The King of All Monsters certainly made an impression when it at long last returned to theaters to help kick off the Summer Movie Season, and he’s about to land on blu-ray so that you can take the experience home with you. A big part of the film’s appeal is it’s overwhelming spectacle and wow factor. Not all films can make that transfer over to the home entertainment medium without losing some of it. I got the chance to check out the new blu-ray package ahead of it’s release and am here to tell you whether or not Godzilla still holds up and if it’s worth the purchase. Come inside to check it out!
Hitting that Wow Factor
I really enjoyed Godzilla when it hit theaters at the beginning of the Summer. Not only was it a great way to start off the Summer season, I thought it was an incredibly well done reboot of a character I’d grown up with. It felt like a Godzilla movie in all the ways you’d want it to, that was evocative of the original films, managing to successfully bring the franchise into a modern era.
Some of the greatest moments in the film, came from the “wow factor” points. Those “holy shit” moments where something happens and you feel in total awe of what you’re seeing. We’re talking giant monsters here, so when they did something on the big screen in theaters, it was hard to not be impressed. One of my biggest fears in seeing Godzilla at home (even with a nice home entertainment set up), was that the spectacle of the movie would be lost in the translation.
Fortunately, that’s not the case with Godzilla. All the scenes that made you sit on the edge of your seat or say “holy crap” are still wonderfully intact. A lot of that comes down to how well crafted the scenes are from a filmmaking perspective. Despite viewing on a smaller screen, the way the filmmakers set up their shots and revealed information, helps to maintain that sense of awe and wonder.
I felt the same amount of tension as I did in the theater and was impressed at the film’s ability to keep that feeling for the home entertainment release. As for the story itself, I think I covered it well enough in my initial review. My feelings on the film remain largely unchanged. Would I have liked the human characters to be a little smarter at times? Yeah, sure. Would I have enjoyed more screentime for the big guy? Of course.
Despite a few baubles, overall, the Godzilla movie is a fun adventure. The humans react in ways you’d expect them too when faced with something so strange and out of the ordinary. The monsters are still cool, the action is intense, and once the credits roll, I find myself eager for more!
Looking Like a King
The Godzilla reboot looks good. I mean, damn good. The visual effects they used in the film are impressive and go a long way towards making the monsters, and the destruction they cause, feel very realistic. They move and react as if they have weight to them, and despite being entirely made up creatures, they act in a way you’d expect monsters of that size too. It’s a good looking film, and done in a way that I feel the visuals will last and continue to look amazing even years down the line.
The VFX continue to look impressive in it’s transfer to the blu-ray. Granted, the film is pretty dark and it’s color pallette is kind of limited, so there isn’t a lot of room for the blu-ray to stretch its legs and show off it’s pretty colors on your HD screen. That being said, it still offers up some solid dynamic contrast, in that the blacks are significantly deep. This provides plenty of contrast for everything else that’s happening in the film, and when the colors do come out (the red flares, the blue atomic breath), they have a hefty amount of “pop” to them.
More than the visuals, Godzilla simply wouldn’t be Godzilla without his iconic roar. In fact, the entire soundtrack for the film was nicely done. Every impact the monsters made with each other, the tension inducing click-click-click of the MUTOs, and every giant step they took sounded great. It added a lot to the overall realistic feeling of the monsters and made an excellent complement to the visuals on display.
This sound is transferred well on the blu-ray. Godzilla’s roar sounds menacing and awesome coming through the home speakers and the dialog isn’t relegated to the background. Even if you’re listening through standard stereo speakers, the soundtrack isn’t overbearing everything else, and you won’t have to constantly adjust the volume between dialog and action sequences.
In short, on the visual and sound front, this blu-ray delivers on a very comparable level with the theatrical release. This alone helps to keep the spectacle engaging even through multiple viewings.
These bonus featurettes are included on the blu-ray:
MONARCH: Declassified - Discover explosive new evidence not contained in the film that unravels the massive cover-up to keep Godzilla’s existence a secret.
o Operation: Lucky Dragon
o MONARCH: The M.U.T.O. File
o The Godzilla Revelation
The Legendary Godzilla - Go behind the scenes with filmmakers and cast for an even deeper look at the larger than life monsters in the film.
o Godzilla: Force of Nature
o A Whole New Level Of Destruction
o Into The Void: The H.A.L.O. Jump
o Ancient Enemy: The M.U.T.O.s
The bonus material isn’t bad, but I can’t help but feel like it’s a little light. Almost like I’m expecting a new version of the film to be released later with a bunch more stuff. There’s no cut scenes (which we know of a big one that featured a cameo of an original Godzilla actor), and considering the blockbuster nature, I’m surprised there aren’t more behind the scenes things to show off. Hell, even a featurette on the film’s impressive marketing campaign would have been interesting.
What’s offered isn’t bad, don’t get me wrong. It’s just not as complete as I expected. If they came out with a “definitive” blu-ray or something early next year, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least. While it’s a little bit of a bummer for this blu-ray release, it’s by no means a deal-breaker either.
While the bonus features feel a tad on the light side, they’re not bad and should be enough to sate fans of the Godzilla franchise who are eager to learn more. All in all, it’s going to be a long wait for Godzilla 2, so picking up this blu-ray helps to ease that pain.