Legendary's Godzilla 2 & beyond - News & Rumors

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special, May 11, 2016.

  1. The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special

    The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The sequel to Gareth Edward's 2014 US reboot has been push back to March 22, 2019. At the same time, the crossover movie "Godzilla vs. King Kong" has been announced for May 29, 2020.

    ComingSoon| Godzilla 2 Delayed Nine Months
     
  2. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So will Godzilla vs Kong have the Kong from Kong: Skull Island and the new US Godzilla from the 2014 movie and it's sequel?
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I gather that's the plan, though I don't know how they'll deal with the enormous difference in sizes.
     
  4. The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special

    The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Set pic from "Skull Island":
    [​IMG]
    Looks like they're making Kong larger in this universe (similar to the original "King Kong vs. Godzilla").
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not a movie I'm eager to see emulated, honestly. Although I've only seen the awful Americanized version, which replaced a lot of it with incredibly boring filler of news presenters reporting on the story as it happens. They were no doubt trying to emulate Godzilla: King of the Monsters!, but at least that movie had Raymond Burr actually witnessing the events in person and participating on the periphery, while this is just talking heads sitting at newsroom desks half a world away and addressing the camera.

    Well, hopefully Godzilla vs. Kong will prompt the home-video release of a new uncut Japanese-language edition of KKvG in the US, so I can finally see it.
     
  6. The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special

    The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't realize there's still no English language release of the Japanese cut. There was a German release on DVD about two years back. It really is quite different from the American version (which the original German release was based on). It's still comedic in nature, but the comedy works a lot better, and the characters are (relatively) fleshed-out.

    And, no, Godzilla doesn't win at the end in the Japanese version.
     
  7. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Commodore Commodore

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    The ending is the same in both versions, but it was meant to be open to interpretation as to who "won" the fight. Kong swims off alone, but does this mean he has triumphantly vanquished Godzilla, or that he has been driven to retreat with his (proverbial) tail between his legs?
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm sure there is somewhere, just not one I've been able to find for rental or at the library.


    Even so, it looked like it was still a pretty silly film. I remember an overacting comedy-relief character who was dressed kind of like Gilligan. And it was weird to see how quickly the series went from the ultra-grim, powerful, adult anti-war allegory of the original film to the kid-friendly comedy of what was only the third Godzilla film. (Albeit the sixth kaiju film overall, since after Godzilla Raids Again we got Rodan, Daikaju Baran, and Mothra, as well as brief giant-robot or giant-monster sequences in the sci-fi tokusatsu films The Mysterians, Battle in Outer Space, and Gorath.)

    Baran is probably the most obscure kaiju film. I once managed to see the Americanized version, Varan the Unbelievable, which was even more extreme than King of the Monsters in the changes it made. It basically focused on a small cast of new actors who were mostly off on their own while the bulk of the film's action happened elsewhere, and the main characters of the Japanese film were established strictly through narration as friends of the American lead character, even though they never actually interacted onscreen. It was terribly boring and repetitive, and it's a shame, since Baran/Varan was kind of an interesting kaiju, basically a giant monitor lizard with spines on its back, able to function as both quadruped and biped and even fly/glide (though that part was cut out of the US version).


    Yes, I know that's a myth.
     
  9. The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special

    The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, good luck.

    It also can't be ignored that it was released seven years after "Godzilla Raids Again", eight years after the original. So, back then, this wasn't "all of a sudden" at all. Also, this was the first Godzilla movie in color, and it is noticable that all of Honda's Kaiju movie in color were light-hearted adventure movies, since he felt the effects were too visibly just effects in color to actually make these movies serious. Also, Eiji Tsuburaya was one of the biggest proponents for a more family- and children-friendly atmosphere in these movies starting with the 60s.

    So, while it is still pretty silly in the Japanese version, it is a much better movie than the Americanized version, and is about on the same level as Honda's later entries into the Godzilla series.

    Yes, "Daikaiju Baran" is definitely worth watching in the Japanese version. I've not had the chance to check out the Americanized version, but from what I've heard and read about it, I don't think I actually want to. "Godzilla, King of the Monsters!" may be far from being the masterpiece that the Japanese original was, but at least it was an enjoyable watch.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, I know, but in terms of Godzilla's evolution, it's surprising that it took so few films. Even Godzilla Raids Again pretty much dropped the allegory and philosophical weight for a more by-the-numbers disaster movie, as did Rodan. But at least GRA portrayed Godzilla and Anguirus as serious threats. (In fact, the one interesting thing about that rather dull film is how it shows life going on in the midst of constant danger, the public just trying to cope as best they can -- which is the sort of mentality the Japanese have had to develop given the volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. they've historically had to deal with.) But then, when Godzilla is brought back after seven years, he's in a comedy, rather jarringly.


    Even so, most of Honda's color films before and after this were relatively more serious. Rodan and (I think) Baran were played as serious monster movies, even if not as deep as Gojira. Mothra and Mothra vs. Godzilla had anti-war themes and critiqued Western cultural imperialism and corporate exploitation. Frankenstein vs. Baragon (aka Frankenstein Conquers the World) was probably Honda's second-darkest kaiju film, touching on the plight of Hiroshima survivors and commemorating the victims, and featuring the most human, tragic kaiju in the franchise. Honda did direct some lighter ones later on -- the King Ghidorah duology, King Kong Escapes, and the bizarre, awful clip-show movie All Monsters Attack -- but I'd say King Kong vs. Godzilla was the only outright comedy in the series prior to 1967.


    But that level is so variable. Mothra vs. Godzilla is terrific. The Ghidorah films are okay but start to get a bit silly. Destroy All Monsters is epic and impressive, but it's immediately followed by All Monsters Attack, the most awful film in the franchise. And finally Terror of Mechagodzilla tries to get more serious again, but is rather mediocre.

    Honda's output in that period gets even more uneven if you go beyond Godzilla. Dogora, the Space Monster is a weird, offbeat film that's essentially a heist movie with a space monster tacked on here and there. Frankenstein Conquers the World is impressive and potent, but its sequel War of the Gargantuas is meh. And King Kong Escapes is silly. (I haven't managed to track down Atragon, Latitude Zero, or Space Amoeba.)


    Good call. The one point in its favor is that the Japanese-American lead actress they cast in the new footage was gorgeous, but storywise it's unpleasant to watch. The American hero has a Japanese wife, and he infantilizes her due to both her sex and her ethnicity.

    In its way, Varan the Unbelievable is kind of a forerunner of Power Rangers, taking FX and action footage from a Japanese production and building a very different story around it with an English-speaking cast. Although there is still a moderate amount of footage of the Japanese cast from time to time, untranslated and narrated as in King of the Monsters! And no Power Rangers episode has ever been so dull.


    I'm not a huge fan of it, but it's intriguing the way it almost works as a parallel narrative, showing the same sequence of events from a different perspective. I think the one place where that really breaks down is in the hospital scene, where Martin convinces Emiko to reveal the secret of the Oxygen Destroyer, a decision she makes on her own in the original. (I also hate the dubbing of Emiko in the Burr version. Momoko Kochi gives such a compelling, dramatic performance, but the woman dubbing her into English might as well be reading the weather report for all the emotion she conveys.)
     
  11. The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special

    The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think before the King Kong battle idea came across Toho's desks, they were actually planning of ever making another movie with this monster again. And it was only the huge success of "King Kong vs. Godzilla" (it is the most successful Japanese Godzilla movie to date) was the reason why Toho decided to even make further Godzilla movies.
    One must also consider that, by 1962, Japan had largely left the traumata which were the basis of Honda's original behind (or, more likely, suppressed them), and with a flourishing economy and an optimistic outlook to the future, a Giant Monster movie wasn't going to be as dark and deep as "Godzilla".
    Toho also had to work with American partners on this movie, since they had the rights to King Kong. The way I described Honda feeling that the effects were too visibly unrealistic in color, I think this actually goes back to those American producers, who had to think of the American audience they were going to sell the movie to. They were probably pushing for a campier approach.
    Add to that, as I mentioned before, Tsuburaya's wish to make these movies enjoyable for children.

    But whether the movie is any good is, of course, a matter of opinion. The question whether you like the movie before you've actually had a chance to watch it is kinda like a debate on Schroedinger's Cat. If you get the chance, watch the Japanese version and see for yourself whether it's for you or not. I enjoyed it very much, as have all of my Kaiju-loving friends, and it is without question that the Japanese cut is not just far superior to the American version, it is almost an entirely different film.

    Granted. But with the exception of the dreaded "All Monsters Attack", all these are at the very least fun to watch.

    That's what I've heard (well, not necessarily about the actress being gorgeous, but ... you know).

    I guess we German fans are pretty lucky that most of these classics have made it to DVD in the uncut Japanese version in Germany.

    But then, the subtitles for the Japanese version of "Godzilla" were an abomination.
    With "Godzilla", the German theatrical release was not based on the Americanized version, like so many later monster movies were, but it was still cut down quite a bit. So, when the German DVD company decided to release a Box set with the Japanese original cut, the German theatrical cut, and the American version, they had to provide subtitles for the Japanese version. For the scenes which were in the German cut, they simply wrote that off the German dub, other scenes which were in the American version, but not the German, were roughly translated from that, and the dialogue which was neither in the German nor the American version, well, there the people in charge of the subtitles just made stuff up. I'm not kidding, that's what they actually did. God, I hate those bastards.

    Yes, I understand. Though there were some seasons of "Power Rangers" which were relatively close to the original Sentai version ("Time Force" and "Space Patrol Delta" come to mind). But that's another discussion entirely.


    I didn't mean to say that it's something I re-watch all the time. I've seen it maybe twice. But while it's horrible compared to the original, I didn't actually find it terrible in itself.
    The hospital scene was awful, though, I agree.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    In fact, it was originally going to be King Kong Meets Frankenstein, a project conceived by original King Kong animator Willis O'Brien. Only when they failed to get the rights to Frankenstein and then sold it to Toho was it decided to use Godzilla instead.

    And it's worth noting that Godzilla was the "special guest villain" in two consecutive films. Mothra vs. Godzilla is thought of these days as a Godzilla film, but it's really a Mothra sequel with Godzilla as the baddie. (And it's basically the same story as KKvG, only so very much better in execution.)


    I don't think you ever really get over something like that. The echoes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been resonating through Japanese cinema for decades. You can see it in apocalyptic-themed anime like Space Battleship Yamato and Akira, not to mention more direct references in things like Grave of the Fireflies and Barefoot Gen. Even in Honda's own work, Frankenstein Conquers the World was driven by Honda's anti-war sentiments almost as much as Gojira was.


    Yeah. The American producers kept pushing Honda's team to put a giant octopus into the Frankenstein films, because they liked the one in KKvG. There's an unused alternate ending to FCtW where, after Frankenstein defeats Baragon, a giant octopus randomly shows up out of nowhere (on land, no less) and Frankenstein "fights" it by wrapping its tentacles around himself and pretending to struggle until they both fall into a lake that was nowhere to be seen in the rest of the sequence. That scene didn't get through, mercifully, but the sequel opened with a ship being attacked by a giant octopus that was then attacked by the evil Frankenstein clone Gaira, who then destroyed the ship -- making it pretty clear that the octopus was tacked onto a scene that was just meant to be about Gaira.


    Wild Force and Samurai/Super Samurai were almost beat-for-beat adaptations of the Super Sentai equivalents, although the former replaced the Red Ranger and the main villain with very different characters. Samurai was bizarre, seeing a story so deeply rooted in Japanese culture and attitudes acted out by a multiethnic American cast. At least they should've cast the samurai-descended family of Red Rangers as Japanese actors instead of incredibly blond ones.


    It's not that specific scene I thought was awful, it was the entire dubbed performance of Emiko. The hospital scene is just different. If not for that, you could probably treat the two films as the same story from two parallel points of view, which is actually rather fascinating. (Heck, since the US version is narrated by Burr's character, maybe we could assume he's just, err, selectively remembering certain events in his retelling.)
     
  13. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Godzilla 2 got bumped?! Why? It shouldn't take them that long to make a sequel.

    Godzilla is like 400 feet tall. King Kong isn't that big, even in that picture, so this is kind of silly.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    There are a lot of factors that go into movie scheduling. One of the main ones is the competition and jockeying for advantage among different studios. A movie release may be moved because the studio doesn't want to compete with a bigger movie, or because they feel their release schedule in a certain month is weak and needs to be shored up. Or they may decide that a given film works better as a summer movie than a fall movie, or whatever.

    Or it might just be a matter of priorities. Any given studio is making multiple different films that have to be balanced against each other, and adding a movie to the schedule may result in different movies getting pushed back. We've seen that with Marvel pushing its Captain Marvel and Inhumans films back to make room for Spider-Man and the like. It's easier to see in a case like that because all the films are part of the same continuity, but the same kind of thing can happen with unrelated films from the same studio.

    And then there's the matter of the availability of the cast and director. Sometimes the shooting of a movie has to be delayed until the key players are finished with their prior commitments to making other movies.
     
  15. The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special

    The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, that's why I added "suppressed". At that time, Japan had a similar economic boom as Germany (the so-called "Wirtschaftswunder"), and spirits were high. Anything that would stand in the way of this optimism, like actually dealing with national traumata, would be pushed aside. It's true for Germany, where we didn't really deal with our national guilt and specific people in power who were prominent figures in the NSDAP until the 1968 youth movement pushed for it, and the Japanese were similar. Sure, later on they touched upon it again, and there was certainly some work on the subject in 1962, too, but the mainstream was to be optimistic and high-spirit.

    I've actually met someone who prefers "Power Rangers" over "Super Sentai" because he felt an all-Japanese cast was a bit racist. I'm not sure I was able to make him understand the error in his thinking.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Actually, he may have had a point. It's true that the percentage of ethnic minorities in Japan is extremely low, so that it's hard not to have an overwhelmingly Japanese cast, but that very lack of diversity in the population may be an effect of cultural intolerance as much as a cause. I gather there is a fair amount of discrimination against minorities, especially Koreans, and fictional portrayals of more "exotic" nationalities, particularly ethnically African people, are sometimes quite racially caricatured.

    And whatever the factors that limit the creators, I can't blame a viewer for feeling that a diverse, inclusive cast is more satisfying to watch than a monoracial one. I feel that way myself. I just think it was a conceptual mismatch with the slavish adaptation of the Shinkenger storyline they did in Samurai.
     
  17. Keeper

    Keeper Commodore Commodore

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    I got a bad feeling about this.

    Godzilla vs King Kong featuring "Skull Island", set in modern times when every inch of the Earth has been mapped by satellite in high def?

    Skull Island better end up being in one of those places hidden on Google Earth or else I am boycotting. :lol:
     
  18. The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special

    The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special Vice Admiral Admiral

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  19. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's a shame. Although if the reason they give is true I can kind of understand. Making these kinds of big movies is a lot of work, so I can see wanting to take a break for something smaller rather than jump from big movie to big movie. Joss Whedon did the same thing, with Much Ado About Nothing, which he basically filmed over a short period with a bunch of friends at his house, between the two Avengers movies.
     
  20. The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special

    The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, no, he filmed it on weekends during the shooting of the first Avengers. He didn't have a similar project with the second Avengers. And, anyway, he really just needed a big holiday, as he himself stated recently, after the second Avengers.

    A better example would be George Miller, who didn't want to make another big blockbuster movie right after Fury Road, the reason he gave debunking the rumor that he was going to make the next solo Superman movie last summer.