Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

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Zarm
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby Zarm » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:01 pm

There are a few abrupt cut-offs I wish were different (but understand due to the nature of the film's assembly). But to me, the entire score is marvelous, and none of these are flaws that keep it from reaching its potential. There are some poor edits, yes; but there are also so many great themes that it's hard for that to derail my enjoyment by anything but the slightest of margins.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Tue May 21, 2019 11:17 pm

Rewatched this last night, and while it still has some minor issues, it remains one of my favorites. I would argue that Godzilla vs. Biollante is sort of the quintessential Godzilla film. After watching it again after marathon the Showa Series I was surprised about how much of a Showa-Film it is.

This film has:
-Masers
-Crazily Fast Constructed Machines: The Thunder System is a weird hybrid of the electric screen from Godzilla vs Hedorah+the Weather Control System from SoG.
-While Executed better then it, the two Bio-Major Agents remind me heavily of the Seatopian Agents
-The Saradian Agent is basically Malmess
-Shinigami=Mafune, he`s actually strikingly close in terms of motivation (saving daughter)
-The short, but effective monster fights (both Godzilla vs Biollante fights reek of Godzilla vs Mothra fights)
-Multiple plans to kill/disarm Godzilla (alla KKVG and MVG)

It does feel like an early Showa film, specifically like Mothra vs. Godzilla, or KKVG. This isnt a complaint or praise, just something I found interesting. Still, despite having some similarties, the film feels like its own thing, and not just blatant fan-service that the later films would try to be. I would say that GvB is more of a showa film then later heisei films that try to be showa films just by including Showa era monsters. And yet, it`s still a film with its own awesome and unique ideas. It`s easy to forget how many Heisei-Unique ideas this film has, such as the Psychics, the significance of Godzilla`s cells, the ANEB, and things like the firemirror. It also, subtly, introduces the G-Force.

While not directly stated, it is really cool, and believable that after the 1984 attack, that there would be a big push for new weapons and ways to kill Godzilla. While later heisei films get sort of lazy with just making mechs, it is really cool that this film probably has the most diverse amounts of ways to kill/deal with Godzilla such as:
-Super X2
-ANEB
-Conventional Warfare/Masers
-Psychics
-The Thunder System

And of course this isn't speaking of the G-Alert system. The introduction of crazy poop is believable due to the amount of time that takes place between the 84 and 89.

Gondo isn`t the most important character in the franchise. He`s no Serizawa, Rando, Haruo etc...but he`s easily one of my favorites. Gondo is cool because he wants to be an action hero oozing with one liners, except hes just SLIGHTY too OLD. The whole humor around his character, is yeah since 1984 he has been coming up with and devising plans to kill Godzilla. He has lines about he`s finally glad to be doing something or contributing to a cause instead of being a `tax eating monster`. As pointed out by Terasawa, the fact that he has a prop of the Oxygen Destroyer in his office is really intriguing. He gets his big hero moment by blasting the ANEB right in Godzilla`s mouth. The scene is great because it doesn`t come off as a pointless suicide, but it also comes off as heroic due to Gondo`s demeanor. He has a really dumb but hilarious one-liner about `taking your medicine orally` and its great. You can tell that in a way Gondo probably died happy, because not only did he save Japan (remember, according to GvKG the ANEB most likely did kill/completely incapacitate Godzilla) but he got his big damn hero moment. He`s just a slight subversion of the stereotypical action hero which makes him all the more interesting. He also ties into another thing I like about the film which is the early G-Force experimentation.

I think the dub, or original subtitling, ruins and degrades one of the characters that I used to despise, the young colonel. I could have sworn that before I really disliked him because the dubs or subs made him come off as incredibly arrogant, which becomes detrimental towards his complete and utter failure to expect Godzilla to show up near Osaka. Additionally, I believe originally I thought the use of the Super X2`s firewall mirror, was the worst thing ever, when now I realize it was done as a way to lure Godzilla towards the buildings, and keep him there, while Gondo and co got into position. The ANEB led to Godzilla`s downfall, and had he never sacrificed the Super X2 that moment would have never happened. Additionally, his critical mistake midway, is intentionally a bad screw-up to lead to his eventual redemption and admiration by his superiors. He gets three big hero moments, the SuperX2 decision, the idea to use the artificial lightning system, and the final random blow to the Saradian Agent. It feels deserved and like hes gone through a full character arc at the end where the superior hands him his hat. Easy but effective symbolism.

Mikki as a character really isn`t too developed, but I do really like the shot of her, and idea of her temporarily standing up to Godzilla with psychic powers alone. I know later they develop on that more in GvMG, but just the idea of a psychic standing up to Godzilla is awesome.

I could go into more depth on some of these things later, but its clear why I like it. It has a lot of diverse and interesting characters, and many ways to deal with Godzilla that make it unique. It also features a good amount of Godzilla and there`s always something going on.
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