Godzilla Minus One | For All Mankind, Season One
The modern day takes a back seat for a bit as post-World War Two and the Cold War take centre stage.
- I think that Godzilla Minus One is one of those movies that has been a little bit over-hyped by some critics and anti-blockbuster weirdos as being a lot better than it is, even though it really is quite good.
- The problem I had throughout was waiting for it to get as incredible as some people were saying and that moment never arrived, which left me weirdly disappointed even though I'd thoroughly enjoyed myself.
- There's a surprisingly emotional storyline on the human side of things, with Ryunosuke Kamiki proving to be a nicely complicated lead for a monster/disaster movie mash-up set in the wake of World War Two.
- It's Minami Hamabe as Noriko who really lifts up Kamiki's character with her performance and I found myself genuinely caring for this odd 'couple' and what would happen to them.
- As for the titular monster? It almost feels like this could be a great introductory movie for people who have never watched a Godzilla movie before.
- Honestly, despite the character having atomic breath, you'd be surprised how many people don't get what Godzilla represents, but there's one particular image which even those with extreme media illiteracy should be able to understand.
- Hopefully, those people will also understand why Japan in particular is the most perfect country to use for a Godzilla movie above and beyond any other.
- One thing I really don't get is how much praise the VFX have had since release, because there are a few really poor moments that stood out, but also some problems with Godzilla itself.
- First off, I think the design is a little bit too busy, which admittedly might be intentional to hide issues with creature model, but also created an issue with the over-detailing distracting me a little from getting a good look at the monster.
- The second issue is how stiffly Godzilla walks, with its little arms locked in place by its side and making it feel like they just didn't have the budget to animate the upper half of the creature for those scenes.
- It's especially jarring in more dynamic scenes as Godzilla freely moves its arms around without any issues, but those walking scenes really do come across quite poorly in relation to those action moments.
- Outside of those issues though, I really like this version of Godzilla, which feels like a genuinely threatening force of nature for once and not just a big, bad monster.
- In fact, I think this would make a great double-bill as a follow-up to Oppenheimer, with the very final scene mirroring Nolan's movie with the idea that now this threat has been unleashed, it's never going away again.
- It does have its issues, but I'd still recommend seeing Godzilla Minus One, especially if you haven't seen a Godzilla movie before. [8/10]
- Nothing new finished this week, but I'll be starting Life is Strange: Before the Storm Remastered soon, while my Dark Urge Bard has reached Act III of Baldur's Gate 3, although I'm still dozens of hours from finishing that story just yet.
- I really do need to take more advantage of my Game Pass subscription too, just need to manage my time a little better as it just seems to be flying by right now.
- It was a little funny to me after finishing For All Mankind's first season that I saw a post-season four interview with one of the actors saying something along the lines of by the time they've finished telling their story they could almost hand the baton off to Star Trek, as it did very much feel like an alternate history for Gene Roddenberry's creation.
- Maybe that shouldn't be too much of a surprise with Ronald D. Moore as one of the main creative forces behind the show with experience across multiple Trek shows, particularly Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- I have to admit that I didn't know it was going to have a period setting, but pretty much the entire show takes place in the Seventies following the break from our reality with the Soviet Union reaching the moon first.
- It was also a surprise to find out just how much of the show was about the characters and relationships between them, often more so than the space race side of things which I would've said was the most obvious appeal.
- This isn't a bad thing though, even if it does take a couple of episodes for everyone to find their feet and their characters to really start feeling like actual people, as there's quite a big cast that have to share screen time.
- There's also the issue of the time period meaning there's a lot of well-worn story-telling tropes highlighting the difference between then and now that, while executed well, are still a little bit too over-familiar to be a truly enjoyable part of the show.
- Another big issue is Apple's dumb decision to make their streaming service unavailable to watch in HD or 4K if using a web browser, meaning the events in space and on the moon looked terrible to me, so just be warned if that's how you're planning to watch For All Mankind.
- Still, this first season provides a solid enough starting point for so many characters and plot threads that I'm keen to watch season two as soon as I get the chance, even if I know in advance that it's going to look like shit thanks to Apple undermining the people making the show. [7/10]