Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

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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.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby Jeff-Goldblum2 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:15 pm

I rewatched the movie and just noticed a major flaw.

They have a model of Godzilla in a shot. I think it's just before the scene where the kids show their drawings of Godzilla.

The point is the Godzilla model they have is the one from King Kong Vs Godzilla which is a different continuity of the Showa series and not the Heisei series. When would they have encountered a Godzilla with this appearance in story?

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby szmigiel » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:34 am

Jeff-Goldblum2 wrote:I rewatched the movie and just noticed a major flaw.

They have a model of Godzilla in a shot. I think it's just before the scene where the kids show their drawings of Godzilla.

The point is the Godzilla model they have is the one from King Kong Vs Godzilla which is a different continuity of the Showa series and not the Heisei series. When would they have encountered a Godzilla with this appearance in story?

Why is that a major flaw?
It is a Godzilla statue, hardcore fans know it is the Godzilla from KKVG, but as far as the film is concerned it is just some artist interruption of Godzilla. It is more of an Easter Egg than some sort of major flaw or plot hole.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby shadowgigan » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:57 am

What is the meaning behind the monologue at the end of the film, beginning with "how long have we been living in such an age?"
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:57 am

shadowgigan wrote:What is the meaning behind the monologue at the end of the film, beginning with "how long have we been living in such an age?"

I’ll look it into it tomorrow, but most likely it’s something that’s simply been mangled by Japanese to English(not the subbers fault). A lot of stuff that sounds and makes sense in Japanese, comes across as a bunch of bullshit in English.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby shadowgigan » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:21 am

That could very well be true. I've found a lot of Japanese poetic expressions don't always translate well.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby LockBite » Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:22 am

I’m going to x-post my feelings about this film here.

One part that stands out to me is when the psychic children reveal their shared premonition that Godzilla will return. It’s such an effective moment. The innocence of the children, who have no concept of what their visions bode for Japan, juxtaposed with the adults, whose worst fears have been confirmed before their eyes. After 5 peaceful years, Godzilla is alive- and he’s coming back.

The atmosphere has to be mentioned, too. The whole movie has this seedy, grungy look and feel to it. Biollante is spectacularly beautiful and frightening at the same time. I love the deep reds, the earthy tones, the grain of the film stock. Humans fight for their lives in cold concrete settings, whether they’re violently murdering each other or making a sacrificial stand against Godzilla himself. Godzilla lumbers through artillery fire under a gloomy night sky, in one of his most expertly-shot rampages ever. It’s memorable stuff, to say the least.

The final battle is too short, there’s no debating that. Biollante ends up being much less formidable than she looks, getting a hole blasted through her head right before Godzilla succumbs to his artificial anemia. And then we get the awkward shot of a superimposed human portrait floating into the sky. That one unused ending - with Biollante bursting into a massive field of giant roses, and Godzilla looking at them confusedly before leaving without harming them - should’ve probably been kept.

But still, the movie we got is one of the best in the series. That, and it has a little bit of everything that defines a Godzilla movie. It has sci-fi, fantasy, cheese, good special effects, not-so-good special effects, Engrish, drama, gunfights, beam spam, military assaults, crumbling buildings, fictional superweapons, tooth-and-claw brawling, and social commentary. It neatly encapsulates the appeal of Godzilla, without really trying to. I love Godzilla vs. Biollante.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby eabaker » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:29 am

LockBite wrote:The atmosphere has to be mentioned, too. The whole movie has this seedy, grungy look and feel to it. Biollante is spectacularly beautiful and frightening at the same time. I love the deep reds, the earthy tones, the grain of the film stock. Humans fight for their lives in cold concrete settings, whether they’re violently murdering each other or making a sacrificial stand against Godzilla himself. Godzilla lumbers through artillery fire under a gloomy night sky, in one of his most expertly-shot rampages ever. It’s memorable stuff, to say the least.


The colors in Biollante are so much richer and more saturated than in any of the subsequent Heisei films. As much as I love GvsKG, a lot of it is particularly harshly lit and washed out.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby mikelcho » Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:34 pm

I watched this film last week on Blu-ray and I loved it! Much better than the old VHS version I watched back in the day, especially
since I watched it in Japanese with subtitles this time.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby Terasawa » Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:55 pm

If you had the HBO Video release that was available in North America then that was completely uncut too.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby mikelcho » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:06 am

Terasawa wrote:If you had the HBO Video release that was available in North America then that was completely uncut too.
I didn't know that! Okay, fixed.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:13 pm

Terasawa wrote:If you had the HBO Video release that was available in North America then that was completely uncut too.

Easily one of my favorite VHS's of all time
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_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby Terasawa » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:42 am

LSD Jellyfish wrote:
Terasawa wrote:If you had the HBO Video release that was available in North America then that was completely uncut too.

Easily one of my favorite VHS's of all time


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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby Jeff-Goldblum2 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:06 am

Which movie do you think the character of Miki Saegusa has the best portrayal?

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby Zarm » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:06 am

Probably vs. SpaceGodzilla. Although she has some of her best moments here.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby Terasawa » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:40 am

Miki Saegusa pulled the trigger on the weapon that killed/nearly killed Godzilla and they both acted like it never happened in the later films. #continuity
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby HedorahIsBestGirl » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:41 pm

Terasawa wrote:Miki Saegusa pulled the trigger on the weapon that killed/nearly killed Godzilla and they both acted like it never happened in the later films. #continuity

But remember, "You stupid men are all the same! You don't have to kill him!"
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby kamilleblu » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:52 pm

Godzilla vs Biollante has the strongest cast and drama of the Heisei continuity. Gondo is an absolute treat and radiates enthusiasm, Miki peaks as a character here and has an air of mystery that makes one want to learn more about her, Kirishima is the best of the Heisei male leads, and this film has the most convincing romance of the Heisei era. Kōji Takahashi's Dr. Shiragami doesn't reach the heights of Keiju Kobayashi's Prime Minister (The Return of Godzilla) or Yoshio Tsuchiya's Shindo (Godzilla vs King Ghidorah), though he turns in a serviceable performance and has an interesting evolution as a character.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Postby HedorahIsBestGirl » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:10 pm

kamilleblu wrote:Godzilla vs Biollante has the strongest cast and drama of the Heisei continuity. Gondo is an absolute treat and radiates enthusiasm, Miki peaks as a character here and has an air of mystery that makes one want to learn more about her, Kirishima is the best of the Heisei male leads, and this film has the most convincing romance of the Heisei era. Kōji Takahashi's Dr. Shiragami doesn't reach the heights of Keiju Kobayashi's Prime Minister (The Return of Godzilla) or Yoshio Tsuchiya's Shindo (Godzilla vs King Ghidorah), though he turns in a serviceable performance and has an interesting evolution as a character.

I agree on Gondo and Shiragami, but I completely disagree about Kirishima. I think he's the weakest lead of the Heisei series (except maybe the guy from Destoroyah who's name I can't remember) and I thought the romance was totally stale, although I suppose that complaint could be registered about all of the Heisei films...
The sea has cobalt, it's full of mercury. Too many fumes in our oxygen!
All the smog now is choking you and me. Good Lord, where is it gonna end?
Got to get it back, someday. Got to get it back, and soon now.
For tomorrow maybe you and me...
We're movin', we're movin', movin' to the Moon now!
It's up to us to make a choice.
We know what it's worth to save the Earth!


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