DVD Title
 Mothra vs. Godzilla
International Title
 Mothra vs. Godzilla
Movie Length: 88/88 minutes Original Length: 88 minutes
Company: Classic Media Release: 2006
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1/1:78:1 Anamorphic: Yes
Region: 1Discs: 1
  
Language/Sound: Order
Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (2.0 Mono)
Subtitles:
English
Extras
·. Menus (English)
· Chapters (11/11)
· Trailers: Mothra vs. Godzilla
· Commentary on the US version with Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski (English)
· Akira Ifukube Biography with Tribute by Shogo Tomiyama (13 Minutes)
· Poster Slide Show (3 Minutes)
Captures
Review
Anthony Romero

Marking the third time this film has been released, legitimately, on DVD in the United States, Classic Media delivers the best presentation of the movie to date on region 1, and arguably their best offering yet. There are still some problems with the video presentation though, generating a mixed effort between the Japanese and US versions of the film, but with a good audio and extra presentation for the disc this is certainly one of their more solid releases to date.


 Video:

After a shaky video presentation on Classic Media's Godzilla Raids Again, the company gives a much more satisfying transfer for one of Godzilla's best regarded films. In fact, the quality on the Japanese version is only slightly shy of being fantastic, as it displays a nice array of colors while print damage is almost nonexistent as grain is also kept to a minimum. The problems, though, include the brightness level being adjusted too high, washing out some details in the process, and the fact that the movie is overly soft looking, lacking a great depth in detail. Consequently, I would imagine the softness in the image is due to compression, as both versions of the movie are sandwiched on the same disc, although at least other overt signs, like shimmering, never rear their ugly head. The movie's Toho Scope aspect ratio (2.35:1) is also maintained for this release, while the disc is also anamorphic for widescreen sets.

Now, also included with this disc is the original AIP release of the movie dubbed into English, and complete with the original "Godzilla vs. the Thing" title card. As is well documented, the US version of the movie is also being presented in a cropped 1:78:1 aspect ratio as their source material for this was superior to the original Toho Scope print they had for the US version. My response to that claim, though, is simply that the other source must have been god awful then, as the quality is severally lacking here, especially in contrast to the excellent Japanese source Classic Media managed to get. To elaborate, the coloring is off here, the degree of which varies through the course of the movie (looking fairly good during the climax at least), while the print used also displays a lot of damage including tons of scratches and a thick layer of grain. Granted, since the AIP version is so highly regarded, as I will admit it's my favorite "Americanization" of a Godzilla movie, it's still nice that this was included regardless of quality. However, it's disappointing that the transfer here isn't more up to snuff, and it also makes one wonder what happened to the print Simitar used for their Godzilla versus Mothra DVD, as minus the heavy compression displayed that print appeared to be in decent shape.


 Audio: Star Rating

Mothra vs. Godzilla boasts two mono audio tracks, one being in Japanese and the other dubbed into English with each tied to their respective version of the film. In terms of the audio quality, there are no complaints to be had. Some more options in the audio presentation would have certainly been nice, but this presentation does stay true to their original formats and there are no notable discrepancies between the two.

The Japanese version can be accompanied with, removable, English subtitles.


 Extras:

Not the best assortment of supplemental material, but one can't complain much about the selection on this disc. First up is a documentary on the life of famed composer Akira Ifukube done by Ed Godziszewski. Sadly, Godziszewski is a little dry in his reading here, but the information and depth in his findings is superb. The short video ends with a lengthy written tribute by Toho's current president, Shogo Tomiyama, for the passing of Ifukube earlier this year.

Next up is a short feature called the "Poster Slide Show", which displays various posters and other promotional material used for the film during theatrical release. Because Mothra vs. Godzilla was re-released so many times, this short is much more satisfying than the one minute video located on Classic Media's Godzilla Raids Again DVD as there is a lot more material to cover. Thankfully this release also contains the movie's original Japanese theatrical trailer, with quality that is about on par with the disc's presentation of the Japanese version of the film.

Last up on this disc is another commentary track for the US version done by Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski. The commentary track on this DVD, though, is counter balance to the one Ryfle did for Godzilla Raids Again, as the pair gush about the film a lot in contrast to the riffing that was done of the 1955 movie in the earlier commentary. Of course given the praise this movie often receives and the notoriety of the second Godzilla film, some might not find this surprising at all, although the two tracks do present two very different styles of commentary presentation. To be subjective, the praise in some areas is laid on a little thick, but the information is outstanding and it is interesting to hear the two relate about how influential this production was for them.


 Overview: Star Rating

Bottom line, it wouldn't be fair to call this an amazing release, but it's one of the better region 1 Godzilla DVDs out there and I would say the most solid release from Classic Media to date. Hopefully the company hammers out a few of the problems found here for later titles as there is certainly promise for future offerings from them.

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