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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 7:13 pm 
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This week, we chat about this summer's monster movie sensation, Godzilla! Plus, we brainstorm some roles from the wildly talented Zoe Saldana, and Rhea dazzles us with some ON POINT vocal foley.

Wham Bam Pow Ep. 54 - Godzilla (2014)


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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 4:40 pm 
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Judge Hodgman's Justice Squad
Judge Hodgman's Justice Squad

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For starters, I'm so glad Ricky explained the Batman costume from The Dark Knight Returns, because I was about to have a small nosebleed.

Godzilla (2014) gets 4.5 out of 5 "Bryan Cranston could yell at me about the existence of unicorns and I'd believe him." There was just so much to like in this movie that it completely erased the 1998 version for me.

Likes:
-THAT ROAR. Whoever designed that, give them an Oscar. In my theater it practically blew the speakers out.
-The slow Godzilla reveal. Edwards seems to have taken a page out of Jaws, Alien, and Cloverfield in that he didn't just show us the monsters 30 mins. into the movie and call it good. So often with blockbusters these days, we see the creature/monster/villain pretty early and the movie consists of multiple, extended battles. Which leads me into my second like...
-The perspective/scope. I hear a lot of complaints that every time Godzilla and the MUTO are about to throw down, we don't get to see it until the final battle. I loved that, because this story is being told from the street level which means you wouldn't always see the monsters in your full field of vision. The lens through which we're seeing this story unfold is the human lens, not some 3rd perspective removed from the story itself. If you were actually on the street and two gigantic monsters were about to tear things up, you wouldn't stick around in the path of destruction. That shot from Elizabeth Olson's POV where the doors are closing perfectly illustrated that, and I applaud Edwards for doing that in a time when we basically expect to see CGI-fest mass destruction.
-The military. I have to disagree with Cameron. I thought the military was portrayed in a decent light in this movie. Normally (like Ricky said) we get some blowhard colonel or general who doesn't want to listen to the scientists or even other viewpoints. I thought the military in Godzilla seemed to have the general population's best interests in mind while still trying to combat the threat and take advice from Ken Watanabe's character. It struck me in the same way that the military and scientists cooperated in the final scene from Close Encounters.
-Older actors. I love Watanabe, Cranston, and Strathairn. I've actually never seen Binoche in a movie before but in the small amount of screen time she had, I cared about her. Amen to Ricky's statement that it was so nice to finally see a movie where adults deal with some problems, and not some 'chosen one' teenager who is destined to free a dystopian society while simultaneously navigating a love triangle.
-Godzilla is the hero at the end. It was so awesome to see Godzilla heading towards the ocean with people cheering and the military not trying to kill him.

Dislikes:
-Elizabeth Olson and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. This isn't a strong dislike. I like both those actors individually, but Olson was given nothing to do other than stand around and wait for a man to come save her. She could've been way more proactive if given the right material. And while I understand Johnson was playing the role of "good military guy who follows orders and doesn't step out of line," he played his character very wooden. Maybe it just seemed wooden compared to the acting of some of the older actors.
*Also, I'm not sure how old either Olson or Johnson are but I had a really hard time buying them as parents, and especially to a kid who was supposed to be 5 (I think). They would've had to have been either married or pregnant straight out of high school, because they both look YOUNG in this movie. And that's not unheard of, but it was something that stuck out to me.*

-The final plan. It just seemed a tad undercooked. It was established pretty early in the movie that the MUTO had the capability to knock out electrical equipment. Yet when the main plan was "get the nuke on a boat and lure the MUTO out to sea," it didn't seem to occur to anyone beforehand that if the MUTO catches up with them right away, the boat wouldn't function. Maybe I'm overthinking it, but it seemed like a glaring detail that no one addressed until it happened on screen.

If this is what Gareth Edwards can do with a Hollywood budget, then consider me sold. After Monsters and Godzilla, I'll be in line for his next movie. He made Godzilla fun again!


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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 7:21 pm 
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Judge Hodgman's Justice Squad
Judge Hodgman's Justice Squad

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I couldn't help but giggle as leaned over to nephew and asked "Why is everyone still at work?" as they cars everything was crashing into buildings. Godzilla was a lot of fun but shouldn't be overly scrutinized.

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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 5:23 pm
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This is one of those movies where I feel like I'm living in an upside down world, because I have the opposite opinion.

This movie was god-awfully boring. I can appreciate a good build-up, but there was not much to grab onto with the actor's performances. Watanabe was wasted talent. What was his character's purpose? Give him something to do. I honestly do not understand what was tense or suspenseful about this movie. I want to understand why people enjoyed this. No offense meant. I don't mean to attack. I really just do not get the love for this.


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 4:09 am 
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New Kid

Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 3:53 am
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I love your podcast and I think you are all amazingly fun to listen to. I have been listening to your backlog for the last few weeks and I have been enjoying your work.

That said, I was a little bummed at this particular podcast because I simply did not agree with your assessment of Godzilla. Now, please don't think that your opinion needs to be in line with mine for me to appreciate your podcast. I certainly do not, however, so please understand that it was not simply a difference of opinion that turned me off. What bugged me about it was the fact that you admitted that you are close friends with the screenwriter and met the director when you attended the screening. I knew instantly that you would all be flattering towards the film and you were. Yes, you did talk about things that did not work, and that was fine, but I felt throughout the podcast that you were supporting your friend by beefing a little too generous with your praise.

In my opinion, the film was a series of frustrating wasted opportunities. The constant cutaways during the battles, the elimination of the two most talented actors early in the film, leaving us with a pair of vapid empty suits upon which to hang our attention, and (and you even say this) very little Godzilla in a movie called Godzilla.

There was a lot of lazy writing here and I don't say that to bash your friend. I just saw it. Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins were completely wasted in the film and they are too good to waste - they do NOTHING. Aaron Taylor-Johnson's motivations are spotty at best (he keeps telling his wife he is coming home and then joins regimen after regimen without hesitation or even calling her), Elizabeth Olsen frets and then turns her phone off just in time to miss the one phone call she does get, and their son is little less than a prop.

The film was not what it should have been, could have been, or would have been if the film makers were willing to put the emphasis where it needed to be, on the titular character.

I do love you guys and will keep listening - your podcast is unique, well produced, and very funny. Don't take my criticism as anything but a day's griping on the interwebs. Stay strong!


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