I put together a faster paced cut which focuses on the core of the story-- much more emphasis on Dr Serizawa and the military team (relevant to the situation) than on Brody's family (all irrelevant in the big picture) and their attempts to stop the monsters. The dark mood and foreboding tone of the original is retained. If you enjoyed the theatrical cut, I agree that I'm cutting out and losing the (arguably) "emotional" moments of the film (family, power plant, etc) but its only to get a better Monster movie, which is what it is in the end.
2. Trimmed helicopter ride/ mine shaft sequences in the Phillipines with Seruzawa
3. Bryan Cranston is one of my favorite actors--but here, he just drags the story unfortunately--entire power plant/Janjira sequence cut. As an intelligent audience, I don't think we need this to piece together what happened to his family when he talks about it with Brody in later sequences/ in his ruined house. It'd be a different story if Cranston was the hero of the film, then it would be more important to retain this sequence, but he is a minor character in this story
4. Mine sequence cuts to San Francisco 15 years later. Cut Ford tucking son in/ making out/ packing. Phone call during homecoming party leads to Japan.
5. Trimmed Japanese detention center scene
6. Trims to Ford and dad in quarantine zone / Janjira plant.
7. Cut Elle (his wife) and son watching news at home.
8. Cut Cranston being choppered away--he dies in the initial attack and is never seen again. Ford and Seruzawa alone are helicoptered to the destroyer.
9. Cut shots of Cranston in bodybag. The debriefing is left intact--I thought this sequence was great.
10. Cut Ford going to Hawaii --He is not a monster magnet like in the theatrical cut, and is NEVER in Hawaii.
11. Cut Brody in train and no kid rescue. Train attack rearranged-- everyone dies ;/
12. Trimmed Hawaii beach sequence to cut dog/family escaping the tsunami. Everyone presumably drowns ;/
13. Las Vegas --cut the Elvis "Devil in Disguise" suite. This scene was illogical. Why would a military squad break into a hotel suite? Was the President staying there?
14. Cut Seruzawa's Hiroshima watch scene. Too heavy handed. Nukes are bad.
15. Cut Brody calling his wife / scenes of her in hospital
16. Cut entire train sequence. This did Nothing for the plot-- they chopper the bomb into the city anyway. Worse, I'm not sure if they were going for horror movie tropes with the lone soldiers in the dark and ominous music etc, but it didn't work. If cutting the train sequence and losing a Jurassic Park-style shot of the Mutos in the dark means getting to the main attraction quicker, then cut. Removed references as to why this was an analog bomb
17. Cut shot of helicopter retrieving bomb from ruined train
18. Cut scene of Brody's wife dumping his son on a school bus in the middle of a disaster
19. Trimmed several shots of Brody's son in the bus to de-emphasize his presence
20. Cut Brody looking for his wife in camp
21. Trimmed planning sequence for halo jump by removing references to the train, etc
22. Shortened scenes of finding and evacuating the bomb and edited monster fight sequence to flow closer together uninterrupted
23. Cut Brody and son's reunion with wife--she dies in this cut after the building collapses during the final battle. No happy endings
I think leaving out the bulk of Cranston's part to play in this story was definitely the right call by Kris for this edit. Everything we need to know is already there in the moments with his son, and it is better to envision this all in our heads, as the imagination of what happened provides even greater attachment and atmosphere.
Other changes really help make this feel a bit more urgent, and altogether a bit more real, I appreciate that not everyone makes it out, it raises the stakes significantly and makes us think about how much of survival is down to not just skill, but luck.
The edit moves at a quick pace and the tone, slightly more downbeat, is more appropriate for this kind of film. Expect monster movies to always be monstrous, ripe with conflicts and, more importantly, consequence. Rangerkris serves Godzilla's spirit well in this effort.
Decided to have a giant monster double feature with Rangerkris' Godzilla and Pacific Rim.
My feelings about this edit fairly similar to the previous reviews.... a very good looking edit loaded with great monster action.
But I felt the removal of the Power Plant weakened Cranston's role and the cutting back on his son throughout the film made an already uninteresting character even more forgettable. I wonder if Cranston's scenes could have been augmented with at the very least, very brief intense flashbacks to greater sell his trauma and engage the audience more? Or flashbacks of the son with his father, to strengthen their relationship and give his quest more weight?
Also, I wish the watch/Hiroshima moment had been kept. To me, this is a core element of the Godzilla mythos and should never be forgotten or dismissed no matter how obvious it may feel to modern audiences.
It would have been nice if the final night battle had been brightened a little bit, as I found it still a bit too dark to clearly make out entirely what was happening on the screen.
And while I did not mind the darker ending, it might have played stronger if Kris had replaced the final music of Godzilla awakening and returning to the ocean with something more ominous and less heroic.
But at the end of the day, this is still a fun, fast paced monster rumble movie. I enjoyed it as an alternate cut, and I think Kris did well with the limits of the original source material.
I guess myself and Ranger had the same feeling about the theatrical version of this movie. I liked the theatrical one when I saw it in theaters but that's it, I just liked it. I wasn't blown away as I felt I should have been after viewing the trailer for it. So coming Into this I was very excited and anxious to check it out. Everything you did with this edit I feel is better than the theatrical cut of this Godzilla movie. People can argue about the power plant scene and shows the emotion of the Dad and son part in the movie, but I feel the whole sequence in the fathers apartment pretty much explained everything. All the emotion was there and you knew it without having to see it (power plant scene that is). This edit flowed very well with me and gives me another alternate version to go and watch again. The visuals were gorgeous and the editing top notch. I really enjoyed this edit Excellent job Ranger! I will definitely check out your other edits for sure.
The problem is, I didn't care about anyone. Not even Godzilla. That's OK really - it's a monster flick. I've been entertained by many a monster movie just for the action, and certainly the technology these days makes for effects only dreamed of in bygone Godzillas. But writing this a couple weeks post-watch, I can't remember one detail of the battles. Another case where I don't think any edits would work toward your goal, for me anyway. I blame the purist in me partially, because I can't help thinking some franchises should be left alone - Godzilla should be a dude in a suit wandering through a model city! Nice effort though, and it deserves a thumbs up - I'm sure many others will have more positive experience.
I'll start off by saying that much like the theatrical version, this edit has some good and some not so good. The audio and visual quality were top notch and there was just one instance where the visual editing felt abrupt but not enough to deduct any points (the scene where Serizawa is asked what other team members he needs). The opening credits were very cool and well executed.
The narrative is where I have the most issue with this edit. I understand why the scene at the nuclear plant was cut, but the acting by Juliette Binoche and Bryan Cranston in that scene is very good and it also is an important factor to Bryan Cranston's character development. Cranston doesn't get enough screen time as it is, along with the titular character Godzilla. By cutting out that scene it introduces Ford as the main antagonist but because his scenes in the theatrical cut are lackluster, most of them have been cut in this edit, which causes some structural issues.
Cutting Ford out of the monorail in Hawaii and cutting him from the train tracks in somewhere USA was a great decision but this causes some confusion about how the character is getting around and makes Ford even more generic and uninteresting when compared to the original version. His family suffers similarly. Cutting the scene where Ford's wife pawns off their son to a friend has wisely been removed as well as some other "character developing" scenes, this causes a disconnect between the audience and the character, which again exists in the original version but are exacerbated in this edit.
That being said, this is a short edit and once the action starts it doesn't really stop until the end and it does feel like a more Godzilla centric movie overall in this case. I would tell most people who haven't seen Godzilla to watch the theatrical cut, but the people who were disappointed in the original versions and just want to see Godzilla kick some ass, I would have them watch this edit.