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KOTM: how much should a movie cater to fans?

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Titan of Water #TeamGodzilla

Dec-29-2019 2:57 PM

KOTM has got my thinking, how much focus should be on the fans in a movie franchise. On the one hand you have KOTM having so much fan service it gets annoying after awhile and doesn’t have any real impact on the story, and on the other you have films like the Last Jedi that give a complete middle finger to the fans. I don’t think either movie had a right response to their respective fanbases. So I want to discuss with you about how much of the fans pleasure vs the quality of a film should be focused on.

Putting incorrect opinions in their place! Gatekeeping power!!

8 Responses to KOTM: how much should a movie cater to fans?

JurassicKaiju14 #TeamGodzilla

Dec-29-2019 3:28 PM

For the most part, I thought KOTM's fan service was fine. I thought it was done in a way that long-time fans would appreciate, but newcomers would look at it and say "oh that looks cool", and then look it up later and go "oh, so they were referencing an older movie? Cool!". And to me, it felt like most of it was just little details here and there, like the numerical designations of the Monarch outposts or the soundtrack or things like that.

The only bit of fanservice that I don't think was handled well was Chen and her sister being this universe's version of the Shobijin. For us longtimers, we'd know all about it, but for newcomers, it wouldn't make any sense. It doesn't even play an actual role in the story (something that even the Oxygen Destroyer does), and just felt kinda cheap to me.

A true fan can acknowledge the bad while still appreciating and cherishing the good.

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Dec-29-2019 3:32 PM

I think as long as the movie is excellent, it shouldn't matter. Of course you're never going to make the perfect movie that appeals to everyone, but I always go back to one of my favorite movies for emphasis: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Wrath of Khan was directed by Nicholas Meyer--He was not a fan of Star Trek. He didn't hate it by any stretch, in fact he respected it so much he went back and watched the original series to find some inspiration.

He brought back an old villain from the television series and crafted a fresh, original story around him. It also put the characters in new situations while having the utmost reverence for the franchise.

There was no fan service, just the satisfaction of a great movie. And there lies the kicker: As long as we get great movies with our favorite characters, why do we need fan service and nostalgia?

Sure, I think having Ifukube's theme is fine--Much like the James Bond series continues to use Monty Norman's theme. And seeing old monsters return is fantastic as long as there's new, interesting stories and situations to craft around them.

But going out of the way to shoehorn a version of the Shobijin when the film clearly has no use for them is utterly pointless. Misusing important franchise staples, like Burning Godzilla or the Oxygen Destroyer, for a quick wrap and name drop (respectively) strikes me as a faux pas as well--Though I imagine the debate for/against those will rage on.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


JurassicKaiju14 #TeamGodzilla

Dec-29-2019 4:17 PM

G. H. (Gman) "But going out of the way to shoehorn a version of the Shobijin when the film clearly has no use for them is utterly pointless. Misusing important franchise staples, like Burning Godzilla or the Oxygen Destroyer, for a quick wrap and name drop (respectively) strikes me as a faux pas as well--Though I imagine the debate for/against those will rage on."

Totally agree with the Shobijin thing. I'm kinda so-so on the Oxygen Destroyer–I definitely think it could have been utilized a lot better, but I'm not too terribly broken up about it. In Burning Godzilla's defense, I've seen a lot of pre-KOTM fan-battles that used Burning mode as a last resort finale, and Godzilla: Unleashed even had such a form for every playable monster in the game (they even call it "critical mass" in KOTM, like in the game). So I imagine the people in charge thought that was what people wanted. I don't blame 'em, and I'm personally happy with it.

Also, Trek fan from the tender age of three, I liked your TWOK comparison. Good point. It took me years to get past the Ceti Eel scenes as a kid (they still freak me out), but once I did, I suddenly got why everyone says it's the best Trek film.

A true fan can acknowledge the bad while still appreciating and cherishing the good.

Gomi: Ninja Monster #TeamMothra

Dec-29-2019 6:37 PM

Not a Star Trek fan, but for the most part I tend to agree with G. H. (Gman) here. I have little actual experience with the series(Beyond was my first movie and I liked it, heresy I know), but I did get to watch the original movie and TWOK recently. From an outsider's perspective, I have to say the very extended look at the Enterprise in the Motion Picture was definitely a bit too much for an uninitiated newcomer.

I'd argue that the Shobijin were a victim of story cuts, the story in the credits and that scrapped after-credits scene pretty strongly imply that the mystical and telepathic aspects were a lot more prominent at one point, but I'll cede that what could have been doesn't affect what is in this case. I also agree with JurassicKaiju14 on Burning Godzilla, much like Ghidorah and Destoroyah I think its importance is rather overinflated by the fandom, but I was rather fond of calling it Fire Godzilla.

KingSalomonMMIV #TeamGodzilla

Dec-29-2019 7:05 PM

I've actually been thinking about this topic a lot the past few days ever since I read an article on a quote from an interview with the director of The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson:

 “I think approaching any creative process with making fandoms happy would be a mistake... I want to be shocked, I want to be surprised, I want to be thrown off-guard, I want to have things recontextualized, I want to be challenged as a fan when I sit down in the theater.”

This is actually something that I (for the most part) agree with. I want to be surprised when I’m watching a movie. This is what Rian Johnson wanted to do to Star Wars fans; surprise them. However, as a result, he got much backlash from the fans for not giving them what they wanted: Spoiler Alert (although you’ve most likely seen the movie), Luke throws his lightsaber away, Rey is a nobody, Snoke is not the main villain (Kylo Ren is), etc... Although I (like most) am not happy with a completely different Luke than what we saw in the previous films, I’m fine with the unpredictability and risks that Johnson made, my main critique with the film being the unnecessary subplot with Rose and Finn.

As for Godzilla KotM, the film tries so hard to please fans that it completely forgets to add twists and turns to the story. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely enjoyed KotM, but when I left the theater after my first viewing, I couldn’t help but think “Everything I thought was going to happen happened.” Part of the blame does go to the marketing of the film, which was overwhelming in the amount of spoiler filled footage used. Of course I loved it when I caught an easter egg or nod to an old Toho film, but at the same time I think that nostalgia is a cheap way to get people to see and like your film.

A perfect example of this is Avengers: Endgame, which completely relies on reusing so much footage from previous MCU movies so that its viewers will go “Wow, I remember that!” It would be best if directors could find the perfect balance between fan service and unpredictability and I do think that directors shouldn’t be scared to take risks. 

 

 

 

 

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Dec-29-2019 7:29 PM

JurassicKaiju14,
"In Burning Godzilla's defense, I've seen a lot of pre-KOTM fan-battles that used Burning mode as a last resort finale, and Godzilla: Unleashed even had such a form for every playable monster in the game (they even call it "critical mass" in KOTM, like in the game). So I imagine the people in charge thought that was what people wanted."

But by that logic putting it in the movie because, "that was what people wanted," is more serviceable to the fans than it is the story. I don't think there was any need for it in the movie--In fact its inclusion raised a lot of questions about what Stanton was talking about when he said Godzilla was about to "explode."

Whereas the form in 1995 is the entire reason Godzilla vs. Destoroyah has a story to begin with. It just seemed like a cheap video game finishing move employed for the sake of fan service.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


JurassicKaiju14 #TeamGodzilla

Dec-29-2019 7:41 PM

G. H. (Gman) Considering the uncertainty over whether Mothra triggered it herself as a second power-up or whether she did something to Godzilla to help him burn off all of that excess radiation (I subscribe to the latter theory), I see your point.

You know what I think happened? I think they wrote in the scene with the nuke recharge, but then somebody asked the same questions that were being asked on that nuclear narrative debate we had a while back, so they threw in the whole "buildup to explosion" factor as a way of saying "There, see? It's not a completely good thing, there are still consequences to nukes!", and then just threw in Burning Godzilla as the logical conclusion. Even when I was watching the movie, the whole time-to-detonation thing felt kind of tacked on and unnecessary. I actually flat out forgot it was a thing up until Stanton mentioned it again after Ghidorah's "UNLIMITED POWAAAAAAAH!!!" moment.

On the flip-side, Godzilla frying Ghidorah to death could be seen as another bit of the MonsterVerse's tendency towards cryptozoology and ancient monster myths. If I recall correctly, the only way to stop the mythical hydra from regrowing it's heads was to cauterize it's wounds when they were cut off. And considering Ghidorah's regeneration abilities, it wouldn't surprise me if maybe they were trying to go for that too.

A true fan can acknowledge the bad while still appreciating and cherishing the good.

dk

Dec-29-2019 9:35 PM

I am no Godzilla expert and knew going into KOTM that I would miss some references but I did get the Shobijin reference and I thought it was a bit strange. If anything it just made me feel good that I caught it.

A movie should cater to fans but also needs to not reinvent the wheel lest it stagnate. It also should take some chances to maybe pick up new fans. A franchise that has been around this long will never please everyone.

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