Godzilla (1998) 4K Blu-ray Review
By Chris Heinonen on
Following French atomic bomb tests in the South Pacific, an unknown creature is spotted passing through the Panama Canal. Scientist Niko Tatopolous is called in to investigate the matter, and he quickly arrives at the conclusion that a giant, irradiated lizard has been created by the explosions. Godzilla then makes its way north, landing in Manhattan to begin wreaking havoc in the big city.
Godzilla Movie Review
I never saw Godzilla in theaters, but remember it coming out. One of the big deals is that they never showed Godzilla in the trailers or ads so you’d be surprised in theaters, and I was a bit at home. Godzilla here is a much leaner, faster monster than previous incarnations, and doesn’t resemble Godzilla at all. He also moves much faster than should be possible for a creature of his size, but we’ll let that go.
The main problem here is that the film feels like a relic of the 90’s and not in a good way. The plot and actions are often ridiculous, with a giant monster that can somehow hide underground in tunnels but doesn’t cause every building to fall out down it when it moves underground below them. Even as a campy action film the whole film is too ridiculous, and the poor VFX and animated monsters (coming five years after Jurassic Park, but looking worse) just look out of place today. Godzilla is a film I can’t imagine myself watching again.
Godzilla Technical Review
Godzilla was shot on 35mm film using Super 35 and is given a new 4K HDR transfer here for the disc. Unfortunately, this causes all the problems inherent with Super35 to show up in the transfer. Much of the movie takes place at night, and in dark, shadowy areas where it looks muddled and lacks fine details. Brighter scenes fare better but aren’t as sharp or detailed as some other Super35 films have looked. The visual effects also look very bad now, as the 4K resolution makes the flaws in 1998 VFX all that more apparent. Godzilla is a darker, murkier presentation that doesn’t benefit much from 4K.
The soundtrack has been redone in Atmos and it’s the complete opposite of the video quality. Every channel is used extensively, including the Atmos channels and subwoofer, and it sounds better than it ever has. With how well the soundtrack was upgraded compared to the video I have to assume they just don’t have much to work with on the image side, but you won’t be disappointed in the audio quality at all.
Godzilla Special Features
- Visual Effects Commentary
- Behind the Scenes of Godzilla with Charles Caiman
- All-Time Best-of Godzilla Fight Scenes
- “Heroes” Music Video by The Wallflowers
Godzilla Review System
Sony A1E OLED, Panasonic UB820 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver, Power Sound Audio Subwoofer.
Atmos soundtrack is a fantastic upgrade and reference class.
Super35 image is muddy and dark, the film is just campy.
Godzilla is a relic from 1998 with ridiculous plots and a Super35 image that doesn't translate well to 4K. The soundtrack is first-rate, but the rest of the disc can be left behind.