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Netflix review: Godzilla Minus One (2023).

pgjacksonpgjackson Posts: 17,860 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
edited June 5 in Off Topic

Never been a huge fan of Godzilla movies (other than the old 60's and 70's versions). I think the genre has been overdone and always so over the top that it's just silly nonsense to showcase special effects. This one is different. It's not your typical Hollywoood monster movie. It's a Japanese production that focuses as much on post-war reconstruction as it does Godzilla itself. As Americans, we really don't know much about what happened to Japan after the war. We dropped two bombs, they surrendered, that's about it. Most American's don't realize that we essentially destroyed every single significant city in Japan, especially Tokyo, before dropping the bombs. As a student of WWII I found the storylines of regular Japanese people picking up the pieces and trying to move on to be very compelling. And just when things start to come together and everyone is getting back on their feet, here comes Godzilla to destroy everything again!

It has your typical Japanese overacting and sometimes unintentionally comical dialogue, but the special effects more than make up for it. The scenes of total destruction are very well done, bordering on superb. It won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and was the first Godzilla movie ever nominated for an Academy Award.

It's definitely worth watching. I have no idea what "Minus One" means in the title, but it's a great monster movie with a solid human interest storyline.

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    swilkerson7317swilkerson7317 Posts: 2,531 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Im really looking forward to watching

    Hitler and the Nazi's: Evil on Trial

    Story has been told many times. A high level society. Capitalist and democratic devolves into the Nazi state. And the amazing thing is it all happened within 6 months of Hitler taking power.

    Should be fascinating.

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    Michael_ScarnMichael_Scarn Posts: 1,471 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    "As Americans, we really don't know much about what happened to Japan after the war."

    As someone who's been to Japan I can tell you there's a plethora of post WWII information about America's "Marshall Plan" for Japan, from reconstruction, management/oversight and emphasis on business processes the Japanese leveraged to great effect in post war decades. Unfortunately, Hollywood is not as interested in telling stories about PTW as they are about Europe.

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    pgjacksonpgjackson Posts: 17,860 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I used to go to Okinawa every year for 2-3 weeks at a time for work. The strange thing about Okinawa is that there isn't a single building older than WWII. We completely leveled the entire island. Everything "historical" on the island is a recreation. I visited a WWII museum on the island and was very surprised. The Okinawan's do not care for mainland Japanese. They feel tricked and betrayed by what Japan did to them. One thing that caught my eye was a map on the wall that showed every city in Japan that was firebombed before we dropped the bomb. It was astounding. Literally every city bigger than about 30,000 people was destroyed. I'm talking all of them. Had to be 40-50 cities on the map that were at least 50% destroyed. That is another aspect of the war most Americans don't know. They know the island hopping campaign….Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Tarawa…. but they don't know much about the bombing raids over mainland late in the war.

    We tend to focus on the European side of the war and gloss over the Pacific. Most Americans don't even realize that China was involved in WWII and had as many casualties as Russia during the war. Japan absolutely brutalized China in the late 30s and early 40s.

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    Michael_ScarnMichael_Scarn Posts: 1,471 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Very cool that you use to visit Okinawa. Japan is a beautiful country. The Japanese people are reticent towards foreigners, but once you breakdown that wall they're very warm, friendly and interesting people.

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    pgjacksonpgjackson Posts: 17,860 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Okinawa is very different than mainland Japan. Okinawans are almost the Amish of Japanese culture. Very meek, humble, polite, and similar in appearance. The men all wear long slacks (typically black) and long sleeve shirts and the women all wear long dresses and full coverage blouses. You don't see Okinawan women wearing tight, revealing clothing or have crazy hair and nails. Foreigners and Japanese really stick out.

    Historically, Japanese culture has been anything but warm and friendly to foreigners…particularly the Chinese.

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    swilkerson7317swilkerson7317 Posts: 2,531 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Good buddy of mine mother is from Okinawa and father from Indiana. I imagine that happened more than once.

    Anyway he considered it a great insult if someone mistook him for Japanese.

    Everything you said is accurate. I think Americans focus more on Europe because

    1. Most Americans ancestry would be from Europe.
    2. The Nazi state is such a cautionary tale. Democracy to Dictatorship.
    3. Unit 731 and the Japanese Army did treat the Chinese, Koreans and others brutally. But it wasn't exactly the systematic killing of millions of Jews. Only the Nazis were that efficient.

    That reminds me. I gotta watch Tora! Tora! Tora! again soon.

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    pgjacksonpgjackson Posts: 17,860 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I would encourage everyone to read "The rape of Nanking". It's about the Japanese invasion of China in the 1930's. The Germans did their dirty work by shipping everyone off to concentration camps. The Japanese just went door to door and killed anything that moved. The Japanese considered themselves the "Master Race" also.

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    how2fishhow2fish Posts: 3,686 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Excellent read I read that book 10 years ago. I have a friend who's father fought in the battle to retake Manila , he said certain Japanese units were more interested in killing the civilians that fighting Americans or escaping . He said he never hated the Japs until then.

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    pgjacksonpgjackson Posts: 17,860 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Yep. If you were captured by the Germans, you were generally treated very well. If you were captured by the Japanese, it was torture. They considered anyone not Japanese as sub-human and disposable. Okinawans and Filipinos were not Japanese. Same with Chinese and Koreans. The German thing only lasted a couple of years. The Japanese deal had been going on for centuries.

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    swilkerson7317swilkerson7317 Posts: 2,531 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Yep. If you were captured by the Germans, you were generally treated very well.

    This was because they wanted the same treatment in return. Not because they were swell guys. The Japanese had no such consideration. When you torture the enemy you kind of give them license to return the favor. In other words Japanese leadership didn't care about their own either.

    WWII shaped the 20th century. Another thing people miss is this. The Germans and Japanese were really fighting two separate wars. They get lumped together as the Axis but that was a German\Italian term. Where the Allies especially the US and UK were very coordinated. It wasn't Axis v Allies. It was Allies vs Germany in Europe and Allies vs Japan in the Pacific.

    WWII is the one big win for the Russians as well. Aided heavily with western support. People think of the Red Army as this invincible force that never loses. Not the case.

    They lost WWI. They lost the Russo-Japanese War. Polish-Soviet War they lose. To Poland.

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    pgjacksonpgjackson Posts: 17,860 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
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    pgjacksonpgjackson Posts: 17,860 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Don't want to give anyone the impression that this Godzilla movie is some deeply moving, historically accurate depiction of post-WWII Japan. It's just a new Godzilla movie that has a very different spin from previous versions. It's still just a silly monster movie at heart.

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    pgjacksonpgjackson Posts: 17,860 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I just started this Nazi documentary. It is outstanding! Finished the first 2 episodes. Absolutely fascinating. So far what has come to light is that most people assume that Hitler suddenly burst onto the political scene and took power very quickly in the late 30s. In reality, Hitler's Nazi party goes back to the mid 1920's…it was a good 10-15 years of slowly convincing people that he was the good guy.

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    how2fishhow2fish Posts: 3,686 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I watched it last night and I thought it was a delightful throwback to the original movies Japanese overacting ,to a man in a monster suit ! It was worth the time I spent, but I could see younger folks that grew up with the newer version that is fighting Kong, Titans etc would be underwhelmed .

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    swilkerson7317swilkerson7317 Posts: 2,531 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    He should have been shot as a traitor after the Beer Hall putsch.

    That mistake cost millions their lives.

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    wpony714wpony714 Posts: 445 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I was fortunate, early in my career, to have a corporate insultant (you read that correctly) introduce me to Deming's philosophy and perspectives on management, quality control, etc. I took the 2-day leadership seminar and it was absolutely transformative for me. Japan brought Deming over and it was his teachings that largely brought Japan back to global prominence from a business and production standpoint.

    Anyone who has the chance or time to watch, I highly recommend the Red Bead Experiment.

    On the cinematic note, if you can find it, there's a terrific movie called Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence starring David Bowie as a POW in 1942 in Java. It centers mostly on the tense relationship between him and the camp's commander who is an adherent to the Samurai moral code. Great cast.

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    pgjacksonpgjackson Posts: 17,860 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    There's a great movie called Gung Ho with Michael Keaton and Gedde Wantnabe from 16 Candles that explores the differences between the American and Japanese manufacturing philosophy. Great movie. My favorite scene is when Michael and the Japanese manager talk about men taking a pee…Americans pee for distance, Japanese pee for accuracy. Fantasic movie.

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    BaxleydawgBaxleydawg Posts: 4,811 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I really like the plot, redemption , etc. I appreciate the old school Godzilla luck in a way but would have liked a more modern Godzilla. Overall I really enjoyed it

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