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Godzilla (1998) and King Kong (2005)-a discussion of the two

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Godzilla (1998) and King Kong (2005)-a discussion of the two

Old 12-18-05, 06:10 PM
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Godzilla (1998) and King Kong (2005)-a discussion of the two

Okay, Kong has arrived in theaters and is underperforming, according to analysts. Similarly, when Godzilla opened back in the summer of 1998 it underperformed as well.
I remember seeing Godzilla and thinking it sucked nuts, as did a lot of criticsand other people, which I guess is what hurt the movie in the long run. However, the general consensus on Kong from critics and people who have seen it is that it is a good movie, just a bit too long, and unlike Godzilla, Kong had decent acting and a good script.

This begs the question: would Godzilla have still underperformed if it had received glowing reviews and been a better picture, or would it have mattered? While both Kong and Godzilla are iconic names, it seems the appeal of seeing their movies is limited, or at least that is what I am starting to think.

In short, is there a possiblity movies like this underperform because when it all boils down, few people care about this kind of stuff?
Old 12-18-05, 11:25 PM
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Everybody hated that way the Godzilla cgi monster looked, but nobody has complaints with the way Kong cgi looks.
Old 12-19-05, 01:20 AM
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Why exactly does everybody hate Godzilla so much? I actually kind of liked it and I didn't mind the way Godzilla looked either. I definitely didn't want to see an old school guy in a Godzilla costume design. I mean all it was supposed to be was a summer action movie and I don't understand why it gets panned more than other summer movies. It sure wasn't the Godfather and it wasn't even Jurassic Park if you want to compare summer blockbusters, but I thought it was a fairly entertaining summer movie and I just don't understand why it's so universally hated. There are countless of other movies out there that deseve to be criticized more than Godzilla.
Old 12-19-05, 05:10 AM
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You don't re-do a "Star Trek" movie and have it be on some ship other than the Enterprise, you don't re-do a "Star Wars" movie and leave out Jedi, & you don't redo a Godzilla movie and leave out something like fire breath.

I didnt mind the design and the movie is a nice monster movie...but with the name "Godzilla" there are some expectations that the 1998 movie simply didnt meet.

Sure one can say that a mutated Iguana wouldn't breath fire...but its a friggin' giant mutated Iguana! Where were you seeking realism?
Old 12-19-05, 05:23 AM
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I didn't like Godzilla because it was just a stupid movie, and treated the audience like they were stupid too. I don't think at any point I felt any reality in the film, and I don't mean from the lizard or the destruction etc; I mean from the characters and the situations they were put into. The characters seemed secondary to the advancing the plot and making sure we got to the next big set piece. No one behaved like a real person would; granted it is a monster/disaster movie, but if the characters all run around in the movie acting completely irrational and stupid, then the rest of the film seems to follows suit.

I still have yet to see King Kong (waiting to see it with the family at home), but from what I've seen and read about it, it looks like the characters drive the story and not the other way around. Peter Jackson did a good job of this in LOTR; even though the story and characters were set up to unravel in a sort of mythological fashion, there was still some humanity and rational thought behind their actions, instead of them just randomly deciding to perform whatever task was needed at the time.
Old 12-19-05, 05:43 AM
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I just saw Kong tonight and I never would of compared these two but I'll toss in my thoughts.

Kong was epic and did everything over the top. In the the quality of the CGI that is a good thing but it's like they just kept pumping out creatures. While some of the stuff was important to the story a number of the other scenes felt like they were just there to try and make the movie big. Bugs, lizards and bats weren't critical to the story and flet like filler to me. The pace of the movie was slow at times until the action kicked in. Then there were other times were the action scenes ran far too long and I just lost interest.

Godzilla was mindless and while it takes shit constantly from people I could sit down and re-watch the Godzilla DVD right now and probably get more enjoyment out of it that I did King Kong earlier tonight.

Jackson was coming off the heels of a HUGE franchise and he just just had to do something else big. Kong to me was supposed to be a movie with heart and action. Both were present but it was a ton of action with something dramatic crammed in for good measure.

I had a free ticket to the movie thanks to The Frighteners DVD. I probably would of gone without the ticket but that free ticket saved me the cost of admission, the cost of the production diary DVDs I almost bought and the eventual Kong DVD release(s). I have no desire to see the film again in the near future.

Even if the people responding don't agree with me, and I'm sure few will, I sure hope you all can keep the discussion civilized.
Old 12-19-05, 07:27 AM
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Here's my thing, if they had never called it "Godzilla", it woulda been an ok action/adventure movie with a kickass French Spy. I mean come on, even this movie couldn't take away from Jean Reno's coolness . The movie would've done "ok" at the box office and no one woulda been angry.

However, because "G" fans are so dedicated to the genre and Godzilla you simply cannot totally change everything about him and expect to have happy fans. America has some of best movie making talent and technology and they had one chance to get it right and they blew it. As much as I love Godzilla I still say Toho doesn't know how to make good Monster movies. Toho Kaiju flicks run totally on nostalgia and the fact that NO ONE EXPECTS MUCH FROM THEM. So when they're kinda crappy, we all just chalk it up to "Cheesy Campy Fun". That's a shame.

Peter Jackson has respect for the Kong story and characters. I don't think anyone can deny this fact. It certainly shows. I guess my point is You can "tweak" Kong and not have the same backlash that they got for "twea...who am I kidding?...fucking up Godzilla in the 98 movie.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 12-19-05 at 07:37 AM.
Old 12-19-05, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by wm lopez
Everybody hated that way the Godzilla cgi monster looked, but nobody has complaints with the way Kong cgi looks.
Except for the fact that the dinosaurs in Kong look worse than the first Jurassic Park.
Old 12-19-05, 09:06 AM
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I agree with everything Robo said. I would have seen Godzilla if it hadn't been called Godzilla. In fact, I was very excited about an American take on it. I thought it would be cool to have a non-rubber Godzilla. Unfortunately, once I saw how he would look, as well as read how he would act, I abandoned the idea, and haven't seen the movie yet.
King Kong, on the other hand, looked like it was trying it's best to stay true to the original ideas, and I feel like it succeeded. There were parts I found ludicrous (people running with dinosaurs? riiiiight), but I was very drawn in with everything. The previews made it look very interesting, and I liked how it was set (and looked like it was filmed) in olden days.

Story-wise, I have no comment, as I haven't seen Godzilla yet. That movie alienated me the instant they decided to not have anything even resembling Godzilla in the movie.
Old 12-19-05, 09:27 AM
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Interesting discussion, but this is not meant to be a "man, Godzilla sucked," thread. It is supposed to be asking the question if these two movies underperformed due to the way they were made, or because not many people cared about them in the first place.
Old 12-19-05, 10:05 AM
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I think the audience is there for these characters/monsters. Godzilla just didn't respect the original, and so the fan base was upset. This didn't help the tickets or word of mouth. BUT King Kong is different. Peter Jackson has totally respected the original. He has gone through it scene by scene, keeping the stuff that works, making it longer and more exciting, and changing what today's crowd wouldn't except (like weak women). I know Kong got off to a slower than expected first weekend, but it will built up by word of mouth, and end up KING of 2005!
Old 12-19-05, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr. DVD
Interesting discussion, but this is not meant to be a "man, Godzilla sucked," thread. It is supposed to be asking the question if these two movies underperformed due to the way they were made, or because not many people cared about them in the first place.
But you can't ask that question without getting the answers your getting because once again, "G" fans are passionate about the genre. It's like asking, "How much of a badass is Han Solo" but not wanting anyone to comment on changes Lucas made to the Cantina Scene with Greedo.

We're answering your question but I think you want specific answers and not the ones we're giving.
Old 12-19-05, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
But you can't ask that question without getting the answers your getting because once again, "G" fans are passionate about the genre. It's like asking, "How much of a badass is Han Solo" but not wanting anyone to comment on changes Lucas made to the Cantina Scene with Greedo.

We're answering your question but I think you want specific answers and not the ones we're giving.

Pretty much. I'm also certain that I could never have thread about Star Wars as a whole without people talking about how much 2/3 of the PT sucked.
Old 12-19-05, 10:44 AM
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Sorry we let you down.
Old 12-19-05, 01:00 PM
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I have to comment on the crapiness of Godzilla. I don't care if they called it Godzilla or not the movie simply sucked. The acting was horrible (I can't stand Matthew Broderick), the writing was bad everything about it was absolutely dreadful. I am not the biggest Godzilla fan and didn't really have any expectations on the movie it just sucked. Look at my sig. I'm sure it probably would have done a little better if the reviews were good. Kong still has a chance to do well. If word of mouth helps it, once the holidays are over I think more people will go to see it.
Old 12-19-05, 01:27 PM
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The question you are asking is presupposing a lot; if it had better actors, a better script, better CG, better direction, better editing and better music would it have done better in the box office? That's like asking, if "Jailhouse Bitches 4: Bitches Want Out" had better actors, a better script, etc, would it have been as good as "Shawshank Redemption?"

It could have to do with these types of monster movies in general; I think everyone knows, even without really knowing, that they have to kill the monster in the end, and most generic movie-goers aren't really interested in that. Maybe the better question would be, would Godzilla or King Kong have done better if they had an ending where the monster was taken back to their own island and left alone for the rest of time, ala Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World?
Old 12-19-05, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by FinkPish
I didn't like Godzilla because it was just a stupid movie, and treated the audience like they were stupid too. I don't think at any point I felt any reality in the film, and I don't mean from the lizard or the destruction etc; I mean from the characters and the situations they were put into. The characters seemed secondary to the advancing the plot and making sure we got to the next big set piece. No one behaved like a real person would; granted it is a monster/disaster movie, but if the characters all run around in the movie acting completely irrational and stupid, then the rest of the film seems to follows suit.

Are you talking about Godzilla 1998 or some earlier Japanese Godzilla movie?

Because that sounds like numerous Godzilla movies i have seen.
Old 12-19-05, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by UAIOE
Are you talking about Godzilla 1998 or some earlier Japanese Godzilla movie?

Because that sounds like numerous Godzilla movies i have seen.
That was sorta my point, though I didn't explain it very well; the studio spent millions of dollars to make a Godzilla movie without trying to make it better than the cheesy Japanese versions. I didn't see the point, other than to make a bigger film and put some Americans in it.
Old 12-19-05, 06:09 PM
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It all boils down to who can make a better movie...Peter Jackson or Roland Emmerich?
Old 12-19-05, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. DVD
is there a possiblity movies like this underperform because when it all boils down, few people care about this kind of stuff?
If few people care about this kind of stuff then Jurassic Park would have only done about $100 million instead of the $300+ million that it did at the box office.

Clearly, when the movie is done right, marketed well, and put out at the right time there is a market - a big market.

King Kong was done very well, but maybe it is 20 minutes too long. It seems that a lot of people think that the marketing wasn't as good as it could have been (trying to turn Kong into Titanic by focusing on the love story to try and attract female audiences). Kong certainly could have come out a week later to make sure that people had time off from school to give it a larger potential audience.

And yet Kong will still take in over $200 million in the U.S. by the time its run is over, and another $250-$300 million in the rest of the world. It's going to make a huge profit overall, so saying that there isn't much interest in the movie is overstating the situation. There clearly is a lot of interest in it, just not of the Titanic or Star Wars proportions. How many movies have that kind of response anyway? Not many....
Old 12-19-05, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by B5Erik
If few people care about this kind of stuff then Jurassic Park would have only done about $100 million instead of the $300+ million that it did at the box office.

Clearly, when the movie is done right, marketed well, and put out at the right time there is a market - a big market.

King Kong was done very well, but maybe it is 20 minutes too long. It seems that a lot of people think that the marketing wasn't as good as it could have been (trying to turn Kong into Titanic by focusing on the love story to try and attract female audiences). Kong certainly could have come out a week later to make sure that people had time off from school to give it a larger potential audience.

And yet Kong will still take in over $200 million in the U.S. by the time its run is over, and another $250-$300 million in the rest of the world. It's going to make a huge profit overall, so saying that there isn't much interest in the movie is overstating the situation. There clearly is a lot of interest in it, just not of the Titanic or Star Wars proportions. How many movies have that kind of response anyway? Not many....

I don't really think it's fair to compare Kong to Jurassic Park. You have to remember that Jurassic Park came out 12 years ago and the public wasn't so used to CGI and other movie making technology yet. In 2005 good looking CGI is expected and almost "old hat" Even some movies that you would never expect to have CGI end up having very good CGI and the public is not nearly as awe-inspired by CGI. When I watched Kong I just saw a big gorilla. He looked good, but in no way was I blown away by it. I saw Jurassic Park in the theaters and still to this day I consider it the most memorable movie I have ever seen. Sure, it's not the best movie ever--probably not even close, but I saw REAL dinosaurs on the screen and that was so cool at the time...and still is. At the time Jurassic Park had the most realistic creatures ever and it absolutely blew most people away. And to whoever said Jurassic Park's dinosaurs looked better than Kong's I'd have to agree. When the T-Rex steps out of the pen in the rain still looks more real to me than anything that's been made in the last couple years. And finally, even though King Kong has a history and people are interested in the original many more people are interested in dinosaurs. They were even more interested in dinosaurs in 1993 when they more or less saw them for the first time on screen.
Old 12-19-05, 08:38 PM
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If Kong tumbles 60% at the box office next weekend, it might be an apt comparison.

Otherwise, both of these films fell short in their opening weekends due to enormous expected hype. When expectations are that your film will generate the biggest openings EVER, well, it's not that shocking that the films might not live up to that. That isn't to pretend that both Kong and Godzilla did still have solid openings.

Had Godzilla had better reviews then it might have not tumbled 60% in its second weekend.

As for showing that consumers are just not interested...well, let us put this into perspective...these films are STILL making more money than most movies even dream of.
Old 12-19-05, 08:40 PM
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You do realize that there were more dinosaurs in King Kong than in Jurassic Park, right? And it wasn't just CGI that people were in awe of with the first Jurassic Park movie, it was dinosaurs. (By the way, the reason the T-Rex looked so real is that more than half of the footage in that scene was of Stan Winstons full sized mock ups/anamatronics.) Maybe the CGI dinosaur thing has become "old hat," but add in King Kong and you've got something that definitely has great appeal.

There is still interest among moviegoers in giant monsters and dinosaurs, but like I said, the movie has to be done right, marketed right, and released at the right time. King Kong is a "close, but no cigar" on all three counts. A very good movie, but maybe 20 minutes too long, marketed as a Titanic style epic love story with action (which may have turned off as many people as it got interested in the movie), and released during finals week.

It's still going to do well, but if Universal had a do-over I think they'd change how they marketed the movie and what the release date was (and maybe would push for 15-20 minutes of edits).

And I still highly recommend the movie to just about everyone. It's good enough to win over a lot of naysayers (not everyone, but a lot of people).
Old 12-19-05, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by B5Erik
You do realize that there were more dinosaurs in King Kong than in Jurassic Park, right? And it wasn't just CGI that people were in awe of with the first Jurassic Park movie, it was dinosaurs. (By the way, the reason the T-Rex looked so real is that more than half of the footage in that scene was of Stan Winstons full sized mock ups/anamatronics.) Maybe the CGI dinosaur thing has become "old hat," but add in King Kong and you've got something that definitely has great appeal.

There is still interest among moviegoers in giant monsters and dinosaurs, but like I said, the movie has to be done right, marketed right, and released at the right time. King Kong is a "close, but no cigar" on all three counts. A very good movie, but maybe 20 minutes too long, marketed as a Titanic style epic love story with action (which may have turned off as many people as it got interested in the movie), and released during finals week.

It's still going to do well, but if Universal had a do-over I think they'd change how they marketed the movie and what the release date was (and maybe would push for 15-20 minutes of edits).

And I still highly recommend the movie to just about everyone. It's good enough to win over a lot of naysayers (not everyone, but a lot of people).
Not to be a jerk, but I don't really think you read my post very carefully. I also said that people were just as in awe of the idea of dinosaurs than they were the CGI. That's one of the reasons it might not be fair to compare JP and Kong. I mean who isn't fascinated with dinosaurs? Plus people were more fascinated back then when they saw "real" ones for the first time. Now, anybody can throw a T-Rex into a movie, but now people won't really bat an eye if they see a dinosaur in a movie. In 1993 seeing a realistic dinosaur was totally new to them. Kong is just a big gorilla. I can see a gorilla any time I want at the zoo, but I can't see a dinosaur. Finally, what I thought was the most realistic scene in the movie and still maybe the most realistic monster scene ever was when the T-Rex first steps out of the pen and roars. That scene is entirely CGI if I'm not mistaken. If anything, I thought the anamatronics took away from the movie a little bit because the anamatronics weren't nearly as convincing as the CGI was.
Old 12-19-05, 08:57 PM
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My perception is that Godzilla has always been campy and a joke. Then comes the US version and it's supposed to be taken seriously. It may be fair to say that Godzilla was an attempt to reinvent/reimagine the series.

King Kong, conversely, seems to carry the wait of a serious action/epic/adventure and garners a bit of respect. The new Kong attempts to mimic the original exactly and pay homage while making things more adventurous and epic. (I have not seen the new Kong - merely infering from reviews).

While superficially these films may appear targeted at the same audience, I believe that on a deeper level they are meant to appeal to two entirely different groups of people.

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