Okay, I got that out of my system.

  25. May 12, 2014

    u forgot
    Godzillas in the Mist
    How Stella Godzilla Her Groove Back
    Scorsese’s Goodzillas

  26. Al Robinson
    May 12, 2014

    Ryan, “D’oh!” LOL ;-)

    West Side Godzilla
    The Sound of Godzilla
    Raiders of the Lost Godzilla
    The Godzilla Horror Picture Show
    Saturday Night Godzilla

  27. Al Robinson
    May 12, 2014

    Punch-Drunk Godzilla
    Weekend at Godzilla’s
    Born of the 4th of Godzilla
    Field of Godzillas
    Driving Miss Godzilla
    Terms of Godzilla
    Godzillas of Fire
    Ordinary Godzillas
    The Shining Godzilla
    Raging Godzilla

    These just keep coming. :-)

  28. May 12, 2014

    Despite some carefully worded (mild) endorsements of Captain America in the article you ran on that, you seemed to ultimately write it off in advance of release along with the rest of the superhero genre, yet Godzilla gets an enthusiastic preview piece? I’m just curious why this one gets this kind of treatment while the other does not.

    Not saying I’m not excited about Godzilla. In fact, I’m equally as excited about this weekend as I was the weekend Captain America came out. But it must be pointed out that there is a significantly higher number of detractors in advance of Godzilla, including the aforementioned Corliss, Alonso Duralde at The Wrap, James Rocchi from Film.com, Peter Debruge at Variety, Greg Ellwood from Hitfix, the guy from The Guardian and the guy from The Playlist whereas virtually one of the ONLY dissenting voices came from Dargis for Winter Soldier. And Dargis actually LIKED Winter Soldier. Some of the above reviews flat out HATED Godzilla. The initial reaction to Captain America was at least 60% more positive than Godzilla’s, so again, I’m confused about the spin on these two movies.

  29. Al Robinson
    May 12, 2014

    World War GodZilla
    God-Amadezilla
    The Godzillanator
    Godzillabusters
    Back to Godzilla’s Future

  30. Al Robinson
    May 12, 2014

    Last one, I promise. I gotta do movies of 2014:

    Gone Godzilla
    Dawn of the Planet of Godzillas
    Intergodzilla
    Inherent Godzilla
    Fury (of Godzilla)
    The Godzilla Budapest Hotel
    The Monument’s Godzilla
    RoboGodzilla Cop
    The Amazing Godzilla-Man 2
    Foxzillacatcher

  31. May 12, 2014

    Chris, during the podcast I had the feeling that Sasha’s attitude about prejudging tentpoles has softened a bit, while I was surprised to feel my own attitude about pre-release hype hardening a bit. Maybe I get harder when Sasha get softer because she’s a babe and I’m a bro. Or maybe neither of us needs to stubbornly stick to one stance because it feels more natural to be flexible — depending on circumstances.

    Also, specifically, I think Sasha is simply burnt out on the superhero genre. But she’s always been able to appreciate fresh interpretations of classic “horror” (ei.g. The Thing, King Kong, Planet of the Apes).

    In general, there are many difference between superhero movies and other kinds of CGI action extravaganzas. Sometimes this difference is simply this: Not every kind of movie is for everybody. We all get to decide what kind of movie we enjoy.

    It’s ok with me if you’re confused about how Sasha can “ultimately write off Captain America in advance of release along with the rest of the superhero genre, yet Godzilla gets an enthusiastic preview piece” — if it’s ok with you that I’m confused about how you seem to regard Godzilla as a superhero.

  32. Al Robinson
    May 12, 2014

    I know, I know, I can be compulsive with the list stuff. I think my problem is that I’m not on Twitter. I need some kind of outlet.

    Plus, this grey, rainy weather is turning my brain into mush.

  33. May 12, 2014

    Julie & Julia & Godzilla
    Bob & Carol & Godzilla & Alice

    Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Godzilla?
    Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Not Godzilla.
    What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Probably Godzilla.

  34. May 12, 2014

    I think my problem is that I’m not on Twitter.

    you should fix that.

  35. Al Robinson
    May 12, 2014

    I should. :-)

  36. Bob Burns
    May 12, 2014

    Godzilla and the Prisoner of Azkeban
    Godzilla of Arabia

    Spectacles should not be judged in the way dramas are judged, but critics judge everything like a drama. Rosebud, my ass.

    Heaven help us if a critic ever intelligently addresses the ideas raised by a film.

  37. Bryce Forestieri
    May 12, 2014

    Actually flat out HATE/DISDAIN from a few (or more than a few) is quite more promising to me than a universal “Nice job again, Marvel!”. Better be divisive than run-of-the-mill. Better be THE COUNSELOR/BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA than AMERICAN HUSTLE/THE TOWERING INFERNO — and everyone knows I like AMERICAN HUSTLE and I’ll be first in line for AGE OF ULTRON.

    The Wachowski’s SPEED RACER is at 39% on RT, 6.1 on IMDB, 37 on Metacritic. It is also in my personal top 10 of what I consider a more than a decent year of cinema. So I understand where Sasha is coming from. Even if I hear more than a few high profile scathes on JUPITER ASCENDING I’m still going to be pumped about it, but if I start hearing from half the bloggers that GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is a turkey my excitement will deflate faster than helium.

  38. May 12, 2014

    Heaven help us if a critic ever intelligently addresses the ideas raised by a film.

    Sad commentary on American education, but questions raised about the surveillance state in Winter Soldier may very well be the first time many teenagers ever saw an examination of the issue. With that, Winter Soldier approached a thought-provoking plot point the same way serious science-fiction novels and films have done for decades.

    Robert Redford knows a good screenplay when he sees one.

  39. Bob Burns
    May 13, 2014

    sure – movies are chock full of challenging ideas. Winter Soldier. No doubt Godzilla is, but critics yammer about character development. It’s not as if nuclear holocaust isn’t nearly as likely as Miami disappearing into the sea.

  40. May 13, 2014

    You and I see it the same way, Bob. Hope my reply didn’t come across as a counterpoint — because the example I gave was only meant to reinforce what you already said about critics overlooking the messages in woven into the best of multilayered popcorn movies.

  41. Bob Burns
    May 13, 2014

    I agree with your comment, but quibble with the education part. My guess is that most critics are well educated and informed. I think the obsession with dramatic conventions is a convention of the occupation.

  42. Bryce Forestieri
    May 13, 2014

    “I think the obsession with dramatic conventions is a convention of the occupation.”

    Agreed.

    Many are well educated, but mainstream film critics are not a very diverse bunch. And I don’t even mean gender/ethnic distributions (but that too). They just all strike me as the same type of boring person that has lived the same type of boring life.

  43. Bryce Forestieri
    May 13, 2014

    I mean, I do dream of going to Cannes and Venice and TIFF. OF COURSE — but it does seem like those are the most physical experiences these people ever had. Commentary/Punditry/Criticism in the other arts –hell, in the other aspects of human life– seems to come from more open/lively/heterogeneous sets.

  44. Bryce Forestieri
    May 13, 2014

    But I’m NOT a contrarian; just look at my No. 1 film of every year in this decade: THE SOCIAL NETWORK, A SEPARATION, THE TREE OF LIFE, AMOUR, GRAVITY. #mainstreamcred

  45. May 13, 2014

    Ah, Bob, I should’ve made more clear. The jab at the American educational system was not about the educational gaps of critics, it was about the sketchy education of teenage audience members. I should’ve empasized that.

    I only meant (and did explicitly say) that a lot of kids may have had their first exposure to considering the ramifications of the surveillance state through Winter Soldier. Why critics ignore things like this in their reviews is a sad mystery. But the subtext power that movies have to stimulate the thoughts of real live everyday people in audiences really matters much more to me than a critic with his head up his own ass.

  46. Jesus Alonso
    May 14, 2014

    The previous film by this director, SHOULD have been nom’d for Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography and Visual Effects back then. It was a miracle of a movie, and I had little doubt he was the right pick to deliver a Godzilla film for the new century.

    I can’t wait to see this.

  47. Jesus Alonso
    May 14, 2014

    By the way, I yesterday finally got to see “Ender’s Game”… is it truly underrated or what?

  48. May 14, 2014

    Who Is Godzilla and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?

    More recently:
    Godzilla’s Not Dead

  49. Bryce Forestieri
    May 14, 2014

    “I yesterday finally got to see “Ender’s Game”… is it truly underrated or what?”

    The sinister combo of Orci/Hood significantly dumbed down the material, but yeah, not terrible.

    I like Asa Butterfield. Let’s hope the ‘flop’ doesn’t derail him.

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