06 Jun

Godzilla (2014)


– Joe Brody

Godzilla: King of Monsters is out, and by now you should absolutely know what that means here at Munch: time to go back to where it all started. Well, not quite that far back, as much as that would have been interesting to see that piece of history. We’re going back to the beginning of this most recent reboot that all started back in the year 2014. We are, of course, talking about the birth of the Monsterverse and modern masterpiece: Godzilla.

Godzilla’s origins in cinema are a reaction to the recent nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States as well as the results of nuclear testing at the Bikini Atoll. This gave rise to the idea of Godzilla: an irradiated lizard that causes general danger and destruction and more recently has been portrayed as a reluctant ally to humanity.

Godzilla’s origins are serious and harrowing, but the incarnations and the portrayals of the character since its initial introduction are less so. The monster’s irradiated origin, however, is a constant. Using this as the core concept, we set out to give life to a meal through the most common form of radiation present to us: the electromagnetic radiation in microwaves! Yes, we are going to cook our entire meal in a single microwave. Every. Single. Dish… Including the drink.

We started off with a broccoli/edamame/quinoa salad of sorts. We cooked the quinoa in the microwave, of course, then combined it with our microwaved veggies and some soy ginger vinaigrette and blasted it all at 1,000 watts. The result? What tastes like a frozen microwave meal but a little bit fresher. Somewhere between a fresh meal and a microwave meal, but closer to the microwave side. Godzilla would have scoffed at this dish.

We’re an ambitious bunch, so next, we decided to make apple spiced honey pork ribs with bourbon BBQ sauce. The challenge here was cooking these bad boys exclusively in the microwave without giving ourselves food poisoning. The answer, it turns out, is to wrap them with plastic wrap and microwave them for about 11 minutes between 400 and 600 watts. At least, that was the answer the recipe provided us with. The recipe did not take into account the dank, fat ribs we were cooking, so our pork was severely undercooked. We realized this once we cut into it, and had to finish it with a quick sear. Crisis averted, but the scientific integrity of our experiment was gone. To this day, we still couldn’t give you a good answer for how to cook fat ribs in the microwave other than, microwave it longer? A dubious suggestion, no doubt.

We closed out with an unconventional dessert: blueberry pancakes. We based our recipe off Chrissy Teigen’s blueberry cream cheese bomb pancakes, but deviated a little bit in that we cooked them in the microwave. Yup, pancakes in a jar, in the microwave, for dessert. It seems like an idea so crazy, it just might work.

Well, we tried it, and it didn’t really work. Yes, it cooked the batter, but at the cost of that much-needed texture – the classic crispy exterior and fluffy interior that we all associate with the best kinds of Sunday mornings. We were left with (there’s not really another way to put it) microwaved batter. Edible, reminiscent of the flavor of pancakes, but with a jiggly, responsive, and distinctly memory foam sort of texture that could only easily be described as the texture of early Godzilla suits.

Let us not forget the drink! We made Nuked Negroni Punch in, you guessed it, the microwave. Why, you ask? To quickly infuse blackberry, grapefruit, and rosemary flavors into the gin/campari/vermouth cocktail, without having to let those flavors set overnight. It would be a shame to put actual time and effort into something you’re just going to drink, right?

Did that sound sarcastic? It was meant to sound sarcastic. We worship the cocktail here at Munch, and fortunately for you, we can confidently say that this was probably the best item of the menu. We never said the menus we make for Munch would actually be good, we only promised they’d be on theme.

What is left but to talk about the movie, which we so boldly referred to as a modern masterpiece earlier? It may be time to walk that statement back a bit – Godzilla is great, but Godzilla has some weak points. Namely, everything except Godzilla. Bryan Cranston could have been a highlight, but they threw that asset away about 20 minutes into the movie. Seriously, if you sign Bryan Cranston, you should really take advantage of that! Instead, we got entirely too much of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who put on one of the poorest lead performances in recent memory and, frankly, picked the most basic of his many varied looks.

The plot was threadbare, but at least the CGI was impressive. Godzilla looked as big and beautiful as ever, and we got some truly jaw-dropping scenes of her in the water. If you’re a fan of Godzilla, you’ll probably like this movie. Otherwise… Maybe skip it.

The Reviews:

AndrĂ©: It was totally fine, but I’m not itching to watch it again anytime soon. When you’re watching the first movie in a series, you want to be excited about it and left wanting more. I found myself wanting less Godzilla. There were some legitimately fun parts, and some fun parts to laugh at, but overall…not my favorite blockbuster. I’d say watching this movie twice is one time too many.

Leanna: Can someone make a supercut of just the scenes the monsters are in? I do remember liking this movie a lot more in theaters. Maybe it was the novelty of seeing one of my childhood heroes on the big screen as an adult (I had a thing for Godzilla movies as a child), or maybe it was just that some action movies are made for the theater and don’t translate well to a home viewing. The first half of this movie was entirely too slow, but once Godzilla showed up, things got a lot better. It just takes too long to get there and there’s entirely too much filler of characters we never really cared about.

Ben: 60%. On my first watch of Godzilla, it took me a little bit to warm up to what the film was going for but when I finally got on the ride, it was a joy. Which made this viewing such a surprise as the magical ride I was taken on was revealed to be in pretty rough shape, and barely able to get up the first climb. While it did have a couple of beautiful sights on the way, the entire ride was one I never wanted to be on again. Enough of this roller coaster metaphor though. Godzilla seems to be more of a spectacle for a big screen that demands your attention, and beyond that it isn’t offering much.