To say we’re a bit excited about the release of Godzilla this Friday would be an exercise in understatement even bigger than the giant lizard himself. But that wasn’t always so. After all, Hollywood had tried to put its stamp on Godzilla before…and it did not turn out well. If you’re too young to remember Roland Emmerich’s craptacular 1998 take on Godzilla, well, I envy you, sir or madam. I remember seeing it in the theater and being genuinely stunned at how bad it was. I mean, this movie cost around $130 million to make. Was there nobody anywhere in the chain of command who looked at the mess and thought, “Well, there’s nothing to be done, it’s Old Yeller time.” But if you’re curious about Emmerich’s Godzilla, we’ll save you the stomach acid of actually watching it. Screen Junkies’ Honest Trailer up top is far more entertaining than the movie itself.
I remember noting the Jurassic Park ripoff at the time, in the form of Godzilla’s offsprings, which were basically just velociraptors with a few small tweaks. I had not, however, caught most of the other blatantly recycled visuals and scenes from Steven Spielberg’s dinosaurs-run-amok classic. Then again, given how bad the story was for Godzilla 1998, it’s entirely possible that the screenwriters just gave the Jurassic Park script to their kids and told them to highlight the parts they liked best. Then all you’ve got to do is create some filler! Some awful, awful filler.
One of my favorite parts? “The network is on an internet!” Of course it is, Maria Pitillo. Of course it is.
Moving on to a better giant monster movie — but still eminently suited for critical nitpicking — we come to CinemaSins’ “Everything Wrong With Cloverfield in Eight Minutes or Less.” Cloverfield was essentially an exercise in telling a more “realistic,” ground-level take on the classic monster movie, also cashing in on the resurgent found-footage trend. It follows a group of New York friends caught in the midst of chaos as an enormous creature emerges from the sea and starts tearing up the place. It’s not a great flick, but I still mostly enjoyed it. That being said, I definitely enjoyed watching the video below rake it over the coals. And screenwriter Drew Goddard later went on to co-write and direct The Cabin in the Woods, so any and all Cloverfield sins are forgiven.