I’m Nick. I’ve watched more movies than most inmates have smoked cigarettes. I love them but I also tend to rewatch them weird. To appreciate the little things or learn through osmosis how the sausage is made. In an attempt to help you through your day and to possibly remind of you of movies you need to see or see again, witness my Weird Watching column. If you like it, share the article and like it and tweet it and all that bullshit. Or discuss it here. My first installment was A History of Violence. The second was Daybreakers. The third was The Keep.
The Films: Godzilla (1998) (avoid buying it here) Godzilla (2014) (totally buy it here)
The People: Roland Emmerich vs. Gareth Edwards. Matthew Broderick vs. Aaron Johnson. Maria Pitillo vs. Muto. Godzilla vs. Godzilla. The 90’s vs. the 10’s. Ecks vs. Sever.
The Premise: Radiation shits out a really big asshole who tears shit up and makes adorable roars.
Warning: Spoilers and Dumb Commentary From Here Forward
0:00 – Godzilla 1998 – Wow the Hollywood Pictures logo sure can cheapen the fuck out of a movie.
1:17 – Godzilla 1998 – I forgot about Jean Reno’s character in this. Fuck, this is going to be a painful article.
2:20 – Godzilla 2014 – Classy [declassified, rather] opening titles that build the backstory and mystery up nicely. It’s fun to pause before the text gets blacked out. Some fun little jokes there. The old footage works like a charm. The music is tinged with loads of retro thematic elements, which helps. The film doesn’t have some big theme like a John Williams score, but in a way we’re in a different world today.
3:33 – Godzilla 1998 – I’m not convinced that nuclear boom-boom would turn a marine iguana into a giant asshole.
4:08 – Godzilla 2014 – It starts off feeling like a Spielberg movie in a good way. The shots of thousands of workers, the helicopter in, and the dude greeting them when they land has a definite Indy/Jurassic vibe.
4:17 – Godzilla 1998 – Al Leong! That’s a good decision, though I wouldn’t be surprised if the filmmakers just saw “Asian Scale Actor” while the rest of us see “Action Movie Stunt Icon”.
4:31 – Godzilla 2014 – No one seems to give a handful of fuck about the forty miners that gave their lives digging for gigantic assholes.
5:30 – Godzilla 2014 – Ken Watanabe’s direction was this: “Deliver every line as if it’s the last words you’re allowed to say on the world”.
5:41 – Godzilla 1998 – Hundreds of Asians dying. Cut to Matthew Broderick singing. A good idea?
7:03 – Godzilla 1998 – Motherfucker is still singing.
7:15 – Godzilla 2014 – Adorable monster poster, though a bit too on the nose.
7:27 – Godzilla 1998 – Glenn Morshower of Grizzly Park sighting (adorable)! Instant box office.
7:30 – Godzilla 1998 – Joke 1 of 734 about how difficult the leading character’s dumb Greek name is to dumb pronounce. At least there’s not a Siskel and Ebert joke.
7:54 – Godzilla 1998 – Someone else boned up on Spielberg movies!
8:40 – Godzilla 2014 – Juliette Binoche is such a good actress. I bet she’s going to be a great character throughout the film’s running time. There’s no way they’re telegraphing her departure from the world of the living.
9:11- Godzilla 1998 – A coincidence that the first mention of Godzilla in this happens at 9:11?
10:45 – Godzilla 2014 – The asshole who gets bent in half from The Fly II is here! He’ll help protect Juliette Binoche. That’s a load off.
10:45 – Godzilla 1998 – Kevin Dunn plays a man who is in the military! Perhaps the least plausible part of this film. Have you SEEN the man? More like Kevin “ain’t” Dunn “eating”.
11:45 – Godzilla 2014 – Hilarious! They’re acting as if Juliette Binoche is in some sort of danger.
11:59 – Godzilla 2014 – That actress from The English Patient is totally running from mist. Luckily she’s an international star who will be a delight to enjoy throughout the film’s running time. No not Kristen Scott Thomas. The other one.
12:00 – Godzilla 1998 – The fat nerd from my beloved Heaven Help Us lives! Here he plays a fat nerd.
12:55 – Godzilla 2014 – Juliette Binoche is joking about her husband having to not let her die from the mist/radiation/giant monster musk. You almost got me believing it, folks. I know better because she’s a big star and was a huge get for this movie.
13:22 – Godzilla 1998 – Man, they should make a whole movie about Maria Pitillo and her best friend. It’d be like Sex and the City if Sex and the City was made of your best friend’s murdered body, except you thought they were alive and then found out they died as the show played on a screen made of their skin. Then the show would kill you with your own bones. Then somehow the show would fuck up a nearly impossible to fuck up Toho property.
14:45 – Godzilla 2014 – Juliette Binoche’s character is resting.
15:45 – Godzilla 2014 – The young kid playing Bryan Cranston and the still perfectly healthy Juliette Binoche’s son looks like a perfect mix of those two performers if they’d fucked a Gelfling from The Dark Crystal.
15:53 – Godzilla 2014 – The young kid playing Aaron Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen’s kid looks exactly like a kid from Jaws. I know that was no coincidence.
16:27 – Godzilla 1998 – The only thing worse than actual French people is thin characterizations of French people.
17:45 – Godzilla 2014 – They were about to bang and the phone call ruined everything. Should have called this film Blueballzilla.
17:30 – Godzilla 2014 – The characters are named Brody. Unlike in Jaws where they are named Brody!
17:39 – Godzilla 1998 – Hey that’s almost the exact shot composition of the shot from Jaws where the leads compare scars!
19:00 – Godzilla 2014 – In this scene Elizabeth Olsen sort of looks like a hot version of the thing from the wing in Twilight Zone: The Movie. That’s a compliment!
19:33 – Godzilla 1998 – The composer just snuck the Cape Fear theme into this sequence, the one where the creature drags the boats under. Hey there’s a boat going underwater in that movie too.
At the twenty minute mark: Neither film has done a terrible amount to get the viewer excited. Unless they like things that aren’t good.
EDGE: Godzilla 2014 because it hasn’t insulted our intelligence or any race or nationality. Yet.
21:34 – Godzilla 1998 – This is why you hire a Matthew Broderick. No one, and I mean NO ONE delivers hypothetical giant reptile exposition like him. Remember Election?
21:46 – Godzilla 2014 – Is it weird that I think in this particular hairpiece Bryan Cranston looks a little like someone’s aunt? Is it weirder that I’m totally turned on by it?
21:54 – Godzilla 2014 – “Your Mom’s out there, Ford.” I KNEW JULIETTE BINOCHE WAS ONLY SUPERFICIALLY WOUNDED!
22:38 – Godzilla 1998 – Roland Emmerich’s direction to Harry Shearer and Hank Azaria went something like this: “Please do your Simpsons to ziss only with your skin instead of zee cartoons!”
24:33 – Godzilla 1998 – How in the living fuck did this old man fishing thing get released as a trailer and the planet Earth not in unison taken a huge shit?
25:08 – Godzilla 2014 – Aaron Johnson really put a big fight. He went from adamant to participating in illegal shit almost instantly!
25:42 – Godzilla 1998 – What a huge protruding jaw, Godzilla. Which also reminds me of Election.
26:00 – Godzilla 1998 – This Godzilla asshole is tiny! He’s only big enough to haul ass between streets. That’s SO 1998! I want a Godzilla who towers over everything, not some asshole who can hide behind a ferris wheel if he feels like it.
26:33 – Godzilla 1998 – Hey a Siskel and Ebert joke! Because they criticize movies! And this is a movie! And words and thoughts and words and pictures and colors! Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin like crayons and balloons!
27:00 – Godzilla 2014 – The current soldier picks up his childhood action figure, also a soldier. This is meant to represent the delivery on childhood dreams, the manifestation of the male ID, the duality of men and action figures, and symbolism where he suddenly realizes why he drilled holes in his feet: Better support on action playsets.
28:42 – Godzilla 2014 – It’s here that the new Godzilla movie pretty much barrels past the old one and never looks back.
29:42 – Godzilla 1998 – You can’t get away with calling someone a retard in a movie. Well you could THEN. Now all the retards just get to be retarded without our publicly acknowledging it.
30:43 – Godzilla 2014 – I don’t get why Ken Watanabe doesn’t talk to Cranston. Oh, because if he did the entire movie would have been a lot more Cranstony because less things hard would hit Cranston hard. Because audiences love when people they love don’t die.
32:00 – Godzilla 1998 – Ladies and gentlemen (especially ladies)… Doug Savant! Answer to the trivia question “what’s more fucked than autistic savant?” A TV legend and all around nice guy, that Doug Savant.
34:00 – Godzilla 2014 – Ken Watanabe just said “Kill it” as if it were the last words he was allowed to say on Earth.
34:02 – Godzilla 2014 – How hard would it have been to cut to Juliette Binoche’s character leaning against a wall in the tunnels catching her breath?
35:20 – Godzilla 2014 – Muto! I love these weirdos, all insectoid and pissed at the world.
37:00 – Godzilla 2014 – Gareth Edwards is a moment man. He may not make perfect movies but he knows how to build tons of great moments into a movie. The Muto escape features some amazing stuff, and he accomplishes a lot with their spiky and adorable “feet” doing harm to concrete and pipes and perhaps Bryan Cranston.
37:40 – Godzilla 1998 – French jokes. They hate our coffee and donuts because we’re less cultured! You know who likes jokes about people’s nationality? Simpletons!
38:20 – Godzilla 2014 – Bitch just FLEW AWAY! No one knew it could do that shit. Great.
38:41 – Godzilla 1998 – Things are boring. That’s what happens when you don’t write interesting words and then don’t put interesting pictures with it.
40:00 – Godzilla 2014 – Here come the American soldiers! I love how Ken Watanabe picks a very defeated man he could have saved as “critical” personnel. He should have just said “I need this man to die two thousand feet in the air rather than on the ground!” I don’t know if I’d trust an expert who, when asked to pick his crack team, chose a man on his deathbed and his disagreeing son.
40:00 – Godzilla 1998 – Every solution Broderick has stems from his experience digging up earthworms. Not unlike those assholes we meet who answer every scenario with luminous data from their one singular life experience. Fuck that guy. I know too many of that guy. You can’t apply that time you fingered a girl in summer camp to the ISIS situation!
At the forty minute mark: Emmerich’s film has become lazy and ineffective while Edwards is starting to deliver.
EDGE: Godzilla 2014 because no French jokes. No Siskel and Ebert jokes. No jokes. And because Godzilla isn’t supposed to show up this early in a Godzilla film. Every knows that. Everyone knows that who didn’t work at Centropolis.
40:01 – Godzilla 2014 – I must digress and say that one of the huge benefits Gareth Edwards had was knowing that Roland Emmerich took a wet shit all over the Godzilla franchise back in 1998. If hindsight were granted to Emmerich he’d probably not have made such a shitty movie. He also might not have had many, MANY shots of the World Trade center. Including this one:
40:24 – Godzilla 1998 – They didn’t have the budget for a realistic fake fish? You know what Chris Cooper would say. “That’s how much fuck fake fish.”
41:20 – Godzilla 2014 – Bryan Cranston is resting.
41:35 – Godzilla 1998 – That’s priceless. Jean Reno’s French character hates American coffee. It’s like Bill Hicks up in this.
41:50 – Godzilla 2014 – David Strathairn as a military leader! He actually looks the part, which is to say that Kevin Dunn is fantastic on Veep and probably laughed all the way to the bank in 1998.
42:36 – Godzilla 1998 – Siskel and Ebert joke! Because Gene Siskel is the expendable one in the pair! Now they’re both dead. This movie made 9/11 and film critic death happen.
43:58 – Godzilla 2014 – I’m a Godzilla apologist so take it with a grain of salt but I really like the way they explain Godzilla’s origin in the new movie. He’s not some goddamn lizard who got so sick from our weapons that he became a big asshole but rather Godzilla is an ancient alpha predator we know fuck all about. We’re watching a movie about a giant reptile who hates buildings and punishes things accidentally. We don’t need plot THAT much. Just enough smarts to keep us invested. It must also be noted that famous indie actress Sally Hawkins pretty much is only allowed to speak in this scene.
44:40 – Godzilla 2014 – First mention of the word “Godzilla”. Delivered by Ken Watanabe as if it’s the last word he’s allowed to say on planet Earth.
47:48 – Godzilla 2014 – You’d think hot as fuck wing gremlin would keep her phone’s ringer on.
48:32 – Godzilla 1998 – So Godzilla is out, and we now see it. The design is uninspiring but it’s not awful. It’s just not Godzilla. The big party isn’t because the creature has a mission. There’s a big pile of fish. The greatest creature the world has ever known was lured by a pile of fish. Here’s where the special effects divide is formed: The greenscreen and matte work here is rather abominable. Some of that is due to the era but much of it is not. Roland Emmerich just isn’t as deft with effects as the Spielbergs, Bays, and even Rob Bowmans of the world in his era. Even the creature’s weight doesn’t seem right, the physics of it all.
48:38 – Godzilla 2014 – Ken Watanabe just said “Something responded” as if it were the last phrase he was able to mutter on the planet we call Sol 3 or “Earth”.
49:37 – Godzilla 2014 – Insensitive! “Is this what you want?” asks Aaron Johnson to the scared Asian boy, handing him a figure of an American soldier. Because American soldiers have been so good to various Asian people over the past century. It’d be like handing an action figure of a person’s freedom of religion to a Texan punching a Muslim.
49:38 – Godzilla 1998 – This is one of the centerpiece action scenes, a helicopter chase through the skyscrapers. The model and miniature work here reminds me of Mr. Rogers’ trolley.
50:28 – Godzilla 1998 – The helicopters just treated the Chrysler building worse than Lee Iacocca.
51:44 – Godzilla 1998 – What a wuss this Godzilla is.
52:36 – Godzilla 1998 – This movie has a real anti-America bent. They make our military look so goddamn dumb.
53:07 – Godzilla 2014 – Little Asian gent is thrilled by the American fighter jet zooming by. Maybe I was quick to judge. Who doesn’t love fighter jets? Well, other than the people they rain destruction onto.
53:41 – Godzilla 2014 – Great stuff. The Muto doing his EMP thing. Badass shit.
54:09 – Godzilla 2014 – Spielberg moment with the little girl watching the water recede! Godzilla’s coming!
54:58 – Godzilla 2014 – Amazing shot of Godzilla swimming under the aircraft carrier. Seriously, stuff like this builds so much love that a lot of the annoying aspects of the movie because much less annoying.
56:20 – Godzilla 2014 – It’s unfortunate that just by coming out of the water Godzilla kills a few thousand incidental people. They should have cut to a State Farm agent going “God fucking damn it, not again!”
58:55 – Godzilla 2014 – The explosion reveal wide shot of the Muto and the airport and then Godzilla walking up is so amazing.
59:18 – Godzilla 2014 – And we finally see our star and the wait was absolutely worth it. I cannot wait to see the expression on Juliette Binoche’s face when she sees this.
59:43 – Godzilla 2014 – To show the fight between Godzilla and the Muto through shaky TV news footage is genius, cheaper, and very in tune with the old school approach of building up to a legit climax. Kudos Gareth Edwards.
At the sixty minute mark: It’s like comparing a week-old meatball to a Viking warrior in full regalia.
EDGE: Godzilla 2014 because holy shit it has nailed the tone perfectly and the director knows how to use FX.
1:00:36 – Godzilla 1998 – Struggling to find something interesting to cling to. Every time they cut away to the human story I want to build a fire in my lap.
1:01:36 – Godzilla 1998 – How goddamn big do they think the sewers in NYC are? Godzilla is hauling ass around there uninterrupted. I’ve BEEN down there (researching this book you should buy) and it just isn’t Godzilla-sized.
1:04:00 – Godzilla 1998 – Ah, the Frenchies can’t pronounce Tatopoulos! Ah, it’s a goddamn fuckriot.
1:04:01 – Godzilla 2014 – Great reveal of the storage room being opened, revealing LIGHT. Then we see its adorable Muto ass marching towards Las Vegas with plans.
1:00:42 – Godzilla 2014 – Ken Watanabe just said “A female.” as if it were the last words he was able to deliver on this spinning blue and green orb of life.
1:08:21 – Godzilla 2014 – There’s a Spielbergian shot of Smalltown USA overrun with the military.
1:08:26 – Godzilla 1998 – I hope they never interrupt this movie about a failed journalism career with large monsters.
1:08:27 – Godzilla 1998 – There is another fucking hour and ten minutes left in this green cocksucker of a movie.
1:08:59 – Godzilla 2014 – Aaron Johnson is acting like he’s never seen a nuclear warhead on a train before.
1:10:27 – Godzilla 2014 – How did he know how to call the sexy version of the wing gremlin from Twilight Zone: The Movie? Oh it’s his wife. I wonder if she’s jealous of all the planes he gets to be around.
1:11:36 – Godzilla 1998 – Hey another jab at America! It’s as if Roland Emmerich is from some other land.
1:13:27 – Godzilla 2014 – I’m thinking a little more effort could have gone into making the military command center look a little more interesting and less… blue. Don’t they have pink aircraft goddamn carriers? Salmon?
1:14:36 – Godzilla 1998 – I cannot believe I’m watching this much subplot involving Hank Azaria and Maria Pitillo. Hank Azaria is playing my cousin Frankie, except less subtle.
1:15:36 – Godzilla 1998 – Another jab at America! Been a while.
1:15:48 – Godzilla 2014 – I don’t think it’s in the handbook to expect burning tanks flying at you. That river of burning machinery is haunting and beautiful.
1:15:36 – Godzilla 1998 – Struggling to find something interesting to cling to. Every time they cut away to the human story I want to build another fire in my lap.
1:19:00 – Godzilla 2014 – Godzilla swimming. Seriously, bucket list item handled!
1:22:27 – Godzilla 2014 – Aaron Johnson looks like Dutch after the mud hide in Predator, except he’d gotten his entire ass kicked by everything. The paramedic looks at him and somehow doesn’t admit him to the ICU unit, which would have been the smart thing.
1:11:36 – Godzilla 1998 – More bullshit helicopters flying through skyscraper bullshit. I bet Emmerich was in preproduction going “I am going to cum all over zee Death Star chase and then cum all over zee Jurassic Park!”
1:24:00 – Godzilla 2014 – This entire bridge sequence is one of the best scenes this year. Just astounding the amount of great moments, beautiful shots, showcases of sheer power in it. Plus it’s daytime. Planes falling, bridge being creamed. Aircraft carriers being tossed around like balsa wood. Missiles flying everywhere. Tanks. Soldiers. Godzilla. It’s so beautiful. As a kid I dreamed of this and no Godzilla movie ever pulled it off. To make the character not only seem real, but in an environment not built for show-off shots but just brilliant tapestries of carnage. And then the Muto flies in and dives into the sea and then emerges. Staggering.
1:26:00 – Godzilla 1998 – I don’t remember this Godzilla swimming and nonchalantly dodging torpedoes. If it sounds even remotely interesting I apologize for using adjectives.
1:29:05 – Godzilla 2014 – Great use of dust as the two Mutos catch up on their personal business. I really hope that the sequel has more and more of these little nuances that I’ve never seen in a monster movie.
1:29:06 – Godzilla 1998 – How many hours can dead fish survive outside water underground, in Madison Square Garden, with no water? According to this bastion of truth: MANY. Another awful fake fish is flopping from inside a basketball goal. This actually happened in a theater to paying customers.
At the one and half hour mark: I begin to wonder how many Sony executives got fired in 1998-9.
EDGE: Godzilla 2014 because it isn’t Godzilla 1998.
1:30:06 – Godzilla 1998 – Little baby Godzillas. Someone saw the raptors in Spielberg’s film and said “we can top these assholes”. Then they took one 80% rendered CGI model and duplicated it hundreds of times without no thought to creativity and an audience’s intellect. The puppets also are puppet dick.
1:33:05 – Godzilla 2014 – Ken Watanabe utters his big line from the trailer. As if it’s the last word his mouth is able to shit out. By the way, there’s nothing bad in the movie from here on, so enjoy nonstop Godzilla 1998 for a while.
1:34:08 – Godzilla 1998 – This reminds me of Gremlins 2 except bad.
1:37:06 – Godzilla 1998 – The baby Godzillas have already shown more menace and aggression than the real one. It’s funny, the French guys from the secret service get their lives hammered but Maria Pitillo and Hank Azaria easily dodge them.
1:40:42 – Godzilla 1998 – What an awful, awfully puppeteered jump scare attack. Fuck these baby assholes. Why couldn’t they just eat Matthew Broderick and do the world a favor at least?
1:41:06 – Godzilla 1998 – Humor. Menace. Then humor. The laziest monster creation I’ve seen in ages. Wow.
1:43:09 – Godzilla 1998 – Have you ever tried to find another person in New York without phones? It’s easier to find a person in the woods, yet Matthew Broderick and Maria Pitillo continue to bump into each other. They should have taken the Godzilla being pregnant subplot out of the movie and spent all that either on rewrites, condolence cards for moviegoers, or trimming forty-five minutes of ass shit.
1:55:02 – Godzilla 1998 – You can start a car with a knife! Immediately! Then an absolutely awful chase scene involving a taxi, a clumsy failure giant lizard, and filmmakers who at this point are just waiting to call it a day and do blow.
1:54:05 – Godzilla 2014 – Great battles. Great destruction. Great moments. Great everything. The last hour of this movie is so good I just love watching it and stopping the typing. This is how you begin a legit franchise.
2:06:02 – Godzilla 1998 – It ends bad. It also started and middled bad. A sequel is teased. Audiences hate themselves. Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin now talk down on this film like they were coerced. Such a cop out. Fuck that. Funnily enough, I bashed Jan de Bont for years but when we made up and worked for a few years on a giant shark movie he told me his Godzilla idea (he was attached for years before Emmerich) and it was pretty great. Bottom line: This stinker somehow allowed for Gareth Edwards’ movie to rise, and that justifies this pile of fuck’s existence.
I gave Godzilla 1998 a 6/10 on this site when it first came out. CHUD was a youngin’ back then and my writing was too. It’s worse than that now, partially because we’ve become a better and smarter audience and because so much of why that film was made and how represents the worst in Hollywood motive and the kitchen sink approach to filmmaking. The new Godzilla isn’t perfect but it’s pretty damn great and side by side it’s not even close.