Godzilla 3D Blu-ray Disc Review

Godzilla roars into your home theater in 3D!

Godzilla 3D Blu-ray Disc
Godzilla 3D Blu-ray Disc.  Image by Robert Silva for Lifewire

Godzilla is back! Once again, the King of the Monsters has returned, bigger and "badder" than ever with new enemies, and in 3D. This film is also the first entry in the Legendary Studios Monsterverse which includes Kong Skull Island and forthcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs Kong.

Story

Although the history of Godzilla starts just at the end of World War II, the film picks up the Godzilla saga in 1999, when both a mysterious discovery is made in a Philippine mine, followed by an unexpected "earthquake" that causes the destruction of a nuclear power plant located near a highly-populated city in Japan.

As a result, events are set in motion that could mean the potential destruction of humanity by gigantic battling monsters - referred to as MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms) that cannot be contained by humans. On one side there are two creatures (one male and one female), and on the other is Godzilla - they are natural enemies.

As the events unfold, and humanity tries to get a grip on the MUTOs path of destruction (Japan, Hawaii, and Las Vegas), the monsters converge on San Francisco for a final showdown at which U.S. military hopes destroy them all. Will Godzilla defeat the other MUTOs? Will the military succeed in its mission to destroy all of the monsters? Is this the beginning of the end of mankind?

Blu-ray Disc presentation - Video

The 1080p 2.40 aspect ratio transfer to Blu-ray was excellent. The visual look of the film, although dark in many parts, is excellent. Detail, color, and contrast are well-balanced throughout and the attention to detail in both the physical and CGI elements are evident.

3D

I had the chance to see Godzilla theatrically in 3D before viewing it on Blu-ray, and I actually preferred the Blu-ray 3D viewing result, even though it was on a smaller screen.

The things that stood out when watching the 3D Blu-ray, was that although there was almost no "comin' at ya" 3D effects (you would think a Godzilla movie would be a perfect excuse for it), the emphasis on depth and detail exhibited a natural-looking 3D effect.

The 3D effect actually draws you into the nuclear power plant control room, as well as the Philippine cave where an important discovery is made. Also, as Godzilla and his opponents weave through the San Francisco cityscape, the 3D effect provides a natural feel and perspective of the size and shape the buildings, as well as the distance between them. In addition, when you see close-ups of Godzilla, the three-dimensional detail of his skin and "spikes" make him look even more fierce.

The 3D presentation also reveals how well 3D conversion technology has advanced. There wasn't any point in the film where the 3D effects were off due to the conversion process.

On the other hand, just as with any 3D film (natively shot or converted), there were a few instances that revealed issues that 3D still faces. Although the 3D presentation is mostly ghost-free, there were a few instances in dark scenes where the lack of contrast makes it hard to prevent brief haloing on small fast-moving objects (in this case, soldiers running through ruined streets). Also, in another scene, there is a small boat on a bay passing behind a grated metal fence, which also results in some shimmering and haloing that was distracting.

However, taking all into consideration, the 3D presentation was very good, and if you are a 3D fan, it is worth checking out.

Blu-ray Disc Presentation - Audio

Godzilla delivers a great DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack (it really helps that the film was originally mixed for theatrical Dolby Atmos presentation). The center channel dialog was well-balanced against the main and surround channels. The surround channels and subwoofer are definitely active and used to excellent immersive dramatic effect throughout the film.

Along with the extensive layering of sound effects, the music score is very-well composed and executed, especially the way it was timed with the action of the final battle scene.

Blu-ray Disc Bonus Features

NOTE: The bonus features are included on both the 3D and 2D Blu-ray Disc packages. However, in the 3D package, the Bonus features must be viewed on the 2D Blu-ray Disc.

  • Godzilla: Force of Nature: Director Gareth Edwards, along with select cast and crew, discuss the legacy of the Godzilla and how the movie both tries to pay homage to Godzilla's past and takes it in a new direction for the present and future.
  • A Whole New Level of Destruction: A short look at constructing the sets that ended up being destroyed (of course!).
  • Into the Void: The HALO Jump: A closer look at how the HALO jump scene, which was key in promoting the film was developed and executed.
  • Ancient Enemy - The MUTOs: A look at Godzilla's opponents, the MUTO's - how they were conceived, designed, and integrated into the story.
  • MONARCH - Declassified: This consists of three featurettes shot in an old-style newsreel/propaganda film format that "reveals" secret knowledge compiled by a secret agency tracking Godzilla through the years.Operation Lucky Dragon focuses on early Godzilla sightings, beginning shortly after WWII.
    • The MUTO File goes into info collected about the other two MUTOs.
    • The Godzilla Revelation is a follow-up "documentary" that discusses the aftermath of the appearance of both Godzilla and the MUTOs.

    The Bottom Line

    Although it is great to see the new incarnation of Godzilla, both on the big screen, and at home, there were some disappointments.

    Considering the "star power" cast, the film features just average acting. Also, some odd plot decisions, such as killing off one of the main characters early in the film sucked out some the human energy going forward. Also, although Godzilla looked great when he was onscreen, he really didn't have that much screen time (about 15 minutes out of the entire film) - he was a guest star in his own movie.

    Also, the bonus features did not include a Director's Commentary, which would have given more insight as to why Gareth Edwards made the decisions he did regarding the characters and showing (and not showing) Godzilla and the other monsters at key points in the film.

    Although the included bonus features were quite good (although brief), it would have been nice to include the San Diego Comic-con presentations where the first teaser and rough footage of the MUTO attack on the Honolulu Airport were shown and the promotional ​Godzilla Encounter exhibited. 

    On the other hand, the film's production design was excellent, and the integration of practical and GGI elements, dramatic action, and supporting music score delivers a great entertainment experience - especially in 3D.

    This film is the first in a series that will include King Kong as well as some other classic Godzilla foes. So far, it has been indicated that our King of the Monsters will face off with ​Mothra, King Ghidorah, and/or Rodan).

    Make room on your shelf and make sure your screen is big and your subwoofer is ready!

    NOTE: Although this review centers on the 3D Blu-ray version, it is available in a 2D-only Blu-ray and DVD version as well.

    Film and Disc Stats

    Studio: Warner Bros/Legendary Films

    Running Time: 123 Minutes

    MPAA Rating: PG-13

    Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

    Director: Gareth Edwards

    Screenplay Max Borenstein

    Executive Producer: Patricia Whitcher (and others)

    Producer: Thomas Tull (and others)

    Discs: Two 50 GB Blu-ray Disc, One DVD.

    Digital Copy: UltraViolet

    Video Specifications: Video codec - MVC MPEG4, Video resolution - 1080p, Aspect ratio - 2.40:1 - Special features and supplements in various resolutions and aspect ratios.

    3D Conversion: StereoD

    Audio Specifications: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 options provided. (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, Spanish, French).

    Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish.

    NOTE: The 3D Blu-ray Disc package reviewed was purchased at the full advertised retail price.