The Big Picture: Go Go Godzilla - Hoping for Better Blockbusters

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Go Go Godzilla - Hoping for Better Blockbusters

Bob may not have enjoyed Godzilla, but still hopes to see more blockbusters that at least try to be as energetic, unique and joyful as Godzilla.

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I don't really understand why, but for some reason while the internet seems to be "meh" about Godzilla, all the word of mouth I've heard in person both at the theater and from people I know is overwhelmingly positive. I don't know, could just be a Canadian thing, but as a fan of Godzilla I actually liked the movie. Sure it's not the best Godzilla movie, but it's sure in the higher side of the scale in terms of storytelling.

...Is it just me, or does Bob sound a bit... slow, in this episode?

We live in the age of Brands, Bob. We better get used to it; especially with the "Peeps" movie being green-lit.

One thing about the adaptation conundrum is that we seem to be forgetting one factor what with the television reboots, the movie reboots and just plain movies there for product placement.

I'm talking about franchises from books, like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and yes, even Twilight. A lot of times, many fans of the original source material will say a movie is disloyal or misses the tone of the book, but when it comes to these Young Adult franchises, the studio tries as hard as possible to be as close to original source.

And, I like that aspect better since Young Adult franchises are allowed to have a beginning, middle and end.

Good episode. I've personally never had much of an issue with movie's being made as products so long as I enjoy them while I'm watching it. Godzilla, Avengers etc, all things I enjoyed despite knowing that there was more than a little bit of marketing behind the wheel.

Yes, cannot wait for Guardians of the galaxy, that is going to rock. How can a movie with a gun wielding raccoon suck?

MB202:
...Is it just me, or does Bob sound a bit... slow, in this episode?

Yeah, maybe it's the miserable kind of disappointment unlike Man of Steel's rather emotion driven disappointment.

OT: Good episode, though I wouldn't keep my hopes up for TASM 2 failing at this rate.

Mr Edwards has talked about Destroy all monsters as a basis for Godzilla 2 which should lead to more of third act (which was fucking awesome).

MatParker116:
Mr Edwards has talked about Destroy all monsters as a basis for Godzilla 2 which should lead to more of third act (which was fucking awesome).

But first we need a Biollante movie, a Gigan movie, a Rodan movie, and a Mothra movie.

Then they can all be mashed into a Godzilla movie and make WAY TOO MUCH MONEY

I just cant agree with the idea that anything within Guardians of the Galaxy is original...

Evonisia:

MB202:
...Is it just me, or does Bob sound a bit... slow, in this episode?

Yeah, maybe it's the miserable kind of disappointment unlike Man of Steel's rather emotion driven disappointment.

OT: Good episode, though I wouldn't keep my hopes up for TASM 2 failing at this rate.

Not failing, that's not going to happen. But disappointing, as in the studio saying, "Damn, we only made buckets of money off of this, we were hoping for barrels."

Bob, you seem to forget the main attraction of Godzilla (at leas in America) is the camp value. To expect that something is going to be a great and well created movie based off of the appeal of cheesy monster movies is just falling prey to the hype machine.

Yeah. That's basically it. Thank you for being so succinct about it, Bob. You just nailed it.

Evonisia:

MB202:
...Is it just me, or does Bob sound a bit... slow, in this episode?

Yeah, maybe it's the miserable kind of disappointment unlike Man of Steel's rather emotion driven disappointment.

OT: Good episode, though I wouldn't keep my hopes up for TASM 2 failing at this rate.

Despite TASM2 looking to possibly outgross The Winter Soldier it's still not looking to be the hit people were expecting it to be. The movie had an abysmal drop at the Domestic Box Office and it already debuted lower than any of the other Spider-Man movies, even if the massive Asian opening sort of balanced it out. With all the marketing accounted for it has to gross a lot more than the original TASM in order to break even, so around the $800M range. Even if it only just reaches that goal it's hardly in Sony's best interest to make movies that exist simply to make back budget, because their film business is one of their worse performing divisions out there.

Meanwhile, movies like Godzilla and The Winter Soldier open strong right out of the gate with relatively conservative budgets and still come out on top because they are smart movies that don't succumb to overproduction. By the end of the year, movies like these will have benefited a lot more in the grand scheme of things than movies like TASM2.

Perfect. It's the very reason I hated the Pirates movies after the first one.

Carbo:

Evonisia:

MB202:
...Is it just me, or does Bob sound a bit... slow, in this episode?

Yeah, maybe it's the miserable kind of disappointment unlike Man of Steel's rather emotion driven disappointment.

OT: Good episode, though I wouldn't keep my hopes up for TASM 2 failing at this rate.

Despite TASM2 looking to possibly outgross The Winter Soldier it's still not looking to be the hit people were expecting it to be. The movie had an abysmal drop at the Domestic Box Office and it already debuted lower than any of the other Spider-Man movies, even if the massive Asian opening sort of balanced it out. With all the marketing accounted for it has to gross a lot more than the original TASM in order to break even, so around the $800M range. Even if it only just reaches that goal it's hardly in Sony's best interest to make movies that exist simply to make back budget, because their film business is one of their worse performing divisions out there.

Meanwhile, movies like Godzilla and The Winter Soldier open strong right out of the gate with relatively conservative budgets and still come out on top because they are smart movies that don't succumb to overproduction. By the end of the year, movies like these will have benefited a lot more in the grand scheme of things than movies like TASM2.

Also just being flat out better movies then it also helps. I'm happy to see, for the most part anyway, that these days the actual good movies are making their money back and then some. Hell I keep coming back to Frozen. I was confident it was going to do well and I'm sure Disney was too. However I don't think anyone, them included, had any idea just how good, or how special this one was. Hell I've loaned out my blu ray to some of my coworkers and the story is the same every time by the time I get it back. "I watched it like 4 times." One of them even watched it 7 times, only two of which was with her young daughter.

Point being is that with all the projections, expectations, etc...if you just flat out care and try to make a good movie things will come back to you. Frozen being made for about $300 mil. but making $1 billion by the time it was all said and done. That is just making a good film people care about.

There's some kind of dissonance amongst critics who are constantly clamoring for more original, heart-driven films getting off the ground, and then moping about how they're just not that good when they are released. I think more than a few critics are doing what many of those same critics tell fans not to do: expecting films to obey their own personal interpretation about how a movie or video game should go.

Bob covered this in his Big Picture: Mutants and Masses episode (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/5525-Mutants-and-Masses). Just as fans aren't given some kind of special power over an IP just because they love it, I think it's fair to say that critics don't have any special power over an IP just because they're paid to criticize it.

Ultimately the success or failure of a film is in the hands of the everyday moviegoer, many of whom aren't looking for heart-stirring performances every single time they go to the movies (they don't go to the movies every day after all, and thus are not starved for greatness the way hardcore fans or critics might be). They don't have loft expectations or a grocery list of filming techniques they command be present to make their movie-going experience a worthy one. We can hold hands and demand artist-driven pieces with only the finest characterization and the most luscious camera angles, but at the end of the day most audiences don't have any concept of these... concepts. They're not trained to detect imperfections the way dedicated fans or critics are. They're much more forgiving of a film not meeting expectations that they themselves don't have.

I only hope that the success of Godzilla will make Lionsgate think harder about Pacific Rim 2. I... I just need that movie to happen, okay guys? I sat through 70 minutes of your boring Godzilla movie (And the, admittedly awesome, last twenty minutes), so you owe me!

That's how studios work, right?

The whole cynical shared universe but kinda not thing Sony and that god awful producer seems to be going for is the exact kind of thing we DON'T want to see coming from people misinterpreting the success of the Marvel Studios project. It looks like Sony pictures and their producers weren't creatively or intellectually capable of carrying anything like that off and were too cowardly to even make a half-ass of it until someone else proved it could be wildly successful.

This is the industry side of it at work. Even when something is good and joyous the effect it has tends to still be shitty when the money-men think they can simply put their own 'version' of that on screen. It's the same in games right now, everyone just watches everyone else in the mainstream because no-one has the balls and is too creatively bankrupt to take any risks.

I think the lesson here is simple; Modern Hollywood will always destroy and bastardize everything good, creative and everything you hold dear.

AJey:
I just cant agree with the idea that anything within Guardians of the Galaxy is original...

Having read the comic book... yes, absolutely yes, Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the most refreshing, bizarre, weird, enjoyable, and definitely original books they had out on the market. From psychic Russian Labradors to bald lesbian mystics to giant floating severed head space stations to a gun-toting raccoon riding a mono-syllabic tree creature into battle, there was truly nothing like it on the market.

KazeAizen:

Also just being flat out better movies then it also helps. I'm happy to see, for the most part anyway, that these days the actual good movies are making their money back and then some. Hell I keep coming back to Frozen. I was confident it was going to do well and I'm sure Disney was too. However I don't think anyone, them included, had any idea just how good, or how special this one was. Hell I've loaned out my blu ray to some of my coworkers and the story is the same every time by the time I get it back. "I watched it like 4 times." One of them even watched it 7 times, only two of which was with her young daughter.

Point being is that with all the projections, expectations, etc...if you just flat out care and try to make a good movie things will come back to you. Frozen being made for about $300 mil. but making $1 billion by the time it was all said and done. That is just making a good film people care about.

I'm one of those people pleasantly surprised by Frozen's quality and success, with similar stories. I recall vividly the skepticism before the movie came out ("oh, it's just Tangled on ice", "Ugh, that snowman looks like a Jar Jar Binks made of snow", "ugh, more princesses? That's so girly and dated.")

Frozen is on track to surpass Iron Man 3's overall box office by next week, reaching the #5 highest grossing film of all time and the biggest movie release of 2013. An original animated movie, with two female leads, a musical, little hype, and it didn't even open at #1 when it was released, becoming that big mostly through positive word of mouth? That's a success story I can get behind.

It was also made for only $150 million. Considering the nearly 1.2 BILLION they've made (and counting), I'm sure they're MORE than happy with the success.

Bob, you now understand what it's like to root for the Chicago Bears' offense.

Director's cuts are all the rage nowadays, so I'm holding out hope that we might maybe get something a bit more interesting on DVD. Maybe some character development for the human characters?

I hope they are a not silly enough to call whatever they make next "Godzilla 2" because its actually more like Godzilla "large int".

Trishbot:

I'm one of those people pleasantly surprised by Frozen's quality and success, with similar stories. I recall vividly the skepticism before the movie came out ("oh, it's just Tangled on ice", "Ugh, that snowman looks like a Jar Jar Binks made of snow", "ugh, more princesses? That's so girly and dated.")

Frozen is on track to surpass Iron Man 3's overall box office by next week, reaching the #5 highest grossing film of all time and the biggest movie release of 2013. An original animated movie, with two female leads, a musical, little hype, and it didn't even open at #1 when it was released, becoming that big mostly through positive word of mouth? That's a success story I can get behind.

It was also made for only $150 million. Considering the nearly 1.2 BILLION they've made (and counting), I'm sure they're MORE than happy with the success.

I was actually shocked that people were skeptical about it. I mean they billed it as "from the team that brought you Wreck-it Ralph and Tangle". Not exactly bad movies. Hell Ralph became my favorite Disney movie up until Frozen came out. Its funny that they call fairy tale princesses girly and dated though. Its a fairy tale which, when done right, are timeless and never really get dated.

I wouldn't say it had little hype. I'd say rather it had the wrong kind of hype. Playing up Olaf and Sven. Hell it wasn't until the third trailer for the movie that we actually got a much clearer picture of what it was going to be. Still I do think it was the word of mouth. And wow it was even cheaper than I thought. The only thing negative I'd have to say is I feel really really really bad for the follow up act to Frozen. While not quite the same comparison there was just too much event for this one once the train started rolling that I don't think Big Hero 6 will be able to do what Frozen did.

Still when you get right down to it. Films that have a greater goal then trying to fill out a balance sheet will be rewarded. Like Bob said while Godzilla ultimately did not sit well with him it had ambition, a very artistic approach to monster movies instead of having action shoved in your face 24/7. I haven't seen it yet but I know that Godzilla isn't in it that much. Still I think an interesting comparison can be drawn between this and Pacific Rim. Godzilla was the more art house of the two with a slow burn in the second act but massive build up for, what I'm told, is an all hell breaks lose awesome kaiju throw down. While Pacific Rim had ambition of a different kind. Take tropes, arcs, and character types you'd normally see on a low budget saturday morning cartoon and pump them up to silver screen proportions. Basically giving us a 2 hour Saturday morning cartoon on the big screen that aimed to do one thing and one thing only. Make you feel like a little kid on the inside and remind you how awesome giant robots vs. giant monsters is. Both films succeeded and both films got rewarded for their ambition.

The new Godzilla seems more like a 1.5 to me. By that i mean the original Godzilla was more about the people than the monster, Godzilla in that was just a force of nature destroying things. Like a tornado or hurricane. Wasnt till the sequel he became the true star and started fighting monsters. Now with the new movies sequel, they can add more monsters, hopefully Toho ones, and have way more fights though out the film.

I both agree and disagree with you Bob.

I get rooting for a change to the status quo, but I don't see how Godzilla represents that in any way shape or form. Its a reboot of a massively longstanding property. And the creators chose a narrative structure that worked in far better films (I keep hearing it compared to Jaws, for example) without any real understanding of why it worked in those films.

I mean, let's be honest, the first Transformers used the same general approach as this film did. It was more comedy than somber, but it still relied on a human-centric story anchored by performances that really couldn't hold it up in a weak overall story. And they both attempted a slow burn of the wildly anticipated Monster/Robot reveal. Although Bay popped his cork about midway through the film rather than waiting till the third act, but still.

Godzilla was only slightly disappointing. Bob exaggerated when he said the movie 90% boring human characters. That's not true at all. It was mostly action. The monsters show up pretty early and the movie is mostly stuff getting destroyed. Unfortunately Bobs review had me mentally timing the boring parts which were about 20 minutes or so and yes were Elizabeth olsen centric. The lead character wasn't too bad but he was a little wooden. She however was a cardboard cut out. It reminded me of FPS games where you're the silent protagonist who never speaks. The lead characters are just foil for you to try and imagine yourself in their place. They never do anything wrong they just aren't interesting. This is kind of a weird throw back to the fact that all of the godzilla movies were like that. The People were always filler. The rest of it was great solid 8/10.

Spider-man 2 was bad in exactly the way Bob described it except I thought was far worse than the original. It was just boring and bland. The acting was terrible the script was george lucas bad. The action in the trailers is what you get so you go into the movie and get 2 hours of filler nonsense that never amounts to anything. It was just exhaustingly lame.

Zontar:
I don't really understand why, but for some reason while the internet seems to be "meh" about Godzilla, all the word of mouth I've heard in person both at the theater and from people I know is overwhelmingly positive. I don't know, could just be a Canadian thing, but as a fan of Godzilla I actually liked the movie. Sure it's not the best Godzilla movie, but it's sure in the higher side of the scale in terms of storytelling.

I liked the movie, and to be fair, the people in my theater(packed mid sunday with another line waiting as we left), clapped at a few points and at the end.

Was it slow? See I think I need to watch it again. I think I wanted to see Big G so much that it made it feel slow at points. Am I saying it was perfect. Nope, I am also pretty sure there was way too much of the main human character and not enough of what should have been the main character, his dad.

See I don't necessarily agree that lack of Godzilla was a problem, having the movie told mostly from a human perspective was a great idea, Edwards just picked the wrong perspective.

See, I just wanted 'Godzilla' to succeed because it seemed like a great opportunity to revitalise a (literally) MASSIVE aspect of genre filmmaking, but I guess there's that to.

Excellent argument Bob.

Andrew Siribohdi:
We live in the age of Brands, Bob. We better get used to it; especially with the "Peeps" movie being green-lit.

Good Lord, this is happening? Get ready for a billion "Where my Peeps at?" jokes in the marketing alone.

AJey:
I just cant agree with the idea that anything within Guardians of the Galaxy is original...

I didn't realize there were other live-action blockbuster movies with machine gun wielding racoons.

OT: Great episode Bob. I agree with you when you say it's kind of nice to see that ASM2 is kind of failing comparitively and it's dropping in the box office already. I'd much rather have Godzilla succeed.

MB202:
...Is it just me, or does Bob sound a bit... slow, in this episode?

Not slow but rather depressed like i am so tired of this i want to go home please just leave me alone.

theApoc:

Zontar:
I don't really understand why, but for some reason while the internet seems to be "meh" about Godzilla, all the word of mouth I've heard in person both at the theater and from people I know is overwhelmingly positive. I don't know, could just be a Canadian thing, but as a fan of Godzilla I actually liked the movie. Sure it's not the best Godzilla movie, but it's sure in the higher side of the scale in terms of storytelling.

I liked the movie, and to be fair, the people in my theater(packed mid sunday with another line waiting as we left), clapped at a few points and at the end.

Was it slow? See I think I need to watch it again. I think I wanted to see Big G so much that it made it feel slow at points. Am I saying it was perfect. Nope, I am also pretty sure there was way too much of the main human character and not enough of what should have been the main character, his dad.

See I don't necessarily agree that lack of Godzilla was a problem, having the movie told mostly from a human perspective was a great idea, Edwards just picked the wrong perspective.

This is a post I can get behind. I hated that they kept breaking away from Godzilla to the humans because the humans were lodged somewhere between incompetent and boring as all hell. I've been banging on about how the film could have been great if, instead of bland-Army-guy and his wooden wife, the film had concentrated on Ken Watanabe and Bryan Cranston chasing the giant monsters around as they tore things up. The movie wasn't bad because it didn't have enough Godzilla, it was bad because there wasn't anything else going on between the tiny few monster fights we saw.

Meh. Gonna do the same with this movie like i did with 300: Watch the fight scenes on youtube and skip the rest.

Uhm the soulles blockbuster machine is responsible for SIDELINING the transformers in their film for Shia LeBouf, remember? Keep the giants out of frame is so standard by now for movies aiming for broad appeal and some sense of respect is.. kinda old hat by now.
Why are we even pretending this is a bold move which its part of the JAWS formula from the late 70s?

Just thinking about it now I actually found the film similar to Speilberg's reboot of The War of the Worlds. It makes sense given that Gareth Edwards is obviously a big Speilberg fan - that open scene with the helicopter was right out of Jurassic Park.

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