Review: Godzilla (4K)

Following the French atomic bomb tests in the South Pacific, an unknown creature is spotted passing eastward through the Panama Canal. Scientist Niko Tatopolous is called in to investigate the matter, and he quickly arrives at the conclusion that a giant, irradiated lizard has been created by the explosions. Godzilla then makes its way north, landing at Manhattan to begin wreaking havoc in the big city. Even with the combined forces of the U.S. military to fight the monster, will it be enough to save the people of New York?

Plot: A giant, reptilian monster surfaces, leaving destruction in its wake as it strides into New York City. To stop it, an earthworm scientist, his reporter ex-girlfriend, and other unlikely heroes team up to save their city.

Director:  Roland Emmerich

Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1

Runtime: 139 min

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Without compelling characters or heart, Godzilla stomps on everything that made the original (or any monster movie worth its salt) a classic.

Online Ratings:

  1. Rotten Tomatoes 16%
  2. IMDB 5.3
  3. Metacritic 32

“A special upgrade for fans of Godzilla.”

Review:

This movie was shot with Panavision cameras and lenses on 35mm and ultimately given a native 4K Digital Intermediate. As per the norm with UHD releases, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in HDR10. Similar to the Black Hawk Down release, there’s some heavy grain in a few scenes, but overall — there’s not as much — so grain haters, don’t worry about it.

As you have come to expect and hope, yes, it’s another fantastic release from Sony.

While there is a new quality of enhancement apparent on screen, you will see the biggest jumps in the color, lighting, texture and tone. A lot of this movie has an overcast in effect — what does that mean? A lot of rain, grey tones and bleak looks at New York City — you could almost use the world ‘boring’ to describe how they showcase the city, but that’s what they were going for. Keeping the ‘bleak look’ concept in mind, the lighting in the environment becomes more important since there isn’t a lot of it. That gets an obvious boost because the entire city comes to life in a reserved way — the skyline, streets, pavement and overall atmosphere gets sharper making it seem more real — it’s like you’re in the middle of it with them.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all positive. There were some very soft scenes and the CGI was more way more apparent, but you knew that was going to happen coming from a movie made in the 90’s. Not every movie could have that level of magic like the Jurassic Park animatronics did. If only Godzilla and his offspring could have had some of that magic…  just imagine that for a second.

Beyond that, you will get razor-sharp-up-close shots of the characters faces with details like pores, sweat, blemishes, makeup — the works. This clarity continues with the various pieces clothing to textures on the streets, buildings, rubble — all of the little things bringing you a little closer to what the director intended over 20 years ago.

Let me just say as another side note, the sound on this disc sounded amazing! I still don’t have the proper audio setup to comment accordingly, but sometimes you can really tell its top notch.

I grew up watching this movie on VHS — aka — this was my first Godzilla experience as kid. With that, you can already assume that there’s a sense of movie-magic to it even though (putting my critic hat on) it isn’t a good movie. It’s one of those ‘good-bad’ movies that, at least in my case, I can still enjoy today. Sony is still holding the bar with these remasters, so if you’re looking to add another UHD to your collection, it’s a safe bet, you have my recommendation. Otherwise, if you’re in the minority and like this movie, then go grab it today! It’s just $20 and you can massively upgrade whatever edition of this film you might have.

The newest Godzilla movie drops two weeks from today!

Cheers,

Matt.