Happy Belated Godzilla Day, everyone! There was quite a lot that has been presented this year at Godzilla-Fest. There were the two short films, new footage for Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, and a new American trailer for Godzilla Minus One. Between all of that, anything else that celebrated the anniversary of Godzilla was not about his 69th anniversary. Rather, Toho Co. bypassed the 69th anniversary and jumped ahead to his 70th.
When the anniversary event started, one of the main reveals was the logo for Godzilla's 70th. At first, I figured some stuff about his 70th would be talked about since it is next year, but through out the livestream they already had merchandise for "Godzilla 70" go on sale and not an ounce of merchandise commemorated his 69th was shown off other than a Godzilla ornament. So Godzilla's 69th was celebrated like it was his 70th, which makes me wonder what Toho Co. will be doing for Godzilla next year when it is his actual 70th anniversary. So the 69th anniversary of Godzilla was sidelined for his 70th anniversary and this very much felt like a "Part 1" of Godzilla's 70th.
Concerning that next year is also the 50th anniversary of Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla, it makes me wonder if Toho Co. will do something special for that film or if it will be sidelined. Hopefully, there will be something. At least a CG short film like Godzilla vs Gigan Rex. Just something for that film to be recognized.
Godzilla vs Megalon Review:
After an hour of hyping up Godzilla's 70th, the first short film for Godzilla-Fest premiered. Made by Gemstone, the production studio for last year's CGI short film Godzilla vs Gigan Rex, Godzilla vs Megalon brings the king (or prince, if you go by the grown up Jr. theory) of the monsters to face off against an ancient deity summoned by an unknown girl from an ancient civilization.
In Godzilla vs Gigan Rex, the short film mainly focused on the monsters and the action. In Godzilla vs Megalon, however, there were a lot of live action sequences involving the people on the ground. I really liked how through out the short film, we would see the events play out through someone's livestream or being recorded through someone's smartphone or through a security camera. Especially with today's case when everyone has a smartphone, there is bound to be somebody recording the events that play out. There is even this girl that we can speculate comes from Seatopia that summons Megalon with a special stone and when we see her on the surface she kills or knocks out the surrounding JSDF troops with some sort of telepathy. So I actually liked how the film brought some realism giving different perspectives that one expects to see in the real world.
Overall, Godzilla vs Megalon was not as good as Godzilla vs Gigan Rex. It had moments that I liked such as when Godzilla did a flying kick into Megalon's face. I was expecting something similar to the original drop kick from the 73 movie when Godzilla slides on his tail to kick Megalon. I just didn't expect it in this short film. I expected it more in Operation Jet Jaguar. Otherwise, I just felt as though the stakes weren't really raised high enough. I look at Godzilla vs Gigan Rex and I see a world being invaded by all of these Gigans and, despite being double teamed left and right, Godzilla was not having any issues taking them down until the Rex appeared and it really forced Godzilla to throw his punches. For Megalon, he didn't feel as much of a big threat as Gigan Rex was. The short film was still fun, but not as big of a WOW factor that I had with Godzilla vs Gigan Rex. Click here if you want to watch.
New Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Footage:
Further into the festival, I was surprised to find the Monsterverse getting some representation for the first time and spent some time talking about Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. There was an inside look video that was showcased and it introduced director Matt Shakman and executive producer Chris Black talking about how the Monsterverse is really interesting because it can involve anyone. It does not get stuck with superheroes. The people in these stories are just people trying to figure everything out with these monsters and there is a legacy that goes back 70 years that they wanted to respect and stay consistent with.
Then, actors such as Anna Sawai, Anders Holm, and Kurt Russell start talking about the premise of the show and how the show switches between the past and the present to tell this story about a family legacy, which Sawai's character Cate sees more as a family curse than a legacy. Kurt and Wyatt both explained that the original plan for their characters were for them to be a father/son duo much like in Godzilla (2014) with Bryan Cranston's and Aaron Taylor Johnson's characters were. This was changed to them playing the same character as their past and present representations due to that angle being more intriguing.
Along with all of this, we get to see clearer images of new monsters that we saw in previous trailers. We find out the monster with those tentacles surrounding the mouth belonged to a monster that resembles a cross between a mole and a pangolin lined with razor sharp scales or scutes. There is the crab monster, which KdM calls it "MANTLE CLAW," and this is the same monster we saw in the first trailer attacking the Mother Long Legs in that scene where John Goodman's character found himself cornered. We also see this fight fully in an extended clip that was recently released showing this fight not lasting very long, but it was pretty cool to see what happens. The last monster we see are the MUTO grubs that hatch out of the eggs. According to KdM, he calls them "ENDO SWARMERS" which are a different form of MUTO. So it will be interesting to see how these guys turn out as they look vicious chasing after the secondary group of characters.
Overall, this show is looking pretty good. I'm not expecting this to be a Godzilla-centric show. Godzilla will make a few appearances here and there, but this is a show called Monarch: Legacy of Monsters for a reason. The show revolves around the organization Monarch with monsters appearing here and there. If this was about Godzilla, then it would be called "Godzilla: Legacy of Monsters." Even the people that have already watched a few episodes even said to not expect a whole lot of monster action and this is a story driven show focusing mainly on the human characters. With that in mind, I am okay with that. I am interested in a story about unraveling a cover-up and conspiracies. So I hope the show turns out as good as I expect it to be.
Godzilla Minus One Released In Japan and New Trailer Drops:
On this same day, Godzilla Minus One had just released in Japan and, of course, there were fans that traveled all the way to Japan to watch this movie. On top of that, there was a new trailer that dropped on November 3rd in America. I am not going to do a breakdown on the trailer because I do feel like it is going into spoiler territory now. There are people going out of their way to silence anything related to this film until the movie releases on December 1st.
Based on people's reactions, however, this movie is getting high praises. Apparently, the movie strikes a good balance between the movie's story and the amount of screen time Godzilla has. I heard one person claim that if you like Godzilla (2014), then you may like this movie. That gives me yellow flag. I am not a fan of that movie do to how Godzilla was not the movie's main focus and the movie's story was really boring for the most part. I'm hoping that is not the case with Godzilla Minus One. I hope the story is better than that and Godzilla has a lot more focus. The big criticism that I hear a lot is how the climax played out. It could make or break some people or have you questioning why it played out the way it did. Other than that, this film is being praised to high heaven, which has me excited.
According to reports, the movie has gone to open at $6.3 million at the Japanese box office this weekend, which makes this the third largest opening for a Godzilla film in Japan. The second largest opening is Shin Godzilla opening at $8.3 million and the first largest opening is Godzilla: King of the Monsters at $8.6 million.
Operation Jet Jaguar Review:
Operation Jet Jaguar continues where Gigan Attacks left off. After the defeat of Hedorah and Gigan, Godzilla begins to attack Japan without provocation. This forces the JSDF to build a weapon that can combat the king of the monsters, which turns out to be a giant robot called Jet Jaguar, and deploys the robot when Godzilla returned.
This second short film that premiered was the last segment for Godzilla-Fest and I had a lot more fun watching this one than the Godzilla vs Megalon short film. The suit for Jet Jaguar was recreated using backed funds by fans. Through out the short film Jet Jaguar had a lot of personality based on how it fought Godzilla and the way it moves. Jet Jaguar is very quick and agile. The robot is so agile that Godzilla was having a really hard time landing a single hit. The fight was similar to Godzilla vs Kong in the first half of the Hong Kong fight. Kong was dodging Godzilla's attacks left and right before he could land a devastating blow to Godzilla with the axe. Jet Jaguar, however, was running right at Godzilla while dodging Godzilla's breath and Jet Jaguar grab, kick, and toss Godzilla all over the place.
I was surprised seeing King Ghidorah in this short film. I had the idea that a third monster would appear, which would make Jet Jaguar and Godzilla to team up, but I was betting my money on Megalon showing up since this year was the 50th anniversary of Godzilla vs Megalon.
But I was ready to see how Godzilla and Jet Jaguar were going to fight Ghidorah and I was left disappointed that the short film ended on a cliff hanger. The fight was getting better and better only to be blue balled at the end. The short does tease next year's Godzilla-Fest called Kaiju Daikessen or, according to the translation, All Monsters Showdown. Seeing that it did say, "To be continued," next year's short film will most likely continue where Operation Jet Jaguar left off. However, seeing that next year marks the 50th anniversary of Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla it makes me wonder MechaGodzilla will appear in next year's short film.
The biggest downside is that, currently, the short film will only be watchable until November 12th. So if you have not watched it yet, I recommend watching it now because once it is gone the short film is gone forever just like the previous short films. I just wish Toho Co. would create another channel where these shorts can be viewable without a time limit. Toho needs to get it together and keep these movies online. Click here if you want to watch.
Those are my thoughts on what was shown during this year's Godzilla-Fest and Godzilla's 69th anniversary. I want to know what your thoughts are. Did you watch the short films? Which one did you like more? What are you thoughts on the new monsters appearing in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters? Leave a comment in the comments section on what your favorite segment of Godzilla-Fest was this year. Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Minds, MeWe, Gab, and TRUTH Social to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.