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#1 Posted by liquiddragon (3321 posts) -

I've seen bits and pieces of many Godzilla movies but I realized I've only sat through 2 of them, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and Godzilla (2014). The former I remember enjoying as a kid but probably didn't know any better and the latter I liked when Godzilla showed up.

It's such an iconic franchise but I actually know so little about it. What's your favorite Godzilla movie? Is there a movie or 2 that shows off what Godzilla is all about?

Thanks.

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#2 Posted by Brackstone (891 posts) -

Call me crazy, but I think 2014 Godzilla is the best one. Sure the human parts suck after a certain point, but they basically always do in these movies. The parts with Godzilla, though, are the best and I'd even say some of the best computer effects ever put to film.

Anyway, a personal favourite of mine is Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster. It's the first King Ghidorah movie and just a ridiculous romp with lots of favourite monsters. It's the first one I'd recommend for getting a sense of what these movies are really like.

For a weird one, check out Shin Godzilla. I don't think it's necessarily good overall, and the localization was bad in the theatrical release (not sure about home versions), but it's a weird one, and undeniably worth watching. Much more horrific than any other Godzilla movie. Even if I think it's not great overall, lots of people absolutely love it, so you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who wouldn't recommend giving it a chance.

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#3 Posted by shivermetimbers (1706 posts) -

Mothra Vs. Godzilla and King Kong vs. Godzilla.

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#4 Posted by liquiddragon (3321 posts) -

@brackstone: Yeah, I thought the Godzilla parts in 2014 were fucking amazing. Got chills.

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#5 Posted by citizencoffeecake (1538 posts) -

The fairly recent Shin Godzilla was fantastic. Might also be known as Godzilla Resurgence.

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#6 Edited by mellotronrules (2591 posts) -
@liquiddragon said:

Is there a movie or 2 that shows off what Godzilla is all about?

hmm- that's kinda a big question as godzilla has gone through several 'eras' that each have their defining characteristics. kinda sorta depends on what you're in for (social commentary v. goofs v. kaiju wrestling). i found this primer if you're interested (there's a pertinent section subheading entitled 'which godzilla?').

i used to be pretty obsessed, but most of my exposure and nostalgia is found squarely in the pre-90s films. the ones that always stood out to me are:

  • the OG 1954 Gojira (as an adult you might appreciate the pathos, metaphor, and terror of a post-hiroshima/ww2 japan).
  • godzilla versus the smog monster (1971) - this one just bananas...a post-psychedelia japan does its version of 'fern gully,' 20 years earlier.
  • godzilla versus monster zero (1965) - some real good goofy vintage sci fi.
  • godzilla versus biollante (1989) - probably my favourite- a little darker with some great puppetwork and a neato sci fi premise (what if godzilla was a plant?)
  • godzilla versus mechagodzilla (1974) - cuz mechs.
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#7 Posted by Damodar (2174 posts) -

The first one is my favourite. It's got a few silly ideas, but it's nowhere near as goofy as most of the films, much more grim, and it's still actually fairly harrowing for a 1950's monster movie.

I'm also a fan of Final Wars. It's super stupid and parts of it are obviously heavily inspired by the success of The Matrix, it's a good time.

Having said that, I don't know that either of those two are actually particularly good representations of what most of the series is.

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#8 Posted by isomeri (3118 posts) -

I'm a big fan of Shin Godzilla as well.

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#9 Posted by archnite (105 posts) -

SHIN GODZILLA

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#10 Posted by Toastburner_B (470 posts) -

I have thought about this for way too long. I get far too much joy out of dumb old Godzilla movies.

That said, if I had to narrow it down to two for someone who hadn't seen any to watch, this is what I would suggest:

Gojira/Godzilla (1954): The only place to start, really. If you are going to appreciate Godzilla, you need to see where it started. It will also help you appricate just how wild it is that Godzilla became a heroic figure when he started out as a metaphor for the nuclear bombings. If you watch one Godzilla movie, go with the origina.

Now, the second choice is a harder one. But most people who watch a Godzilla movie nowadays, I think, are looking for some monster-on-monster violence. So with that in mind, my second recommendation is:

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001): For my money, this one has some of the best action in the series. For the new viewer, it also has the added benefit of treating itself like the sequel to the original Gojira (then again, most of the 2000s Godzilla films ignore all the other movies except the original, so whatever). I don't know how the rest of the fandom regards this one, but I freakin' love it. Great music, too. Spent way too much to buy the soundtrack.

If you want to go past these, it depends on what you are in the mood for. Outside of the original and Godzilla Raids Again, the rest made in the 60s and 70s are goofy to one extent or another. The ones made in the 80s and 90s are more serious, but not quite as serious as the original was. The ones in the 2000s are kind of somewhere in between, I guess?

If you don't care at all about the history behind the series The American Godzilla from 2014 and Shin Godzilla from 2016 are good watches.

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#11 Posted by FrostyRyan (2920 posts) -

Final Wars is kind of as awesome as it sounds from the title

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#12 Posted by Ravelle (3304 posts) -

@archnite said:

SHIN GODZILLA

This.

And probably the Kong vs Godzilla movie that's coming out later, loved Kong: Skull Island.

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#13 Posted by breq (107 posts) -

Godzilla 2014 is the best Western take of Godzilla, SHIN is prob the best Eastern take on Godzilla.

Everything else.....well that depends on what you want out of a Godzilla movie. Just know going in that Japan has always been behind USA in terms of special effects. So even their serious films like Biollante/Destroyah kind of come off a little goofy due to the effects they use.

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#14 Posted by SeanFoster (983 posts) -

I’ll second what @toastburner_b said. I’ve had a guilty pleasure love of the franchise my entire life and I highly recommend Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidora: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack! from 2001. It’s serious, but not too serious, has some surprisingly great cinematography and an amazing score by Kow Otani (of Shadow of the Colossus). It’s honestly not just a good Godzilla or Kaiju film, but just a damn good movie on it’s own.

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#15 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7535 posts) -

The original movie in Japanese is worth a watch. I would recommend going to you local public library to get The Criterion Collection version. With that you get the original, 1954 Japanese version Gojira, along with Godzilla: King of the Monsters!, the 1956 American reworking starring Raymond Burr. I'm more of a Gamera fan. I grew up with Kaijū movies on UHF stations, I just love seeing these monster stomping around and eventually becoming heroes in their own films.

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#16 Posted by bawbalewie1314 (71 posts) -

I've always enjoyed Biollante. Cause it is so batcrap crazy. I also really like the original Godzilla. You could check out Brandon Tenhold' s youtube channel where he is slowly reviewing every godzilla movie.

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#17 Posted by Rorie (5730 posts) -

I really liked that movie, even if I'm not a huge fan of Aaron Taylor-Johnson in it. I hear Shin Godzilla is pretty good but I haven't seen it!

Call me crazy, but I think 2014 Godzilla is the best one. Sure the human parts suck after a certain point, but they basically always do in these movies. The parts with Godzilla, though, are the best and I'd even say some of the best computer effects ever put to film.

Staff
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#18 Edited by MiniPato (3014 posts) -

Roland Emmerich's 1998 Godzilla was enjoyable when I was a dumb ass little kid. Godzilla stealth killed a helicopter in the middle of New York City.

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#19 Edited by Shiftygism (931 posts) -

2014's Godzilla was in some ways was more disappointing for me than 1998 as I was soooooo into what they we're initially selling...

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I want THAT movie.

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#20 Posted by Memu (454 posts) -

My favorites are Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla (2002) and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003). It is kind of like one big movie that was cut into 2 pieces. Great campy fun!

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#21 Edited by inevpatoria (7436 posts) -

The very first Godzilla is absolutely worth seeing, since it's not a silly monster movie but a rather bleak commentary on post-war nuclear power.

On that note, I'd also recommend 2016's Shin Godzilla, a new interpretation of the classic monster that--much like the original--uses the premise of an attack on Tokyo as a broader nationalist commentary. Shin Godzilla is preoccupied with demonstrating a pervasive bureaucratic helplessness endemic to a modern, post-war Japan: In a state of emergency, even in the event of a slow-moving disaster, Japan's government is powerless to rise to action as a result of political indecision and the country's crippling reliance on the world's other superpowers. It depicts a nation that can't protect itself from itself, much less from an apocalyptic outside threat--a nation whose own failures cause a domino effect that stymies any hope for a truly independent future. It's dark, sobering, terrifying, and surprisingly engrossing. I genuinely thought this was my favorite movie in 2016.

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#22 Posted by Dichemstys (3923 posts) -

With Shin Godzilla you have to be ready for a lot of political discussions, but it's really a great movie.

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#23 Posted by Humanity (18715 posts) -

@brackstone: Yeah, I thought the Godzilla parts in 2014 were fucking amazing. Got chills.

Completely agree. The sound design is also really amazing in that film. The moment when Godzilla charges up his electric/atomic ray and the air is humming with crackling electricity is just awesome. I thoroughly enjoyed that movie.

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#24 Posted by shivermetimbers (1706 posts) -

You could honestly pick any one by Toho and have a good time with it, provided you're into people in suits beating up each other.

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#25 Posted by PenguinDust (13086 posts) -

For pure ridiculousness, you can't miss with Godzilla vs Megalon. One of my favorites from the Showa period is Godzilla vs Mothra (aka Godzilla vs The Thing [US title]). Coming off of the '98 Matthew Broderick movie, Japan answered with Godzilla 2000 Millennium which I liked a lot even though the bad monster was a flying squid. Also, the Netflix anime has been pretty good so far. Kind of bleak, but worth the watch. The first movie of three is on Netflix and the second is supposed to come sometime later this year. The third episode is coming out this November in Japan. I expect it will have an international release in 2019.

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#26 Posted by inevpatoria (7436 posts) -

For pure ridiculousness, you can't miss with Godzilla vs Megalon. One of my favorites from the Showa period is Godzilla vs Mothra (aka Godzilla vs The Thing [US title]). Coming off of the '98 Matthew Broderick movie, Japan answered with Godzilla 2000 Millennium which I liked a lot even though the bad monster was a flying squid. Also, the Netflix anime has been pretty good so far. Kind of bleak, but worth the watch. The first movie of three is on Netflix and the second is supposed to come sometime later this year. The third episode is coming out this November in Japan. I expect it will have an international release in 2019.

In terms of sheer batshit craziness, I always default to Godzilla: Final Wars:

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#27 Posted by liquiddragon (3321 posts) -

This is way more suggestions than I thought I'd get for Godzilla. Thanks y'all!

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#30 Posted by cikame (2787 posts) -
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