GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

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Is GMK the best post-Showa Godzilla film?

Yes, GMK is the best since at least 1975
10
22%
No, but it's the best Millennium series film
22
48%
No, not even close
14
30%
 
Total votes: 46

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HedorahIsBestGirl
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GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by HedorahIsBestGirl »

At least here on Toho Kingdom, it seems that most of us are in consensus that the Showa Godzilla films are the best of the franchise overall. What far less people seem to agree on is which of the twenty Godzilla films to come out since 1975 is the best of the lot. One of the strongest contenders is undoubtedly "Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack" or, as we like to call it, "GMK".

I am of the opinion that GMK is the greatest Godzilla film since 1975, if not since 1954. It has all the makings of a great kaiju film: deep themes, good characters, a compelling story, impressive special effects work, awesome music, exciting action sequences and, perhaps most importantly in a thirty-plus-film franchise, originality and fresh ideas. Like Kaneko's Gamera trilogy which preceded it, it's a cut above the rest of the majority of the kaiju films released in the 90s and 2000s. But it certainly isn't without its detractors; many dislike the portrayals of Godzilla and, especially, King Ghidorah in GMK. Learning how much Toho interfered with Kaneko's intentions for the films, particularly by forcing the inclusion of Mothra and Ghidorah, also seems to have soured some fans on the film. And, even for those who like GMK, it's hardly the only good Godzilla film since the Showa era. The first three Heisei films have many fans, as do the first Legendary film and Shin Gojira.

I think that, on the whole, GMK is probably regarded as the best post-Showa Godzilla film but what do you guys think? Does it deserve to be held in such high regards, or has there been another Godzilla film in the past 45 years that you like better? Discuss below.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by VoyagerGoji »

For me, GMK is the best since 1964's Mothra vs Godzilla. Although Shin is a close contender.

Other "good" movies post 1975 include:

Godzilla vs Biollante
Godzilla vs King Ghidorah
Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II
Godzilla X Mechagodzilla


Keep in mind, ^ is my opinion. I know some of you out there don't like GxMG.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by Gigantis »

Well, both this one and G2000 both got to my highest ranking of Godzilla films next to 1954. Still, It's unfair to say some Heisei films aren't better than most Showa ones. Godzilla vs. Biollante is also a personal favorite of mine and ranks higher than all the 60's films.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by Kaiju-King42 »

Yeah, I'd have to agree with the consensus that GMK is the best post-showa film. RoG, Biollante, LPG and Shin all come close, but each of those four all have some significant flaws that can be difficult to ignore.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by Terasawa »

Biollante and Shin are both better. I could see an argument for GMK against Biollante but GMK is definitely more flawed than Shin.

GMK doesn’t crack the top five Godzilla movies, and I’m not sure any Heisei/Reiwa films do either.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by CrimsonBloodX »

In my opinion, The Return of Godzilla, Godzilla vs Biollante and even Godzilla 2000 are slightly better than GMK. And when it comes to my favorite Millennium film, there's Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

So yeah, I'm going with "No, not even close."
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by HedorahIsBestGirl »

Terasawa wrote:I could see an argument for GMK against Biollante but GMK is definitely more flawed than Shin.
I don't think you can say "definitely" because that's definitely not definite. While I think Shin is the second best post-Showa film, I think it's more flawed than GMK. The pacing in GMK is among the best of any Godzilla film, while Shin's pacing isn't great. I feel that Godzilla's big epic atomic breath scene takes place too early in the film, after which it loses some momentum before the climax. I wouldn't go so far as to say I get bored, but it comes close to losing my interest for a few minutes there. The lead characters in GMK are stronger than those of Shin as well. Yuri and her father are among the more developed characters in the franchise. Rando Yaguchi is up there, too, but because the film never leaves him a chance to get drunk at a bar or share an emotional moment with a family member, he doesn't achieve the same depth.

The rest of the reasons I prefer GMK over Shin are pretty subjective. GMK has better action scenes, but it's also a different kind of movie and, IMO, it's hard for military vs. monster sequences to match monster vs. monster sequences. Plus, GMK has good scenes of both type. The score for GMK is among my favorites of the series (easily my favorite not composed by Ifukube or Sato) while I didn't find Shin's music to be anything too special. Both films are thematically rich, I just find GMK's themes more interesting. I think an argument can be made for either film, I don't think one can definitively be stated as less flawed than the other the way I could state that both films are definitely less flawed than, say, Godzilla: Tokyo SOS.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by GojiDog »

I liked GMK alot, but I never loved it to the degree that a lot of people did.

It gives us a horrifyingly evil Godzilla and the monster action is mostly great. I also quite liked the fantasy take on it when normally these movies lean on the Sci-Fi side of things. The characters are generally likable as well, and mixed in with really good action and drama. Also, the film gets major props for finally having Baragon do something in a Godzilla movie, leaving an impression in the progress. The musical score was unique and memorable.

My issues....

- This was a problem with the Millennium series as a whole, but the increased use of bad CGI became distracting. And some of the CGI shots in this film are REALLY bad. The one that always stands out to me is the reveal of King Ghidorah after he's gotten the Mothra powerup and he looks like a cartoon. Again, this is a problem with the whole of the Millennium series, and I'm not necessarily anti-CGI, but I'll take bad practical effects over bad CGI effects any day.

- General Tachibana is a great hero protagonist and I liked his story...however that ending always raised an eyebrow with me. It looked like they were going to do the Serasawa noble sacrifice deal, but then they didn't. Okay, that's fine...but how the hell did he survive that?! How did he get swallowed by Godzilla, blow a hole in his chest, have the atomic blast go out that hole, and not get blown up himself? Its was puzzling to me. It would have worked if they had shown him escaping BEFORE Godzilla tried the atomic blast, but hey.

- I never got behind the idea of Ghidorah being a guardian and sided with Mothra. I get Toho wanted box office marquee value, but had they gone the original route of Varan, Anguirus, and Baragon (or even just keep Varan over Ghidorah) that probably would have been easier to take. Ghidorah is just so firmly established as a villain and his previous appearance showed him fighting Mothra, so to see them teamed up here in a different universe never quite sit right with me. Of thee four monsters in the movie, Ghidorah also got the worst treatment of the bunch. The rest got cool new redesigns and got to do cool things, where as Ghidorah looked much punier and less impressive than previous incarnations.

- And this might sound like I'm grasping, but considering this is the same director that gave us the Gamera trilogy, I would have wanted Godzilla to get something on par with those entries and it just isn't. Its very good, but never quite ventured into the highmark set by the Gamera trilogy. Its a high mark to match, and I am admittedly not being very fair, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't factor in.

Now granted, these are all nitpicky things and don't harm the film too much, but if I'm going to be splitting hairs and picking it among other post Showa films, there are a few I'd pick over it. Vs. Biollante, Vs. King Ghidorah, Vs. Destroyah, and Shin all come to mind, and there are a couple like Mechagodzilla 93 and even the Legendary films that I'd have hovering around the same level.

GMK is one of those entries that a lot of fans say is an A+ and I'm more like "Eh, A- or B+". Its a top ten entry that with a few tweaks could have been a Top 5.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by Terasawa »

HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:
Terasawa wrote:I could see an argument for GMK against Biollante but GMK is definitely more flawed than Shin.
I don't think you can say "definitely" because that's definitely not definite. While I think Shin is the second best post-Showa film, I think it's more flawed than GMK. The pacing in GMK is among the best of any Godzilla film, while Shin's pacing isn't great. I feel that Godzilla's big epic atomic breath scene takes place too early in the film, after which it loses some momentum before the climax. I wouldn't go so far as to say I get bored, but it comes close to losing my interest for a few minutes there. The lead characters in GMK are stronger than those of Shin as well. Yuri and her father are among the more developed characters in the franchise. Rando Yaguchi is up there, too, but because the film never leaves him a chance to get drunk at a bar or share an emotional moment with a family member, he doesn't achieve the same depth.
Neither movie is trying to do the same thing, so I think it's futile to compare the characterization in GMK to in Shin. The latter is a procedural, about how government responds to a crisis, and the characters are representative of that. There are some strong individual voices but they accomplish what they do together, and I think giving Rando something like the moments you mentioned out of GMK would undermine distract from what the movie is doing.

Not every movie needs a heartfelt emotional core to succeed. I think this is more a subjective argument than you think it is.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by Kaltes-Herzeleid »

Mm, I feel like The Return of Godzilla and Godzilla Vs. Biollante are up there for best post-Showa Godzilla movie too, but I definitely prefer GMK over either. I like GMK quite a bit though I think it's obvious (especially if you've watched the Gamera trilogy) that Kaneko was restrained more than he should have been in some aspects.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by Kaiju-King42 »

HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:
Terasawa wrote:I could see an argument for GMK against Biollante but GMK is definitely more flawed than Shin.
I don't think you can say "definitely" because that's definitely not definite. While I think Shin is the second best post-Showa film, I think it's more flawed than GMK. The pacing in GMK is among the best of any Godzilla film, while Shin's pacing isn't great. I feel that Godzilla's big epic atomic breath scene takes place too early in the film, after which it loses some momentum before the climax. I wouldn't go so far as to say I get bored, but it comes close to losing my interest for a few minutes there. The lead characters in GMK are stronger than those of Shin as well. Yuri and her father are among the more developed characters in the franchise. Rando Yaguchi is up there, too, but because the film never leaves him a chance to get drunk at a bar or share an emotional moment with a family member, he doesn't achieve the same depth.

The rest of the reasons I prefer GMK over Shin are pretty subjective. GMK has better action scenes, but it's also a different kind of movie and, IMO, it's hard for military vs. monster sequences to match monster vs. monster sequences. Plus, GMK has good scenes of both type. The score for GMK is among my favorites of the series (easily my favorite not composed by Ifukube or Sato) while I didn't find Shin's music to be anything too special. Both films are thematically rich, I just find GMK's themes more interesting. I think an argument can be made for either film, I don't think one can definitively be stated as less flawed than the other the way I could state that both films are definitely less flawed than, say, Godzilla: Tokyo SOS.
The pacing issues are one of my biggest problems with Shin. I love the first half, but it just loses all momentum afterwards. It doesn't help matters that the climax is one of the most messily executed in the entire series.

Beyond the storytelling elements of the films, GMK also has a much better soundscape than Shin Godzilla. Much like the film's score, Shin chooses to use stock sound effects from Toho's existing library, which creates a tonal dissonance in several scenes and cheapens the film considerably.

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Terasawa wrote:
HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:
Terasawa wrote:I could see an argument for GMK against Biollante but GMK is definitely more flawed than Shin.
I don't think you can say "definitely" because that's definitely not definite. While I think Shin is the second best post-Showa film, I think it's more flawed than GMK. The pacing in GMK is among the best of any Godzilla film, while Shin's pacing isn't great. I feel that Godzilla's big epic atomic breath scene takes place too early in the film, after which it loses some momentum before the climax. I wouldn't go so far as to say I get bored, but it comes close to losing my interest for a few minutes there. The lead characters in GMK are stronger than those of Shin as well. Yuri and her father are among the more developed characters in the franchise. Rando Yaguchi is up there, too, but because the film never leaves him a chance to get drunk at a bar or share an emotional moment with a family member, he doesn't achieve the same depth.
Neither movie is trying to do the same thing, so I think it's futile to compare the characterization in GMK to in Shin. The latter is a procedural, about how government responds to a crisis, and the characters are representative of that. There are some strong individual voices but they accomplish what they do together, and I think giving Rando something like the moments you mentioned out of GMK would undermine distract from what the movie is doing.

Not every movie needs a heartfelt emotional core to succeed. I think this is more a subjective argument than you think it is.
Unfortunately the lack of an emotional connection in Shin's characters makes for a very dry and steril movie. That's one of the reasons the second half is so painful. It's great when it's a satire of the governments handling of a crisis! But after Tokyo is devestated you... never feel the tragedy. Emotion is needed to sell the impact. Emotion is needed to sell the threat of a nuke bearing down on Tokyo. It has brief moments, and these moments are consequently the best of the second half, but it's something that RoG honestly pulls off better.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by Terasawa »

Kaiju-King42 wrote:Unfortunately the lack of an emotional connection in Shin's characters makes for a very dry and steril movie. That's one of the reasons the second half is so painful. It's great when it's a satire of the governments handling of a crisis! But after Tokyo is devestated you... never feel the tragedy. Emotion is needed to sell the impact. Emotion is needed to sell the threat of a nuke bearing down on Tokyo. It has brief moments, and these moments are consequently the best of the second half, but it's something that RoG honestly pulls off better.
It’s not enough that it’s a nuclear bomb heading for one of the most densely populated cities on the planet? :| Anyway I argue that the threat feels more immediate and more real than the similar bit in ROG, even though that film shows the nuke detonate. Once the decision is made by the US government in Shin it’s a race against the clock to implement Yaguchi’s plan.

Ironically, they do sort of show what you’re asking for in the part of the movie you guys like: the two civilians in Shinagawa that causes the PM to call off the strike. And it’s hamfisted in its execution.

I don’t think it’s a movie about a tragedy, it’s a movie about how bureaucracy inefficiently handles a crisis vs. how a proactive amalgamation of young politicians and the private sector can avoid the red tape and solve it. Not every movie has to be doom and gloom and heavy handwringing at tragic events. This one took a different approach that the genre had literally never explored on this scale.

The difference between us is this: you guys aren’t satisfied with the final act because you feel it lacks character, while that act satisfies me because it continues the film’s procedural structure established in the first two acts. I don’t think it’s wrong to want more characterization but I do think it’s incorrect to assume that the movie fails in that regard because it never once tries to be about individual characters. You’re trying to critique it for something it literally isn’t.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by Kaiju-King42 »

Terasawa wrote: I don’t think it’s a movie about a tragedy, it’s a movie about how bureaucracy inefficiently handles a crisis vs. how a proactive amalgamation of young politicians and the private sector can avoid the red tape and solve it. Not every movie has to be doom and gloom and heavy handwringing at tragic events. This one took a different approach that the genre had literally never explored on this scale.

You’re trying to critique it for something it literally isn’t.
I criticize it that way because the movie, and Godzilla in particular, was advertised as "our worst nightmare." It was built up to be a return to movies like the 1954 film and to a lesser extent the Return of Godzilla. Not all movies have to be doom and gloom, but forgive me for expecting otherwise when that's what the promotional materials — hell even what Godzilla's edgy zombified design — hinted at.

Some other people on this forum are upset about the very same thing happening with LPG. That doesn't invalidate their criticisms.

Annoy just wanted to have his cake and eat it too. He wanted a dark and gritty film, but he also wanted a darkly comedic satire AND an emotionally distanced procedural, and all those elements aren't brought together in a way that makes them work. Instead they're at conflict with one another to the expense of the film.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by Terasawa »

That sounds like a pretty solid criticism of how the film is sold, not the film itself.

Satire and comedy are not the same thing. Shin Godzilla is not a comedy. Anyway, there’s no reason you can’t have a very dark film with comedic elements: Dr. Strangelove, anyone? Hey, come to think of it, there’s just about as much character examination in that movie.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by Kaiju-King42 »

Terasawa wrote:That sounds like a pretty solid criticism of how the film is sold, not the film itself.

Satire and comedy are not the same thing. Shin Godzilla is not a comedy. Anyway, there’s no reason you can’t have a very dark film with comedic elements: Dr. Strangelove, anyone? Hey, come to think of it, there’s just about as much character examination in that movie.
Of course there's no reason you can't do it. I actually had Strangeglove on my mind as I wrote these posts as an example of how to do it well.

Which is the key thing for me: doing it well. I feel Shin loses that balance in the second half. Most of its satirical elements are lost at that point, but the procedural elements and the film's tone remain the same and, for me, contribute to a dry and flavorless experience. That's not to say I think they should have kept the satire all the way through the film — Strangeglove may be an example of doing it well but that doesn't mean it should be copied.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by HedorahIsBestGirl »

I think the first half of Shin Godzilla, up through the atomic breath scene, is some nigh-perfect filmmaking. The second half is by no means terrible, but it's definitely weaker. The nuclear threat never feels as real as it did in The Return of Godzilla and having Godzilla be immobile for nearly a third of the film is a bit disappointing. I actually think the Operation Yashiori scene was done pretty well and makes for a satisfying climax, but there's fifteen or twenty minutes before this that I thought dragged a little.

It's a shame more wasn't done with Kyoko's character, because I think her conflict over her national identity and the prospect of her ancestral homeland being nuked could have been taken further. I understand the film is a procedural which focuses on a whole group of people working together to bring down Godzilla, spearheaded by Rando, but I'm always going to feel a stronger connection to a movie with stronger characters. As KK42 mentioned above, I think lingering for longer on the aftermath of Godzilla's nuclear attack would have been more impactful. Maybe the movie didn't try to focus on individual characters but I think it could have done so, to its benefit. A little more with Rando and Kyoko would have gone a long way for me.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by kamilleblu »

HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:The nuclear threat never feels as real as it did in The Return of Godzilla and having Godzilla be immobile for nearly a third of the film is a bit disappointing.
Really? Yaguchi on the roof with Akasaka and Patterson speaking with the US politician on the plane are two great examples of moments which sell the seriousness of the situation. The mass evacuation scenes are effective as well. The second half is without a doubt less exciting than the first half and perhaps could afford to shave a scene or two. But I think it's given too hard of a time.

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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by Kaiju-King42 »

Ehhh... the bad American acting kinda undermines the plane scene.
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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by Malchik »

GMK is my favorite of the Millennium era. Making Godzilla an allegory for Japanese post-war revisionism was a real neat idea.

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Re: GMK: Best Post-Showa Godzilla Film?

Post by Chrispy_G »

I don't know. I like Return of Godzilla and Biollante better than most Showa films. I THINK I like Godzilla 2000(US Version) the most out of the Millennium films to be frank, I think it edges GMK for me. I just kind of love the straightforward nature of it a bit more, and the fact that it is almost a hybrid of a "Godzilla solo movie" and a "Godzilla vs another monster movie"

Shin crushes them both.

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