Hey all, Jon D. B. here with some fantastic first-buzz for SHIN-GOJIRA’s premiere.
Several Japanese press outlets have released spoiler-free reviews after yesterday’s screening, and the initial praise is overwhelmingly positive. Three have surfaced so far (in Japanese, of course), and each is translating into praise.
First up is well-known Japanese pop culture site RO65. Releasing a review tied in with their film media brand, CUT, RO65 has very high praise for the upcoming flic – something that should reassure many fans (especially those of us with friends/insiders who have already seen the film, and did not have nice things to say.) We’ve translated the bulk of the review for you below:
…It has become a major [conversation point that] Anno Hideaki is an accomplished director of today. I want to say one as a person who has seen the [fully] completed movie, this “Shin Godzilla” is purely a masterpiece of unprecedented [filmmaking].
[The films retains] a strong respect for the fundamental message within Godzilla, yearning for the old days of [his origin].
Expectations of people who are looking forward to the [newest Japanese incarnation] of “Godzilla” in 12 years – [Please be] content that [the film] does not betray [Godzilla], but at the same time, people who are new to “Godzilla” can [also enjoy a film of this type of content, who previously may not have].
The [film’s] appearance is that of the current [and true state of Japan], the film is critically painted [and capable of sarcasm] while at the same time, is the best of entertainment work in pursuit of pure fun of as a monster movie to the limits.
[Though previously] thoroughly opposed to earlier realistic [works of strong] fantasy, we [are looking forward with] “hope for the future”…
The second review, penned by ORICON STYLE, is also very positive, and delves into their impression of the film being “reality vs idealism”. The review goes on to vaguely describe a few scenes from the film, and continually praises the “realistic” work of Anno Hideaki and Shinji Higuchi. ORICON STYLE’s enthusiastic analysis of the film ends strongly, as they refer to SHIN-GOJIRA as the birth of a “World-Class” Japanese Godzilla Film.
Japan’s Cinema Today also released a brief review of the film, with similar praise to other media outlets. We see the word “masterpiece” used in reference to the movie yet again, hailing it as a “thrilling” experience and a true “Welcome Back!” for Godzilla in Japan. The review also likens the film to Dawn of the Dead (2004 zombie remake), referencing SHIN’s depiction of how Japan would deal with such a horrid crisis of this magnitude.
With such high praise coming out of Japan, the stakes are now higher than ever for Toho’s latest entry in their own G-Series to succeed. Here’s to hoping SHIN-GOJIRA revitalizes the Big-G back home, and secures Godzilla’s fate with his parent studio for many sequels to come.
On a more personal note – From everything I’ve read, seen translated, and heard from westerners (insiders who also happen to be fans) who have seen the film, I’d say SHIN is very much a reflection of modern-day disasters for Japan, and how they deal with tragedy. That may seem obvious, but it should drive home the point that this film isn’t being made for us western fans, it’s being made for the modern Japanese public. So far, all signs point toward a film the Japanese will embrace, and western fans perhaps will scoff at as “boring” and “political”. As fans, we’ve got to try and remain grounded, though – I am still very cautiously optimistic for this film, and have very mixed-feelings going in. Perspective, however, is key.
We’ll keep you updated as the film hits theaters this Friday, the 29th. Until then!
Jon D. B.