Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

For the discussion of Shin Godzilla, Godzilla -1.0, the anime trilogy, Godzilla Singular Point and Toho produced and distributed films after 2015. Includes US movies financed by Toho like Detective Pikachu.
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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by LSD Jellyfish »

I've seen a lot of people say that -1.0 is in their top 5 or whatever. More power to you, if you think that, but I don't know. It's not because I think Godzilla -1.0 is lesser, but there are different aspects of other Godzilla films that I like more based on personal preference. However, having had a considerable amount of time to enjoy and watch it, it's definitely in the highest tier of Godzilla films for me, which include clear classics like the original, Mothra vs. Godzilla, and GMK to the more wild entries like Godzilla vs. Biollante or Hedorah. Many of those films still hit hard for me! I don't think people should so quickly discard past entries. Again, this isn't a complaint or slight towards -1.0; it's an impressive accomplishment saying that it's on an even playing field with movies I've watched dozens of times and are a big part of my childhood/life.

A lot of people are saying that the characters in this film are the first/best characters in a Godzilla movie, and I'm of a mixed opinion. On one hand, the narrative certainly is more character driven, and unlike many kaiju genre movies they are more involved in the climax, but I don't think that overrides or ruins some greatness. A clear example is the Mothra vs. Godzilla scene where the main group is pleasing to the natives, and then Mothra, who finally agrees to help, or basically all the stuff with Serizawa in 1954. It's less of a competition, but I'm sort of wishing the same people who are saying FINALLY GOOD CHARACTERS, would go and watch Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964). This is what I've been arguing since I saw the tired excuse of KOTM being "great" because "characters in Godzilla movies don't matter".

Also, funnily enough, regarding KOTM, watching -1.0 sort of amplified/multiplied my love for Godzilla in a weird way. Like all the past entries like even KOTM get a 1.1 boost. It's hard to explain, but it just made me feel very positive about the franchise overall, even the entries I'm personally not the biggest fan of.
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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by Cookson »

Once it hits you how many films the franchise has it makes you appreciate previous entries… even ones you disliked. There’s sooooooo many different options for a Godzilla story.
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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by Tohosaurus »

Cookson wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 7:08 pm Once it hits you how many films the franchise has it makes you appreciate previous entries… even ones you disliked. There’s sooooooo many different options for a Godzilla story.
Exactly. Even the variety we've had this previous decade is very unusual for a franchise, and I love it. I enjoy everything we're getting, that there's the MV which has become a traditional "versus" series while the Toho side of things has had some really unique interpretations like Shin and Singular Point.
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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by HedorahIsBestGirl »

I'll keep my review short. 10/10. A masterpiece. Best film in the series/genre. Best film of 2023. Hell, maybe best film of the 2020s so far (it doesn't exactly have much competition).
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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by shadowgigan »

ALL HAIL YAMAZAKI. I’ll post my true review tomorrow. Wow what a film! It got a standing ovation in my theater.

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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by Fropston »

This film is utterly fantastic. I won't say it's my second favorite film in the franchise yet, I'd rather wait for my personal hype from seeing the film initially to wear off before making any definitive statements, but I can't imagine that it would dip below my top 5. I'll probably watch it again multiple times while it's still in theaters, which is something I'd usually never do (though I did somewhat recently get AMC's A List, so that definitely plays a role in that decision).
(Less) Rare poster. :pelops2:

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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by Tyrant_Lizard_King »

I honestly don't know how I feel. I mean I liked it, everything worked, the dramatic beats mostly landed, but I can't seem to form any real opinion on it. Its very well made, probably the best made film in the franchise overall, but Im not sure I can call it a favorite. The main girl's fakeout death felt kinda pointless in the grand scheme, figured she was still alive as soon as the old lady received that telegram. The characters sold the moment well enough but I can see where the accusations of melodramatics came from. Him deciding to live for the little girl would have been effective enough motivation. Finding out she was alive the whole time kinda cheapened the dramatic weight of the film. Loved the boat crew, Doc and the captain were probably my favorite characters. Most the best laughs and character moments came from their comradery with each other. Overall the characters and drama worked far more often than they didn't. I honestly think my biggest gripes come from Godzilla. While i liked what they did with him for the most part I was honestly expecting a bit more of him than we got. Of course that's more a gripe than anything and it might be less impactful for me on another viewing. I did get some things I really wanted. It was awesome actually getting to see Godzilla regenerate onscreen for once and I liked the idea that his beam was not only was super powerful, basically a Kamehameha, but also seemed to cause him damage and pain to use it. That said he wasn't at all afraid to let it rip either. The plan to kill him was actually inventive but also seemed a like viable plan for the time period it took place. Yamazaki's admiration for GMK is also readily apparent in the film, especially in how Godzilla was killed and the end stinger of his carcass beginning to regenerate in the deep. In fact the whole "death" sequence seems to be one big homage to GMK. Then of course there's an actual character named Tachibana. Overall I can't find any major gripes that necessarily hurt the film for me but I couldn't even attempt to place it or create a solid opinion on it as is. Hopefully it won't take too long for a Bluray or streaming release so i can watch it again to form a better opinion on it. One thing that did annoy me was the line "That monster will never forgive us" was not only never used in the film but I can't think of anywhere that the line could have been used. Was it created solely for the trailers to cause confusion ala Marvel or is there a subplot that was filmed but dropped? Guess we'll never really know.
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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by ToxicLove »

I saw the fan screening at a loaded theater, and I have to say, I was quite impressed. Not sure where it falls in my personal top 5 yet (yes, it was that good), but right now it is on 4th place after the original, Shin Godzilla, and Hedorah.

I would say Minus One and Shin would make a phenomenal double feature at the theater: two sides of the same coin in very different aspects. I know some people continue to have a problem with this, but I think a majority would greatly enjoy it.

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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by Andagi1 »

Magnificent. My instincts uncharacteristically told me to experience this completely blind and resist spoiling myself- and I'm so glad I listened. Despite appreciating the characterization and themes in the previous films, I have to admit that even as a fan I didn't go into this expecting to resonate with the characters on a personal level nor find Godzilla genuinely terrifying.
I think Minus One achieves a balance between the cerebral and visceral that was arguably present only in the original film, and that is in no way detracting from the rest of the series. On one end, the film is thematically robust enough to encourage rumination, while on the other so emotionally provocative you are left in tears during its final moments. Koichi earning his happy ending only by overcoming his guilt, self-destructiveness, and insecurities is a beautiful character arc that not only caught me off guard, but also felt unusually personal. This isn't limited to characterization and narrative either- the rampage sequences have a distinct sense of consequence and scale; Godzilla is violent and imposing to the point that civilians seem like insects fleeing from a predator.
I also love how Minus One channels elements of other films in the series despite its differences, be it a ragtag team wagering everything resembling Shin's Operation Yashiori, or the GMK callback at the end.

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Tyrant_Lizard_King wrote: Fri Dec 01, 2023 2:41 am The main girl's fakeout death felt kinda pointless in the grand scheme, figured she was still alive as soon as the old lady received that telegram. The characters sold the moment well enough but I can see where the accusations of melodramatics came from. Him deciding to live for the little girl would have been effective enough motivation. Finding out she was alive the whole time kinda cheapened the dramatic weight of the film.
I saw it as a sort of "challenge" of his character. It was the biggest impetus for him attempting the suicide bombing, which showed that he was still a victim of his guilt and blinding himself to the value of his own life even after opening up, so much so that he was willing to orphan his own daughter and needed the one person who initially wanted him to die to tell him to choose life.

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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by LSD Jellyfish »

Tyrant_Lizard_King wrote: Fri Dec 01, 2023 2:41 am I honestly don't know how I feel. I mean I liked it, everything worked, the dramatic beats mostly landed, but I can't seem to form any real opinion on it. Its very well made, probably the best made film in the franchise overall, but Im not sure I can call it a favorite. The main girl's fakeout death felt kinda pointless in the grand scheme, figured she was still alive as soon as the old lady received that telegram. The characters sold the moment well enough but I can see where the accusations of melodramatics came from. Him deciding to live for the little girl would have been effective enough motivation. Finding out she was alive the whole time kinda cheapened the dramatic weight of the film. Loved the boat crew, Doc and the captain were probably my favorite characters. Most the best laughs and character moments came from their comradery with each other. Overall the characters and drama worked far more often than they didn't. I honestly think my biggest gripes come from Godzilla. While i liked what they did with him for the most part I was honestly expecting a bit more of him than we got. Of course that's more a gripe than anything and it might be less impactful for me on another viewing. I did get some things I really wanted. It was awesome actually getting to see Godzilla regenerate onscreen for once and I liked the idea that his beam was not only was super powerful, basically a Kamehameha, but also seemed to cause him damage and pain to use it. That said he wasn't at all afraid to let it rip either. The plan to kill him was actually inventive but also seemed a like viable plan for the time period it took place. Yamazaki's admiration for GMK is also readily apparent in the film, especially in how Godzilla was killed and the end stinger of his carcass beginning to regenerate in the deep. In fact the whole "death" sequence seems to be one big homage to GMK. Then of course there's an actual character named Tachibana. Overall I can't find any major gripes that necessarily hurt the film for me but I couldn't even attempt to place it or create a solid opinion on it as is. Hopefully it won't take too long for a Bluray or streaming release so i can watch it again to form a better opinion on it. One thing that did annoy me was the line "That monster will never forgive us" was not only never used in the film but I can't think of anywhere that the line could have been used. Was it created solely for the trailers to cause confusion ala Marvel or is there a subplot that was filmed but dropped? Guess we'll never really know.
Gotta say, this is the most you’ve ever written on here. Means regardless of your final feelings, it IMPACTED you. Left an OOMPH.

I don’t know if I’d call it a favorite, too soon, but I agree with you on many points. Not to self promote, but please check my posts about the death and opinions overall.
Spirit Ghidorah 2010 wrote: Sun Dec 03, 2023 4:54 pm Anno-san pleasures me more than Yamasaki-san.

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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by HedorahIsBestGirl »

Now that I've had time to process, I thought I'd give a slightly more thorough review. First off, I think this movie will bring newfound respect to the franchise. I can honestly see it getting nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar. I've never thought that about a prior Godzilla movie in my lifetime, not even Shin. It would be great to see Godzilla get some proper recognition outside of Japan, so I hope that happens.

The performances and characterization were strong across the board. Shikishima is probably the best lead protagonist in the entire franchise, while all the supporting characters felt like real people who had genuine interactions with one another. In fact, this could've been a great movie even without Godzilla; a drama about Shikishima learning to live again in post-war Japan. Shikishima has arguably the best character arc in a Godzilla movie and, frankly, one of the best arcs I've seen in any movie these past few years. Worth noting that the depiction of the PTSD/survivor's guilt he suffers is very accurate, which I respect. I've always hated the "Godzilla movies don't need good humans" argument and, like every great film in the franchise, -1 proves that isn't true. Without compelling characters, this would be a middling movie with a few cool action scenes - like KOTM or GvK minus the cringe dialogue.

The visual effects were spectacular. Not flawless, mind you; there were a couple of standing shots where Godzilla looked like some computer-generated thing, but his movements were so lifelike and ferocious that he looked amazing during all of the big action scenes. Big American studios should be embarrassed, because the effects work in this $15 million movie looks hands-down better than the CGI in the average $200 million Hollywood blockbuster. While I thought the CGI effects in Shin were mostly solid, this is a definitive improvement. Godzilla himself felt much more ferocious than usual, much like in GMK, which brings me to something I really thought about this morning...

Minus One feels like it combines an original story with elements of all the best Godzilla movies. The post-war setting and general premise evoke Godzilla '54. The focus on a group of citizens coming together to desperately try to stop Godzilla after the government fails brings to mind Mothra vs. Godzilla. The government trying to conceal Godzilla's existence and avoid escalating Cold War tensions is just like The Return of Godzilla. The main character being hellbent on taking down Godzilla is similar to several Millennium films but especially reminds me of GMK, with Shikishima's ultimate defeat of Godzilla even happening in a rather similar fashion to Admiral Tachibana's defeat of Godzilla in that film. And like Shin Godizlla, we have a group of misfit scraping together an unorthodox but ingenious plan to defeat Godzilla once and for all in the climax. Not to mention, the "atomic breath" scene definitely reminds me of Shin (and also the mushroom cloud in GMK).

The most common complaint I've seen among the mostly positive reviews is that Godzilla doesn't destroy enough shit. I'll be honest that, watching last night, I was hoping for another big city smashing scene after the Ginza attack. But ultimately, the film didn't need it and is better off without it. Every scene featuring Godzilla is extremely distinct and having more scenes of him thrashing buildings and chomping trains may have dragged the movie into redundant territory. As it is, I'm impressed by how unique -1 manages to be. While there are clear callbacks and parallels to many older Godzilla films, it never feels like a retread or a ripoff.

I should probably watch Minus One a second time before firmly declaring it "best of the franchise" but I really think it is as of now. I've never felt so much emotion watching a Godzilla movie before. I know some had gripes about Noriko turning out to be alive but it worked for me; implausible as it may be, it was a satisfying emotional conclusion to the story, as Shikishima truly gets a second chance at life with his makeshift family restored.
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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by Tyrant_Lizard_King »

Yeah I expected his rampage to be longer. Most of it was shown in the two trailers unfortunately. They made good use of him when he was onscreen for the most part but I was expecting more. Like I said in my previous post it's more a personal gripe than a legitimate complaint. Probably shouldn't have watched that second trailer in hindsight. Still on the subject of trailers, I'm trying to figure out where the "that monster will never forgive us" line came from. It sure wasn't in the film. It wouldn't necessarily make sense in the context of the film as is either.
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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by Spirit Ghidorah 2010 »

Just finished my second viewing. As suspected, it's not recency bias. The film is genuinely amazing.

I know some people don't like the spikes moving when he fires his heat ray, but I personally love it given the historic context. The way the spines cock back only to snap closed really gives the impression that Godzilla is some sort of giant gun.

In fact, his most prominent dorsal spine looks very much like the distinctive hammer and backspur of the M1911A1, the standard sidearm for American forces during WWII and the Korean War. So despite the lack of Americans making an appearence, Godzilla could still very much evoke imagery of US arms.
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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by Jomei »

HANDS DOWN the BEST Japanese Godzilla film since Shin Godzilla! :shingodzillapurple: :pelops2:

That out of the way, Toho made exactly the right move with Minus One. If Shin is the Yin, Minus One is the Yang. Shin bullseyed the task of reinventing Godzilla for contemporary times, and Minus One bullseyed the task of retelling Godzilla's first appearance in the postwar period. They really are like mirror images of excellent execution. Where Shin is rich in complexity and sharp with its satirical eye, Minus One is heartfelt, sincere, and character-focused. Where Shin invents incredible new dimensions for Godzilla, Minus One takes the classic and tunes it up to run again like a charm.

It's a great movie, and I think there's a solid argument for it being in the top 5 Godzilla films ever if not the top 3 even.

But in my opinion, Toho delivered two borderline masterpieces in a row and certainly two of the most accomplished Godzilla films ever made. Minus One is leagues above anything Toho has done with Godzilla in live action since before the '90s (outside of Shin).

There are reasons I do not agree with the notion that it is the best in the franchise. But I want to save that conversation for another time, because right now, I think probably almost all fans just want to bask in celebration of another absolutely fantastic Godzilla film.
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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by tbeasley »

Popping in to say I liked just fine, it's another quality 'man vs Godzilla' type movie where an anti-monster plan has to go just right.

That said though, the positive reviews on all sides are quite surprising to me if that makes any sense.

If you want my somewhat buzz killer of a review/ramble -
Spoiler:
Interesting to see it enjoy such positive reviews on all sides in ways Shin didn't.

I'm guessing that postwar setting really helps pull on the heartstrings for some.

I did like it a lot, but I don't think it's this top entry in the series or anything.

To be really catty, it's basically the postwar Oscar bait version of a Godzilla movie.

Which makes sense given the director's sensibilities and Toho's goal of another Shin level success.

I don't mean to be a buzzkill, it's nice to see such a wide release and nice reviews for once.

But I feel other than the 40s setting and a few ideas, it doesn't bring much new to the table.

It doesn't do anything better that the best of the series already has to offer (G54, GMK, Shin, etc.)
A few more thoughts -
Spoiler:
The director really wears his Spielbergian sensibilities on his sleeve, with the Jurassic Park opening and Jaws inspired ocean scenes.

The movie also feels like it owes a lot to Nolan's Dunkirk (a similar crowd-pleasing war film) with the civilian boats and plane coming to the rescue.

There are also a couple really questionable/convenient moments like very obvious surprise parachute at the end and the mother somehow surviving for that extra perfect happy ending.
All that said though keep in mind I did like it.

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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by AbudJasemAlBaldawi »

It was great. A little tiny bit formulaic for my tastes but it did try new things. The story, I was not expecting to get so attached to the characters like I did, definitely better character development than Shin Godzilla. The period setting really works for the films too, doesn't feel forced, it adds to the story. Other than that it was a bit melodramatic for my personal tastes (I like colder stories like Shin Godzilla and Ghost In The Shell) but it is what the director was going for so I can appreciate he did that part effectively. Also I loved the subtle references to the 1954 film like the news report crew and the low shot of the tanks firing. It almost seemed like a reimagining of the 1954 film. The CGI is definitely improved from Shin Godzilla although it doesn't have much of a visual distinctiveness like Shin Godzilla's CGI did. I did like that they went with quality over quantity for the Godzilla scenes, they were all well done and Godzilla is more savage than ever just as Yamazaki promised. The first Godzilla attack scene on Odo Island caught me off guard with how animalisticly savage Godzilla was, definitely one of the best opening sequences in the franchise. The music was also better than I expected, the old theme was used throughout perfectly. Overall I like it just as much as Shin Godzilla, even though it was a very different, almost opposite type of Godzilla film. Like someone else said, it would this and Shin would be a fantastic double feature. Definitely up there as one of the best Godzilla films.
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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by Jomei »

I'm never a guy to stir the pot or provoke :pelops2: , but for the sake of discussion, here's one spicy thought I had: Minus One is an improvement (at least for me) on the original in that it takes the opposite perspective on the supposed noble self-sacrifice in the '54 film.

If I'm being honest, that film's conclusion has never sat quite right with me. This is a moral judgment and not an aesthetic one, so it's not really a knock against the quality of the original's filmmaking. But for me, on a human level, I find myself far more in alignment with the values of Minus One.

Some of my favorite moments featured Doc talking about how Japan had been too careless with even its own lives, willing to sacrifice its people (including young boys piloting kamikaze missions!) in the war effort and the volunteers for the Sink Godzilla plan chiming in that, at least this plan doesn't guarantee death, unlike the war efforts. This was very moving stuff to me and honestly a bit surprising at how directly it subverts the '54 ethos.
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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by LSD Jellyfish »

Gojira was made in 1954, so it’s more of a direct reaction in the moment. -1.0 has the benefit of being made by people far removed from the war, atomic bombings, and other circumstances. -1.0 gets to reflect a lot more.

You’re right though, it is interesting comparing the bleaker elements of the 1954 ending with Serizawas death to the more optimistic and reflective ending sequence of -1.0.
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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by Handsome Shrek »

Just got back from the theater. Awesome film! Would've liked more Godzilla, but he stole the show every time he was on the screen. The less-is-more approach worked fluently in this movie. It definitely felt a little bit on the slower side at parts though, but that's okay. It was a very competently-made masterpiece!

Hard to imagine this only had a budget of $15 million. The visuals and cinematography were fantastic
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Re: Godzilla -1.0 Review/Reaction (SPOILERS)

Post by king_ghidorah »

I feel like Minus One had a super downer ending….that black scar or shadow on her neck seems to indicate she’s cursed with some sort of disease. Had it not been for that, it would be an unbeat ending for sure.

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