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Author Topic: Shin Godzilla (2016)
Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 882
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 10-11-2016 10:29 PM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
At a loss as to how to deal with a giant radioactive monster, the government of Japan debates military strategy and whether to request the aid of the United States, who offers to destroy the creature with a nuclear blast. In Japanese with English subtitles. At the National Amusements Showcase Edgewater Cinemas, Edgewater, New Jersey, and in limited engagements nationwide. Theatre Locator (turn your speakers down first)


I’d say that Shin (“True God”) Godzilla is for completists only, but even they are likely to be put off by this boring movie. The picture seems to be mostly a satire of Japanese bureaucracy and political maneuvering, fully ninety percent of the movie consists of people in meetings, endlessly debating what to do about the creature stomping slowly towards Tokyo, and whether to involve the United States and nuclear weapons, clearly still a touchy subject after seventy years. I appreciated the references to earlier movies in the series; the film begins with the discovery of an abandoned yacht that is owned by a character from Son of Godzilla and cues from Akira Ifukube’s masterful score from the original film are heard throughout. But there is also a tedious running joke about how the original films tended to overuse superimposed titles to identify characters and locations, it is annoying after ten minutes, and infuriating after two hours. Additionally, the film is being presented theatrically only in a subtitled version, and there is a LOT of fast dialog, which means with the previously mentioned titles that there is a lot to sort out on the screen.

As for the legendary lizard himself, the movie seems to be a reboot of the character, who appears here for the first time as a rather stiff motion capture effect instead of the old maninasuitasaur. Trouble is he has little to do; there is only one (pretty spectacular and strangely beautiful) rampage sequence, the rest of the time he pretty much stands frozen in the middle of town recharging his batteries while various bureaucrats argue around him, he is almost a sideline character in his own picture. Getting away from the usual studio miniatures in favor of CGI effects may make the purists howl, but it all looks really good . . . with the exception of Godzilla’s first appearance as an undeveloped slug-like thing, a sequence on the level of bad SyFy Channel creature effects.

I saw this in a theatre that draws a largely Asian-American audience, and the rest of the crowd seemed to enjoy the satirical aspects of the film more than I, so maybe I did not connect with it on the level the filmmakers intended. But honestly, I thought any of the previous twenty-eight movies in the series were more entertaining.

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Dave Macaulay
Film God

Posts: 2136
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 10-13-2016 10:57 AM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"Shin" is the phonetic translation of several Japanese Kanji with very different meanings. Typically it just means "new" like "Shin Osaka" train station - the new one. Or Shinagawa - new port.
Also can mean "god", "heart/core" and probably plenty more.
maybe it's a pun on god/new? I don't know Kanji, so I can't say what the Japanese poster reads.

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Paul Mayer
Oh get out of it Melvin, before it pulls you under!

Posts: 3835
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Feb 2000

 - posted 10-13-2016 09:20 PM      Profile for Paul Mayer   Author's Homepage   Email Paul Mayer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All the Japanese posters I've seen have the title spelled out phonetically, in katakana, like this:

(Shin Gojira)

Without kanji it is very ambiguous, probably intentionally. As Dave pointed out, the Japanese can read that in any of several ways. The English-language poster tag line says, "A god incarnate" so that might be how Toho wants people to read it.

It's playing here in ABQ at several Century locations - hoping to catch it before the limited release ends.

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Jonathan Goeldner
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1330
From: Washington, District of Columbia
Registered: Jun 2008

 - posted 10-15-2016 11:12 PM      Profile for Jonathan Goeldner   Email Jonathan Goeldner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I generally was very very impressed by this movie, it was a little too breakneck fast early on with so many city officials figuring what to do about the emergency at hand - the subtitles in turn went by ultra quick too. The evolution of Godzilla through the movie was really unique and wild.

the odd thing though and I think this was a filmmaker / sound design team decision but the sound never cut loose and got ultra loud, something that the 2015 and the Emmerich version did to rather spectacular effect. Question what WAS the audio? 5.1 ? (I was a little too close to the screen at my sold out screening).

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