4K May 2019 - Godzilla

The 1998 Hollywood take on Godzilla stomps onto 4K Ultra HD. But how does this big green dude outing scrub up on the format? Is it a monster smash, or a monster hash?

The story: A Japanese fishing boat is attacked by a sea monster. The sole survivor claims that it was “Gojila”. An expert on the effects of radiation on wildlife is called in – that’d be Matthew Broderick – and determines that some form of mutant caused the chaos. Audiences shout, “Well duh!” at this juncture. A skin sample of the creature shows that it’s pregnant, but rather than it having a monster bonk-buddy out there somewhere, it can actually reproduce by itself. Bummer for it! But, being in the family way a: explains all of the fish that the creature seems obsessed with accumulating and b: that New York City is in a whole mess of trouble should they actually be birthed. Ah, but how to stop that from happening?

Throw in a self-centred ex-girlfriend, three voices from The Simpsons in Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer and, briefly, Nancy Cartwright, then add a whole lot of appropriately silly dialogue – this is, after all, a movie about a big mutant monster stomping all over NYC – and you have Godzilla, American style.

“This thing is much too big to be some lost dinosaur.”

The 4K disc: Godzilla is a very dark film. Not so much thematically – although “big mutant monster stomps city” isn’t exactly sweetness and light conceptually, we guess – but in its look. It rarely seems to stop raining, and almost everything’s just generally rather drab. However, this native 4K transfer does what such a transfer should, and delivers all of that drabness as sharply as possible. There are the odd brighter moments, and that’s where the HDR treatment really – and quite literally – shines. Grain is quite noticeable towards the beginning of the film, but tends to settle so that while still obvious if you tune into it, it does look fairly natural.

A big mutant monster’s stomps need a big monster sound, and Dolby Atmos certainly fits that bill. Ramp this loud enough and your neighbours will be dashing for their Godzilla repellent, fearing an actual invasion. Every footstep slams down with a satisfying thud, while all of that rain and the occasional accompanying storm fills the room delightfully. Somehow dialogue always remains dechiperable amongst the din, and in all this is a super-enjoyable audio trip.

A trio of trailers make up the extra features contained on the actual 4K disc here. That’s three more than the included standard Blu-ray, however, which only features the movie.

Release date: May 29, 2019
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.