Thursday, October 9, 2014

Blu Ray Reviews: Godzilla and Edge of Tomorrow

Remember in Jurassic Park, where the dinosaurs appeared only for a sum total of fifteen minutes, and it was still entertaining as hell because there was non stop suspense and a sense of intrigue and discovery? Godzilla is that kind of movie. Some might be pissed because it’s that kind of movie.

As for me, I’m very glad that this is a Godzilla movie with a lot of heart, soul and a fairly decent helping of intelligence. The biggest surprise, however, is that fact that Godzilla is not just a Godzilla movie, but it is also the best Superhero movie of the summer. The 1998 Godzilla can only be enjoyed for its unmitigated awfulness. Director Gareth Edwards knows that this is 2014, and he is aware of the previous Godzilla’s problems, and he takes on this project with the passion of a die-hard fan. If you’re a Godzilla junkie, this movie is your early Diwali gift. Like in his previous micro budget film Monsters, Edwards turns Godzilla into a road trip film instead of a standard issue disaster porno. Also like in Monsters, he puts most of the monster mayhem in the backdrop of the character buildup. It’s a bold choice and although it doesn’t work as well as it did in Monsters, it’s still an interesting new direction for a summer blockbuster and you’ve got to hand it to both Legendary and Edwards for having the balls to do so.

While Godzilla's roar was terrific in a movie theater, the Blu Ray offers some seriously high visual quality. On a 40 inch TV this DVD will blow you away, especially in the halo jump sequence. None of the goodies are are great as the movie, and neither is the commentary, but it's good bonus content to have for fans of the film.

When I watched Tom Cruise in a mech suit punching aliens in the face with one hand and spraying machine gun ammo with the other, I had just one thought in my mind – why was Edge of Tomorrow marketed so poorly? Because Edge of Tomorrow is a terrific film, and perhaps the most satisfying action movie I’ve seen this year. Directed by Doug Liman who earlier made the first Bourne movie, Edge of Tomorrow is a mashup of Groundhog Day, Starship Troopers and Source Code with a dash of Minority Report. Cruise’s previous movie Oblivion was also a mashup of various sci fi films but it came across as clich├ęd and unoriginal. Edge of Tomorrow, on the other hand is packaged beautifully. It takes all the positive elements from the aforementioned movies and becomes a different beast altogether.

Liman also does away with the origin of the aliens – it’s a straightforward story – they’re here and they’re dangerous and they’re at war with us. The aliens themselves are uniquely designed, and although you can’t fully appreciate the CGI in 3D they’re still pretty intense. The mech suit is very cool and the characters’ movements in them display some serious attention to detail. The only thing better than watching the film in the theater is seeing it on Blu Ray. It's one of the rare films that kind of improves if you see it with your friends on home video, not just because on a smaller screen the visual quality improves dramatically but also because this has become a cult favourite.

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