Sadness is perhaps the best emotion a movie can evoke, and it works wonders for films that use it wisely. Is there a bad kind of sad? This film proves that indeed there is. Godzilla is a sad film. You see, the monster isn’t evil and has no bad intentions (until the end, when it gets very mad, it never intentionally kills a human except in self-defense), it’s just pregnant hungry and cranky. And yet the filmmakers are so needlessly cruel to the creature that it makes this creature feature damn near unwatchable. It’s just a bad kind of sad. It’s not the kind that leaves you feeling entertained, but the kind that leaves you feeling bad, like you’ve just endured a traumatic experience.

Oh, but the movie isn’t poignant, no such luck. And it’s certainly not trying to say anything to the viewer. And it’s hard to tell — was director Ronald Emmerich trying to make us sympathize with the creature? If so, which I doubt, he both succeeded and failed, we sympathized but were crushed by the ending (oh, right, like you didn’t already know what it was!).

As for the special effects — they are indeed spectacular. As a matter of fact, they are the best special effects that I have seen… perhaps ever. But they don’t entertain. Why? Well for starters, the script to support the effects is a total botch, the worst I’ve seen since Mr. Nice Guy. The human performances certainly leave something to be desired. And, since the movie is little more than one long pointless chase scene, the action gets tiresome.

By the time the climax comes around we are sick of Godzilla. We are tired by the effects. And personally, by that time, I was so pissed off at the human characters that I was cheering for the monster. Makes it really anticlimactic.

-- Eugene Novikov

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Screening Log


Ric Roman Waugh, 2013

Score: C

Side Effects

Steven Soderbergh, 2013

Score: C+

10 Years

Jamie Linden, 2012

Score: B-

The Place Beyond the Pines

Derek Cianfrance, 2013

Score: B+

Warm Bodies

Jonathan Levine, 2013

Score: C

Beautiful Creatures

Richard LaGravanese, 2013

Score: B-

The Window

Ted Tetzlaff, 1949

Score: B+

The Chase

Arthur Ripley, 1946

Score: B

Street of Chance

Jack Hively, 1942

Score: C

The Taste of Money

Im Sang-Soo, 2013

Score: C+

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