B- Sound: B- Extras: D Film: D
ideas are just so poor to attempt that they are almost guaranteed failure, but
remaking Godzilla was one of the lamest of all.
The original 1955 film is a darker film in its original Japanese version
than many realize, as the monster is a return of the repressed from issues the
country has to deal with from WWII. The
fact that the creature comes to life from the same means in which Japanese
Imperialism is crushed is as complicated as you can imagine. The 1998 remake ignores that and much more
just to make Godzilla just another
franchise and 2+ hour toy ad for toys no one wanted.
After Independence Day (1996, reviewed on
Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) it seemed the team of Roland Emmerich &
Dean Devlin were going to be a powerhouse commercial filmmaking duo for decades
to come. Instead, this bomb started to
fracture their relationship and would only make one more hit with the Mel
Gibson hit The Patriot (2000, also
reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) before splitting for good. If you ever sat through this, you’d see why.
Broderick (at the end of his pre-Election ten-year slump) plays the science
expert the governments turn to when stupidity awakens the title creature from
its long sleep, part of which is caused by nuclear-powered mistakes. He is called in and heads to a pre-9/11 New York City to help as
much as possible and gets there in time for all havoc to break loose. This was embarrassing pre-9/11 and has only
and Emmerich co-wrote the paper-thin, overly jokey, absolutely useless
screenplay with blatantly commercial screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio
(who at least penned the Tony Scott/Denzel Washington film Déjà vu) and have two of the poorest track records for writing
anything. Jean Reno, Michael Lerner,
Harry Shearer and Hank Azaria are among the few recognizable faces in the cast
as the film (despite a huge budget) is more talk than action throughout (we hear
about buildings and stores destroyed, yet are not always shown them) up until
the new version of the monster is introduced and wow, what a
disappointment. The design is dumb,
forgettable and laughably unimaginative, not to mention phonier than the original
despite the then state-of-the-art digital effects.
hype and approach Sony/TriStar took to promoting the film, they acted like they
had another Batman on their hands,
but what we got was more like Howard The
Duck or Exorcist II – The Heretic. Most scenes are generic and we have seen all
of this before and done far better in more original films. Even the energy here is off and the film
generates zero excitement. The result is
a dud that could have been any B-movie knock-off of the original and all the
great, fun giant monster films Godzilla
and King Kong ever inspired. Of course, the greatest fallacy in
greenlighting this mess is that a “realistic” monster would be better than a
guy in a suit, but he turned out to be much more fun and that is the ultimate
reason this should have never been made.
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is much softer than expected, though we
do get good color throughout just the same.
Director of Photography Ueli Steiger would rejoin Emmerich after Devlin
departed for a few films (Day After
Tomorrow, 10,000 BC) bringing Emmerich’s
work into a new world of digital phoniness for the worst. Ironically, the film was blown-up into 70mm
prints and some 35mm prints were three-strip, dye-transfer Technicolor prints,
so it was given the deluxe treatment, but to little avail. Sadly, neither type of print is made much
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix is too compressed and limited for its
own good, though we do get some instances of surrounds that are not bad. Unfortunately, this was an 8-channel SDDS
(Sony Dynamic Digital Sound) release, but this mix is not based off of that
expansive soundmaster for whatever reason.
A few attempts at hit records on the soundtrack did not work, while David
Arnold and Michael Lloyd deliver an instrumental score that is underwhelming.
include BD Live interactive functions, Digital Copy for PC & PC portable
devices, movieIQ interactive features and Ultimate Godzilla Multi-Player Trivia
Game as Blu-ray exclusives, plus a feature length visual effects audio
commentary, the great band The Wallflowers wasted here in a Music Video for the
film’s soundtrack entitled “Heroes”
that remains the nadir of their otherwise fine career, a behind-the-scenes
featurette and All-Time Best of Godzilla
- Nicholas Sheffo