Monday, March 29, 2010

You're Only As Big As Your Battles

As badly recieved as 1998's Americanized Godzilla was, it was inevitable that it wouldn't be the last US attempt to do justice to the King of Property Damage. Now it's been announced that Legendary Pictures, teamed with Warner Bros., will be giving the atomic age icon another shot at stateside glory. There's been few films I hated more than Roland Emmerich's Godzilla (but the teasers and trailers for it were great, weren't they?) but that kind of animosity tends to happen when you adapt a pop culture staple and throw everything that's readily indentifiable as the character away. When you do that, people can't help but call bullshit.

In the mid-'80s, director Steve Miner (Friday the 13th Part 2) and writer Fred Dekker (Monster Squad) tried to get a 3-D US remake of Godzilla going which would've been the first non-Toho Big G film and also the first to ditch the much loved man-in-a-suit approach and make a state-of-the-art Godzilla. That project sadly died thanks to budget concerns (check out one of the original storyboards below) but I often wonder how that one would've panned out, 'cause it sure looks like they were heading in the right direction.

The new Godzilla (due in 2012) doesn't have to be a man-in-a-suit to be great (although it sure wouldn't hurt, in my eyes) but it does have to have the classic look. You know, like this:

If it ain't that, don't bother calling it Godzilla. You can't just put any giant lizard on the screen and expect us to cheer for it.

10 comments:

A Stupid Ninja Cats Blog said...

Cgi ,and 3D are the new thing .It's sadly the future for Godzilla.

Jeff Allard said...

Yeah, when you look at it that way, it kind of sucks the excitement out of it. But if done with the right attitude and reverence for the character, it could still be fun. Throwing a few of the Big G's classics foes in there couldn't hurt.

FilmFather said...

I've been trying to introduce my 7-year-old to old-school Godzilla. If my childhood memory serves, Destroy All Monsters was the most fun film featuring G-Zod -- it featured pretty much every Toho monster under the sun, including my fave, Ghidrah. Do you agree or have a better recommendation?

P.S. Yes, the US Godzilla teaser trailer was awesome, with the two fisherman and the big Godzilla eye. Saw it in theaters in front of Starship Troopers.

Jeff Allard said...

Aw man - Starship Troopers! I've got to find my DVD of that - love that movie! As for Destroy All Monsters, that's a great pick. I thin Godzilla vs. Mothra is actually a better movie, though.

I also have a soft spot for goofier entries like Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster and Godzilla vs. Megalon and the most recent wave of Big G films that Toho made were mostly really good - especially 2001's Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.

senski said...

FilmFather, you might want to look into 1967's "Son of Godzilla," the most blatantly made-for-children entry in the old school series. When I was growing up, it was pretty much reviled among so-called serious Godzilla fans for its approach, but it's gained in stature since.

knobgobbler said...

Godzilla is one of those things like anime that, for me, isn't what it claims to be if it isn't Japanese.
I just don't think Hollywood can keep from messing with what makes Godzilla cool...

As for CGI... as much as I don't want to see a fully CGI Godzilla I'm thinking some compromise of motion capture/digital makeup would be... kind of acceptable.

Either way, there are still plenty of kaiju movies I haven't seen so if the future goes thud I can just satisfy the urge by going retro.

FilmFather said...

Jeff and Senski: Thx for the Godzilla movie recommendations. To the Netflix queue!

Bob Ignizio said...

The best part of 'Godzilla Final Wars' is the scene where the real Godzilla takes out the American one in about 5 seconds flat. Still, I'm game for giving another U.S. version a chance, even a CGI one as long as it looks like Godzilla.

As for using some of the other monsters, my understanding is Toho always wanted too much money for the rights. They should just do like the Marvel comics series and come up with a monster foe for the Big G on their own.

David Lee said...

A CGI Godzilla doesn't have to look bad -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHxzAXaJOtU

Carl (ILHM) said...

Nothing can be any worse than the abysmal failure that is GODZILLA FINAL WARS..