Back when I was younger and stupider (Yes, that is a word), when I went to an amusement park, I would ride the roller coasters. Now I don’t do that, because, I would really feel stupid dying on a roller coaster. Truth be told, four people die every year on roller coasters. And one of those four will NOT be me!
Anyway, one time long ago, I was riding the Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens Virginia. The first big dive was so steep, I felt like I was looking backwards. It kept going on and on, and just when I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore, that my body was getting ready to file divorce from my mind, just when I KNEW I couldn’t take anymore. . . it kept going.
THAT is what it felt like watching Godzilla. Just when you think they can’t show anything more amazing. . . they do.
There’s a great scene where Godzilla is looking right at the audience, and lets out his ROAR, and it continues, and continues, . . . and it feels like it should stop, but it doesn’t. Finally the scene cuts to another scene, and you feel like you’ve just hit the bottom of the roller coaster.
There are several things that make Godzilla one of the BMEM. Here they are:
1. It’s REAL. In other words, if a gigantic monsters ever DID make landfall on the United States, this is what it would look like. For one thing, it would NOT be FUNNY. Most directors/writers given this project would have put in at regular intervals scripted lines of comic relief. People saying clever and funny lines as they flee for their lives. Here, they just look scared and flee. Who has time or the composure to say funny things while fleeing? Fleeing is not fun!
2. The Restraint shown by the director. Godzilla himself doesn’t appear until half-way through the film. The story is just as important as the effects.
3. The Moments. There are several moments in the film, that make you just whoop out loud. This movie is full of whoop. If you manage to see this movie and are whoop-less throughout, well, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but there’s something wrong with you. Really. If at the scene where Godzilla is fully shown, and let’s out his ROAR for the first time, if you don’t say “Whoa!”, or “Woo-hoo!”, then you better check your pulse. Somewhere between the previews and the opening credits, I’m pretty sure you quietly passed away. Sorry. I’ll miss you.
4. The Beauty. Director Gareth Edwards knows how to set up a shot. This movie is beautiful to look at. The HALO parachute jump scene is wondrous, especially with the music Requim by Gyorgy Ligete in the background (If that piece of music sounds familiar, think back to 2001: A Space Odyssey). By the way, do you know what the acronym HALO stands for? High Altitude Low Opening. When I recently found that out, I realized I had just discovered the BAE (Best Acronym Ever). They’re very rare. Actually, there’s only one BAE. It’s HALO.
Speaking of acronyms, does anyone out there hate the LOL acronym more than me? Answer, No! For one thing, I am pretty sure that most people that send LOL in a text ARE NOT LAUGHING OUT LOUD! Maybe they’re smiling, or chuckling, but smiling and chuckling are not the same as laughing out loud. In my daily activities, I don’t see random people holding phones and laughing out loud. Most are texting with a blank look on their faces. They are not laughing out loud. STOP LYING TO ME!
But I digress.
5. The Clarity. Many directors feel the need to have tight close-ups, or jumbled editing to give the illusion of tension. When the story is this interesting, and the special effects this good, all you need to do is pull back and let us see what’s happening. Gareth Edwards does that. Clap clap bravo!
6. The Voices. The best actors have unique voices, and they know how to use them. Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, and David Strathairn are three such actors. They’re all in this movie. (Also noteworthy is Catherine Lough Haggquist, playing Petty Officer #1 Martinez. She doesn’t have many lines, but the way she looks at David Strathairn, her commanding officer, is really great).
If those six reasons aren’t enough for you to want to see this movie, I guess I have failed. Here’s one more:
7. Safety. Want that roller coaster feeling, but don’t want to die? Then buckle-up your shoe laces, and get moving. Woo-Hoo!