a pre-view by the Crow and the Azure-Winged Magpie.
Note: This post was originally much longer. It’s since been split into two.
Expect Part 3 of this series before 2018 is out.
In addition: Apologies if some images take a while to load. They’re quite… heavy.
Kɪɴɢ ᴏꜰ ᴛʜᴇ Mᴏɴsᴛᴇʀs
ᴛʜᴇ Cʀᴏᴡ: ᴛʜᴇ Mᴏɴsᴛᴇʀᴠᴇʀsᴇ (ᴀs ɪᴛ sᴛᴀɴᴅs)
ᴀɴᴅ ᴡʜʏ ɪᴛ ᴄᴏᴜʟᴅ ʙᴇ sᴇᴛ ꜰᴏʀ ɢʀᴇᴀᴛɴᴇss
Day before yesterday (since we’re a day behind), at 1700 GMT, the second trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters was released. And one would’ve had to have been there — waiting with the rest — to feel the sheer anticipation reeking off the thousands of kaijū fans world-wide.
As one myself, I must admit: it was nothing short of scintillating.
Where the first trailer pointed to world-ending — as humans would know it, anyway — ramifications before slipping into a look at the sheer majesty of the Titans (Kaijū), this trailer delivers a far-removed product.
It’s a product that takes all the elements of the first and passes them through the raging, radioactive veins of the god-like creatures who are to take centre stage in the upcoming movie — with all the subtelty of a brick to the face — before running with it (quite literally) until the frame has no choice but to cut to black.
A few days prior, Marvel Entertainment released the first trailer to Avengers: Endgame. That trailer would have been the basis of a post here on The Corvid Review; however, it’s barely a trailer, and doesn’t warrant as much attention as this just at the moment.
I speak for the both of us on The Corvid Review when I say that we might just be more excited for Godzilla: King of the Monsters than Avengers: Endgame. Don’t get me wrong, I still find the Avengers project to be a monumental achievement (even though I’m loathe to admit that Infinity War might be the movie I’ll have to default a number one spot to for 2018 in a few weeks), but what we’re seeing with Legendary’s “Monsterverse” is the birth of a rival franchise. DC has tried, and keeps trying — and has utterly failed. Whatever “Dark Universe” 2017’s The Mummy was meant to spawn was dead on arrival. But here, with the Monsterverse, Legendary might have struck upon a true contender to nip at Marvel’s heels. With Endgame promising a violent shift in the structure of the MCU, the Monsterverse has a window in which to establish a foothold on the battlefield.
Now, I don’t expect there to be a real battle, here. The MCU is far too large, and has too wide an existing fan-base for the Monsterverse to compete with on a financial level. But if anyone seems to be able to co-exist with the MCU, make a few stacks of cash along the way, all while not being decimated by fans and critics alike — the Monsterverse is the best bet.
And why is this? Simple: it’s the very nature of the Monsterverse.
Spearheaded by Godzilla, one of the oldest — and most famous — recurring characters on the big screen, and powered by a sizeable amount of lore to pick-and-choose from, the Monsterverse has a lot of material to work with (almost 90 years’ worth). So there are the basics in the bag. This is where all shared universes start from, after all. But star power aside…
When one really thinks about it, what is the Monsterverse?
It’s a universe that deals with giant, superpowered creatures facing off against one another. All else can come and go, but that’s what stands right in the middle. This element in itself spawned the niche of fans that are most excited for the Monsterverse. Movies the like of Shin Gojira are always welcome, as reminders of the genre’s roots, and of the heavy themes that are associated with it, but the vast majority of the genre’s fanfare is rooted in the combat. Therefore: combat is key. This element is one of the main reasons why I rated 2014’s Godzilla so much lower than the Azure-Winged Magpie. Apart from it having a lack of interesing characters — albeit the space to develop them — and a collection of downright stupid moments, it also failed to deliver on the one element that would have at least satiated some of the more ‘base’ desires of the crowd. (It’s not like the movie was terrible, either; it just came up short.)
And this is where the Monsterverse can slip into one of the two key sweet spots that have been left open for the taking. The current majority of movies that make bank tend to have simpler plots — a result of the utter lunacy that’s become symptomatic of current-day politics/news. With the world stage a showcase for imbeciles and round-the-clock, 24-hour cycles of depression and negativity, the simpler fare is what people — on the whole — prefer. Right now, hope — however escapist — could very well be a weapon.
Of course, this doesn’t mean movies have to be simple. It’s just what’s popular right now. And let’s face it, apart from ゴジラ/Gojira and Shin Gojira, none of the movies that make up the source material are particularly ‘deep’ (the less said about the animated Godzilla project, the better). If anything, apart from those two examples, the kaijū movies which have even attempted to be heavy-handed usually keep their themes at a distance.
So we have the kind of movie that works right now. That’s one sweet spot checked off the box. The movies don’t have to be heavy-handed. It needs big, pretty-looking action. It needs a handful of things to look at (for the awe of the kaijū/Titans is half the fun).
“But what about the human characters?” I hear you ask. Wasn’t this a crow’s major complaint about 2014’s Godzilla? Of course, we need good characters. And it seems King of the Monsters has spent some time developing a handful, which would be a breath of fresh air when compared to Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island (which was also middling, in my estimation).
(Just looking at how long I’ve spent on these points, I should begin to ask myself what I’m doing with my life, considering what I’m talking about.)
Okay, so we’ve got a good start. But what’s it that makes me think that the Monsterverse has a chance in hell at succeeding under the shadow of the MCU, even though they might make for enjoyable watching?
The answer is: Avengers: Endgame. The shift I mentioned is the second sweet spot. To start with, the interest in franchise movies is at the highest it’s ever been; and with the significant ripples Endgame will set off around the MCU, and the litany of lesser-known-heroes (and a significantly for-once-not-the-most-popular Spider-Man) taking over from the core cast of the Avengers project, the Monsterverse has lucked itself (unless it was by design all along) into the perfect time-frame to succeed. King of the Monsters releases almost a month after Endgame, and I have a feeling a good portion of the viewing public will still be riding the wave from Endgame, and find themselves lining up for King of the Monsters. Where one franchise meets an ‘end’ (to whatever degree), another is just starting to find its feet. It’s a win-win for all involved.
Yes. I’m predicting King of the Monsters is going to rake in a significant amount of cash. More than people would like to think. Not only has the new trailer won new fans, and set the kaijū fanbase into a frenzy, but it’s promised a future and a heavy sack of cash to ensure it.
And yet, there’s a heavy sense of trepidation amongst fans that the movie will be a blip felt by audiences the world-over, but end up being no market-breaker.
They’re right, of course. But I wager King of the Monsters will certainly put a bigger dent in that market than they think. Personally, I can see the franchise going on a long rampage, as long as any and all rights issues between Legendary and Toho are smoothed-over and smart people are put at the helm (still not entirely sold on Godzilla vs Kong‘s Adam Wingard, myself).
If — and that’s a big ‘if’ — Godzilla vs Kong is supposed to be the last time we see this edition of Godzilla for the time being, as unlikely as it sounds, the Monsterverse may well continue. As long as Godzilla’s story is given a worthy end, I see no issue with that.
Conversely, it might end. But even if it does — again: unlikely — they’ll have done a fine — but not brilliant — job of things. So far, none of the movies in the franchise have been stinkers, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters seems far from one. Stinkers can be spotted early. No one but the executives who fail to nip said stinkers in the bud are that stupid, after all.
The Monsterverse has made smart choices, and I think there’s a sense of acceptance that the first two movies in its charge weren’t exactly good cinema. But they’ve played the waiting game. They waited to see if Godzilla would be a success, they played a safer game with Kong: Skull Island — easing audiences in to the idea of a shared universe (albeit announcing that Kong existed in Godzilla’s world behind the scenes to the fans, who’d have been the only people listening), and with Marvel already having prepared people for the idea of a shared universe, they decided to lets its miniature worlds collide in their third entry to the series.
ᴡʜʏ sʜᴀʀᴇᴅ ᴜɴɪᴠᴇʀsᴇs ꜰᴀɪʟ
ᴀɴᴅ ᴡʜᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ Mᴏɴsᴛᴇʀᴠᴇʀsᴇ ʜᴀs ᴅᴏɴᴇ ʀɪɢʜᴛ sᴏ ꜰᴀʀ
Unlike the twin failures of the DCEU and the “Dark Universe” that I mentioned earlier, the Monsterverse has found itself playing a longer game. The DCEU was rushed, and the “Dark Universe” put its eggs straight in one basket right by the shelves at the shop by making nothing but silly choices one after the other.
The DCEU slipped and fell — into a puddle of Kryptonian goop of its own making — by having the “Batman” go “vs” Superman right in its second outing, and then (spoiler alert) killing one of its centrepieces in it. That will always be one of the dumbest ideas anyone has ever had, but enough about that rotten franchise. The Dark Universe — on the other hand — was dumb enough to tie the shared aspects of its universe halfway into the story of the very first movie of the franchise. And these are both problems that the Monsterverse has avoided.
For all we know, unlike in the two failures I mention, Kong and Godzilla have never crossed paths (although monarchsciences.com might say otherwise). Marvel played the smarter game by having all mentions restricted to cameos and post-credits scenes — slowly building anticipation until people were comfortable with the idea of having these mythological (let’s face it: they are) characters collide. And the Monsterverse has done a similar job, but a little faster, since the MCU’s already laid the groundwork as I pointed out earlier; and so: they’re the only franchise to have done it right.
It won’t be a rivalry that features animosity or antagonism, this competition between the MCU and the Monsterverse. Instead, it’s a muually-beneficial relationship in which both universes will simply exist with each other. And that sounds like nothing but happiness to my ears.
The Crow: With all that said, it’s time to take a closer look at the movie in question.
In this post, the Azure-Winged Magpie and I will be taking another corvid-eyed look at the kaijū we’ve seen so far, and go into details we’d previously left untouched. There will be some minor speculation in this post, and there will be just as many details that have been confirmed to be in the movie. All significant speculation and discussion about leaks will be reserved for Part 3 of this series.
I don’t believe that this calls for a spoiler warning, but just in case we happen to be right and someone goes a few pennies short of a pound because of it (it’s happened before), here’s a:
WARNING: THIS SECTION CONTAINS MINOR SPECULATION AND WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER WHAT WE MIGHT BE RIGHT ABOUT
Now that our needless little disclaimer’s been put in place, let’s go over the…
ᴛʜᴇ Aᴢᴜʀᴇ-Wɪɴɢᴇᴅ Mᴀɢᴘɪᴇ: Tᴀʟᴇ ᴏꜰ ᴛʜᴇ Tᴀᴘᴇ:
As with most movies featuring kaijū, Godzilla: King of the Monsters boasts combatants set to face one another over the course of the story. In this case (as we’ve covered before), there are four ‘starring’ participants, the three “san daikaijū”, and another who isn’t considered part of this holy trinity, but is a daikaijū nonetheless.
And now, to handle the official introductions,
it’s over to the veteran voice of the nest-a-gon…
ᴛʜᴇ Aᴢᴜʀᴇ-Wɪɴɢᴇᴅ Mᴀɢᴘɪᴇ
🎤(ಠ ◡ ಠ✿)!
The Azure-Winged Magpie: Hello-hello, humans and birdys and delicious fishies!
It’s Mama-kaijū Magpie here. Are you ready for a fight?
IN THE SKY CORNER! Weighing in at GIANT PTERANODON WEIGHT and perching 154 FEET HIGH, FIGHTING OUT OF ISLA DE
MONA MARA, MEXICO, WITH AN OFFICIAL RECORD OF SIX FILMS AND FOUR CAMEOS, IIIIIIIIT’S…
🔥 Rᴏᴅᴀɴ 🔥
The Azure-Winged Magpie: Ain’t NO way Rodan’s as small wtf?! Did I just say small? as the Tale of the Tape down under says. Those things getting blowed up all around his barrel-rolliness? Those are fighter jets. We WORK on those things. And nope… Rodan looks a buncha feet bigger than the tape says. Or are my zoomy eyes playing tricks on me?
Whatever. The thing is that he’s big. He’s meano-faced. And he’s STILL ON FIRE. I mean… straight-talk. Put that out, Rodan. I can’t see you being one GIANT yummy-delicious BBQ chickenwing, bae.
But yeah he looks fast AF, and he’s got his thunderclaps, and he’s sweeping people up just whenever he goes runs around for any other glide above their little heads. I bet Rodan’s the fastest out of the kaiju. And I betcha he’s going to be all flip-floppy like the Crow said he’d be in our last preview. I guess there’s a chance he’s gonna be a mini-boss leading up to the Big KG. But what I’m more twisted about is HOW HE STAYS ON FIRE. I mean I get he’s got like a combustion engine thing going on, but those don’t look like afterburners. The dude’s on FIRE (I went there. Deal with it).
One thing I’d like to see in KotM is the Rodan vs fighter jets scene. I want it to be long. And I want Rodan to chomp on em like they’re the chickenwings. And you see that big fat aircraft in the trailer? The one that looks like a B-2 Stealth Edition? I kinda think that there’s more to that plane than meets the eye. I don’t really know what it’s telling me but I don’t think that plane’s there JUST BECAUSE (I’ll get to this in Part 3 where I’ll be telling ALL about all the things that might go bump in Monster-Land!).
ANYWAY! HERE’S THE TALE OF THE TAPE (why do they call it that?)!
Tᴀʟᴇ ᴏꜰ ᴛʜᴇ Tᴀᴘᴇ
εεε – 🎤(◡ ▽ ◡ ✿)… ahhh!
IN THE BUZZ-BUZZ CORNER! Weighing in at I WANT HUGS WEIGHT and buzzing 52 FEET HIGH, FIGHTING OUT OF THE YUNNAN RAINFOREST, CHINA, WITH AN OFFICIAL RECORD OF THIRTEEN FILMS AND THREE CAMEOS, IIIIIIIIT’S…
🦋 Mᴏᴛʜʀᴀ 🦋
The Azure-Winged Magpie: I always wanted to be one of Auntie Mothra’s fairies… (◕︿◕✿)
But the hell with that! SHE LOOKS SO COOL! I always loved Auntie Mothra as much as I loved the snuggly scales off My King. And HERE SHE IS. She’s nice to the stupid little humans (WHY DOES SHE HAVE TO BE SO NICE?!) and she’s all BLOOP-BWOOP and cute in her pupa form. But when the Big KG starts causing all sortsa hell all over the gaff, she’s like: RAWR! I KILL YOU!PIPPIPPIP! and goes all claws out like you see in her feature clip up there.
And if you look a little more carefully (or had corvid eyes), you can see Rodan there behind her. I bet you lot she just gave him a stern talk for being a naughty boy and is dragging him into the fisticuffy-ness before sending him to the corner to think about what he’s done.
Now the thing is we really haven’t seen much with Her Fuzzy Buzziness in it. But we know she’s gonna be important to the story. She’s the one who can sit everyone down (probs with tea and scones) and get everyone to get along so that they can go deal with the Big KG when the doo-doo hits the fan. But… I got a bad feeling about her in this one.
I mean fans are going to know this, but… what are we all really thinking about where Her Fuzzy Buzziness is going to end up in this one? I have a feeling that we’re going to see that in KotM…
And that makes me… makes me…
But hey! She’s here! She’s everyone’s favourite Auntie and everyone’s her favourite niece and/or nephew and/or birdy and/or fishy. And she’s here to SAVE THE DAY! AND SHE’S GONE LOOK GOOOOD WHILE SHE DOES IT!
Tᴀʟᴇ ᴏꜰ ᴛʜᴇ Tᴀᴘᴇ
εεε – 🎤(◡ ▽ ◡ ✿)… ahhh!
IN THE WE’RE F–ED CORNER! Weighing in at F– YOU’RE BIG WEIGHT and snaking 521 F–IN FEET HIGH, FIGHTING OUT OF F–IN NOWHERE, ANTARCTICA, WITH AN OFFICIAL RECORD OF FIVE FILMS AND TWO CAMEOS, IIIIIIIIT’S…
⚡ Gʜɪᴅᴏʀᴀʜ ⚡
The Azure-Winged Magpie: Hoo boy! HOO BOY!
It’s im. It’s the one that gives my ancestors a bad name. The big yellow three head-having POOPOOHEAD who keeps giving my King a hard day every other millenium. And DAMN is he a biggun! He SO BIG he makes my brain cube hurt…
This f–er is HUGE! And damn… he zappin’ folk left. He zappin’ folk right. He zappin’ folk ALL OVER THE PLACE. He’s all big and spiky and all snakey and stirs up STORMS wherever he floats by. And he’s got no good intentions in his brain cubes…
And OH YASSS!!! He’s not just gonna be floating by for a few seconds like in another film I could talk about… He’s here to KICK NAMES AND TAKE ASSES! And the trailer that’s just came out showed EVERYTHING I’ve been waiting for! The King and The Big KG throwing down over a city, all heads and claws and teeth and tails and…
Hoo boy! We got a kaiju fight! We got a kaiju fight! WE GOT A KAIJU FIGHT!
ALL I WANT FOR (NEXT) CHRISTMAS…
IS A KAIJU FIGHT!
Tᴀʟᴇ ᴏꜰ ᴛʜᴇ Tᴀᴘᴇ
εεε – 🎤(◡ ▽ ◡ ✿)… ahhh!
IN THE ALL HAIL THE KING CORNER! Weighing in at BIG BOI WEIGHT and standing 355 HUGE BOI FEET HIGH, FIGHTING OUT OF THE OCEANS, PLANET EARTH, WITH AN OFFICIAL COMBINED RECORD OF THIRTY FILMS AND FOUR CAMEOS, IIIIIIIIT’S…
☢ Gᴏᴅᴢɪʟʟᴀ ☢
The Azure-Winged Magpie: In this one His Holy Nuclear Scaliness God-King Gojira of August Majesty over the Monsters, the First of His Name, the King of the Monsters and the Kaiju (which all of you lot need to start calling him) is one BIG BOI. But! He’s smaller than the Big KG! And that’s a problem. A BIG BIG BIG problem…
The Big KG’s always been a little bigger than our Big King, but in this one… birds is he ever f–in HUGE. And that’s ain’t right you lot. That ain’t right one bit. So… someone needs to snippy choppy the Big KG down to size. And I’m handing out a bucket of fuzzies to whoever guesses who THAT’S gonna be…
We ALL know how this should go. We ALL expect the King to be serving up Big KG Head-Brand SashimiTM to his … er… friends at the end of the film.
And that’s what we’re gonna get… right? Right? Right?!
That’s what we’re all expecting, and it would be really really really awkway if they went ahead and just switched things up with the Big KG surviving or him winning the big final showdown. But just look at the three-head… He looks like someone who might just kinda sorta actually maaaybe give the King a jog for his royal dosh. And even though we’re ALL supposed to be in the knowhow and all about how the story’s going to go and who bites it and who beats whose face in… WHAT IF WE DON’T?
What if NONE of us were leaked the actual story and the story’s really one of those “SURPRISE M–F–ERS!” which goes and pulls a Mad Titanlololol on us?!
I mean… it could happen… I know it’s probably won’t, but just in case…
The Azure-Winged Magpie: It’s not like the King could lose. I mean… he’s God-King Godzilla after all. What’s one three-headed snaky-facey, world-killing, dragon-looking muppet gonna do to him?
I’m seeing Sashimi on plates in the future. And hoo boy… looking at the size of that Devil-King side of yummy-yummy snake… there’s going to be a LOT to go around.
What’s leaked out and all over the inter-tubes and stuff is that the King’s going to “power-up” at some point in the film and that he’s going to look a little different. He’s going to get fins that look more like his classic 1954 design and maybe have a few new powers up his gills.
I don’t know if this means that he’s going to be able to change up his blue special FX or start blazing out spirals and all that. But I know is that designs change in between films. So it’s not such a big deal to me. I do think it’s going to be a thing in the story though.
BUT YEAH! That’s the King walking into the big old fistfight. And you better believe he’s ready to defend that Apex-Predator crown against WHOEVER the film gods can gonna throw at him!
εεε – 🎤(◡ ▽ ◡ ✿)… ahhh!
ᴛʜᴇ Oᴅᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ Eɴᴅs
The Azure-Winged Magpie: AND THAT’S THE TALE OF THE TAPE!
…what’re the odds on these kaijus…?!
I mean… they’re big and strong and fighty and all annoyed with each other. And they’re about to throw down… AND NO ONE’S PUTTING ON BETS?!
Right! Let’s get everyone started!
I’ll put a few score down on the God King! I’ll put a few score down! Right on the God-King!
I’m calling a Round 3 Dead-ing by head-rippy-offiness! And I’ll maybe put down a penny on the three headed b–rd too, just in case. I mean… his chances of even putting a dent in the King’s prim Nuclear Scales are SO ITTY BITTY PUNY TINY that the odds are gonna be SUPERMAHOOSIVE right?!
Let’s round all our fighters up and get this tabled!
Let’s see… we got:
Yup! That’s all of them! And those are the odds and everything you need!
Come on you lot! Let’s see those wallets! Mama-Kaiju Magpie’s taking bets!
🎤(ಠ ◡ ಠ✿)! 💰
I’ll be seeing you lot in Part 3, where I’m going in deep to Leak-land! I’ll be telling you all about everything that could be in the film, would be in the film and should be in the film!
I’ve got loads and loadsa surprises lined up!
So get ready to be…
SHOCKED by the…
TEN (ᴏʀ ᴍᴏʀᴇ) ᴛʜɪɴɢs ʏᴏᴜ ᴡᴏɴ’ᴛ BELIEVE
ʜᴀᴘᴘᴇɴ ɪɴ GODZILLA: THE KING OF THE MONSTERS
(See? I could do the Daily Rags’ jobs for em!)!
See you lot later! Love you loads!
ᴛʜᴇ Cʀᴏᴡ: A Tɪᴍᴇ ᴏꜰ Mᴏɴsᴛᴇʀs [ᴀɴᴅ ʀᴇᴠɪᴇᴡs]
As stated earlier, we’ll be going over the vast amounts of speculation in Part 3 of this series. Until then, we’ll return to our regularly-scheduled programming since there’s a lot to be done before we close out 2018 on The Corvid Review. My next post should involve The Shape of Water, but it’s more likely that I’ll review something else considering the trouble I’m having with that movie. The Azure-Winged Magpie will be reviewing Aquaman within the next few hours, but might drop a review she’s been working on that’s secret even to myself. The Swan(!)’s going to make one final appearance — for the forseeable future — as well, exactly one week from now, with a review of The Man With the Golden Gun.
Another review we have planned for this week is Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle.
Whatever the case, we should have Part 3 completed following those reviews, so expect a solid round of posts from us in the coming two weeks.
We would like to know your thoughts on our new format and would greatly appreciate any and all feedback you might have for us.
We’d also like to know what you think of Godzilla: King of the Monsters; if you’re a kaijū fan like us, hello! And if you’re a newcomer, we’d be happy to answer any and all questions you might have.
Until next time,
— Crow out.
Here’s the official poster: