I was going to do this tomorrow so I could get the panel video up, but it takes all day (or night) to render and the latest attempt had a glitch near the end. So I’ll save it for Saturday and screw up my plans because life hates me! On to more important things.
At New York Comic-Con, a “proof of concept” trailer was dropped for a new Gamera movie, now that the dust has settled when it comes to company mergers and the like. This isn’t surprising since Godzilla got a US movie and there is talk of Toho finally bringing the Big G back. Plus this was a project that was intended to come up even before the Legendary Pictures take on Godzilla. Thanks to the internet I have seen the trailer and…I’m not as excited as I should be.
Be warned: there are some disturbing bits in this trailer.
Let’s get the positive stuff out of the way first. Visually this trailer is impressive. The destruction, the fireballs–it’s all well-done. I have no issue with the cinematography or with the kid who plays our lone survivor. He does a good job showing the emotions he would have under the situation. The designs for the various monsters are pretty good, although I don’t recognize them as any monster previous. Even the flying creatures don’t remind me of Gyaos but I haven’t seen every Gamera movie yet.
As for the suit versus CG angle, I don’t know if that’s because they couldn’t afford to build the costumes or if Japan is bowing to the “cool kids” and dropping the “stupid” costumes and miniatures in favor of computer imagery. A similar trailer for a new Ultraman production recently came out and the CG wasn’t very good for something mixed with live-action. (As a fully animated production it might have worked, even if the Ultra in that looked like he could use a sandwich and we’re supposed to believe he’s a superstrong mighty space warrior using a human host.) When I saw the angle-up reveal of Gamera I did get a vibe from the 2014 Godzilla movie, which I also got from some of the CG, only in this production we actually get to see monster fights…briefly but what do you want from a 3+ minute trailer?
So why aren’t I excited about another giant monster movie? The big one is a huge problem I have with science fiction and action movies lately…a lack of color! Except for the fire every color (when it gets beyond blacks and grays) are darker, muted shades, not helped by the tinting I bet. I suppose the lack of sunlight is supposed to add to the gloomy scene because heaven forbid anything bright shows up.
Which segues into my other problem, the insistence that everything be dark and gritty. Maybe it’s me but I grew up at a time when giant monster movies were fun to watch and I wasn’t having fun watching this trailer. And if you think I’m just stuck on the rerunned 60s Godzilla movies where he’d do his happy dance you need to watch my review of Godzilla Versus King Ghidorah and accept my apologies for being on a crappy camera. (I’m getting better.) For all the complaints I made about how poorly time travel was instituted in this movie, I had fun watching it. I even had fun watching Gamera: Guardian Of The Universe and praised the Dark Horse comics on this very site. Neither of those movies are kid-friendly (so you can breathe a sigh of relief that kids won’t like these movies…by the way, who’s your favorite My Little Pony?) but they were fun even when they got a bit graphic. But that was blood spurting. Here you have dangling eyeballs exploding in fire as the body graphically disintegrates! That’s not fun for me to watch.
I’m not saying someone is wrong for liking this. Visually it’s well made and they succeeded at what they wanted to do. But again, I’m not interested in what they wanted to do. It wasn’t fun for me, and if a giant monster movie isn’t fun it better come up with something to interest me like the original Godzilla movie far too many people pretend is the only one did. All I saw was more “dark & gritty”, which by nature isn’t fun, and I just don’t care anymore. There used to be a balance of lighter and darker fare. I miss those days. I didn’t get burned out on one style over another. I’m done with gory darkness that need a visit from Rainbow Brite.