Godzilla: King of the Monsters UHD Review

Course corrected 4 Stars

Director Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters fixes many of the problems this reviewer had with Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla from 2014, making this entry much more entertaining, but it’s still not a very good movie.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
Released: 31 May 2019
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 132 min
Director: Michael Dougherty
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Cast: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe
Writer(s): Michael Dougherty (screenplay by), Zach Shields (screenplay by), Max Borenstein (story by), Michael Dougherty (story by), Zach Shields (story by)
Plot: The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.
IMDB rating: 6.2
MetaScore: 48

Disc Information
Studio: Warner Brothers
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: Dolby Atmos, English 5.1 DD, English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English DVS 2.0, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 2 Hr. 12 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Blu-ray, Digital Copy
Case Type: 2-disc UHD eco keepcase with slipcover
Disc Type: UHD
Region: All
Release Date: 08/27/2019
MSRP: $29.99

The Production: 3.5/5

It’s been five years since Godzilla destroyed San Francisco, and hasn’t been seen since. In his stead, more and more monsters, referred to as Titans, have appeared and wreaked havoc on major metropolitan areas around the globe, despite the fact that Monarch has been keeping many of these Titans at containments facilities all over the world. Monarch scientist Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) has developed a device called ORCA, which emits sound waves that have been able to subdue these creatures. Her most recent experiment with ORCA has been on Mothra with much success, only to find the facility under attack and she and her daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown, Strange Things) taken hostage by eco terrorist Alan Jonah (Charles Dance). Her estranged husband, Mark (Kyle Chandler), is contacted by representatives from Monarch, Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe), Dr. Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) and Sam Coleman (Verizon spokesperson Thomas Middleditch) about his wife and daughter’s abduction, and reluctantly rejoins the Monarch team as they hunt for Godzilla with the hope that the mighty king of the monsters can defeat what apparently is the Titans’ leader, Ghidorah.

If only the plot for Godzilla: King of the Monsters were that simple. The screenplay by director Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘r Treat, Krampus) and Zach Shields (Krampus) is overstuffed with characters and subplots that tend to bog down the human element of the story. We never really know what Jonah’s motivations are for being an eco-terrorist other than he believes than by setting the Titans free, he is helping to heal Earth from overpopulation and destruction. What the film does succeed at (and 2014’s previous entry, Godzilla, failed at) is the many battles between Godzilla and the Titans, such as Rodan and Ghidorah, and even teaming up with Mothra. These battles are executed with great love and affection for the old Toho Godzilla movies, and are a lot of fun to watch.

Video: 4.5/5

3D Rating: NA

Godzilla: King of the Monsters was captured at 3.4k and 6.5k resolutions using Arri Alexa 65 and Mini cameras, then completed as a 2K digital intermediate. Warner’s 2160p upscale preserves the film’s theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1, and includes high dynamic range grading in HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision. The film was reviewed on equipment that was only HDR10 capable. There are a lot of darkly lit sequences in this film, and HDR really helps those sequences retain a lot of detail, such as electronic displays and surface textures. The wider color gamut also allows for more detail to be seen, especially as Godzilla becomes aped up before going nuclear. There were no obvious compression artifacts like banding or pixilation whatsoever.

Audio: 5/5

Warner has fitted Godzilla: King of the Monsters with a default Dolby Atmos track that is a sonically immersive treat. Godzilla’s thunderous footsteps and ferocious roars will rattle the floorboards thanks to a very active LFE track. Sounds of destruction come at you from every conceivable angle. All the while, dialogue remains clear and understandable throughout.

Special Features: 4/5

With the exception of the commentary track, all of the special features can be found on the included Blu-ray edition.

Audio Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Michael Dougherty, Producer/Co-Writer Zach Shields and Actor O’Shea Jackson, Jr.: This is a lively and fun track, as the three men share their fondness for the genre and discuss many aspects of the production. The track is accessible on both the UHD and Blu-ray editions of the movie.

Monsters 101 (1080p; 5:32): Each section takes a very brief look at the four monsters featured in the film – Godzilla: Nature’s Fearsome Guardian, Mothra: Queen of the Monsters, Ghidorah: The Living Extinction Machine and Rodan: Airborne God of Fire.

Evolution of the Titans (1080p; 27:24): A look at the development of the four monsters through CGI – Godzilla 2.0, Making Mothra, Creating Ghidorah and Reimagining Rodan.

Monarch in Action (1080p; 32:56): A look at five of Monarch’s containment sites featured in the film – The Yunnan Temple, Castle Bravo, The Antarctic Base, The Isla de Mara Volcano and The Undersea Lair.

Millie Bobby Brown: Force of Nature (1080p; 4:07): A look at the young actress.

Monster Tech: Monarch Joins the Fight (1080p; 8:34): A look at the military tech, both real and created for the film.

Monsters are Real (1080p; 14:18): “Experts” discuss the history of monsters through the ages.

Welcome to the Monsterverse (1080p; 3:42): This is for those who may not be aware that this film is part of a growing monster franchise that includes Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island.

Deleted Scenes (1080p; 5:01): Only two scenes are included, an extended version of Mark’s Flashback and Boxing Practice.

Theatrical Trailers (1080p; 12:08): Four of the film’s trailers are included – Life, Supremacy, Over the Rainbow and Wonder Rumble.

Digital Copy: An insert contains a code to redeem a digital copy (in UHD where available) on Movies Anywhere.

Overall: 4/5

I was not a big fan of 2014’s Godzilla, but I did enjoy Kong: Skull Island and feel like Michael Dougherty has corrected the course of this franchise with Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and we will have to wait and see if this correction continues when Godzilla vs. Kong arrives in theaters next year. The presentation on UHD is exceptional, and the commentary is probably the best of the special features.

Published by

Todd Erwin

editor,member

27 Comments

  1. I take exception to two of your characterizations of Godzilla 1. SF was heavily damaged by Big G’s fight with mutos that wanted to destroy everything. Hell, even as G is heading to the ocean at the end, we see a caption of TV “Savior of the city.” Also, I certainly don’t consider the battles in the first movie a failure, they were quite entertaining and action packed. Yeah, there’s more action, but the first movie had all that exposition crap.

    Yeah, sometimes I think the present day monster-makers could learn from the plots of the big monster movies of the 50’s. I’ve got the 3D version on order from Amazon UK.

  2. Tino

    Why not just buy from Best Buy? $29.99.

    Well, after taxes and shipping the BB copy will cost me $12 more than the UK copy. But the UK copy won’t arrive until 10/25 at the earliest. Of course I could wait for a Black Friday deal which means even later.

    I had assumed there’d be no US 3D release. Decisions, decisions. At $24 the UK release might just be a Black Friday release price.

  3. Johnny Angell

    Well, after taxes and shipping the BB copy will cost me $12 more than the UK copy. But the UK copy won’t arrive until 10/25 at the earliest. Of course I could wait for a Black Friday deal which means even later.

    I had assumed there’d be no US 3D release. Decisions, decisions. At $24 the UK release might just be a Black Friday release price.

    Plus you get a digital copy with the domestic release that you could sell to offset the difference.

    I support domestic 3D releases over imports when I can.

  4. Borrowed my son’s 4K copy and I pretty much agree with Todd’s review. Wasn’t great but wasn’t terrible either. Having one of the last 3D capable LG OLEDs I try to pick any 3D movies that are out there. After getting tired of ordering what little 3D is available in the US and having it cancelled at the last minute I pretty much order everything from Amazon UK these days. I did try to order Godzilla from BB a while back, but their web site said they were sold out. Thought I’d try again after reading the comments above and this time my order went through. Using some reward points it will cost me about $5. Cancelled my UK order which should doom the entire process.

  5. I think 2014's Godzilla was vastly superior to this film. I liked it okay, but the script was all over the place, the narrative throughput wonky and largely unconvincing, and despite some beautify shots and fun battles, pretty dull. I was surprised by how unimpressed I was with it as I can usually find faults very forgivable in movies like this. I need to watch it again and perhaps will like it more the 2nd time around, but I think I'd rather revisit the 2014 film at the moment.

  6. Neil Middlemiss

    I think 2014's Godzilla was vastly superior to this film. I liked it okay, but the script was all over the place, the narrative throughput wonky and largely unconvincing, and despite some beautify shots and fun battles, pretty dull. I was surprised by how unimpressed I was with it as I can usually find faults very forgivable in movies like this. I need to watch it again and perhaps will like it more the 2nd time around, but I think I'd rather revisit the 2014 film at the moment.

    As I noted in the movie thread, I thought this movie was awful. The misanthropic ranting in it made me gag.

  7. RobertR

    As I noted in the movie thread, I thought this movie was awful. The misanthropic ranting in it made me gag.

    I thought the misanthropic ranting had a point. Is the earth or sun causing problems? When I ponder all the problems that are occurring now, they are human-made. I don’t approve of the solution the villain was offering. Ah, another human-made problem.

  8. Johnny Angell

    I thought the misanthropic ranting had a point. Is the earth or sun causing problems? When I ponder all the problems that are occurring now, they are human-made. I don’t approve of the solution the villain was offering. Ah, another human-made problem.

    Unlike many people, I do not view human beings as some kind of "plague" that's "infecting" the earth, and I not only don't approve of the woman scientist's "solution", I consider it heinous, despicable, and monstrous (the description the kid properly used).

  9. Johnny Angell

    I take exception to two of your characterizations of Godzilla 1. SF was heavily damaged by Big G’s fight with mutos that wanted to destroy everything. Hell, even as G is heading to the ocean at the end, we see a caption of TV “Savior of the city.”

    Mr. Kent saw that caption as well. Considering how the reviewers treated his movie, he wasn't too happy! (Segment starts roughly halfway into HISHE movie parody.)

  10. RobertR

    Unlike many people, I do not view human beings as some kind of "plague" that's "infecting" the earth, and I not only don't approve of the woman scientist's "solution", I consider it heinous, despicable, and monstrous (the description the kid properly used).

    The kid is right, but I also think the human species is responsible for most of the problems on the planet.

  11. Johnny Angell

    The kid is right, but I also think the human species is responsible for most of the problems on the planet.

    I think the more apocalyptic claims about the "evils" of a human presence on the planet are overblown.

  12. Johnny Angell

    Is the Canadian release a full featured release? All the extras?

    Yes, and always with the second flat 2D disc. The only difference you’ll notice is the French write up on the back under the English, which makes the font smaller for both.

  13. dpippel

    7.7 billion people currently inhabit the Earth. There are FAR too many of us already, and it's only going to get worse.

    Funny how fictional villains who see humans as a problem, and mass murder as the solution, never volunteer to be part of the solution. Not just the woman in "Godzilla: King of the Monsters", and associates … but also Ra's As Ghul, and Thanos.

  14. dpippel

    7.7 billion people currently inhabit the Earth. There are FAR too many of us already, and it's only going to get worse.

    Actually, people produce wealth. The world would be less wealthy if there were 90% fewer people. But if you want fewer people, there are only two ways to do it: Kill billions (which is what the monstrous woman scientist wanted in the movie. I assume you don't favor that.), or reduce the birth rate. Reduced birth rate is the result of greater wealth. So increase the wealth of everybody. Unfortunately, there are people demanding that we be poorer, and who favor policies that keep other countries from being wealthier.

  15. Thomas Newton

    Funny how fictional villains who see humans as a problem, and mass murder as the solution, never volunteer to be part of the solution. Not just the woman in "Godzilla: King of the Monsters", and associates … but also Ra's As Ghul, and Thanos.

    Thanos absolutely volunteered himself as part of the solution, in fact as the ONLY solution. I don't agree, but he most certainly did.

  16. RobertR

    Actually, people produce wealth. The world would be less wealthy if there were 90% fewer people. But if you want fewer people, there are only two ways to do it: Kill billions (which is what the monstrous woman scientist wanted in the movie. I assume you don't favor that.), or reduce the birth rate. Reduced birth rate is the result of greater wealth. So increase the wealth of everybody. Unfortunately, there are people demanding that we be poorer, and who favor policies that keep other countries from being wealthier.

    Overpopulation is a fact. The limited resources of this planet are facts. I was only pointing them out, not offering to solve the problems.

  17. dpippel

    Overpopulation is a fact. The limited resources of this planet are facts. I was only pointing them out, not offering to solve the problems.

    What's the "optimum" number of people? Five Billion? Two? 500 milion? As I said, the world would be far less wealthy if there were far fewer people.

  18. dpippel

    Thanos absolutely volunteered himself as part of the solution, in fact as the ONLY solution. I don't agree, but he most certainly did.

    Maybe my memory of the movies is faulty, but I don't recall him "dusting" himself, either in Infinity War or in Endgame. He wasn't too concerned with being killed after the "dusting" was done, but he didn't exactly go surrender to someone and volunteer to join the "dusted".

  19. Tino

    Plus you get a digital copy with the domestic release that you could sell to offset the difference.

    I support domestic 3D releases over imports when I can.

    If every single HTF members bought every 3D release, I would not make a difference to the studios. There’s just not enough money in 3D for US studios. Medium bucks aren’t enough, gotta be big bucks. Overseas, medium bucks is enough.

    TJPC

    I bought from Amazon.ca for $29.99. Do they charge high prices for postage to the US? With the exchange rate this should cost $22.67 US.

    It cost me $7.86 for shipping which gets it here by 10/1 at the latest. It’s more expensive then the UK version by about $7 and (heavy sigh) I paid the extra $7 and ordered the CA version and canceled the UK version. It is cheaper then the BB version after shipping.

  20. Thomas Newton

    Maybe my memory of the movies is faulty, but I don't recall him "dusting" himself, either in Infinity War or in Endgame. He wasn't too concerned with being killed after the "dusting" was done, but he didn't exactly go surrender to someone and volunteer to join the "dusted".

    The "dusting" was supposed to be random, and unless my memory is faulty (which it is, but I might be right by chance), there wasn't any indication that Thanos exempted himself from potentially being included.

    In fact, now that I think about it, dusting himself could've led the story in interesting directions.

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