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TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998) • Monster Zero x SciFi Japan

TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Discuss items of general interests about all the Godzilla films--actors, favorite G suits. etc.

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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby Shin_Edda_Robo!!!!! » Sun May 31, 2015 10:02 pm

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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby jellydonut25 » Sun May 31, 2015 11:21 pm

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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:10 am

I have some thoughts on things that have been said, but they've been said by a lot of people, so I'll just address them generally. Also, I'm about to say a lot of things in a "factual" way, but know that when I say, "It's at this point that G98 turns into a poopfest" I mean FOR ME PERSONALLY.

"This movie certainly isn't worse than certain Toho films."
It's hard to argue against this as a pure 'critical quality' thing, as stuff like Godzilla's Revenge and others are just SHODDILY MADE films, but I'd argue that perhaps only the ABSOLUTE WORST of the series are worse than this, largely because at least most Toho films understand the value of brevity. If I'm going to sit through something dull, I'd rather it be 85 minutes than 140.

And even if I grant that GvsMothra92 and SpaceGodzilla are worse movies...I still would say I hate G98 most because it STARTS good. It PROMISES me in the first thirty minutes or so that this will be a good, fun movie and builds a decent world in which the film could take place, and then fumbles it terribly.

"This movie shouldn't be hated on for things the Toho movies get away with"

I don't think people (or at least me personally) give the Toho movies passes for things like poor pacing, human characters, etc. In fact, those are the deciding factors people point to when ranking those films, but those movies have other strengths that G98 doesn't have, that cause people to say "Well, the pacing is poor, but the action is GREAT when it happens". It's not that G98 has poor pacing. Period. Bad acting. Pause. Poor characters. End. It's that it has poor pacing AND bad acting AND poor characters AND slipshod effects AND rips off other blockbusters AND is sloppily made AND is poorly written AND AND AND AND. I mean, I've said the first half hour of the movie is "good" but if I want to be a real big butt about it, I could pick apart the writing and characters and effects sequences therein...but I don't because up to that point, there's still enough good to outweigh the bad.

"Godzilla here isn't any less Godzilla than [insert outlandish Toho example]" Disagreed. BIG TIME. Things like Godzilla loving a beautiful girl, or being possessed by ghosts, or being able to fly aren't deviations that change the ESSENTIALS of his character as an nigh-indestructible radioactive fire-breathing dinosaur who does not back down from a challenge.
I mean, he "loves" a beautiful girl...OR, becomes infatuated for some unknown reason because we don't know what's going on inside that giant head of his. Maybe he just doesn't want to destroy this little thing for some unknown reason...but he's still a giant radioactive fire-breathing dinosaur who does not back down from challenges. Toho has shown it's not just POSSIBLE but almost PREFERRED to play around a LOT within that basic framework, but the creators of G98 (by Emmerich's own admission) said, "I don't care, I want to do my own thing and not have to rationalize it with ANYTHING else."
I've said multiple times, I could have accepted the Godzilla of 1998 as Godzilla if he had merely ACTED like Godzilla....and he's not even a DINOSAUR.

"Godzilla is killed by humans in [insert Toho film here]"
When humans kill or stop Godzilla in a Toho film, it's always through some really crazy thing. Even when he's "killed by a single missile" in GMK, it's from a missile that is shot from INSIDE his body, and it's not the missile that kills him, it's Godzilla's own relentlessness. He's actually killed BECAUSE he's SO Godzilla in that movie. He's so "never back down from a challenge" that it kills him.
Godzilla in the 98 film bleeds from guns shot at him, is knocked unconscious by torpedoes shot at him, and is killed by missiles shot at him. AT. Not "from the inside" or "super-mega weapons that don't exist in real-life because they had to make up some crazy thing in order for me to even believe it could hurt Godzilla at all."
[finger gun] Pew, Pew. He's dead.



And quite honestly, SOME of what I've said above isn't even what REALLY gets me about this movie. I mean, the excessive running-time for me personally IS a big factor, and definitely a big factor is the stuff about the movie starting in a promising way and finishing like a turd, but there are other factors that either haven't been mentioned or have only been slightly MENTIONED and not brought up as being as important as they are:
-The characters are terrible people. Nick is MAYBE not too too bad, but Audrey is really THE WORST. She steals from Nick and then "makes it up" to him by...not really making it up to him much at all. And he forgives her because...she's cute? They're also just generally unlikable. Really bad NYC stereotype people (yeah, THAT has been featured in a Godzilla film, but has a Godzilla film ever featured really terrible stereotypes of its own cities main stars? Has a main Godzilla character ever been a terrible Japanese stereotype? Maybe...but if so, it was in a satirical way. I DARE anybody to say Victor or Lucy are satires and not just terrible stereotypes). Also, REALLY bad French stereotypes, AND REALLY bad Japanese stereotypes. The French one bugs me more than the Japanese, honestly. They ALWAYS want coffee and croissants and can ONLY speak in English accents if they talk like Elvis? COME THE FUDGE ON WITH THAT ONE.
-Emmerich and Devlin went with "Godzilla is an animal, not a monster" which brings in a TON of problems, like the "Cold Blooded" thing. You know, if they had outright said, "This is some sort of MONSTER, from ancient times or something..." instead of "It's a giant iguana" then we could just dismiss "cold blooded" as "It's a monster. Who knows what its physiology is like?" Then there are the other countless issues that "It's an animal" bring in: there's no way a creature that size could ever find enough fish to eat, let alone enough to eat AND feet hundreds of babies, and Godzilla couldn't POSSIBLY be both a male and lay eggs, despite what the film EXPLICITLY tells us. Since Godzilla reproduces asexually, thus presumably through parthenogenesis, he would HAVE to be a she otherwise he would be sterile...OR sexual nomenclature would be entirely irrelevant as he'd be a hermaphrodite. And that's not even the WORST of what the "he's a monster" stuff does. It also makes Godzilla a non-entity in his own film. He's just caught in the middle of all this, he's not good or bad, he's just indifferent. In other words, BORING.
-Then there's the shoddiness and inconsistency of the effects work. At their absolute WORST in the Toho series, I can never recall ANY of them being as inconsistent with scale as this movie. In one shot, Godzilla's footprint is like 50 feet long, in another, it's smaller than a cab. At one point, his eye alone is shown being the size of an entire subway tunnel. Given his scale, that would make his mouth roughly the size of a large freighter, and yet he can't fit a taxi cab into that mouth. His footfalls shake cabs and trigger alarms, but when he stomps directly in from of human characters (multiple times) they don't even stagger slightly. He can outrun helicopters capable of going over 100 mph, but cant catch a cab doing maybe 50.
-And all of that is bad enough, but then there's the matter of it just NOT WORKING as a story. I mean, most of what I said above plays into it, but it's just plain boring. We spend a lot of time with human characters who are terrible people, and Godzilla hides for most of the movie. Yes, Godzilla's screen time is REALLY SMALL FOR A MAJORITY OF THE MOVIES, but when he's off-screen for most of the time in something like Gojira or even the 2014 film, there's so much made of what he could POTENTIALLY do if he showed up again and so much mysticism and such a DREAD of him making landfall that tension builds and we're left just GRIPPED wondering when he will appear again. In the 98 film, the characters are EAGER for him to show up again because they KNOW he's a weakling they can easily kill. There's a big difference in tone and the effect on the audience there.

Also, holy crap do those baby designs suck.


:
Again, I don't care if these things don't bother people, but they DO exist, and they DO bother me, and these are the reasons WHY I hate on this film the way I do.

Very little of my unenjoyment of the film has to do with it being notGodzilla. A good portion of my HATRED certainly stems from that, but the lack of enjoyment comes from a SLEW of other issues.
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby Pkmatrix » Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:05 am

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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby Shin_Edda_Robo!!!!! » Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:43 am

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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby Moonlight SY-3 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:36 pm

You know, it's funny...I pretty much agree with everyone's reasons on why they hate the movie so much, but I still find enough good in it to like it anyway. I absolutely love the scene where Godzilla emerges from the street, briefly regards Broderick, ensmegmates him with a phlegmy roar, then walks over him to go grab some tuna. I think the music in that sequence has a lot to do with why I like it.

Anyway, count me as one of the very few who actually like this movie.
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby Specium Ray » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:47 pm

I can live with the inconsistent scale. The characters are terrible but at least the actors are competent. The thing I really hate about this movie are the fake TV news reports that re-use establishing shots that you just saw two minutes ago!

But there's something about the monster being an animal that I really like. I like that they lure it out with fish. I like that she made a nest in Madison Square Garden. I'm a sucker for movies set in NYC, and the way the monster uses the buildings as cover I thought was really clever. At least it makes more sense than Godzilla just perpetually getting taller.

I honestly am relieved to hear even a few people here like it. Now I don't have to defend it anymore! I'm free! I'll just say this: it's a really bad Godzilla movie, but as a follow up to Independence Day it's a huge improvement.
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby XvGojira » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:07 am

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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby Specium Ray » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:10 am

The President of the United States flies his jet fighter into the alien mothership. I'm not even going to say anything else.
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby jellydonut25 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:22 am

Gills.

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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby Specium Ray » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:28 am

My wife just basically said the same thing. It's like I don't even know her anymore T_T

I saw ID4 on opening day and have had zero desire to go back to it. At least I've seen G98 six or seven times. It's even on my shelf. I don't know how it got there, but there it is.

(Remembered it was the president's hillbilly brother who sobered up, don't know where that ranks against french coffee snobs. It's a lateral move at best)
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby jellydonut25 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:16 am

It's not his brother. It's just some random hillbilly. Played by Randy Quaid, who is basically a real-life random hillbilly these days.
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby Specium Ray » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:38 am

Wow, you're right. Am I thinking of Billy Carter?
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby Reaper G » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:12 am

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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby XvGojira » Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:28 pm

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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby lhb412 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:22 pm

They're very similar, but I think ID4 and Godzilla provide a good example of the same basic stuff working and not working. ID4 is dumb as a box of rocks, but it's lively and fun and has some iconic set-pieces and fun characters. Godzilla '98 is entirely lacking in that spark. It's dull as dishwater, through-and-through. Besides a half-decent buildup in the beginning and a likeable turn from Jean Reno (despite being saddled with lame running jokes) there's just not much there to this film.
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby Geno » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:53 pm

GINO can't decide on whether it wants to be a (dull) comedy or a serious sci fi action flick. And it sucks. Hey if you like it more power to you. You can see something beyond the steaming pile of it's writing and awful version of Godzilla through some rose tinted glasses.
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby EricDent » Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:03 am

I recently rewatched this movie on Blu-Ray (first time watching the Blu-Ray).
The movie looked a lot better than I thought it would.

Other than that, yes the movie was stupid, and the creature is not even close to being worthy of the Godzilla name.
Which is why most people called him GINO, and later Toho called him Zilla.

As a giant monster movie, it's a pretty fun movie, as a Godzilla movie it can't even hold a candle to even Godzilla's Revenge...

Though having Roger Ebert (played by the same guy who played Nedry in Jurassic Park) be the mayor was funny.
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby Gentleman » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:29 am

Sorry to be That Guy, but Nedry was played by Wayne Knight and Mayor Ebert was Michael Lerner.
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby EricDent » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:23 am

OK, I guess they just sounded similar...
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby Gwangi » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:07 pm

Well, 20 years ago today, this trailer debuted in front of "Men in Black"



It is funny that in those days, before all of the social media benefits that we now enjoy, one actually had to GO to the theater to watch the trailer, or perhaps see it on "Entertainment Tonight".

Of course, we never saw such a scene in the actual movie. I had be big question mark about the leg, and how was his overall look going to be. But in my naivete, I trusted that the filmmakers would produce a great looking Godzilla.
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby lhb412 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:01 pm

Yeah, I believe I did see the trailer in front of Men In Black. I must have. I know I saw it on TV, too, a few more times after that. I remember I recorded my local Fox affiliate showing Mothra vs. Godzilla (hosted by the local morning DJs) like a week before GINO came out and they showed the trailer there.

I, too, somehow believed that Godzilla would look more like Godzilla even though the foot looked nothing like Godzilla.
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby Gwangi » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:32 pm

If I recall correctly, "Entertainment Tonight" were the first ones to show it (back when they were still a hard-core entertainment news program, and always had the "exclusive previews"). I refused to see it, as I wanted to cherish it first at the movie theater. So on July 4th, 1997, I went to see "Men in Black" and after a few trailers, we finally got the Godzilla teaser and all to thunderous applause afterwards! I am finding it hard to believe it was all 20 years ago, and how innocent and naive we were all back then! :mrgreen:

And I believe if one wanted to see it online, Tri-Star/Columbia did have their "Godzilla" website running, and one could catch it there was well. Yes, young people, we did manage to survive without YouTube, Twitter or Facebook!
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby canofhumdingers » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:08 am

Wow, that brings back some memories. I was 14 the summer of '97. I remember going to see MiB with my dad. This trailer came on and of course I was glued to the screen. I mean, I'd been a fan of dinosaurs since before I had solid memories, I had discovered Godzilla in earnest when I was 9, and Jurassic park had rocked my world just a few years earlier. Then ID4 had absolutely blown me away the summer before in '96. So this trailer really appealed to me.

The funny thing is, I had NO idea there was a Hollywood Godzilla movie in the works. And even watching the trailer, as excited as I was by it, I had NO IDEA it was supposed to be a Godzilla movie until it finally said so at the end. When the foot came down and the tail went by, I thought it was some sort of super sized T. Rex (which sounded awesome to me). When the trailer finally did reveal it was Godzilla, I was confused because what it showed clearly wasn't Godzilla (ah, the irony that it didn't "click" then and I was still super hyped to go see it when it did come out). Heh.

It was also after that trailer hit that I discovered the original incarnation of this site (probably through cross promotion on Barry's Temple of Godzilla?) and followed all the news as it leaked. I eventually joined the message board sometime during the production of Godzilla 2000 Millennium (as it was called back then).
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Re: TALKBACK: Godzilla (1998)

Postby tbeasley » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:14 pm

Yeah even that little teaser leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Has the audacity to poke fun at Jurassic Park... then the final film is nothing but a big dumb JP knockoff on steroids.
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