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3D Blu-ray Review Godzilla 3D Blu-ray Review (1 Viewer)

Todd Erwin

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Godzilla 3D Blu-ray Review

Hollywood’s latest attempt at making a big-budget kaiju movie is yet another misunderstood stab at bringing the Godzilla franchise to the States. While the result is disappointing and often frustrating for fans of the genre, it’s still better than Roland Emmerich’s 1998 blockbuster. But that’s not saying much.

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Studio: Warner Brothers

Distributed By: N/A

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC, 1080P/MVC

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

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

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French

Rating: PG-13

Run Time: 2 Hr. 3 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet

Double-sided Blu-ray keepcase with outer sleeve

Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer), DVD-9 (dual layer)

Region: A, 1

Release Date: 09/16/2014

MSRP: $44.95




The Production Rating: 3/5

Since Godzilla has already been reviewed twice here on Home Theater Forum, I’m going to skip the plot summary and refer you to the 2D review by Cameron Yee and the HTF 3D Addict review by Ron Epstein, and cut to the chase with my final thoughts on the film itself. If I’m going to see a movie called Godzilla, or any film marketed as a kaiju movie, then I want to see several fight sequences between the monsters. Unfortunately, we only get to see glimpses of the epic battles leading up to the climactic third act. A perfect example occurs at the one hour, thirty-three minute mark, where a battle between Godzilla and the winged MUTO is cut short by a POV of Elle Brody (Elizabeth Olsen) running for cover into a BART transit station with a crowd and the soldiers closing the doors behind them, obstructing the audience’s view of said battle. Fans came to see these battles, and that is what one of the many things Director Guillermo Del Toro did right in last year’s Pacific Rim.Writer Max Borenstein (the long-delayed Seventh Son) and Director Gareth Edwards (Monster) have taken the structure of the 1970s disaster movie and tried to meld that with the kaiju genre. While I commend them for trying something fresh and put a new spin on the Godzilla franchise, the very fact that the title of the movie is Godzilla is what eventually causes the film’s downfall. Don’t get me wrong - for many, this would be a very entertaining film if they knew nothing of the titular character or what to expect in a kaiju movie. The performances by Aaron Taylor-Johnson (as the film’s real hero Lt. Ford Brody), Elizabeth Olsen (as Ford’s wife), Ken Watanabe (as scientist Dr. Ishiro Serizawa on the trail of both the MUTO and Godzilla), Bryan Cranston (as Ford’s obsessive father), and David Straithairn (as Admiral William Stenz, in charge of hunting down and destroying the MUTOs and Godzilla) are more than what you would expect from a summer blockbuster, and do provide a human element the audience can relate to. The cinematography by Seamus McGarvey is lush and well-textured in 2D, but unfortunately doesn’t translate well to 3D (which may have been his intention, based on his rather public dislike for the format). Expect the film to, at the very least, receive an Oscar nomination for both its visual effects (by WETA and MPC) and sound design (by Eric Aadahl).


Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: 3/5

The 2D version, which can be viewed on the standard Blu-ray disc, is exemplary. As Cameron Yee noted in his review, “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.”The 3D version, available on a separate disc, has many of the same qualities stated above. And while there is some noticeable depth to the image, particularly in long shots, that depth is diminished dramatically during many of the underground and night time sequences. Godzilla, which was photographed by Seamus McGarvey, was converted for 3D during post production without his participation. With the possible exception of one shot (a warhead that almost appears to pierce the screen), there is no forward projection to be found. Ghosting was minimal on my Samsung 60F7100, especially after adjusting the 3D settings on the TV and using XpanD Universal RF 3D glasses rather than Samsung’s included battery-operated ones.



Audio Rating: 5/5

The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, featured on both the 3D and 2D versions, is definitely reference material, even when folded down to 5.1 by my home theater setup. As Cameron Yee noted in his review, “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

All special features can be found exclusively on the 2D Blu-ray, and are divided into two sections.Monarch Declassified is more backstory on the conspiracy and coverup of MUTOs during the Cold War, divided into three featurettes, Operation Lucky Dragon (1080p; 2:44), Monarch: The MUTO File (1080p; 4:49), and The Godzilla Revelation (1080p; 7:25).The Legendary Godzilla is a collection of behind the scenes documentaries.Godzilla: Force of Nature (1080p; 19:18): The cast and crew discuss making the film.A Whole New Level of Destruction (1080p; 8:24): A look at the practical effects in the film.Into the Void: The HALO Jump (1080p; 5:00): How they created the skydiving sequence.Ancient Enemy: The MUTOs (1080p; 6:49): Behind the scene look at creature design.DVD Copy: The movie, and only the movie, in standard definition.UltraViolet Digital HD Copy: Redemption code must be used by September 16, 2017.


Overall Rating: 3/5

Although better than previous efforts, the filmmakers still missed the boat on bringing Godzilla to Hollywood. As expected, the presentation is first rate, but fans would likely be better off purchasing the 2D version and saving a few bucks, as this is a passable 3D conversion, falling somewhere between Clash of the Titans and Man of Steel. For fans of the kaiju genre, may I suggest revisiting last year’s Pacific Rim from Guillermo Del Toro or the under-rated Gamera Trilogy by director Shusuke Kaneko.


Reviewed By: Todd Erwin


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FoxyMulder

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It's good to know there is nothing wrong with the 2D transfer, i was very worried by the other thread, i'll buy* it now.


*I love Godzilla movies so i will just purchase it and make my own mind up about the transfer.
 

bgart13

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I watched it last week and was very impressed by the 3D. I also liked the movie much more than I expected to.
 

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