Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (spoilers)

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Re: Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (spoilers)

Postby klen7 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:31 pm

It really has been such a weird ride that Ghidorah could literally be 3 living beams of energy like the poster and I wouldn't be surprised.
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Re: Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (spoilers)

Postby lhb412 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:50 pm

The only previous Urobuchi series I've watched is Thunderbolt Fantasy, which (NON-SPECIFIC, SOMEWHAT VAGUE SPOILERS - it's a terrific series please watch it) feature several really spectacular plot twists that elevate the finale, and make the previous episodes even better. I'm pretty sure that that's kind of the writer's M.O., so I'm kind of hoping things get really wild in the last installment.
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Re: Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (spoilers)

Postby Benjamin Haines » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:07 pm

Dai wrote:
Benjamin Haines wrote:
lhb412 wrote:^Sherlock is a series of TV movies, as is Columbo.

The Godzilla anime is a miniseries: single story split into movie length episodes. Of course, you could say the same for The Lord of the Rings (based on what was intended as a single book but split into three volumes), but since the individual episodes were so heavily promoted by themselves, coupled with their releases spaced a year apart, I'll concede their moviedom. Meanwhile, the Star Wars film's borrow the term 'episode' from serials, but are definitely movies and not episodes.


I don’t think of ‘episode’ as the same type of descriptor as ‘movie.’ I see two basic categories for video-based narrative fiction: short films/movies and (feature-length) films/movies. Calling a film or a short film an episode simply denotes it as part of a saga, whether that saga is a connected series of theatrical films or a broadcast/cable/streaming TV series. I don’t think the level of continuity makes a difference either.

Whether it’s Seinfeld or The Venture Bros. or The Twilight Zone, I’d say every short-form episode of a TV series is a short film unto itself. I agree that every episode of Sherlock qualifies as a TV movie.

There are cases where the line gets blurry. I’d say Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill falls in this grey area along with TV miniseries like ABC’s Dinotopia (2002) or HBO’s Angels In America (2003). They’re really long feature-length films that were split into shorter-format chapters when they were originally released to the public but were later made available on home media as singular features (only outside of North America in the case of Kill Bill).

I don’t think the Godzilla anime series fits that grey area, though. It certainly doesn’t seem like it was ever conceived as a singular 285-minute feature, nor does it play like they just produced short episodes and then edited them together to make them feature-length. Planet of the Monsters and City on the Edge of Battle each have their own beginning, middle, and cliffhanger ending.


A pretty clear cut way to define something as a movie or an episode is to ask: does it resolve the dramatic questions that it raised? If it does, then it's a self-contained narrative: a movie. If it doesn't, then its narrative structure relies upon a continution: it's an episode.

Based on that definition, the likes of Sherlock or Columbo are definitely movies. Kill Bill is a pair of episodes because vol.1 doesn't conclude any of its protagonist's main drivers; defeating O-Ren is a fake climax, structural smoke and mirrors. Planet of the Monsters actually does exactly the same thing, building up a secondary antagonist (the mini-Godzilla) to take the place of the absent primary antagonist (beardy Godzilla), but in the absence of a definitive confrontation against the primary antagonist the story's core dramatic question hasn't yet been answered.

Star Wars is an interesting case because it includes both movies and episodes. A New Hope is a movie that resolves all the dramatic questions it raises. Empire Strikes Back is an episode that leaves key plot threads hanging. This was pretty common in the days before studios rushed straight to commiting to full series or cinematic universes. The first movie had to be a stand-alone unit until it proved profitable enough to warrant continutation. The Hunger Games and The Matrix are other stories that start with a movie and are followed by episodes (Catching Fire and Matrix Reloaded both end on cliffhangers). Its important to know what the dramatic question is, of course. For example, in the Matrix movies, humanity isn't saved until the end of the trilogy. The central question of the first movie wasn't, "Will Neo save humanity?" though. It was, "Is Neo The One?" and the first movie answers that with a definitive flourish when he states his intent to the machines, hangs up the phone and flies into the sky.


I don't see movie and episode as mutually exclusive descriptors, and I definitely don't think that The Empire Strikes Back isn't a movie. It's both a movie unto itself and an episode of a larger saga just like all of the other Star Wars trilogy entries. It's not uncommon for movies to set up plot threads specifically to let them be picked up in a sequel, especially nowadays.

Kill Bill is a special case because it was conceived and produced as one long feature. It was split into two feature-length halves for its initial release at the behest of Harvey Weinstein but it does exist as a singular feature running just over four hours which was released on home media outside of North America. That four-hour cut is the movie Kill Bill whereas Vol. 1 really is just the first half of the movie and Vol. 2 is the second half of the movie. It plays well in that bisected format because the film is so long that each half is a feature-length viewing experience on its own. That's why I think that Kill Bill belongs in the same box as certain TV miniseries, something that's made as one very long feature and is only edited into smaller chunks to make the viewing experience more digestible.

I don't think the Godzilla anime series belongs in the same category as Kill Bill or a TV miniseries because it doesn't seem like it was ever meant to be one 4.5-hour feature. Just based on the two entries that are out so far, it plays like it was produced as three feature-length stories making up one overarching saga, with the narrative of one entry leading directly into the next, no different than film trilogies like The Lord of the Rings or Back to the Future.
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Re: Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (spoilers)

Postby eabaker » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:18 pm

Dai wrote:A pretty clear cut way to define something as a movie or an episode is to ask: does it resolve the dramatic questions that it raised? If it does, then it's a self-contained narrative: a movie. If it doesn't, then its narrative structure relies upon a continution: it's an episode.


So, The Twilight Zone didn't produce "episodes"? Almost no sitcom ever has produced "episodes"?
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Re: Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (spoilers)

Postby lhb412 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:35 pm

All Twilight Zone episodes are short films.

All Frasier episodes are one-act plays.
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Re: Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (spoilers)

Postby UltraDada72 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:36 am

klen7 wrote:It really has been such a weird ride that Ghidorah could literally be 3 living beams of energy like the poster and I wouldn't be surprised.


Haha! Considering what they did with Mechagodzilla in City, this wouldn't shock me at all. I honestly don't expect Ghidorah to show up, or if he does, he'll only show up for a brief, 2-minute scene.
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