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Will Godzilla Minus One be the perfect Christmas present?

Will Godzilla Minus One be the perfect Christmas present?

Godzilla still roars decades later. There will always be something fascinating about Godzilla. I don’t know what it was when I was younger, but as I got older I know why I haven’t let Godzilla go. Maybe as a child it’s just cool to see a monster wreak havoc and fight other monsters/kaijus. Brings back memories going into blockbuster and seeing the aisle of all the Godzilla movies on VHS. I remember the incredible vintage art work on the box and admiring it. Ones I would pick at times to go back home and have fun watching. As a kid you don’t really realize what is going on in the world or what did. Watching Godzilla as kid and asking “How did they come up with this idea?” Or “What is it really about?” I don’t think I would understand the answer “The idea came about from what happen during World War 2 and the atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”.

I bought Ishirō Honda’s (1954) Godzilla on DVD when I saw it in stores in 2014. It might’ve been because Garett Edward’s (2014) Godzilla film was about to come out that year. I’m not sure if I had seen the classic black and white one before I had bought it. By the way to get that out the way, it's probably something I’m gonna say a lot “I’m not sure or can’t remember” I hate it, but I feel I have problems with memories of how I got on certain films. Anyways back to it. I bought it as I wanted go back to the original to see how this modern take, one for my generation was gonna be like. I saw it and I loved it. I grew more appreciative of The King of Monsters because of film classes. The first class I took was film and history something. I remember the professor warning us that this wasn’t just going to be a class to sit and watch movies, but also learn about history around those times and we would be given test and quizzes on that. It sucked cause I failed the first time. Maybe because of that I learned about film analysis, mise en scene, why I enjoy reading reviews of films that have some commentary in it that requires me to read between the lines. I always say that’s my kind of eye candy. That’s how we learned about film director Ishirō Honda, “Monster” movies, Production Design, Costume Design with Haruo Nakajima performance inside the suit. Everything to learn about (1954) Godzilla is incredible. I'm still trying to search for articles or people’s first time watching videos to see what they have to say what I might have missed what I or filmmakers, storyteller can learn from it.

Seeing how popular Godzilla was and is with its fans of course America would try to have a hand in making their own version for us here. They first did it with Roland Emmerich’s (1998) Godzilla. I think we all know how that went. I remember getting excited about that film because it was an updated version of Godzilla and I thought Zilla looked cool too and the trailer with that man fishing and all of sudden something big in ocean heading his way and destroying the bridge was enough to get me excited. I might’ve liked that one when it came out. Seeing it now may make me cringe though. I believe a 4k Blu ray is to be out soon this year too. Maybe I’ll pick it up. Since that did not work out, we did not see another Godzilla film here in the U.S. until about 16 years later. When that film got announced I was thrilled and trying to get all the latest news on it. Being in my 20’s and not a child I wanted to see how this would turn out for me. Would it have the things I want in a film? What I would want in a Godzilla film at that time? That teaser got me though the one that fades in and out to buildings and trains destroyed and people across the states together trying to get away from this monster. When I saw the film I enjoyed it but it wasn’t what I expected. You know that thing when you see a scene in a trailer and then you see the movie and it’s not in there. That’s how I left scratching my head for days “But what happen to those scenes?” I don’t think I found out until a few years ago that that teaser was just some pre viz. I actually thought it was part of the film already. Watching the 2014 though taught me about “less is more” and it’s probably one of the reasons I have respect for it. I can understand why some people don’t like it. Because they just want to see Godzilla take up most of the screen time and fight, use his atomic breath, wreak havoc, roar. Which he does in the 2014 but it’s approached very differently. The later ones would give the fans what they want. Michael Dougherty (2019) Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which got my attention when I went to go see a film in IMAX and there was sneak peek to it with King Ghidorah which terrified me, but also excited me because one of the things that disappointed me from the (2014) one was I wanted it to just focus on Godzilla and the people, but if it was gonna have another monster than I wanted to see a familiar foe, not the original MUTO monster they created. I’m actually more acceptive of the MUTO now. The official trailer did make me happy to see Rodan and Mothra, but I was sad to see it didn’t have Gareth Edward’s tone to it anymore. King of the Monsters has it moments but it’s mostly cause of the showdown why it passes. Now Adam Wingard’s (2021) Godzilla vs. Kong I have to say was blockbuster entertainment done right. That was fun and one I consider to be the true one film that brought people back to the theater after COVID. Maybe not as many and didn’t make as much other films later, but I remember the theater still kind of empty and almost as people were testing it out to go back to the theater. The way someone dips their toes to check if the water is too hot or too cold.

Earlier this year at the Art House theater I interned at they had a Showa Godzilla Weekend. I had never seen the first Godzilla in a theater. Just my TV and on a projector from school. So I went to go see it knowing already about it and how much I like it. When I went inside they collaborated with a toy company who was selling classic Godzilla toys and T shirts. They even were loaned classic posters of all different Godzilla movies. I wanted the black shirt with the (1954) poster of Godzilla on it, but couldn’t make up my mind until I got out, which by that time the one my size wasn’t available anymore. Thanks a lot. Watching it in a theater was something else. It was so beautiful that it almost just made me tear up of how perfect it is. That’s why I love Godzilla and I love that movie till this day. One thing that did bother me was that it seem most of of the audience went knowing how important Godzilla is and the meaning, creativity of the film, but there was this girl in the audience with a friend or boyfriend who came in late and sat in front of me who would just laugh at certain times to certain scenes as in a way to just mock the movie. The only thing that made me happy was that no on followed her lead. We didn’t think it was funny in that way. We were appreciating the art. But I did tell myself I have to remember this is an Art House theater and sometimes films are played here because they were so bad that people think they’re funny. Maybe this girl saw Godzilla that way, or maybe she thinks that’s the only kind of films Art House films play, that’s what they’re there for. But I did not. Maybe for her Godzilla is stupid.

I think it was on this day or a few days later I found out TOHO was coming out with a new Godzilla film and how could I not get excited when the original creators were back at it again as they say now “cooking”. I loved the poster they released later looking like a silhouette paint brush of Godzilla. Then I read that it was set in Postwar Japan which reminded me of the original one. Then there was the teaser trailer which was similar that the pre viz teaser for (2014). This one actually looked like it was gonna be the film that I myself and most people thought it was gonna be back then.

I started to think is this a remake to the original one? If it is so far it sounds and looks like they are doing a remake just right this time. When I was at work I saw social media posting how the official trailer for Takashi Yamazaki’s (2023) Godzilla Minus One would come out for Labor Day weekend. I tried to stay on top of it and I saw a post saying the the trailer would release at 01:45 am which would make it 10:45 pm where I’m from. I found that time kind of odd for a trailer to come out, but I don’t know, maybe there’s something about our different time zones I don’t understand. By the time it was 10 pm I was getting a bit tired but said I could make it before I go to bed. I was lying on my bed doing my thing waiting for the time to go by, but my eyes were starting to close. I was tired. I put on my alarm for work in the morning and put an alarm to wake me up 25 minutes later to see the new trailer. I didn’t make it. I fell asleep and woke up saying “oh sh.. I missed it”. But I put it on right away and I did not think it would be as epic as this. It has the fear, the chaos, devastation, the drama, all that I would want from a Godzilla movie and for me this is the closest one to resemble the original one. The cinematography of this film is on par with with it. Obviously not the black and white photography, but the framing. Like the reflection of Godzilla in the window, the scene with an explosion in front of Godzilla reminded me of the still when he uses his atomic breath in black and white one, even the the scene were the shots are just at his feet or leg. It felt like old school style filmmaking to me. It also seems like this one is gonna have a lot for me and film lovers to analyze after viewing it. I mean even the dramatic score playing to it, the visual effects looks great. The last shot of Godzilla roaring is icing on the cake telling me I I am not going to want to miss this one at all. It’s a Godzilla that I want. I mean just by the trailer it looks like something that’s gonna be talked about a lot or that will become one for people to be telling the academy to award it now. Maybe it will, maybe it will go unnoticed. But I’ll see it and award or not I’ll have my say on it and just be happy I got to see it. During the trailer, one of the lines that got me is when one of the characters says “That monster will never forgive us”. It gave me chills and I said “yup” and wanting to clap and say “that’s it right there”. Good job. That’s what Godzilla is about. The story of Godzilla in my opinion is tragic and why I got emotional in the theater when they killed Godzilla. Like the original this is post war Japan. People who have suffered enough that have had to start from scratch, “zero” just to face an unstoppable force after to basically bring it lesser than zero. Hence the title Godzilla Minus One. One of the great things of the official trailer to this is that it seems like it’s being celebrated all over the world right now. It makes me happy. I already read that it’s breaking records on YouTube for views and I’ve seen reactions and people already breaking down scenes, the title, and theories they have. One I was impressed with was that it says minus one may have another meaning to it. Like maybe there was three and now there’s minus one which makes it two. Some people have been saying there are 2 creatures in this film, Godzilla and another one. Who was the third? Mom? Dad? Son? I really don’t know but just having a trailer do this is really impressive. I’m glad that this will be nationwide because I thought it was gonna be hard to find a place to watch this and was hoping my Art House theater would announce that they would play it soon. But it will be available December 1st nationwide and just that has to be one of the greatest Christmas present of 2023.