Friday, September 9, 2016

Almost Seeing The New Godzilla

Those footfalls, that roar, the original music . . . they get me every time.

I've read a bit about this new entry in the series and it really sounds great. All of the actors are new to the Godzilla canon; none of the usual suspects were invited this time around. The movie is a fresh start: it's modern day Tokyo and Godzilla is an issue of first impression. There are no other monsters to distract the viewer from the story. The real story is the reactions of the population, the government and the military to this fantastic new threat, reactions of horror, confusion and desperation.

It appears to be a serious entry, totally lacking in camp, heroics or love interests. Some reviewers are saying that it is a comment on the similar reactions to the recent earthquake and tsunami, with elements of realism and satire. So, a great Godzilla movie.

It opened in Bangkok on September 8th, and on September 9th I was excited to be a my local Mall Bangkapi to get a look at it. There was a problem, though. The mall was only showing the movie dubbed in Thai. I can speak Thai well enough for ordinary conversation, but my vocabulary is deficient and understanding long exposition in spoken Thai is well beyond my abilities. Since the movie's serious side takes up most of the screen time, I decided to pass.

For a more typical Godzilla movie, this would not have been a problem. The stories are usually simple enough, and the action and the story are very easy to follow. I watch these movies in Japanese all the time, and generally it's a simple matter to put English words to the dialog. What they're saying is usually obvious. This time I thought, no, I'll wait for a hoped-for DVD, either dubbed in English or with English subtitles. Or both! Multiple copies of Godzilla movies is nothing new for me.

I'm pretty sure that that day will come. It's getting a limited release in the U.S. As disappointments go, this is a minor setback. We fans have waited ten years for this new installment. Another couple of months won't kill me.

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