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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
Coming off a complete binge of horror movies during the month-long celebration of everything ghoulish and ghastly, the film freak we love who fantasizes over gore returns with an exquisite creature feature (that surprisingly brought tears to his eyes), the 2014 release of Godzilla.
November 1st, brought the opportunity to see some flicks that got put on hold due to, primarily, Elvira’s presentation of many Full Moon Features on Hulu, but also for some classics like Hellraiser and Nightmare on Elm Street. There were also some Gorehound favorites like Killjoy and Cemetary Man. First on the list of non-horror movies that got put on hold was X-Men: Days of Future Past. The Gorehound had been following this movie since it was announced years before and pre-determined this to be the best movie of year. This should have been be the capstone of the X-Men stable but alas, it failed in the eyes of the G-hound. This entry was just another Professor X/Magneto/Wolverine story. Such a shame… but fear not, for we have something mighty to save the day…
There wasn’t a whole lot about this movie which could have told us of what a spectacular production this would turn out to be. The bulk of the crew, Brian Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Elizabeth Olsen, have never failed us but don’t necessarily hold remarkable or cult status like Goldblum or Kurt Russell (of whom would obviously success). Cranston drops out pretty quickly but that allows the story to keep a very fast pace. There aren’t drawn out scenes like in X-Men (McAvoy never stopped talking!), and the lengthier scenes capture the emotion and hold onto it with the strongest grip.
Godzilla is a beast that takes over the screen like no other. Rivaling the Tyrannosaic presence of Jurassic Park, this giant lizard provokes fear, but also hope. The world depends on this monster for salvation. Our actions do nothing to hinder or help this beast. It is the balance for which both species depends on life. The disruption of radiation balance hinders Godzilla’s life, and certainly hinders ours. The story finds no reason to make blatant the directors vision of reason. Let the audience figure this out, ie., don’t spell it out. It assumes that the audience understands the emotion, and catapults the story forward to the point of beauty. There is no reason to have two monsters fighting for power, but when you incorporate survival and evolution, then the story is brought to a new level.
There is nothing hokey about this. The camera angles, which slowly expose the magnitude of Godzilla, are perfectly in tune with the story. Godzilla is a beautiful creature that resembles beauty and enormity. The logic of story plays well, though not perfect. That isn’t a fault because no movie is perfect (with the exception of Blade Runner) especially when you’re dealing with a giant lizard fighting a giant mating cockroaches. Eventually, it is no longer two creatures fighting, but two ideologies fighting.
This movie stands next to Jurassic Park, Avatar, and Independence Day. We can’t call it an instant classic because this reviewer likes to keep the contradictions to a minimum. The director, Gareth Edwards, skims over the idea that it is a all about the monster in the stereotypical sense of havoc and destruction, but immediately moves the story forward with the beautiful story of balance, while maintaining a focus on the strong bond of family and humanity. 5/5