Escapist Podcast - Movies and TV: 003: Godzilla, Pacific Rim, And All The Old People TV Shows

003: Godzilla, Pacific Rim, And All The Old People TV Shows

This podcast is audio only. In episode three of The Escapist's Movies and TV Podcast, Senior Editor Ross Lincoln talks with critic Bob Chipman and Escapist Community Manager Schuyler Dievendorf about the massive success of Godzilla, the good and bad and ridiculous about the hit film, Pacific Rim, and their favorite monster movies. In the process they discover they're all creepily informed about Don P. Bellisario's television oeuvre. Spoilers, and an in depth talk about television beloved by your parents, ensue.

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Regarding the Nuclear bomb bit at the half hour mark.... Arming the warhead before they were ready to detonate would have been a stupid move, because Nuclear weapons are not Nitroglycerin. Even armed you have to WORK to make those things detonate, only a triggering the detonators of the plastic explosive lenses would one blow prematurely. So maneuvering the warhead by train is safe in terms of premature detonating at least hypothetically.

still a good point about rocketry though, as the B in ICBM is for BALLISTIC. once the Rocket is aimed, thrust and gravity does the rest.

Really you can't believe that Active Military Personal wouldn't be eligible for off base Military Housing in San Francisco, one of our largest military ports? The military keeps and maintains housing explicitly so that some military personal can actually have a house in the same city they are based in.

I liked Godzilla quite a bit, but I'd still place it at a solid B+ it's far from being great but it's hardly a bad film.

As was mentioned in the podcast, a bit of a rewrite and maybe shuffling around the player pieces would have done wonders for the final cut.

Spoiler warning!

In my mind you could have had the same basic story vastly improved by keeping Bryan Cranston alive through the whole film to work as Watanabe's sounding board while they work with the military in tracking the MUTO's. Meanwhile just develop a B plot with Aaron Taylor-Johnson helping to coordinate ground level military efforts in San Francisco.

A. This gives us a lot more of a reason to give a shit about the familial safety crisis because Cranston can't be "responsible" for sending another family member to die.

B. It avoids his son's inexplicable ability to reassign himself to every military unit he stumbles across.

C. It scraps the pointless false threat of the ticking clock. (Just have the MUTO's attack the ships carrying the warhead for "Operation: blow up the monsters" and bring it back to their nest. A giant warhead in a major metropolitan area is a big enough cause for alarm without the time bomb contrivance.)

D. Lasty, it gives Aaron Taylor-Johnson something to actually do in the movie. For all his setup as a bomb disposal expert he seems to be godawful at his job, and in the end doesn't manage to actually keep the damn thing from detonating.

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Favorite Giant Monster Movie: 1953 War of the Worlds - Maybe a bit of a cheat since it's more alien invasion than giant monster, but the Tripods (shown as just flying machines, presumably for budgetary reasons) still make for an effective Monster and the scenes of full scale destruction are damn impressive for the time.

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Oh God...there's a sequel

http://moviepilot.com/movies/417353-monsters-dark-continent?lt_source=external,manual&show_more=true

Godzilla had a weird fixation on children for some reason along with repetition of the same actions. A kid, holding hands with an adult, let's go of them and walks away... why did they have to repeat that 3 times?

I'm guessing that with the massive amount of death that visits each city, the filmmakers thought they needed children to attach the audiences heartstrings onto. That part just didn't work for me.

EDIT:

JPArbiter:
Regarding the Nuclear bomb bit at the half hour mark.... Arming the warhead before they were ready to detonate would have been a stupid move, because Nuclear weapons are not Nitroglycerin. Even armed you have to WORK to make those things detonate, only a triggering the detonators of the plastic explosive lenses would one blow prematurely. So maneuvering the warhead by train is safe in terms of premature detonating at least hypothetically.

still a good point about rocketry though, as the B in ICBM is for BALLISTIC. once the Rocket is aimed, thrust and gravity does the rest.

Did I miss the reason they didn't use a helicopter to begin with? Seemed like the smartest choice to begin with and not a plan B

-Dragmire-:
Godzilla had a weird fixation on children...

The kids are almost always used to foreshadow the upcoming monster attack or they're the first to notice the monster itself.

Young Ford walking through the wreckage of his army men, the little girl noticing the tide receding, the little boy on the train is the first to see the MUTO when the power comes back on, Ford's gawping robot of a son is the one who calls his mothers attention to the "dinosaur" on TV...etc. etc.

I don't know if it was intentional but I assumed it was meant to be a kind of head nod to the recurring theme in a lot of old Kaiju films where the little kid is the only one sympathetic to the Monster or tends to have some sort of innate connection to it.

Modern day Ghostbusters as Silicon Valley businessmen...

Yeah, I'd watch that.

Diddy_Mao:

-Dragmire-:
Godzilla had a weird fixation on children...

The kids are almost always used to foreshadow the upcoming monster attack or they're the first to notice the monster itself.

Young Ford walking through the wreckage of his army men, the little girl noticing the tide receding, the little boy on the train is the first to see the MUTO when the power comes back on, Ford's gawping robot of a son is the one who calls his mothers attention to the "dinosaur" on TV...etc. etc.

I don't know if it was intentional but I assumed it was meant to be a kind of head nod to the recurring theme in a lot of old Kaiju films where the little kid is the only one sympathetic to the Monster or tends to have some sort of innate connection to it.

I suppose that's why it stuck out to me, they were just an arrow pointing to the next scene.

Oh, the missed phone call! I just remembered that, was there a point to that? I don't think it ever got referenced again. Seemed like a good scene for the chopping block as it served no purpose.

I thought Godzilla was really...meh. The inability to make interesting characters is absolutely unforgivable, especially in a "slow-reveal" film like this. You want to know how to do it right - watch Jaws or Jurassic Park. Independence Day is AWESOME because it knows how to build engaging characters within their archetypal roles (geeky scientist, die-hard soldier, rallying politician, ace-fighter pilot); how did Independence Day get something so right when modern-day filmmakers can't even get close to getting right with Godzilla? Outside of the glorious monster scenes, there's nothing worth discussing or praising. They can't even decide on how to portray Godzilla: uncaring force of nature, humanity protector, just a predator? They don't treat it as "creatively ambiguous," it just comes across as undecided and scatter-brained.

If it was up to me, one of the many things I would change is that the film would probably more resemble something like Contagion - an ensemble cast of a film giving the many perspectives (military, civilian, scientific, etc.) on Godzilla and the monsters of the film.

Post-edit: Whoah. Kinda "alright" ending aside (with the extended cut, the original is terrible), the Mass Effect franchise is still fuggling awesome.

I absolutely love The Amazing Spider-man 2, guys, but agree to disagree I suppose. I'm glad it's an international success.

...

It's Friday night, it's 11:00, it's time to Party!

With your Excellent host Ross, with him as always is Bob!

(wahey references)

Also Hollywood focus the movie on a Black Guy and an Asian woman?!?!?

Inconcieveable!!!

 

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