The heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.
Plot: The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.
Director: Michael Dougherty
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Runtime: 132 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Godzilla: King of the Monsters delivers spectacular kaiju action — and reaffirms that cutting-edge effects are still no substitute for a good story.
“Watch this on the biggest screen possible with the best audio setup money can buy.”
This movie was shot with Arri Alexa 65 and Mini cameras with Panavision and Nikon Lenses. This was shot in a 3.4k + 6.5k source format and given a 2k Digital Intermediate, so you will get an upscaled image on this disc. Lastly, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in Dolby Vision and HDR10+
Grain. Grain. Grain. Yes, this movie has some pretty consistent grain layers — sometimes it’s moderate, but for the most part you will get a fine layer to give it more of a climatic/filmatic type of look. Not to mention (like I’ve noted before) a fine layer of grain enables all the CGI (which there is a boat load of in this movie) to blend in and have the presentation to look real — they accomplished that and it looks stunning.
Black levels are solid across the board, but they do appear grey sometimes — I don’t think it was done on purpose, I believe it was the way the movie was intended to be shot. There are a lot of different color aspects and styles to this movie, so that just comes into the field of play. What does that mean? There are a lot of tonal shifts, shots will go from warm in one scene during the day to blue and cold and cold at night. You can notice the hues and colors when it shifts. Good news is that even though this movie is dark; black levels, depth and contrast hit all the right marks as well. The HDR does its job.
You will get some great HDR from time to time, but (like I mentioned above) it’s a darker movie, so there won’t be too much POP! You’ll notice it in the variety of blues on Mothra, the red lava and accents around Rodan, the glowing spine of Godzilla — it’s a really nice touch and added layer to the presentation. You will see it again and again in small intimate moments; like red interior lighting inside of a plane, blue hues from the ice, inside an elevator, etc, etc.
Where the HDR really shines is in the highlights! It’s so BRIGHT that you will find yourself squinting a multitude of times. There are specific occasions where it’s THROUGH THE ROOF — like when Godzilla is beaming off a blast fire or when lightning streaks are coming off of King Ghidorah wings. It’s crazy! Something else that stood out better than I thought was the CGI, there are some soft shots, but everything looks as if it was there. Beyond that, detail looks great when we get up close with more apparent beard stubble, wrinkles, blemishes, makeup — everything you can come to expect from UHD. (It has a naturally sharp appearance with great flesh tones too.)
Usually I note some Chapter highlights, but there’s a lot of commotion and non-stop action happening to really mark a variety of moments, but I want to share a couple anyways. Obviously, when things slow down and the camera pans in, the quality enhances — you will see this in Chapter 10 when Godzilla emerges from the water after the nuclear explosion — close up shots of both Kyle Chandler and the CGI on Godzilla brings out all the detail on all fronts. It’s a solid scene. Again, not too long later, Godzilla emerges glowing red, shooting off impulse blasts of fire in Chapter 12 — it’s HDR WOW! He fills the screen full of color, all while the subs are waking up anyone in your house or nearby. This my not be a razor sharp 4K UHD disc, but everything else hits it mark at high levels.
As a side note: the audio sounded absolutely amazing on this disc! I still don’t have a top notch setup to comment properly, but my subwoofer was really working — it was shaking my room and I was afraid I was going to really piss off the neighbors. (I hear it’s a reference grade Atmos mix, so there’s that too.)
The Godzilla franchise has been a money maker for a very long time, and there’s no reason to assume that it won’t continue to do so into the distant future. These last two movies have combined for about $1 billion and there’s at least one more on the way in Godzilla vs. Kong coming next year. When it comes to a recommendation on this movie and disc, I would say this is a must own for all Godzilla fans (Is anyone not a fan?) and UHD enthusiasts. You want to watch this on the biggest screen possible with the best audio setup money can buy.
Will you be picking up the UHD? Sticking to the Blu-ray? Don’t care at all? Let me know in the comments below. Otherwise, Godzilla: The King of the Monsters will be available to own August 27th on 4k, Blu-ray & DVD at your local retailer! You can grab it on digital today!
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