Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Your courage will never be more needed than it is today.

Eighteen minutes. According to the encyclopedic Alex Withrow at And So it Begins... that's how long Michael Keaton appears onscreen as Beetlejuice in the Tim Burton classic. Eighteen glorious minutes. While sometimes, less is indeed more, that still seems like not enough time with the character, considering how iconic he is (not to mention the movie's named after him). How is it possible that the film manages to succeed despite such limited face time with the big guy? Oh, right. It's because the human characters were unique and interesting, and worth giving a shit about. That's how. It all seems so simple.

That's me on the right. So desperate to see Godzilla up close,
I'd jump out of a f--king plane.
I don't know care how many times you say Godzilla in a row, he simply isn't going to appear. Well, not enough anyway. In the latest film featuring the legendary monster, I'd be shocked if he's onscreen for eight minutes, let alone eighteen. Sure, when he does flash that handsome, scaly mug, it's f--king incredible, but the rest of the time I found myself unable to care about the people. Capable actors undoubtedly, but Lydia and Otho they ain't.

I loved director Gareth Edwards' previous creature flick, Monsters [review]. Loved the minimalist approach, loved how we barely saw the monsters. But even more so, I loved the lead characters. They were great. But after leaving his first mega-budget flick Monday night, I felt cheated. Big time. I wanted to see Godzilla. And I wanted to see him a lot.

Instead, I found myself spending way too much time with some lame ass giant insect-things (MUTOs, apparently), and a cast of characters each more generic than the other. At least something like Pacific Rim [review], which also had a slew of boring human characters, got the action right. That shit was inspired lunacy, with the big budget routinely punching you right in the Kaiju. But this Godzilla? Shit. Sometimes it felt like a Michael Bay flick. But worse.

Now that may seem harsh, but hear me out.

In Bay films, when the world is doomed, we get these grand slow motion shots, sweeping across various locales, clearly portraying the distress (or unity) globally.  They're f--king cheesy, no doubt, but at least it suggests that important things are happening on a large scale. Here, it seems like the MUTOs destruction and subsequent arrival of Godzilla would be featured after weather and traffic, unless you lived in Honolulu or the west coast. If George Bush hates black people, what would Kanye say about this movie's president? The commander-in-chief not only doesn't send every available resource to the west coast, he doesn't even show up at all!

Instead, we're left with David Strathairn as Admiral Stenz, and he's moderately concerned at best. If all I had to stop a giant laser-breathing dinosaur was a team of potentially retarded extras and a dressed down Kick-Ass, I might break a f--king sweat. But not this dude. Give him a nuclear bomb you'd find in a pawn shop plus a ragtag team of white guys and he's good. I mean, they can parachute from orbit and have access to Thomas the Tank Engine. What more do you need?

I might be taking it a bit hard (and lashing out like a confused middle-schooler), but clearly I was disappointed with this one. But what I will not be disappointed with, are the Yays and Boos. Only because I expect nothing from them in the first place.

This is actually a still from the upcoming Malcolm in the Middle movie.
  • Even if they didn't really have anything to do, I liked the cast. Cranston may have turned the intensity up to 11, but he was pretty solid regardless.
  • And Olsen? My God. Soooo hot.
  • Those guys running on the bridge when the initial MUTO comes to life! Oooohhh....that's gotta to hurt.
  • I don't really recall the science of the original films, but I liked what we had here. I liked how the monsters absorbed radiation, not to mention all the explanations for previous nuclear um, testing.
  • That massive chain reaction at the Honolulu airport was incredible.
  • Alright, fine. You got me. Once. But, yeah, I almost shit my pants on the lone jump scare. Damn birds.
  • Even though it kind of reminded me of the shit-tastic The Happening, that was some eerily awesome shit when all those fighter jets start to fall from the sky. Well done!
  • And finally, Godzilla. When he's there, it's great. His fight scene at the end was incredible. I thought the tail whip was the coolest thing ever...and then it happened. FINISH HIM!
This was my face when the credits rolled.
  • Cranston's hair. That was a wig, right? Or did living in Japan force him to get an old Japanese woman's haircut?
  • So...Hawai'i is this flick. And like every film before it, Hawai'i has no Hawaiians. What the Hell is this?
  • Olsen has a husband in the service and can't even add a photo of him on her iPhone? C'mon now.
  • And speaking of, this lady isn't really rattled by anything. Her work day was only slightly busier because of attacking f--king space beasts.
  • While we're talking about jobs, it seems Lt. Kick-Ass has some random bomb-related job, or something. Who cares, right? Well, turns out...that specialty is exactly what we need, You know, because the regular guy died. And stuff.
  • Crazy Bus Drivers. Damn, bro. I haven't been angered this much by a bus full of kids on a bridge since The Dark Knight Rises [review].
  • I never learned how to dive. Really, it's kind of sad. I hadn't even thought about this until I saw Godzilla dive into the water at the end of the film. Then, and only then, did I see myself in the great beast.
  • Ken Watanabe! I love this guy. If only he got to do more than look bewildered, slowly bring his hand to his mouth and say, Godzilla? Could he at least have mentioned Godzilla-related turbulence?
  • Sets. This movie looks as if it was entirely filmed on them. 
  • Speaking of cutting corners, why is all the Godzilla footage so hard to see and/or brief? I get three cameras showing me that damn cat body-checking a dog, but a MUTO attacks Vegas and its here's the UAV footage of the event, sir. Don't even get me started on 'news footage' or those damn shutting doors....It only upsets me.
  • And finally, the extra ridiculous shit:
    • One time, it's Get me a visual on that [giant f--king monster], soldier and he gets a flashlight out and shines it into the jungle.
    • These things show up out of nowhere! How does something thousands of pounds and hundreds of feet tall surprise you? What the f--k, man? Hey, what's that directly above us? Oh shit! It's a 200 foot cockroach eating an actual submarine! 
    • This post. In it's entirety. It's like I expected a movie about Godzilla to be great.
Obviously, the more I think about it, the more irritated (and irritating, I suppose) I am. This was a wasted opportunity, hopefully to be rectified with the recently announced sequel. Or as I call it, the direct opposite of Beetlejuice 2.


  1. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That is me literally dying at the hands of her scathing review :-(

    I thought this minimalist approach was so inspired, and what we did see was so worth it. LOL, and I kind of hated Monsters :-P

    And I thought Cranston was perfect here. I need to actually write my review. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe I liked this so much because I went with the same friends I saw Lego Movie with, to the same theater, and was just as drunk.

    1. LOL, I don't know why it says "her review" and not "your review". I know that I typed "your"...or maybe I'm still drunk (I try to always be drunk if I can help it).

    2. First of all, it's okay. I'm a pretty hot bitch when I write.

      Anyway, don't worry if you loved it...I came for Godzilla, not a bunch of people somewhat concerned about him. Though I can't explain how you loved this and hated Monsters. That shit makes my womanly head hurt.

      Hey, The Lego Movie was undoubtedly great, so your friends and booze can't be responsible. So...maybe it's just me. Or you.

  2. I really disliked this. The 'less is more' approach only works if everything else is entertaining. Not the case here. We even had Olsen working as a nurse in hospital during a time of crisis. Yet I felt no emotional connection whatsoever with the characters. But it seems were in a minority. ... its getting positive reviews left and right

  3. I know. I was worried that I was going to be the only one that didn't like it, but over at Brittani's site, I saw a couple of fellow bloggers that weren't in love with it either.

    Totally with you in the lack of emotional connection. I cared for the actors, but not the charactersrs (if that even makes sense).

    I thought for a minute that you didn't see know, before me. But once again, I'm totally wrong.

    1. Haha... just like X-Men I got to see an early screening of it. I actually put up the review way before it opened world wide

  4. I really enjoyed Godzilla, but I totally agree with one of your boos. Ken Wantanabe. Wtf was that facial expression? I was waiting for his head to explode.

    1. I'm glad you dug it. I wanted to love it soo much, but I found it to be a crushing disappointment. And yes, I'm really twelve years old.

      (Poor Ken....)

  5. "If all I had to stop a giant laser-breathing dinosaur was a team of potentially retarded extras and a dressed down Kick-Ass,I might break a f--king sweat"

    "One time, it's Get me a visual on that [giant f--king monster], soldier and he gets a flashlight out and shines it into the jungle "

    "These things show up out of nowhere! How does something thousands of pounds and hundreds of feet tall surprise you? What the f--k, man? Hey, what's that directly above us? Oh shit! It's a 200 foot cockroach eating an actual submarine! "

    Oh these are priceless ^^

    It almost sounds like it's in so bad it's laughable category? I heard they don't show monsters much, usually I think it's a good idea because they seem scarier that way but that movie already had such a minimalistic trailers with so few glimpses of Godzilla, the fact that the film is the same seems a bit like cheating. I mean it's called 'Godzilla' and it's a big blockbuster.

    And you are right about the screentime not being an issue if other characters are interesting. Hannibal was barely in Silence of the Lambs but we had Clarice.

    1. It's probably good and I'm just an asshole, but this is how I am when I get disappointed (TDKR, anyone?). I think had I been with some like-minded individuals, we could have torn this one apart, but most people, including those that I trust, seem to really like it.

      Totally with you on hiding the monster (that sounds wildly inappropriate...but anyway). I'm usually all for it, as the tension is always lessened after the big reveal...BUT THIS A F__KING SIXTY YEAR OLD MONSTER! I saw his scaly ass when I was four. But that's just me, Edwards doesn't have to make a movie for all of us all bastards, if he doesn't want to. That's just not what I wanted.

      PERFECT EXAMPLE of Clarice. We didn't need the bad guy with her around. She was captivating enough.