So I just finished watching the 1998 "Godzilla" remake with The Little Astronomer. After seeing (and enjoying) "Cloverfield", it seemed the thing to do.
When it came out 10 years ago, I saw it in the theater. I thought it was great! Fun, silly, great effects, didn't take itself seriously... yet it was almost universally panned. Everyone in the world seemed to hate it but me. So when I popped the disk into the player, I figured maybe this was another case of an old movie I liked that wouldn't hold up.
I was wrong. I mean, I was right in the first place. This movie is great.
Here's the deal: a lot of people hated it because they wanted a rubber-suit Godzilla movie. Too bad. Others hated it because they wanted an updated version more true to the actual original Japanese movie (which I need to see; the only version I saw of it was the terribly edited one with Raymond Burr jammed into it, who stuck out like a bug on a plate). Too bad. Some people thought it was too silly. Too bad.
It's a monster movie, folks. The people who made it knew that, so they threw in lots of funny stuff, letting the viewer know the movie isn't supposed to be taken too seriously. Completely unrealistic premise, ridiculous events, outrageously overdone chase scenes. But that's the point! It's a monster movie. It's supposed to be fun. Three people from "The Simpsons" were in it, for Pete's sake!
I think it was a lot of fun. TLA liked it too. The effects held up surprisingly well, too, which is a plus. Not perfect, but not bad. Also, having just seen "Cloverfield", it's fun to compare them. There are plenty of parallels: both take place in NYC, there is an important scene with the Brooklyn Bridge in both, subways are critical, and so on.
All in all, I say if you want a popcorn movie (or in our case, hamburgers and fries and then bowls of chocolate fudge ice cream), this is a pretty good pick.