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GODZILLA MINUS ONE (2023) The best 'Zilla since the orginal?

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  • GODZILLA MINUS ONE (2023) The best 'Zilla since the orginal?

    GODZILLA MINUS ONE (2023) - For the 70th Anniversary of the series, Toho has gone back to the egg with GODZILLA MINUS ONE to create a movie that is much a remake of the orginal as it is a reboot.

    Taking place in the similar WWII time frame as the 1954 classic GOJIRA, Writer-Director Takashi Yamazaki melds many of the same themes with a more modern perspective. Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki) is a fighter pilot who, in the waning days of the war, finds himself on an island with his troops -- and Godzilla. Returning to the devasted Japanese mainland, he forms an unlikely family unit with a young woman, Noriko Oishi (Minami Hamabe), and an orphaned baby, Akiko (Sae Nagatani). Godzilla eventually makes his way to Tokyo, seemingly growing stronger and more powerful as it moves along the way.

    Yamazaki's screenplay owes a lot to Takeo Murata and Inoshiro Honda's storyline from GOJIRA (Honda, of course, also directed), but he goes his own way in making the main characters more important than the fearsome beast (still he should have given a shared screen credit). The two films share the theme of self-sacrifice made even more crucial here because Shkishima was a kamikazee during the war. There is more overt criticism of the Japanese government than was likely possible back in the early 1950s.

    Yamizaki smartly seems to have used the perspective of almost eight decades of hindsight (not to mention the previous 30+ entries in the series) to make MINUS ONE feel freshly observed. One senses the notion that Japan will not only survive Godzilla - but, flourish with a hopeful future including that of becoming and economic and technological superpower themselves. It's a lot to pin on a 'monster picture', but it's largely earned. Some of the melodramatics lay it on a bit, but there's a genuine heart to the proceedings with the cast pulling off the human element convincingly.

    In another nod to 1954's GOJIRA, Yamizaki uses the famed Godzilla roar here if in a souped up form. Throughout MINUS ONE, Composer Naoki Sato weaves in music from original composer Akira Ifukube's masterful score to great effect. Ifukube's famed 'Godzilla Theme' has been used often in the intervening decades in the series. With MINUS ONE there's finally a film truly worthy of using it in full. Yamizaki has made a movie that can stand with GOJIRA.

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  • #2
    I'm hoping that this is still playing near me after Christmas, can't get to see it before.
    I'm bitter, I'm twisted, James Joyce is fucking my sister.

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    • #3
      I thought this was really good. But it could have had one more destructive rampage to make it even better.
      "The popcorn you're eating has been pissed in. Film at 11".

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      • #4
        It's difficult for me to enjoy any Godzilla film that doesn't employ practical effects/guy in a rubber suit.

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        • #5
          I took the afternoon off work yesterday to go and watch this at an 'old folks' screening at my local cinema.

          (I'd wonder how many old folks really want to see a subtitled CGI monster movie, but hey, we're all getting there, right?)

          Anyway, didn't emerge with particularly strong feeling either way, but I enjoyed it.

          The monster stuff is all very good - dramatic and cool, and the CG work has improved immeasurably since 'Shin Godzilla'. Reconfiguring Godzilla's heat ray breath as individual nuclear detonations proves an especially effective/scary touch.

          Unfortunately however, the accompanying human storyline (which comprises a somewhat higher % of the overall run time than it really should) proves ridiculously melodramatic, bordering on total absurdity in places. It's always watchable, and there are some strong performances, but both the wife and I were basically sniggering to ourselves at various points where the film wanted us to get emotionally involved.

          Somehow, I'd got the mistaken impression from advance publicity that this film was going to look at the events of the original '54 Godzilla, as experienced from the POV of some ordinary folks on the street - which is not the case at all, it turns out, although personally I would have found that a lot more interesting than yet another tale in which an unfeasible series of coincidences allows our central characters to enjoy multiple up-close-and-personal encounters with the Big G, before their sense of individual exceptionalism drives them to single-handedly save Japan and resolve their respective existential life crises at the same time. Oh well.

          Few bits of political sub-text bubbling away somewhere in the background, although they never really add up to much. As per 'Shin Godzilla', I liked the way that the Americans are basically like, "eh, no - sort it out yourself please", leaving war-ravaged Japan to try to pull together a solution to the Godzilla problem using a few old fishing boats and bits of wire, and I also found it note-worthy that the coalition of forces which eventually comes together to defeat Godzilla is a privately funded enterprise, operating independently of the (assumed to be useless) government & military apparatus - a very different approach from anything seen back in the old days.

          https://breakfastintheruins.blogspot.com/
          http://stereosanctity.blogspot.com/

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          • #6
            Like BW I did not have strong feelings either way on this. It was a very uneven film. It had some horrible CGI and some really well made CGI. And the parts with Godzilla destroying Tokyo was absolute quality. The drama at its centre, and the over the top asian acting was nowhere near to notch.

            I still liked more then I disliked this film, and it was fun seeing a proper Japanese Godzilla in the cinema.
            "No presh from the Dresh!"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BW Haggar View Post
              ...watch this at an 'old folks' screening at my local cinema.

              (I'd wonder how many old folks really want to see a subtitled CGI monster movie, but hey, we're all getting there, right?)
              I attempted to see this on an IMAX screen a few weeks ago. There was an older guy at the end of my row, maybe in his mid-60's, and another older guy roughly the same age a few rows back. When the trailers started there was sound but no picture and one of the guys immediately got up to tell the management, which I thought was funny but also appreciated because I wasn't about to go do it. Old guys hate waiting, and hate it when things don't work right and when that guy came back the other one very loudly asked "WHAT DID THEY SAY? ARE THEY FIXING IT?"

              They never fixed it.

              Now everyone can have a complete KRULL lifestyle.

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              • #8
                Enjoyed this much more than expected and I’m thrilled I saw it in the theater. I like 1940’s timeline and was very pleased with the plot. It was interesting seeing a post-war Japan looking like a post-apocalypse. Much of the human drama was compelling but as the film went on the melodrama began to wear thin. As with most serious Japanese films that have a statement filmmakers want make, I find they get respective with hysterical monologues covering the same topic. Had Godzilla Minus One been 20 minutes shorter I would have enjoyed it more. It felt like every character got their chance to deliver an overly dramatic monologue on of the horrors of war and failing of Japanese military officials. But it is handled better than many of the previous Godzilla films’ heavy handed anti-nuclear proliferation and environmentalist messages. Godzilla’s infrequent rampages were thrilling on the big screen and his look was perfect. It was refreshing that none of the monster action had a “been there done that” feel. Certainly the destruction of Ginza was amazing but I greatly enjoyed much as what happened at sea, especially the chase with the mines. I’m glad the film was presented in Japanese language and English subtitles. Being a fully Japanese cast and taking place in Japan, it would have been off-putting seeing those character speaking English. As much as I enjoyed the film, I’m not sure I need to see this again at home. This was an experience best had at the theater.

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                • #9
                  Mondo is putting the soundtrack out on vinyl soon.

                  https://waxworkrecords.com/products/godzilla-minus-one

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                  Rock! Shock! Pop!

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                  • #10
                    "June 7 Only! The Tribeca Music Lounge and Escape From Tribeca will celebrate the 70th Anniversary of GODZILLA, the King of the Monsters, in the best possible way: with a late-night dance party big enough to honor history’s greatest kaiju. In partnership with Toho International, this one-of-a-kind extravaganza features superstar DJ Takuya Nakamura, mad punks AnChikSho and the legendary all-female Japanese rock band Hard Nips!"

                    https://tribecafilm.com/films/tribec...-nakamura-2024

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                    • #11
                      It finally hit streaming today. Netflix and rentals. See it.

                      https://godzilla.com/blogs/news/godz...ental-purchase

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                      • #12
                        Coming in September...

                        https://godzilla.com/collections/god...ectors-edition

                        Note: This is identical to the Japanese edition released in May, with English subtitles ported to the feature film ONLY. The extras and booklet have not been translated.

                        Preserving the Japanese treatment in both packaging and content, the “Deluxe Japan Collector’s Edition” includes all the same features as the original Japan release with the added addition of English menus and the option to select the theatrical release English subtitles for Godzilla Minus One and Godzilla Minus One/Minus Color.

                        With an estimated ship date of September 2024, this edition will be a limited release and the first opportunity to own Godzilla Minus One home video in the US.

                        Full details:

                        Disc 1: Godzilla Minus One 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
                        125 minutes / 3 layers (100G) / 4K 2160p 16:9 scope size / Dolby Vision
                        Audio: (1) Japanese Dolby Atmos (2) Japanese 5.1ch Dolby TrueHD (3) Japanese 2.0ch Dolby TrueHD (4) Barrier-free Japanese audio guide 2.0ch Dolby TrueHD
                        Subtitles: (1) Barrier-free Japanese subs (2) English subs

                        Disc 2: Godzilla Minus One Blu-ray
                        125 minutes
                        Audio: (1) Japanese Dolby Atmos (2) Japanese 5.1ch Dolby TrueHD (3) Japanese 2.0ch Dolby TrueHD (4) Barrier-free Japanese audio guide 2.0ch Dolby TrueHD
                        Subtitles: (1) Barrier-free Japanese subs (2) English subs
                        Trailer Collection (Japanese language only)
                        And more!

                        Disc 3: Godzilla Minus One/Minus Color Blu-ray
                        Main feature 125 minutes
                        Audio: (1) Japanese Dolby Atmos (2) Japanese 5.1ch Dolby TrueHD (3) Japanese 2.0ch Dolby TrueHD (4) Barrier-free Japanese audio guide 2.0ch Dolby TrueHD
                        Subs: (1) Barrier-free Japanese subs (2) English subs

                        Disc 4: Bonus Blu-ray (Japanese language only)
                        Recording length: 240 minutes / 2 layers (BD50G) / 16:9 / 1080p High Definition (some 1080i)
                        Audio: Japanese 2.0ch Dolby Digital
                        Special booklet (Japanese language only)

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                        Rock! Shock! Pop!

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                        • #13
                          The international rights situation to this must be crazy if Toho can market an English friendly version directly at the US (maybe they only sold theatrical and streaming rights?). Still, nice that us physical collectors can give the finger to Netflix. Shame they didn't do this in the first place, but I'll be charitable and say they didn't anticipate demand from English speaking territories.
                          I'm bitter, I'm twisted, James Joyce is fucking my sister.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by agent999 View Post
                            The international rights situation to this must be crazy if Toho can market an English friendly version directly at the US (maybe they only sold theatrical and streaming rights?). Still, nice that us physical collectors can give the finger to Netflix. Shame they didn't do this in the first place, but I'll be charitable and say they didn't anticipate demand from English speaking territories.
                            Toho holds all the cards. It's their baby. Yes, they license Godzilla to Legendary so they can do their American versions and they have that clearance deal which is why Minus One was pulled from theaters prematurely, but in the end they are the masters.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoeS View Post
                              It finally hit streaming today. Netflix and rentals. See it.

                              https://godzilla.com/blogs/news/godz...ental-purchase
                              I'll be doing that tonight. I tried to watch the latest Hollywood contribution on MAX last night, but I couldn't get past the first 5 minutes.
                              VHS will never die!

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