Blog 758: Close, But No Biscuit — Godzilla 98

I hadn’t seen the 1998 Godzilla film pretty much since it came out. I went to the cinema at the time of course, by that point already being a committed fan of the big G’s Japanese adventures from their spurious showings on Channel 4 at one in the morning, but beyond that I have little memory of whether or not I actually enjoyed it. I certainly didn’t get it on video, and kept instead returning to the few Toho films I’d managed to tape off the TV.

In hindsight, though, I realise how much this film coloured my desire to see Godzilla 2014 before the event. When I fell in love with the original Godzilla, I fell in love with his moves, his friends and his enemies — the tail-slaps, the atomic heat breath, Anguirus, Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah, Gigan, Mechagodzilla, the Japanese Self-Defence Force…

98 had none of these. They gave him no opposing monster, no atomic breath, and even the American army lacked any fun bonus tech like maser tanks and space rockets. Alas it is not merely a poor excuse for a Godzilla film — it’s a bad film, full stop. It’s a bad monster movie, a bad action movie, and a bad disaster movie. It has aged horrendously. So as with all such things… Chris McPhail and I had a podcast chat about that!

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Blog 674: World-Building for World-Destroyers

I’ve been in the mood for giant monster movies for ages now. With Toho’s return to the stage Godzilla: Resurgence approaching soon (though without sign of a UK release), I had a re-watch of 2014’s excellent western reboot.

My love for Godzilla might have stemmed from the ridiculous 60s and 70s films, but the reboot continues to impress me with its details — which deftly ground the giant monster in some semblance of gritty verisimilitude without precluding any of the original run’s rule-of-cool hilarity.

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