My Cultural Diet

452 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info). Star ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links, which support Opus.

Godzilla by Ishirô Honda

Although I’ve seen plenty of clips over the years, I’m ashamed to admit that it wasn’t until 2023 that I finally watched the original Godzilla in its entirety. What struck me was how serious, melancholy, and even tragic the film is, with none of the (beloved) camp that has characterized the franchise. Yes, Godzilla is destroying Tokyo and terrifying the world, but only because of mankind’s actions. There are no villains in the film (except for maybe political bureaucracy, natch). Those who want to destroy Godzilla and those who want to study him both make compelling points, and as a result, the film’s inevitable ending is tinged with regret. The Godzilla franchise really did begin on a very strong note.

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