Monday, 30 December 2013

New Godzilla trailer smashes online

As the indigestion dies down and the feelings of remorse over the cost of our festive activities subsides, it's time to look towards the New Year, and in the case of this blog especially, what cinematic delights lie ahead.

One film bidding for box office success is Gareth Edwards' Godzilla reboot.

After months of teases, viral campaigns and leaked footage, the latest version of Godzilla is finally ready to make his grand entrance in the shape of a trailer courtesy of Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures.

That said, when the big guy does make his appearance, he still prefers to stay cloaked in smoke and debris, so we'll have to wait until release to see him in all his multi-storey glory.

The film itself looks appropriately huge in scope, with troopers leaping through smoke-choked skies towards the marauding monster and the rest of the cast giving the human scale. This opening footage of the troopers (set to music that sounds suspiciously like the Gyorgy Ligeti track used in 2001: A Space Odyssey) is quite beautiful, while most of the rest of this peek is taken from what was shown at this years Comic Con in San Diego.

After the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Lucky Dragon 5 incident still fresh in the Japanese consciousness, Godzilla was conceived as a metaphor for nuclear weapons. As the film series expanded, some stories took on less serious undertones portraying Godzilla as a hero while other plots still portrayed Godzilla as a destructive monster; sometimes the lesser of two threats who plays the defender by default but is still a danger to humanity.

Gojira (a portmanteau of the Japanese words: gorira 'gorilla' and kujira 'whale') first appeared in Ishirō Honda's 1954 film Godzilla. Since then, Godzilla has become a worldwide pop culture icon starring in 28 films produced by Toho Co. Ltd., best known for their Kaiju creature features such as Mothra, King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla, and Rodan. The monster last appeared on Western screens in Ronald Emmerich's inane reimagining of Gozilla in 1998.

Monsters (2010) director Edwards is the man charged with bringing the massive beast back to Western audiences and wiping our collective memories of the Roland Emmerich take at the same time. "To me, he's like a force of nature, like the wrath of God or vengeance for the way we've behaved," Edwards tells USA Today. "I want it to be epic. I want to get the hairs on the back of your neck up."

To react to the huge central figure, Edwards has gathered a cast that includes Bryan Cranston, David Strathairn, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen. He's also been handed a much heftier budget than his breakthrough first film. "It's the closest thing to being a god as I think there is in terms of a job you could have," he tells the paper. "You picture something one day and draw it, and the next day, it's physical and right there in front of you no matter how insane."

Godzilla stomps into UK cinemas on 16 May.

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