my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Godzilla Minus One
Director:   Takashi Yamazaki
Year:   2023
Genre:   Monster
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   06.09.24

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
06.09.24Internet This was very good, and the reason why it's very good is because it has a story. This might be a pessimistic take but it saddens me that all this movie had to do in order to generate all kinds of great reviews and word of mouth is have some kind of thematic statement. How far has Hollywood fallen that actually caring for a character is noteworthy.

Retracting the hyperbole a little bit, I'm aware of all the other ways this movie didn't fuck up in order to achieve quality and I'm aware of all the reasons why Hollywood's not incentivized to care about things like story and characters anymore, but this isn't a review - it's just my thoughts - and this is what went through my head as I watched. There's nothing crazy about why this movie is good. It doesn't show me something I've never seen before or invent a new genre or bring some techno-novelty to bear like 3D or high frame rate or whatever. It's a good movie because it has a story! The main character has an arc! There's a beginning, middle, and end! holy shit!

On the American side, I do remember liking Gareth Edwards' take although in memory that still felt like a soul-less thrill ride. Like, I don't remember who was even in it, just that the scenes depicting Godzilla were well-conceived and shot in an immersive way. I don't remember if I've seen any of the other godzilla movies since then, I'd have to check this site! But I know I've skipped the last couple because they're largely the same. If the spectacle of the monster scenes is not worth sitting through everything else then the movie is a failure. It's a formula that all the marvel movies have succumbed to, the same formula typical action fare these days like The Gray Man or Extraction follows, and most other movies follow suit. Movies made for tiktok excerpting.

I'm tired of complaining so I'll leave it there. I did enjoy the scope and excitement of the monster scenes here too, but they had a lot of stuff going on in them. For one I liked how they basically made a CG version of a guy in a suit. Godzilla's design is a pleasant throwback I thought. And his scenes of destruction also felt nostalgic: getting at the essence of what people liked from the original. The atomic angle is also still there (although that message i thought was not really dwelled on, perhaps because everyone's already familiar), but so is a huge comment on Japan in WWII. I'm now culturally aware enough to fully comprehend what the movie is saying, but to me it expressed regret at its country's behavior. I thought I heard some governmental denial somewhat recently so I don't know if this movie's stance is fully embraced in Japan or what but to me, making the main protagonist a failed kamikaze pilot is super rife with meaning. Also seeing fire-bombed postwar tokyo, how their late 40s went, how their veterans felt. Godzilla - rightly - takes on a greater symbolic meaning. Like they are trying to kill the sins of their past that are literally haunting them. It's kind of like a version of Halloween's Michael Myers that I can actually understand.

I might be off base with some of that, but I can tell that it's there. Something is there. There's a reason beyond box office why that script was written. Not having seen the original is many many years, I imagine this film strikes modern audiences in a very similar way that the original struck people in the 50s. And that movie resonated so much it spawned like a hundred ridiculous sequels. Good stuff.