"Godzilla" Saves San Francisco on Blu-ray, DVD

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Godzilla on Blu-ray and DVD

There's a giant flying monster that, wherever he goes, acts like a giant EMP burst. Cities are drained of power when he's near. Across the ocean, there's another giant monster on the ground who does the same thing. (Although not having power is the least of the problems when the skyscraper you're in is being toppled.) There's very little humanity can do except to drop a nuclear bomb on them -- powered by an analog wind-up timing device, out of necessity.

But wait! There's a third monster entering the fray -- Godzilla! He's nature's response to restoring the balance of the planet -- he just has to clear a path several city blocks wide to do it. So while a little family drama plays out -- via Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Carson Bolde and Bryan Cranston -- as Taylor-Johnson's character tries to arm (and then get rid of) the nuke, the real reason people are going to watch this film is for the gargantuan special effects as Godzilla and the two M.U.T.O. creatures tear into each other. And when the atomic breath has done its job, and humanity contributes in a major way to eradicating the future generations of the creature, we all stand in the rubble of the city and deliver a mass grateful wave to the departing King of the Monsters. (And we learn that you can get a safe distance from a nuclear bomb with only three minutes until detonation -- and it doesn't involve a single refrigerator.)

As simplistic as this big-budget flick may be, Warner Brothers gives the Blu-ray release some truly monster special features. The first group fall under the category, "MONARCH: Declassified," and involve three very short cinema verité documentaries. The first two, "Operation: Lucky Dragon" and "MONARCH: The M.U.T.O. Files" are presented as old film reels that serve as a sort of "employee orientation" for those new to MONARCH. The third, "The Godzilla Revelation," is more of a counter-authority documentary, stitching together news broadcasts and leaked footage to warn the world about the M.U.T.O.s and how there may be more of them out there that MONARCH is hiding.

The second batch of featurettes come under the banner "The Legendary Godzilla." These -- "Godzilla: Force of Nature," "A Whole New Level of Destruction," "Into the Void: The H.A.L.O. Jump" and "Ancient Enemy: The M.U.T.O.s" -- are all behind-the-scenes videos that explore the various aspects of designing the monsters and filming key scenes.

This new Godzilla is just the thing for curling up on the couch and revisiting the Creature Feature feeling we got as kids watching all the old Japanese giant monster flicks -- only more realistic than ever.

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0