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Criterion Release: Godzilla

January 24, 2012

The first time the film is widely available, Godzilla (Gojira) is being released on Blu-ray & DVD today as part of the Criterion Collection.  The original and best of the series from 1954, the Japanese film shows us the country in crisis as a radioactive lizard terrorizes a nation still deeply bruised from nuclear attack and H-bomb testing in the Pacific.

Beautifully restored on Blu-ray, the film still packs a surprisingly powerful punch.  Filled with visual and philosophical metaphors that go beyond pure destruction, the story of human suffering and fear of forces beyond your control still provokes just as much thought.  More than just another monster movie, Godzilla is the perfect embodiment of Japan’s fears of an unknown threat after the war.

The Blu-ray includes commentary with film historian David Kalat, interviews with the actors, special effects artists and the composer, a ‘behind the scenes’ featurette and more.  Also included is the edited 1956 “Americanized” version, Godzilla, King of the Monsters.  The pop-up packaging is a cool touch.

Godzilla is 96 minutes and rated PG.

-John C.

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