Google+

Reboot of Monster Franchise Arrives on DVD

Godzilla

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Reboot of Monster Franchise Arrives on DVD

 

Godzilla made its debut in 1954 when the mythical, man-eating monster, inadvertently created by an atomic blast, emerged from the Pacific Ocean to carve a path of death and destruction across Japan, much to the chagrin of the country’s overmatched military. A couple of years 51wvbgYrCdLlater, Raymond Burr narrated a documentary-style, English-language remake which was basically a dubbed version of the original with his lines spliced in.

Despite relying for decades on terribly-stilted scripts and a guy in a rubber suit towering over a scale model of a toy-sized Tokyo, the B-movie franchise has remained popular enough to spawn thirty-something sequels and counting. This relatively-upscale reboot of the series, however, abandons the campy dialogue and cheesy trick photography in favor of an emotionally-engaging plot as well as state-of-the-art special f/x.

Furthermore, while the 2014 edition Godzilla still looks like a fire-breathing, mutated iguana, he behaves more like a benign, anthropomorphic ally of humanity than its evil adversary. The villains, here, are a couple of nuclear waste-ingesting MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial
117812_oriOrganisms) that are not only threatening to level San Francisco but are poised to unleash a litter of their equally-hostile offspring.

In case you’re wondering, there’s plenty of precedent for Godzilla’s squaring-off against fellow behemoths. Consider such classic showdowns as King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) and Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), to name a few.

Although, this one’s finale is well worth the wait, it sure takes its sweet time getting around to that spectacular battle royal. In fact, we don’t even get a peek at Godzilla during the film’s first hour, which is instead devoted to developing characters and filling in the back story.

The picture was directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters) who assembled an accomplished cast which includes Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, Academy Award-winner Juliette Binoche (for The English Patient), and nominees David Strathairn (for Good Night, and Good Luck), Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) and Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai).

 

The adventure revolves around the Brody family whose plight provides the audience with the incentive to invest emotionally in the outcome. Widowed patriarch Joe (Cranston) is driven to learn the truth behind the catastrophe at a Japanese nuclear power plant that claimed his late wife’s (Binoche) life 15 years earlier. Their son, Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), a Navy explosives disposal expert, agrees to accompany his dad to the Orient, leaving behind a worried wife (Elizabeth Olsen) and son (Carson Bolde) behind in San Francisco.

Of course, all hell eventually breaks loose back home when anthropomorphic Godzilla selflessly rises to the occasion in defense of the city. Will the MUTOs meet their match? Will the separated Brodys manage to survive the apocalyptic mayhem for a tearful reunion?

A surprisingly haunting and panoramic picture exploring universal themes like loss and yearning, yet with all the fixins for first-rate action entertainment. Hey, why didn’t they make monster movies like this when I was a kid?

 

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated PG-13 for intense violence and scenes off destruction

Running time: 123 minutes

Distributor: Warner Home Entertainment Group

Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras:”Operation: Lucky Dragon”; “MONARCH: The M.U.T.O. File”; “The Godzilla Revelation”; “Godzilla: Force of Nature”; “A Whole New Level of Destruction”; “Into the Void: The H.A.L.O. Jump”; and “Ancient Enemy: The M.U.T.O.s.”

 

 

To order a copy of the Godzilla Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00K2CHVSK/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Entertainment

For movies opening August 18, 2017

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening August 18, 2017 BIG BUDGET FILMS The Hitman's Bodyguard (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Unlikely-buddies comedy about an ace bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) who grudgingly helps a notorious assassin (Samuel … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good For You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo

  The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo by Amy Lignor   Each and every year the Wildlife Conservation Expo is held to address situations out there that are harming our world and its animal inhabitants. This time around, WCN’s annual Fall Wildlife Conservation Expo in October, will be focusing on … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar

  How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar  by Edwin Evers When it comes to electronics, a question I get asked a lot is, “How do you customize your fish finder settings at the beginning of a day on the water?” The short answer is, “I don’t.”   You might think that a guy who makes his living with a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

College Football Arriving Soon!

  College Football Arriving Soon! by Amy Lignor   Ask any college football fan and they will tell you that it seems like an eternity waiting for the season to begin. But, have no fear, the kick-off to the college season is almost here, with Colorado State and Oregon State hitting the field on Saturday, August 26th at 2:30 p.m. ET. On … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation

  Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation by Amy Lignor   Many people love taking a cruise. But it is the river cruise on that glorious steamboat that not only offers all the benefits a big ocean liner offers, but also creates a more personalized, intimate vacation experience. It is a unique recipe: being able to witness … [Read More its Good for You...]