May 23, 1998

Godzilla (1998)

godzilla98The teaser trailer for this remake pokes fun at the Jurassic Park movies, crushing a dusty (and relatively tiny) Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton under Godzilla's towering foot. How ironic then, that this new Godzilla has been 'reimagined' to closely resemble one of Spielberg's velociraptors. This film also takes great pleasure at inviting disaster upon Manhattan, a scenario which isn't as playful as it used to be. Godzilla 1998 is an odd beast; the human cast mostly comes from a comedy background (Matthew Broderick, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Kevin Dunn, Vicki Lewis - Doug Savant is practically playing a cartoon doofus), and the tone they set is too broad for an action movie, and not quite broad enough for camp or parody. I am convinced there's a much funnier movie in the edit room- if not funnier, at least "more fun".
The military seeking to stop Godzilla are so bloodthirsty, dumb, and indifferent to Godzilla, and so ham-handed in their attempts to kill the lizard, that it was easy to root for Godzilla and his quick and cunning dodges and escapes, even when an entire attack submarine sinks in the Hudson River. Godzilla is practically martyred in his death scene, whimpering pathetically while strung up on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Most of the third act is a cheap remake of Aliens and Jurassic Park: baby Godzillas chase the cast through Madison Square Garden with some very dated late 1990s CGI. Considering the first Jurassic Park movie was made five years earlier, it's a testament to the shoddy workmanship of this film that it looks so much worse than Jurassic Park with so much more computing power at their disposal. (Hoyt's Falmouth Cinemas)

Also On Memorial Day, Through The Years

I have been to the movies on Memorial Day Monday 13 times in 24 years, but it's not a great track record.