Sunday, July 27, 2014

SEEING LEGENDARY'S GODZILLA! Toho Cinemas in Shibuya Is the Place to Be!

I returned home earlier this afternoon from seeing the new Godzilla at Toho Cinemas in Shibuya. Of course, the movie has been playing around the world for months, but it just opened in Japan on July 25.

I invited actress-singer Izumi Yukimura to join me at Toho Cinemas. Although she's acted in numerous Toho movies, she has never appeared in a tokusatsu production. We had seen Gravity together earlier in the year, so I thought it would be nice to see with film with her for the first time. Thankfully, she was game to see it!

We took in a 3-D screening of the film, which was dubbed into Japanese. (And, yes, I did recognize Katsuhiko Sasaski's voice dubbing Admiral Stenz!) I was a bit disappointed not to see the English-language version, but ultimately I don't think I missed much. The story was easy (too easy?) to follow, so I never felt I was in the dark about anything that was going on.

In short, I didn't feel the movie lived up to its potential. There were certain scenes that I enjoyed, but overall the movie felt more like it was trying to be a slightly more serious Pacific Rim (which I did not care for at all). I was hoping for more drama, better acting, and a sense of urgency. Some of that is contained in the earlier scenes (with Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche), but it's largely absent after those actors leave the movie. The movie is just another summer blockbuster, which is fine if that's what you're looking for, but as for me, I've been there and done that.

Still, I had a great time with Yukimura-san who told me she was amazed by the special effects. I don't think she's ever seen a 3-D movie before, so this was a brand-new experience for her.

All in all, it was a great day with a so-so movie. I'm not too anxious to see the announced sequel, but we'll see how that one turns out.

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