Review: ‘Godzilla’ Blu-ray and DVD

Godzilla Blu-ray and DVD Review
A scene from Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ epic action adventure “GODZILLA,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Photo © 2014 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. & LEGENDARY PICTURES PRODUCTIONS LLC)

Godzilla stomps onto home video with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack releasing in stores on September 16, 2014. As our critic Ian Forbes stated in his review of the theatrical release that this Godzilla film didn’t need to be seen on the big screen in 3D as that format did nothing to up the audience enjoyment level for this reboot of the classic creature tale. The unnecessary 3D aside, the film looked gorgeous in theaters and it retains its sharpness in its transition to home video. However, for those who haven’t seen Godzilla in theaters, be sure to watch it at home in a dark environment as by the time the second act kicks off, the color palette changes to shades that make it impossible to make out details in a room with lights on. That’s no fault of the Blu-ray/DVD transfer, but just a choice made by director Gareth Edwards that adds to the intense action and suspense on screen.

The audio also made the shift to home video without losing much of the crispness of Godzilla’s roar. The audio track delivers clear sounds that add to the action on the screen rather than come across as background clangs and clatter.

As for the bonus features, unfortunately Godzilla arrives on Blu-ray and DVD without a commentary track. Monster fans who are looking for an in-depth discussion of this latest entry in the Godzilla franchise could walk away a little disappointed as the bonus material, while delving into the creature’s background, is more for the average Godzilla audience than for true Godzilla fanatics.

There are seven featurettes included in the bonus material are split into two categories. The MONARCH: Declassified category examines the history of Godzilla via three featurettes made up as actual films that display evidence about the creature not seen in the Godzilla movie. Up first is Operation: Lucky Dragon, a ‘classic’ film about Monarch’s origins and the first Godzilla encounter. Then comes MONARCH: The M.U.T.O. File which is a contemporary short film explaining the history of M.U.T.O. And the final film is a mockumentary with a researcher who wasn’t privy to all the behind-the-scenes info trying to put together what led up to the events in the movie.

The Legendary Godzilla category is made up of four behind-the-scenes featurettes. Godzilla: Force of Nature has the cast and crew talking about the Godzilla franchise over the years, how this Godzilla was designed, the effects, and the task of making sure the scale of the creatures and buildings remained consistent throughout the entire film. A Whole New Level of Destruction looks at the sets and locations, and Into the Void: The H.A.L.O. Jump focuses on putting together a specific scene. The final bonus feature is Ancient Enemy: The M.U.T.O.s which looks at the physical and sound design as well as the M.U.T.O.s role in this Godzilla movie.

GRADE: B

The Godzilla Plot:

An epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

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-By Rebecca Murray

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