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Blu-ray Review Godzilla (2014) Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Cameron Yee, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    XenForo Template Godzilla (2014) Blu-ray Review

    The King of Monsters returns in Hollywood’s latest swipe at the enduringly popular kaiju character, but the measured approach its director takes with the storytelling produces some notable shortcomings.

    Posted Image


    Studio: Warner Brothers

    Distributed By: N/A

    Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

    Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

    Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD

    Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

    Rating: PG-13

    Run Time: 2 Hr. 3 Min.

    Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet

    Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

    Region: A

    Release Date: 09/16/2014

    MSRP: $35.99




    The Production Rating: 3.5/5

    Fifteen years after an apparent earthquake levels a nuclear power plant in Janjira, Japan, causing a meltdown and radioactive quarantine, the facility's lead engineer Joe Brody (Brian Cranston) remains unconvinced there was anything remotely natural about the disaster. Having lost his wife in the tragedy, Brody’s crusade for the truth is partly fueled by inconsolable grief and survivor's guilt, but his ramblings about a government cover up have a ring of truth and more than a little evidence to back them up. Brody's son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has little patience to listen, however, and his relationship with his father is effectively estranged as each man has approached a mutual loss from nearly opposite angles. When Brody convinces his son, back from a tour of duty with the U.S. military, to join him on a clandestine trip back to Janjira to reclaim some critical data and personal mementos, they'll finally learn the truth about what happened there 15 years ago, though that incident will seem small in comparison to the events soon to follow.There’s never any mystery about what Brody and his son are up against (and of course the audience is in on it given the title of the film), but director Gareth Edwards insists on being kind of coy about the whole kaiju thing, even when there’s prime opportunity to go full tilt with not just the reveal of the massive, radiation hungry monsters, but the throwdown between them and the titular, king of them all. This, at best, measured approach will no doubt frustrate some viewers impatient for a full-on creature feature smackdown, but those familiar with Edwards’ previous work, Monsters, won’t be surprised by his restraint and less-is-more approach. That’s not to say there aren’t some great payoffs in the finale, but a necessary strategy that worked so well for a low budget, independent film doesn’t always suit a movie of Godzilla’s over-the-top pedigree, making the two-hour film feel 20 minutes too long and unnecessarily evasive (even when the monsters are in full view, they’re shrouded in the blackness of night). Solid turns by the cast, impressive special effects, and satisfying creature design give the film more credibility than the notorious 1998 Godzilla by Roland Emmerich, but it should have done more than just step over that low bar, it should have atomic breath-ed the thing into oblivion.


    Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA

    Accurately framed at 2.40:1 and presented in 1080p with the AVC codec, the transfer features deep, inky blacks; an uncompromised range of contrast and excellent detail from wide shots to close ups. The color palette is limited, especially as much of the final act takes place at night, but there’s a satisfying degree of color depth and fidelity throughout.



    Audio Rating: 5/5

    Dialogue in the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is consistently crisp, clear and intelligible. Given the subject matter, I expected LFE to be where the track really shows its stuff, but it turns out the surround channels – even in my 5.1 setup – are where things really shine. While the low frequencies do their part with the various explosions, crashes and monster mashes it’s the aggressive and dynamic mix of directional and ambient effects that really bring the track to life.


    Special Features Rating: 3.5/5

    Monarch Declassified
    • Operation Lucky Dragon (2:44, HD): Classified film reel describing the results of the Lucky Dragon “atomic testing” operation.
    • Monarch: The MUTO File (4:29, HD): Orientation film provides an overview of the operation taking place at the former Janjira Nuclear Facility.
    • The Godzilla Revelation (7:25, HD): Conspiracy group video details the activities of the Monarch project and events involving Godzilla and the MUTOs.
    The Legendary Godzilla
    • Godzilla: Force of Nature (19:18, HD): Cast and crew provide an overview of their work.
    • A Whole New Level of Destruction (8:24, HD): Details on the destruction practical effects and set dressing.
    • Into the Void: The HALO Jump (5:00, HD): Details on planning and filming the high altitude set piece.
    • Ancient Enemy: The MUTOs (6:49, HD): Design and creation of Godzilla’s nemeses.
    DVD CopyUltraViolet Digital Copy: Redeem by September 16, 2017.


    Overall Rating: 3.5/5

    Warner Home Video delivers a fantastic HD presentation for Godzilla, an improvement on the last Hollywood attempt at the property, but still not one without problems. The special features include some perfunctory behind-the-scenes and promotional pieces that don’t have much replay value, but will interest those who particularly enjoyed the film.


    Reviewed By: Cameron Yee


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  2. Jacksmyname

    Jacksmyname Second Unit

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    Thanks for the review, Cameron. At my age (65), I'm much more interested in the classics than the latest iteration of the Godzilla franchise.
    However, as I have a very decent 7.2 audio system, and based on your review, I may just have to add this one to my collection.
     
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  3. Mark-W

    Mark-W Producer

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    Oh how I wanted a commentary track from this film's director! I would imagine going from a small buget film like Monsters to this would give him a few things to say. Oh well. It is ultimately about the movie's presentation, isn't it? ;)
     
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  4. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    While it could have been trimmed by about 15 minutes, I LOVED this version. Great effects, no "humor" to break the tension and a damn good story. Far from perfect, but definitely worth another watch. Maybe I'll rent it and watch it with my dad (he's 91!) as HE is the one that got me hooked on the "big monster" movies as a kid!
     
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  5. ambientcafe

    ambientcafe Auditioning

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    Spot-on review ... altho technically well made, the underwhelming climatic payoff, compounded by some less than compelling human melodrama somehow made this outing even less entertaining than Roland Emmerich's universally-lambasted version in terms of actual kaiju action. Nevertheless, I'll still pickup the F/S steelbook for its demo value.
     
  6. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    The amount of bass content on this soundtrack is crazy. It is not just in the LFE, but across all channels. The MUTO EMPs will induce localized earthquakes in your HT and all adjacent rooms.
     
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  7. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Producer

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    I think you mean Godzilla 1998. Nothing notorious about G 2000.
     
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  8. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Indeed, thanks for the catch. Updated the review accordingly.
     
  9. sonomatom1

    sonomatom1 Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I enjoyed G in the theatre (although I made a point to see it in an IMAX location only to find it was a "mini"-IMAX (I was so pissed! I wanted the big guy towering over me), and the one scene that really deflated the film for me was where we see G swimming along side a ship like a lovable dolphin! He should be smashing the ship, not doing his best 'Flipper' impersonation.

    In any event, after reading some positive reviews of Edwards first feature, "Monsters", I rented it last night. What a boring bomb. Some great location scenes, and supporting actor performances, but edgy or scary? Please. One reviewer wrote that he liked it better than 'Cloverfield" - that really mystified me. And the final scene with the creepy crawlers making whoopee followed by our leads locked in a kiss - a paean to universal love and peace across the stars? Argh.
     
  10. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    I pretty much agree with everyone regarding how underwhelming this re-introduction of a great icon was. The sound did stand out throughout the movie and video quality was pretty good. Nothing specific I can think of that makes me say wow.Also spot on point is the comment comparing Godzilla to the movie Monsters. That movie really made me upset, and you cannot apply that same realm of thought to this movie.I have to admit that Godzilla 2014 reminded me of the Gamera; Guardian of the Universe movie.
     

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