DVD Title
 Godzilla Versus Mothra
International Title
 Mothra vs. Godzilla
Movie Length: 88/87 minutes Original Length: 88 minutes
Company: Simitar Release: 1998
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1/1:33:1 Anamorphic: No
Region: 1 Discs: 1 (Double Sided)
  
Language/Sound: Order
English (2.0 Mono), English (5.1 Surround)
Subtitles:
None
Extras
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (8/8)
· Trailers: Godzilla King of the Monsters (Simitar), Godzilla Versus Mothra (Simitar), Godzilla Versus Monster Zero (Simitar), Godzilla's Revenge (Simitar), Terror of Mechagodzilla (Simitar)
· Artist Gallery (2 minutes)
· Trivia Game
Captures
Review
Anthony Romero

Simitar's release of Mothra vs. Godzilla is down right poor by today's standards. However, to give credit where credit is due, Simitar deserves some praise for leaping onto the infant DVD format so quickly, releasing their catalogue of Godzilla films in 1998. Furthermore, they introduced fans of all ages to these productions in aspect ratios unseen to generations who had to be content with the pan and scans releases on VHS. Unfortunately, one can't really suggest a release merely on past accomplishments, as several years later this DVD looks incredibly dated as it was spawned from a company who still had yet to fully understand the benefits and perils that the format presented them. Consequently, the video quality here is severally lacking, while the audio and extras are decent but not enough to give this DVD any redeeming qualities today.


 Video:

To say that these Simitar discs haven't aged well would be an understatement. Being some of the first Toho titles on the market, the company had a rough time trying to tap what the format was capable of, while they had an even harder time trying to control some of the problems that could be introduced in a digital medium. The largest of these problems is simply compression, as the movie looks dreadful on both sides due to how poorly managed the transfer process was. In turn, the movie looks incredibly soft without much detail while artifacting, shimmering and other overt signs of compression run rampant. The video tracks also show signs of edge enhancement, in a bid to increase the sharpness digitally as despite the blurry presentation halos are also apparent.

This DVD, like others from the company, is dual sided with a different aspect ratio being found on each surface. Side 1 contains the movie in its original "Toho Scope" aspect ratio of 2.35:1, although it's not anamorphic as one can expect from a disc this old. This version also contains the original "Godzilla vs. the Thing" title sequence. In terms of the shape of the print, damage doesn't appear to be that apparent, beyond some scratches on occasion. Due to the softness of the video track, though, it's hard to gauge what type of grain might have been present. The color spectrum in general isn't that great, though, as the movie appears in more monotone shades as opposed to a vibrant array like the format is capable of. There are also signs of discoloring, most notably some things that should look blue, like dresses and Godzilla's ray, appearing slightly purple here. Still, the source material looks to be vastly superior to the one Classic Media dug up for the US version on their 2006 release of the title as Mothra vs. Godzilla, and it's a shame that, that company didn't have access to it as it would been interesting to see this print brought to life better with more modern techniques on the DVD format.

Now in terms of side 2, this surface contains the pan and scan 1.33:1 version of the movie.The print used for this transfer, though, is in much worse condition, showing off lots of scratches and other damage along with noticeable grain and some yellow discoloring. It does, however, contain the "Godzilla vs. Mothra" title sequence.


 Audio:

The best aspect of this release is easily the audio presentation, as both sides of the DVD are presented in mono or surround. To summarize the quality on the mono track, there are no complaints to be had as the dialogue is clear while there are no audible inconsistencies. As for the 5.1 surround track, it's decent, but not all that great as the artificial surround doesn't work all that well with some sound effects overpowering the rest of the presentation in an attempt to give the movie some directionality. Overall, one would be hard pressed to prefer the 5.1 track, but at least having the option available isn't bad. Of course, the fact that the movie is only found dubbed is disheartening, but at this point in time seeing a subtitled Japanese science fiction film in the US was all but unheard of.


 Extras: Star Rating

Nothing much to get excited about here, especially if one already owns a Godzilla DVD from Simitar. Basically the content here is exactly the same as the others released by the company this year, including a two minute "Artist Gallery", which looks at the art used for the front covers of these releases while also including production stills from the Heisei era Godzilla movies, and adverts for the other DVD releases by the firm. There is also a trivia game included, which is tailored specifically for the movie. The feature is kind of cute, as it cycles lines and footage from the movie depending on if the answer was correct or not. Sadly, the answers aren't always accurate, such as stating that Mothra comes from "Mothra Island" as opposed to Infant Island, although the feature tends to wear thin anyway after the first few questions. All of these features are located on side 1.


 Overview: Star Rating

Bottom line, this might have been acceptable back in 1998, but today it's so outdated that there really is no reason to search it out, especially with the superior Mothra vs. Godzilla release available from Classic Media.

This disc is also featured in the DVD box set: Godzilla.