Blu-ray Review “Godzilla (2014)”

godzillaActors: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins
Directors: Gareth Edwards
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Running Time: 123 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Godzilla” was easily one of my most anticipated films of the entire year of 2014. After seeing the film, I was literally blown away. Director Gareth Edwards finally delivered a US reboot that is required to give respect to the Godzilla series. After watching the film again, I have to admit, I was slightly less impressed…only slightly though. Maybe it was the lack of 3D, since we were only given a 2D Blu-ray to review. I felt that the human cast in the film was bothering me a bit more this time but when you see that first glimpse of Godzilla through the smoke you can’t help but get goosebumps! I can’t wait for Edwards to get behind the camera again for “Godzilla 2”, even though we have to wait till 2018, it is going to be epic!

The story starts off in 1999 in the Philippines, where two scientists (Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins) find an uncovered tomb containing a fossil of a very large creature with two preserved pods…though one was broken opened and whatever was there was now missing. We then head to Japan where we meet Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston), a nuclear physicist/engineer and his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche), a nuclear regulations consultant at the Janjira nuclear plant. As they are investigating an emergency at the plant, whatever was awoken from its sleep in the Philippines made its way to their plant to feed off the nuclear energy leading to the destruction of the plant. Though no proof was every gathered of the creature, the city was quickly evacuated and we flash forward 15 years to the present where Joe is still on the hunt for answers and calls to his son for help, Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who is fresh out of the military. He also happens to be a explosive ordnance disposal technician (as you can imagine that becomes important later). As we find that the M.U.T.O. creature is looking for its spouse to reproduce, enter Godzilla who (like always never explained why) comes in to save us against these giant monsters. An all out battle is waged that spans from Japan to Hawaii to Las Vegas and California.

“Godzilla” heads to our homes with a combo pack including a Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Digital HD copy. Even though, I definitely do prefer the film in 3D, Warner Bros still delivered us a wonderful 1080p that looks stunning. This film is a visual masterpiece. The design for Godzilla is just perfect. I would love to know what the original creator of the 1954 “Godzilla” thinks about this film. This character has been through it all and he has never looked better than in this film. If the video isn’t enough the Blu-ray includes an outstanding DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track. This track is unbelievable and really is perfect for this film. From ever battle scene to epic Godzilla roar, my walls were shaking and I loved ever minute. Blu-ray score would be 5/5 stars if this was the 3D Blu-ray release.

I would love to say that the special features are out of this world but I am not 100% sold here. I would have loved to see a commentary track included especially from Gareth Edwards since he was the mastermind behind this. What we get are basically two extras. The first is “MONARCH: Declassified” dives into new evidence not contained in the film that unravels the massive cover-up to keep Godzilla’s existence a secret. There are three featurettes under this including “Operation: Lucky Dragon”, “MONARCH: The M.U.T.O. File” and”The Godzilla Revelation”. These are a nice companion to the film. “The Legendary Godzilla” takes us behind-the-scenes with filmmakers and cast with the following featurettes “Godzilla: Force of Nature”, “A Whole New Level Of Destruction”, “Into The Void: The H.A.L.O. Jump” and “Ancient Enemy: The M.U.T.O.s”. Not saying that these aren’t great. There is a ton of great content, I was just hoping for a little more.

Own “GODZILLA” on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, 2-Disc DVD Special Edition and Digital HD on 9/16

In this gritty, realistic sci-fi action epic, the Godzilla franchise returns to its roots as one of the world’s most recognized monsters. Directed by Gareth Edwards and featuring an all-star international cast, this spectacular adventure pits Godzilla against malevolent creatures that, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

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