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Godzilla [Blu-ray] by Directed by Roland Emmerich
Review by Charles Mohapel
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Blu-ray  ISBN/ITEM#: B00164EAC8
Date: 27 December 2009 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

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I know that the diehard Gojira (Godzilla's real name) fans are correct when they say that the monster depicted in Roland Emmerich's Godzilla does not bear more than a slight resemblance to the "real" Gojira, but if you look past that big flaw, it's a fun summer movie. I enjoyed it a lot in the theater back then and I enjoyed it again on Blu-ray now. The other elements in common then and now - an extra large popcorn and an extra large soda.

Directed by:
Roland Emmerich

Writing credits (WGA):
Ted Elliott (story) &
Terry Rossio (story) and
Dean Devlin (story) &
Roland Emmerich (story)

Dean Devlin (screenplay) &
Roland Emmerich (screenplay)

Cast (Cast overview, first billed only):
Matthew Broderick ... Dr. Niko Tatopoulos
Jean Reno ... Philippe Roaché
Maria Pitillo ... Audrey Timmonds
Hank Azaria ... Victor 'Animal' Palotti
Kevin Dunn ... Colonel Hicks
Michael Lerner ... Mayor Ebert
Harry Shearer ... Charles Caiman, WIDF Anchor
Arabella Field ... Lucy Palotti
Vicki Lewis ... Dr. Elsie Chapman
Doug Savant ... Sergeant O'Neal

With regards to the "Commentary with Visual Effects Supervisor Volker Engel and Associate Visual Effects Supervisor Karen Goulekas", we all know that this movie would never have been possible without the extensive use of visual effects (VFX) and special effects (SFX). For those uncertain about what these two terms mean, the former deals with effects using miniatures and composite shots, while the latter is also called computer-generated imagery (CGI). While Volker Engel and Karen Goulekas are certainly talented people in their field, unfortunately for us they provided a disappointingly flat emotionless commentary.

"Behind the Scenes of Godzilla with Charles Caiman" is a semi-pseudo-documentary with Roland Emmerich (Director / Writer / Executive Producer), Dean Devlin (Writer / Producer), Jean Reno (Philippe Roache), Hank Azaria (Victor 'Animal' Palotti), Patrick Tatopoulos (Creature Designer), Matthew Broderick (Dr. Niko Tatopoulos), and Maria Pitillo (Audrey Timmonds). On the positive side Emmerich and Devlin talk about how the original Gojira was a man in a rubber suit and how they wanted to make him learner and meaner. Unfortunately, this featurette would have been 100% better without Harry Shearer (the narcissistic Charles Caiman, WIDF Anchor) who I wish would have been eaten by Godzilla. He was such a buzzkill that he ruined this feature for me.

The "All Time Best of Godzilla Fight Scenes" featurette begins with many scenes from this movie, followed by scenes with Godzilla fighting other monsters over the ages, but it's ruined by an extremely annoying techno-noise audio track throughout.

"Heroes" Music Video by The Wallflowers
And here I thought that wallflowers shunned the spotlight. It certainly appears as if someone secretly videotaped a bunch of nerds playing Guitar Hero.

If I'm interesting in buying a movie or TV show on Blu-ray disc or DVD, I always compare the different versions available for sale to see which one offers the most bang for my bucks and that means all the bonus material.

The main reason to buy Godzilla on Blu-ray is for the superior 1080p video and accompanying audio, plus the enhanced protection that separates a Blu-ray disc from a DVD. Since the movie runs long at 139 minutes, even a single Blu-ray disc only has so much room for bonus features and I can't fault Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for the limited number of those. I'm just very disappointed at the quality of the bonus features that are on the Blu-ray disc. In other words, buy Godzilla on Blu-ray mainly for the movie.

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