TheChingzilla wrote:King Ghidorah and Manda, they would make sweet love with their snake like structures
edgaguirus wrote:Talk about necking.
Tohosaurus wrote:Giant Monster Varan (1958)
Godzilla vs Biollante (1989)
Tyler wrote:I've been meaing to do more of these.
King Kong vs. Godzilla
"I've only had the pleasure (or displeasure some would say) of seeing the heavily edited, American version of King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962). English speaking actors are inserted into the action and most of Akira Ifukube's score is replaced with stock cues (most notably 1954's Creature from the Black Lagoon). But I still enjoy the film in ignorant bliss and one day I'll view the original version. When it comes down to it it's still the 8th Wonder of the World versus the King of Monsters. That's some epic stuff right there. And Kong wins, Godzilla fanboys."
Mothra vs. Godzilla
"Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) is the pinnacle, I think, of what Toho was doing back in the day on a technical level. Everything in this film is top notch. The acting, directing, writing, everything. Tsuburaya's effects rival what was being done in Hollywood at the time. Godzilla appears (in an awesome way I should mention) about half way through the film but you don't even notice because you're wrapped up in the human characters. It's a shame some loathe the film for Godzilla defeat at the hands (or sticky web spray) of two newborn caterpillars!"
- Tyler Beasley
Tohosaurus wrote:^ Thanks! I'll try to review some of the other titles over the course of the next few days if I have the time.
Godzilla 2000 (1999)
The king of the monsters is back and kicks off his third "series"
After the disappointment a year earlier with Roland Emmerich's interpretation of Godzilla, Toho struck back with this film. Godzilla has undergone a makeover again, but Toho's makeover was far less dramatic than what occurred under Emmerich. Toho's work on Godzilla for the Heisei era focused on making Godzilla more intimidating and sinister looking to recall his original intentions. Here, Toho did something similar, but also tried to make Godzilla come across as more of the giant animal that he essentially is, radiated and all. What Toho has created here is a traditional Godzilla movie. We have a suit to show off Godzilla virtually all of the time. We have Japan. We have an alien twist on the plot. It all comes together to make a reasonably good Godzilla movie. That's not a recipe for critical acclaim here in the United States, but for his intended audience it works out well.
Many of the early scenes with Godzilla are eerie, and although Toho shows Godzilla off within minutes of the movie's start, it still had nice build up and a sense of fury from Godzilla. The fog was used it great effect back in 1984 with Return of Godzilla, and it was well executed here as well. Another nicety in the earlier scenes are the lower camera angles that help convey Godzilla's size. Godzilla is often shot at more neutral or higher angles that don't encourage suspending belief, and unfortunately what was well done early in the film here isn't used that often thereafter. As for Godzilla himself, I did mention a redesign. His huge, jagged spines and forceful, larger head do make him look like a force not to be reckoned with, man or monster. His new color tones -green hide, purple hued spines, and orange atomic ray- work well enough, although many fans complain about these not matching up with the traditional Godzilla color schemes. I agree with them to an extent. The update to the design of his atomic ray is pretty cool, however, no two ways about it.
So what about the rest of the movie? Well, it's mostly standard fare as Godzilla movies go. There is an uninspiring spaceship that apparently holds a giant monster that wants Godzilla's Regenerator G1 cells. It's simple but it works. Character development is not really a strong suit, although there is a certain chemistry between various characters, so all is not lost. The dubbing is laughable at times, sadly. The DVD release that region one (Canada, United States) fans have lacks the Japanese dub/English subtitle options, owing to the fact that this is the slightly revised American version of the film. We might be able to take some parts a little more seriously if some of the (intentionally) humorous one-liners had not been inserted. Or does it just add to the charm? You can be the final judge of that.
The pacing of the movie is justly critcized in that it tends to sag at a couple of points in the middle of the film. They clearly were just trying to drop scenes and dialogue in long enough to get the final titanic battle to ensue. To be fair though, they did do a good job of balancing Godzilla and the opponent in the film. It isn't uncommon for Godzilla to almost seem like an afterthought in his own film (Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth comes to mind). That generic UFO finally gives way to a giant monster named Millennian that uses Regenerator G1 to adapt to Earth's atmosphere. The resulting mutation is Orga; note that the names of either version of the monster are never mentioned on screen. Orga is as generic as the UFO he flew in on, and that even includes his roar and primary beam weapon. It's not that he's bad, it's just not imaginative the way prior opponents were in their day. Orga's suit looks good enough, although his fingers can't move so it can look like the suit that it actually is. The final battle is good fun. It's nothing crazy but not too boring either. As a word on some other elements of the film, the score is actually pretty strong and helps to convey that sense of eeriness or fury that I spoke of earlier. Special effects are hit and miss. The CGI scenes are generally not good and it might be magnified by the flawless special effects in Emmerich's Godzilla a year earlier.
So what's the final take? I may sound like a broken record, but my simple summary is that it's just a decent, contemporary Godzilla movie. It's not terrible but it's not likely to make your top five list either. It was a reasonable rebirth of the Godzilla movie franchise, though in my opinion not close to the quality of Return of Godzilla/Godzilla 1985. The hits were the generally good looking suits, character chemistry, and consistent moods (by which I mean the music magnified what the audience was seeing, and vice versa); also a good choice were various scenes that were tightened up for American audiences, so if I complained about some of that in the American version that doesn't bode well for the Japanese version. The action sequences were also well done. The items to improve would've been some tightening up of the middle third of the movie, getting rid of the lousy dubbing, and some special effects that range from "off" to just "bad". It's hard not to draw comparisons between this movie and the American Godzilla due to the proximety of their launch dates and the fact that they're the only two Godzilla movies I've seen in theaters. I think Emmerich's Godzilla has spectacular effects that Toho has never matched (granted, neither have their budgets either), but ultimately I can't think of anything else it does better than Godzilla 2000.
BigBaragon wrote:This is one of my favorite threads on the site. Hats off, kids.
Skreeonk.com wrote:One of Toho’s classic endeavors, Mothra is arguably Toho’s most well known creation outside of Godzilla. The classic Kaiju got her start independetly from the Big G’s franchise, Much like Rodan the decade before, with this debut film in 1961. She would be assimilated into Toho’s main franchise three years later with Mothra vs Godzilla in 1964.
Mothra was released in the states a year after its initial release in 1962, with only ten minutes of footage missing. The film was double billed with a Three Stooges outing, and received a good deal of attention. The New York Times ran a review of the popular film, with critic A.H. Weiler praising the film’s effects and imagery:
“There’s that color, as pretty as can be, that now and then smites the eye with some genuinely artistic panoramas and décor designs…. Fantastic though the plot may be, there are some genuinely penetrating moments, such as the contrast of the approaching terror and those patient, silvery-voiced little ‘dolls,’ serenely awaiting rescue. Several of the special effects shots are brilliant, such as the sight of a giant cocoon nestling against a large city’s power station tower.”
Toho’s new Queen of Kaiju was a unique and fantastical giant moth with a budding personality – all brought to life through a much more vibrant and fantasy-based sense of storytelling. With this film, classic Toho director Ishiro Honda took a broad step away from the horrific undertones of his previous Daikaiju efforts such as Gojira and Rodan. Mothra ushered in a new type of film for Toho – one full of bright colors, hopeful imagery, and a monster that was an ancient guardian of the Earth rather than a folly of man’s ignorance.
The ignorance of humankind, however, does play a large part in the storyline (with the ‘evil men’ kidnapping the Shobijin and so forth) – a storyline that would prove so captivating and successful that Toho and screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa would recycle it for their two most successful films ever, King Kong vs Godzilla and Mothra vs Godzilla.
Yet American audiences weren’t accustomed to such monster films. When Mothra was initially released in the states, marketing teams chose to push the film as another run of the mill Japanese monster flick, depicting Mothra as a bloodthirsty giant insect in some of the most recognizable posters and lobby cards from American pop culture.
A Landmark Film Showcasing Toho’s ability to present captivating tales with unique special effects and fantastical story elements, Mothra was undoubtedly a success of its time, and has become a true classic of the genre.
- Jon @ UnCanny
Destroyer wrote:In closing, I can see why a lot of fans don't like this movie. It lacks the deepness of the ones before it, and some of the monsters lose too fast.
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest