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DVD Title
 Godzilla vs. Biollante
International Title
 Godzilla vs. Biollante
Movie Length: 104 minutes Original Length: 104 minutes
Company: Echo Bridge Release: 2012
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic: Yes
Region: 1Discs: 1
  
Language/Sound:
Japanese (5.1 Surround), Japanese (2.0 Stereo), English (1.0 Mono)
Subtitles:
English
Extras
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (12)
· Making of Godzilla vs. Biollante (49 minutes)
· Behind the Design (3 minutes)
Captures
Review
Anthony Romero

The first time the film has been available on DVD in the United States, following a lengthy rights ownership from a previously uninterested Miramax until Echo Bridge came along, this disc will likely be the first introduction for many to the second Heisei series Godzilla flick. As far as an introduction goes, while nothing extraordinary, the disc is good if not stellar thanks to some so-so video, but for the bargain bin price the DVD sells for it's a great deal that benefits from good audio and extra presentations.


 Video:

The video track found on the DVD more or less matches the one found on the Blu-ray release, save more compression and a smaller resolution size. The biggest fault with the release is that the colors are fairly bland, lacking a vibrant array. As many know, the video track itself comes from Toho's own Blu-ray release in Japan, and in this case was converted for the DVD. So the complaint should be well versed for anyone familiar with the disc that Toho published in Japan. Still, to highlight the lacking colors, take a look at a still from this release and the over saturated region 3 release. The latter has a washed out pallet, but the normal array should be something in between and the two present a stark contrast to one another regardless.

As far as the print used for the transfer, it's in stellar condition with no notable discrepancies. It does, however, use the original Japanese version of the film. This means that on screen text, such as the alert levels, are in Japanese, while the disc also has burned in Japanese subtitles for the numerous scenes where the characters speak English.

Godzilla vs. Biollante is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio:

Like the Blu-ray, the DVD contains a wealth of audio tracks, with two for the Japanese version and one for the English dubbed. The original, theatrical 2.0 stereo version is included sounds good with solid clarity. The second Japanese track is a 5.1 surround audio presentation that Toho had originally created for the first region 2 DVD release, which has decent directionality but is still a post surround creation. The third audio track is the International English dub, the same one that appeared on the Miramax/HBO VHS. Sadly it's only a 1.0 mono track, but still nice to have the English version for those who grew up on the old 1992 tape release. In terms of quality, the track itself is identical to the one Miramax/HBO issued, meaning that the slight audio hiccup that occurs when the Super-X2 is taking off is still present.

The disc comes with optional English subtitles and that offer two options: subtitles for the original Japanese film and "dubtitles" that are subtitles for the English dub audio.


 Extras:

This DVD contains two supplementals. A third, a commentary by Ed Godziszewski who does the Japanese Giants publication, was also created for this release but didn't make it past Toho's approval process before the disc went to print. It was stated that a second printing with the commentary would be done, although it's looking unlikely at this stage and the release reviewed here will likely remain the only copy available.

In terms of the bonus material that did make it in, the first feature is the incredible "Making of", a program that was originally released on VHS back to cash in on the upcoming Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992). The feature is a full screen, 1.33:1, aspect ratio and is ten minutes shy of an hour. The feature is subtitled in English and covers in-depth how the special effects were created, thoughts with the crew and also showing off the movie's various cut scenes.

The other feature is a very short "Behind the Design" that focuses on creating the rose form of Biollante. It shows off two scrapped designs, along with a model of the one used in the film. It also includes one model for the Super-X2.

For those curious, the features are the same across the Blu-ray and DVD release of the film. The one real difference in the presentation and features is from some additional menus, such as the Language menu, as these were pop ups on the Blu-ray.


 Overview:

Bottom line, the disc is fairly comparable to the Blu-ray release, which speaks favorably to the DVD... and not so much for the Blu-ray. For those looking to pick up the film, either release is good. The Blu-ray has better video track thanks to being in HD, so is the obvious choice for those with the option to buy either, but there isn't a huge gap between them.