Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

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Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby Arbok » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:45 am

Rebirth of Mothra

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The first of the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy, which introduces the Elias concept and the overpowered Leo character. Was surprised not to find an individual thread dedicated to the first in the trilogy, just for the third, so I guess it's far to say this film is generally overlooked by most (lord knows Sony was disappointed by the sales for this film compared to their Godzilla offerings).

I personally find this one okay, better than the second entry for sure. The adult Mothra SFX are a little weak, making the prop seen in Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992) look superior, but they did a better job with the Leo in both is larval and imago forms. The story is decent as kids fare, although I never had the luxury of watching as a child to gauge how successful it is from that angle. Desghidorah makes for an okay rival, although is overshadowed by Grand King Ghidorah in chapter three. I must say, though, that the movie has a great soundtrack, in particular during the death scene of the adult Mothra.
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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby Rody » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:21 pm

I'll agree that Toshiyuki Watanabe's soundtrack is pretty good.

Other than that, however, I consider this film to be average. The story is simple, but nothing special; the protagonists aren't quite annoying, but they aren't quite endearing either. The special effects for Death Ghidorah and his volcano are impressive, at least. I did like how the twins had distinct personalities for a change, and the concept of a third evil twin was neat; but their outfits... Good grief.... And they only get more garish in the following films.

Overall, it's not a bad movie, and it's a decent choice for introducing younger children to the kaiju genre, I think - although I can't say I remember my own thoughts on it the first time I saw it.
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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby eabaker » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:26 pm

I'm not sure there's much to be said about this movie that hasn'tr already been covered in two relatively brief posts.

It's a solid kids movie, Death Ghidorah is a decent monster design, and it's fun if you're in the mood for a light adventure.
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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby Arbok » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:40 pm

Rody wrote:...I did like how the twins had distinct personalities for a change, and the concept of a third evil twin was neat; but their outfits... Good grief.... And they only get more garish in the following films.


I don't know, I thought costume wise the first movie was the weakest... I actually really like the outfits for Rebirth of Mothra 3 as well, although they look almost super heroish by that stage.
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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby Rody » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:03 pm

Well, maybe Moll & Lora's were better. Belvera's was hideous.

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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby edgaguirus » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:14 pm

Lora and Moll did have better costumes.

The first film was a good start. It didn't break the mould, but it's an entertaining flick and Desghidorah was a worthwhile foe. As has been said, the musical score is the best part.
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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby JAGzilla » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:33 am

The soundtrack was fantastic. Gotta give it some credit for that. Adult Mothra's death scene was handled really well, too.

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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby Zarm » Mon Jul 11, 2016 5:48 am

Sad to say, but Rebirth of Mothra I is filled with stupid.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining about the plot (though it was a little too light with too much sustained fight-scene), or the kiddie-tone (to be expected, though the dire hospital scenes kinda jarred with it shockingly), or the heavy-handed environmental message (it is a Mothra movie, after all- though I had to groan aloud when the parents were looking out at the fire-scoured, bare-rock landscape that *Desghidorah* had just created and going on about how it 'took nature thousands of years to create, and WE destroyed in a few minutes.' Look, dude- I don't think all the napalm and dynamite in Japan could that thoroughly eradicate a forest, stumps and all- that was not the work of humanity.)

No, all those things (while I managed to list my quibbles in parenthesis) were fine, and expected, and even coming to them after the seriousness of Vs. Destoroyah wasn't enough for them to ruin my enjoyment, since I expected a more juvenile film. No, the real thing that irked me is that, even for a kid's movie, this film was full of characters making stupid choices.

Both kids keep displaying the pendant out in the open where Belvera can snatch it. The dysfunctional parents (the mother seems to not understand what 'having a job' entails, while the father can't seem to muster up enough charisma to stop being a cypher- seriously, that smile he gives at the end really does give the impression of a robot doing its best to imitate an emotion), mommy Mothra aggravatingly cools her heels on a mountaintop for several MINUTES as her baby is getting chewed to pieces and spewing geysers of blood, Lora WON'T STOP SHOUTING ABOUT EVERYTHING, and Fairy- Fairy is the worst. Fairy cannot hit the broadside of a barn that he is actually sitting on. If I had to take fictional characters to war, I would put Willy Gilligan and Gomer Pyle in the front lines before I put Fairy in. Just... ugh. Fairy, I liked you, but oh man, learn to aim.

So, the Shobijin- I mean, the Cosmos- I mean, the Elias... oh, COME ON, just pick a name and stick with it, Toho- are a strange bunch. Moll was cool enough; Lora got on my nerves with her constant freaking out, as mentioned above (also, was she Sailor Moon cosplaying?). Belvera seemed to have taken acting lessons from Bandora (Rita Repulsa, to those only versed in the English version), and her laughter was painfully fake. (MY wife suggested that she seemed like someone desperately trying to convince everyone that she was enjoying things and had the upper hand no matter what happened- like, if she dropped a hammer on her foot, she'd grab it and start jumping up and down, but still give that same fake-manic laugh while she did.) Liking one out of three main characters is not a good start.

Then we get to the family- and egads, I really, really started not liking these people. Mommy dearest seemed incapable of saying anything positive (and utilized bad parenting right out of the gate), Wakaba was a manipulative little thief, Taiki was a sadistic little bully in retaliation, and the dad... well, he seemed okay, but again, never made it beyond 'vague cipher.' Underdeveloped to the point of invisibility. (Speaking of which, it is a long stretch to go from 'all moths use camouflage' to 'caterpillar with a cloaking device...', but I digress.)

So, I can't say I though much of the humans. As for the kaiju- well, I already made my feelings on Fairy clear- and he looked terrible, to boot. Like, as if he were an actual-size miniature that the Elias were digitally inserted onto instead of a full-sized prop. I don't understand how a full-sized Fairy could actually look that crummy...

...Especially because Garu-garu looks AMAZING. Garu-garu is the best. He is the true star of this film. I want a Garu-garu film. And then, at the end, they-... *sniff*. I-it's... just not right. You monsters.

Mothra looks decent, while Mothra Leo... well, I didn't care for the look (green wings especially, and the weird Brainiac lights on his forehead), but my wife LOVED him and declared him (her, I guess; this design looks more masculine) to be the best Mothra of them all. (After only really reviewing the Heisei era). The little newborn caterpillar, covered in a sheen of afterbirth, was quite effective- and it was horrifically cringe-inducing seeing her get battered about, especially as a parent. Not cool, man.

Desghidorah... well, I've gone on record that I don't care for the Ghidorah design; I find it uninspired, unemotive, and overused. That said... of all the designs I've seen, this one is probably my favorite. It has a nice girth to it, and it really looks strong and fearsome. (A practical flamethrower helps).

The film starts with a spectacular opening- and it highlights a great score for the movie, as well as sometimes-brilliant effects. (Seriously, some of these scenes make me amazed this is only one year after Destoroyah- and others are downright horrific. More on that below...) Then, however, it cuts straight to the overbearing 'weep, for they cut down the trees; woe to the Earth!' montage. I'm reminded- if I may digress again- of Disney's Pocahontas; during Colors of the Wind, one lyric asks "How high can the sycamore grow? If you cut it down, you'll never know!" It implies some sort of absolute utopia with the land, in which- presumably- the Native Americans lived solely off of what they could pick up off the ground, berries that had already fallen off the trees, critters that had obligingly dropped dead of natural causes; a completely harmony with nature that would leave real human beings dead. Where did those canoes, and teepee frames, and bows, and arrow-shafts come from, if not from felled and chopped trees?

Environmental messages work best, I think, when moderated to reality. "We must be cautious not to clear-cut or deforest; to overdo our lumber harvest" is a good and laudable message, methinks. "It is evil and a terrible tragedy for a tree to be cut down!" aspires to a standard- implied in the Pocahontases and Ferngullys of the world- that has never been matched in human history... that is neither practical, nor logical. It's more dramatic, sure easier to visually communicate, and better for tugging on the heart-strings than 'no, cutting down one tree, or ten, or even fifty is fine so long as you replant afterwards- but cutting down a thousand, or eradicating a forest, or cutting where you'll destroy the eco-system is problematic.' That takes nuance, and is harder to communicate. But it does have the benefit of not being imbecilic, nor instructing children in a ridiculously-unrealistic standard.

From there, the plot leaps in rather quickly- with the discovery of an ancient seal (so, based on the news reports throughout, there are no actual laws in Japan about not destroying priceless archeological relics, so long as you own the land? And of course, EVIL logging corporations would have no compunction about doing so, because they're EVIL, and... how does blowing up that barren rock side help them to harvest trees, again...?), family shenanigans and aerial dogfight (opinions on which are sprinkled throughout above), and Desghidorah's release. (An impressive spectacle).

I must say that the hypnotized father, suicide-bomber-driving a bulldozer full of explosives toward the hillside, was pretty dark- and was one of two times (along with the 'shoes-on-fire, take-my-hand, wearing-that-expression-that-says-I'm-about-to-let-go-and-sacrifice-myself-so-I-don't-drag-you-down-with-me,' scene- apparently, that was just his usual difficulty in emoting facial expressions) that actually had me nervously muttering 'They wouldn't kill off the dad like that- not in a children's film. ...Would they?'

After that, things largely devolve into two major fight scenes, in which Mothra employs questionable tactics, and literally a new power every single time she attacks. Seriously, when did the larva get a throat-beam? We have antennae-lasers, lower blue electrical discharges, upper orange electrical discharges, streaky-fast impact flight, breaking into a stream of moths to attack, downward-vortex force-beams, web spray now enhanced with rainbow lightning, glitter-scale attack, throat beam... and I'm pretty sure I'm just scratching the surface. It's kind of hard to feel threatened for Mothra's safety, or excited about her victory, when she as apparently-unlimited power-sets. Has anyone actually tried to catalogue all of these? It was absurd. A Mothra THIS overpowered, I could see defeating Godzilla *easily.*

In-between the fights, we do get Mothra's sad(ish) death, foreshadowed by the conversation I feel like the Shobijin/Cosmos/Elias ought to have in EVERY Mothra movie-
"We have to call in Mothra!"
"But she's too weak to fight this non-fluffy, non-fragile kaiju with teeth and killers and killer lightning-beams. She'll just die if we bring her here."
"Nonetheless, we shall!"

At least they recognize up-front that Mothra is too weak to take on most of her opponents and is fated to die (then, ironically, introduce a Mothra so power-laden that it feels like she SHOULD be able to take on all comers).

Since this is practically Mothra; The Musical, we get three songs- which, unlike 'Battle for Earth,' the Blu-ray doesn't bother subtitling. GRRRRRRRR. These are clearly dubtitles (as in one scene just after the fairy shootout, the subtitles display about three sentences of questions while the Mother clearly only says 'Wakaba!' on the soundtrack), but I wish they could have put in a little more effort. Likewise, fixed the subtitle where Taiki asks where the larva is going, and the Elias tells him 'no one knows- it's a secret'- then they immediately follow her there and watch.

The effects in this film are a mixed bag, as mentioned before. Many of Mothra's attacks, for instance, are really gorgeous. Fairy Mothra, on the other hand, when he's CG...? *Shudder*. Bluescreening is not great, and that chase sequence around the house... well, it clearly required true 3D capability, and... yeah, it really felt like they attempted it 5-10 years before the technology was truly there. As such, we were stuck with awkward 2D images trying to swoop through a 3D space, and not really matching angles- like a very early sprite-based flight sim. It was rough, if well-intentioned; and it seems we've already reached the bane of 21st-century kaiju films; the fake-motion-blur-while-unrealistic-and-over-smooth-post-manipulation-movements-are-being-applied-to-the-bluescreened-subject era. It's a terrible look, and it doesn't help the over-reaching shootout sequence.

Overall, I'm guessing this had a lower budget than the g-films; even the 'larva swimming at sunset' scene doesn't look nearly as spectacular (the original in Battle for Earth being possibly my favorite stand-alone shot/scene in the Heisei era). Between that, the bluescreening, and the over-ambitious shootout, it's easy to peg this as low-budget... which is what makes the great effects (the opening sequence, Mothra's multi-moth form, Garu-garu) so hard to reconcile. But, presumably, they're examples of stretching the low budget to impressive effect, making them even more commendable.

The fight scenes are good (but a bit too long at the expense of plot), the ending appropriately corny (and what's with that 'cat-clawing' gesture that Wakaba and Lora do at one-another, called-back at the end of the film? Is that some Japanese pop-culture thing that a Westerner just doesn't recognize?), and the moralizing absurdly over-the-top as befits the last five minutes of a daikaiju film.

Still, much as this may have been more a roast than a review, I *did* enjoy the film. It was entertaining, and a fight that lasted too long was still more entertaining to watch than the comparative-doldrum equivalents in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II or Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla. The initially-dysfunctional family, OTT-performances from 2 out of 3 Elias, uneven effects, and general facepalming moments (completely separate from any kidiness of the writing), just served to make it a little more of an MST3K type of appeal, mocking as much as watching, than the typical Heisei Godzilla film. I'm hoping that the writing of RoMII will be a little better, so that it can be pure enjoyment, rather than a mix with eye-rolling. :-) I certainly didn't expect to have this much to say on the film; I'm looking forward to next week!


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Ha! You'd think so, and for a SANE person, it would be so... ;-)
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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby Rodan » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:01 pm

I think I've posted my thoughts in the general Rebirth of Mothra thread, but --

I'm pretty fond of this one. I think it's a good kids' movie (clearly aimed at them, but it doesn't speak down in a way that would prevent an adult genre fan from enjoying it), and a tighter production than the last few Godzilla films. It looks pretty good for a late '90s children's movie from any country.

Also, Belvera is skreeonking awesome.

Since this is practically Mothra; The Musical, we get three songs-

Every Mothra movie has multiple songs. They usually don't interrupt everything else quite the way they do in these films though.

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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby eabaker » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:12 pm

Am I the only one who now wants to see a full-on Mothra musical?
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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby SomeknowmeasXeno » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:14 pm

eabaker wrote:Am I the only one who now wants to see a full-on Mothra musical?

Ehh... Godzilla on ice first.
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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby Rodan » Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:33 pm

eabaker wrote:Am I the only one who now wants to see a full-on Mothra musical?

I'd be very, very down for it. Wouldn't even be a difficult adaptation. A high-budget stage adaptation of Nelson's show in the movie would be fantastic. And I think, especially with Mothra already being a series of large props, you could translate the destruction sequences into a theatrical performance pretty easily. (I mean with great practical difficulty, but it's not hard to conceptualize.)

Real talk, one of my favorite things about the Showa series is their penchant for throwing in musical numbers like the Mothra songs and, much later, King Shisa's. I like that there was a time when genre movies like these were meant to be entertaining spectacles across the board -- ones that could include plot-relevant songs right alongside the action.

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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby GalacticPetey » Tue Jul 12, 2016 5:53 am

If King Kong could get a musical, so could Mothra. As a massive fan of musical theatre, I'd definitely pay to see a Mothra musical.
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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby eabaker » Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:59 am

Would have been a great follow up to my dad's musicals about Noah's Ark and Jack the Ripper. I'd ask him to start writing it, if he were still alive.
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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby GalacticPetey » Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:06 am

Now that sounds like an excellent idea.
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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby edgaguirus » Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:26 pm

Since the tiny priestess sing everything to Mothra, it's a very possible idea. To replicate Nelson's show, you could use oversized props to make it look like the actresses are small.
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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby Zarm » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:30 am

And then, rebirth of Mothra II... errrr...

Look, it was fine for what it wanted to be: a live-action cartoon heavily ripping off Indiana Jones. It just felt like, at the last minute, someone decided to write some daikaiju scenes in and cram a second plotline in there.

This movie is a lot harder to analyze, honestly- because it is a TON more kiddy than its predecessor, or any of the non-Showa kaiju movies. Like, in a "Gamera called from the set of vs. Zigra, and he thinks you should tone down your silliness" kind of way. It feels like a completely different beast than before, and not just in terms of tone.

It's a lot harder to look at the characters, for instance- Moll and Lora have drastically reduced roles, and interchangeable personalities now (because neither does anything that stands out from the other). At least they remembered they're supposed to talk to humans in unison, and Fairy's marksmanship is SLIGHTLY better. Belvera likewise becomes less of a threat and a presence, just a kind of grumpy cheerleader for the evil kaiju- but at least she gets a few moments of unexpected character development, showing true concern for her sisters.

The trio of main kids are pretty underwhelming- even Shiori, who is clearly supposed to be the main protagonist, doesn't really have much a developed character (except acting superior to the boys, because for some reason, starting in the 90s, 'girl power' could only be achieved by denigrating the opposite gender; clearly a viable path to true gender equality and harmony); she spends most of the time chasing Gorgo and looking stoic. The 2 boys are around to perform more physical feats and comic relief; while all three have moments of heroism, none are given any standout personality traits. The two henchman, at least, have a little dimensionality- bumbling goofs and villains, but the one seems honestly affected by the kids' offer of forgiveness, while the other simply uses it as a ploy to try and gain the advantage... but in the end, neither is willing to see any of the children die, and redeem themselves by going back and helping them. Honestly, their plotline was probably the most engaging, and seeing the skinny one revealed as healed by Gorgo's... *ahem*... as he runs down the corridor framed by residual electricity was probably the closest to a 'cheer out loud' moment that I found in the plot.

The plotline is pretty straightforward- monolithically, skip-great-swaths-of-explanationally so for the first 20-30 minutes,which just leaped from scene to scene at a breakneck pace, after which it appears that it's going to settle down into another film-dominating extended kaiju battle... but actually, that's a fakeout, as the battle is lengthy enough for a final showdown, but ends in a bit of a defeat, with Mothra on the ropes, leaving the majority of the actually-interesting plot (unlike the dizzying, shallow setup) to occur in the last act. In that respect, this movie strongly improves on the poor pacing of its predecessor, and balances the elements enough to really keep interest throughout; plotwise, I found this to be the superior entry. (At least in plot *structure*).

And that leads us to our kaiju. Dagahra was an interestingly-sinister design, seeming as if he'd be unwieldy on land, but pretty solidly built. Not much to say, except- good antagonist.

Mothra Leo continued to be his Deus Ex Machina self; seriously, has anyone tried to keep a list of his powers? I would be interested in a final count. During the scene when he transformed himself into... Fish-Mothra?- and was attacking Dagahra with X-shaped bolts while Dagahra did bizarre spin-in-place-Havoc-bolts, I really just had to throw up my hands; there is no attempt to keep any kind of defined list... and as my wife put it, it really is like the kind of continual one-upsmanship escalation that you get from two little kids playing.
"Well, I put up my faster-than-you-can-block-forcefield-that-can't-be-shot-through, so you don't hit me!"
"But I shoot with my laser-gun-that-can-shoot-through-impenetrable-forcefields, and it makes a hole so that my faster-than-you-can-block-gattling-gun-that-can-shoot-through-dinosaur-armor hits you, too!"
"Nuh-uh! Because I have my laser-reflecting-mirror that shoots it back at you!"

It feels wrong to give so little focus to the kaiju in a kaiju movie review... but honestly, they did feel like the more minor aspect of the plot. Dagahra's mini-Hedorah shtick was never done much with, the Barums are effectively-disturbing with their face-melting, Advent-of-Legioning attacks... and that's about it. The rest is pretty standard. Having the temple itself attack Dagahra was interesting (why did it transform into a grander version of itself before becoming water before getting- somewhat needlessly, it seemed- destroyed by Mothra, by the way? Was that... symbolic of something?)

I will complain a little about using the SAME multi-moth ending to defeat the villain, though I will give it credit- they did give it a new spin! "Mothra Leader to Mothras Three and Four- form up on me, boys, I'm starting my attack run!" The Battle of the Digestive Tract (as I'm sure it will go down in history) stood out as an absolute high/low point of the film- the very epitome of the absolute absurdity that started with expectorated caterpillars landing in cleavage and random feline cigarette burns. The culmination of everything utterly ridiculous- and yet creatively unique- in this strange little film. Both uninspired and wholly original at the same time. Just... weird.

There was also Gorgo (and the Princess), of course, but not a lot to say there. He was an ugly furby, basically, and he... died, to revive Mothra? (I dig the new color scheme). They did sort of a fakeout, at least in the Dubtitles ("Daikaiju?!" asks one of the kids, and the subtitles read "What's that?" Ugh, dubtitles, come on- like, the ONE word we concretely KNOW in Japanese... at least TRY and preserve the illusion of fidelity...)- first, they say "Don't be sad. Look, on Mothra's wing..." Oh, so Gorgo survived, happy ending for the kid's movie, hoora- "...And imagine that Gorgo is there." ...Oh, so still dead, then. You know, I don't think that's really going to be a comfort to the grieving, Elias. 'Don't be sad your loved one died- just pretend that they didn't!' I think that's called 'unhealthy denial.'

Last but not least, the effects (especially the early CG) seemed much improved. Certain temple interior still looked a bit like TRON/The Last Starfighter for CGI quality, but the battle in the woods with Belvera and the Elias was a MAJOR improvement on the last film. It's possible that a part of that was keeping the camera more or less in a single plane; they may just have learned to work within their limitations. Either way, while still a mixed bag with some awful stuff (the aforementioned caterpillar in the cleavage and cat with a smoking tail, for instance), the overall effects quality seemed mixed.

More than I can say for the sound effects. In 1994, the Star Trek Generations soundtrack came out with a couple-dozen bonus tracks of sound effects from the movie- I can only assume someone on the production crew bought that CD. Mothra flies over the dolphins (a GREAT scene, btw!) with the enterprise-D warp sound, the city shoots energy bolts with Dr. Soran's disruptor sound, and the Nexus Energy Ribbon made multiple 'appearances'. I mean, the revived Doctor Who did the same thing, but at least only one or two per episode, and they gave it another decade for people to forget. (Us nerds notice these things anyway, no matter the time gap).

The music and opening sequence, at least, continue to impress- while the later was not quite as amazing as the first film, the score was a strong step up with some great themes. It was nice for the Mothra Song remix to not be too much of a departure (or a weird MTV music video this time), and the score incoporating snatches of it in increasing desperation as the Elias try and blast Barum off of Mothra was a highlight. The score is where these films (along with being visually pretty) continue to shine.

Overall, I... didn't really like this film because it was too kiddy for me, I guess? But I liked the individual *elements* a lot more than the first one. Great score, improved effects, better set-pieces and plot structure, more interesting pacing... if it weren't for the lack of emotional core and almost ANY characterization to provide a solid 'heart' to the film, I might consider this the better of the two movies. As it was, the production values and writing of this film were a definite step above RoM I, and there were some genuinely-great adventure sequences... it was just pitched much to young, with all of the emotional and character-development shallowness that can too-often entail, for all of those production values and writing to elevate the film to a higher status. Still, for kids (including for mine, when they're old enough), I think this is the far-superior movie. And I wish that there was a little more for me in it, because the individual parts and impressive achievements are enough for me to *want* to like this one more than I do.
KaijuCanuck wrote:It’s part of my secret plan to create a fifth column in the US, pre-emoting our glorious conquest and the creation of the Canadian Empire, upon which the sun will consistently set after less than eight hours of daylight. :ninja:


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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby Godzillian » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:02 am

I feel like this movie had really good ideas but just couldn't manage to get them to work (an issue that gets worse in the 2nd and 3rd ROM film). Personally I think this is is just ok nothing special. I do really love the monster designs in the film especially Mothra Leo and Death Ghidorah.
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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby Zarm » Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:00 am

And finally, Rebirth of Mothra III. And this one... might just be my favorite of the three.

Look, there are flaws. The characters- of the humans- are less developed than in I (better than Ii, though), and the ethereal beauty (especially the amazing opening sequences) are entirely abandoned.

But the kids are less developed because this is about the Elias more than anything, and the ethereal beauty is traded in for a relentless pace that really keeps the story moving. This is a story that really balances the drama and kaiju elements, after its two predecessors each leaned too heavily in one direction or another. This was actually a STORY, with a clever twist end, and while the focus was more on the Elias than the humans, everyone felt like they had a part and were served, and it never dragged. Can't say THAT about either of the other two.

In brief, on the humans- this seemed like the most functional family of the trilogy, and I really liked the dad. The main kid was a bit of a cipher, but he was still a good character.

Mom is still the same old Moll, so we got a new actress as Lora. I didn't notice - but then I'm the guy who went several years thinking Erick Avari and Jeff Goldblum were the same person. As my wife pointed out, this Lora is less involved - she doesn't wear her heart on her sleeve she is not always exclaiming; she is not always plugged into the moment. But for what the story called on her to do, I think she did well enough.

Since I was never the biggest Lora fan, the change didn't bother me, but in terms of embodying the established character, I can agree that this performance fell short of the mark.

Of anyone, though, this was Belvera's film. The film doesn't exactly redeem her, as she ends the film thinking she was just as right as at the start. It does, however, make her more sympathetic, showcasing her positive qualities despite her antisocial ways.

Perhaps, as my wife suggested, it would have been more interesting for Moll to stay dead, and for Belvera to take her place, even getting a Mothra summoning song moment- but I think that would have been a little too much of an abrupt character turn, and I like that they kept her as she was... showing another side of her, but not fundamentally changing who she was.

Poor Garugaru, on the other hand, is looking more and more ragged. I would guess that he was rebuilt with a lack of appropriate parts? Fairy, meanwhile, has finally learned he can't hit the broad side of a barn, and leads with a far more effective full body tackle. (Not quite sure what his attack strategy was with King Ghidorah, though - it seemed mostly like 'fly around and don't actually touch him while absorbing his incoming fire,' which doesn't seem like a winning strategy.)

Speaking of 'ol KG, I've never been a fan. He's always seemed inarticulate and boring to me- a flailing goofball that I could never take seriously as a destroyer of worlds. But I'll give him this... the Ghidorah design has never looked better than in Rebirth of Mothra I and III. Full props to prehistoric Ghidorah especially; this is the first time I actually believed that a Ghidorah's legs were more than decorative stabilizers.

Likewise, his enormous, crushing bulk- the only threat the classic version truly seemed to pose, to me- was well-parlayed here... and made for an effective setup for Mothra's victorious turnabout... when a middair collision pushes*Ghidorah* back instead.

Speaking of Mothra Leo, we get yet another set of designs (and attacks). While I don't like any of these as much as the revived 'rainbow Mothra' from the end of 2, these are some interesting looks... with the final form being easily the most unique take on Mothra I've seen.

The beating he takes is palpable, and he feels overall more manueverable and REAL this time around, so full marks.

That said, the effects continue to decrease - with CGI being given more to do then perhaps the budget, and the date, allow for. The CGI creatures are looking more and more painful - likewise the landscapes - and although the two title Kaiju looks really great, the dinosaurs in the past are painfully tiny and model like. The prehistoric Mothras. actually have pretty great designs and are well-realized, and the prehistoric landscape itself is effectively realized. Throw in some weird morph and warp effect for the kids being taken and the dome, and it's safe to say that this film defines 'mixed bag' in terms of effects. Some moments excell, while others belly-flop.

By far the best effect is Moll's crystallization, which makes Mothra - unwilling to wait for Lora's return - unintentionally seem like a bit of a selfish jerk, killing Moll in the process, until the not-unexpected happy ending.

Production design is pretty good; the Elias costumes you're much improved over the originals, you can like Royal outfits rather than bad Sailor Moon cosplay. The song arrangements were decent - I didn't prefer this repetition of the Mothra summoning song orchestration of the second film- I'd rather have seen something new, or else just gone back to the original- but the original songs, and especially the song choreography, was much improved. We went from a bad MTV music video, to a nicely mystical-looking, well-designed set of performances that actually fit the gravity of their moments.

None of the three Mothra films was flawless. The first one had far too extended a fight sequence that went on too long, at the expense of story. The second one was silly and shallow, and kiddiness overwhelmed the Kaiju plot. This one did not take its time, rushing from plot point to plot point - but I do think, of the three, it connected most with me, an adult viewer. It managed to take *most* of the best of what we got in the last two films and combined them - losing onlyvthe sense of wonder, which is arguably an essential part of the Mothra film formula. But as an actual film that I would choose to go back and watch again, I feel like only this one, of the three, would qualify. That is, perhaps, faint praise - certainly, these are no Godzilla movies in terms of popularity - but for what this Trilogy turned out to be, it is the highest compliment I can pay.
KaijuCanuck wrote:It’s part of my secret plan to create a fifth column in the US, pre-emoting our glorious conquest and the creation of the Canadian Empire, upon which the sun will consistently set after less than eight hours of daylight. :ninja:


Winner of the last-ever(?) TK Fantasy Match tournament.

#ProLife

The Zone Fighter campaign is funded and complete, with translations in progress! PM me if you want to be part of the Facebook updates group.

Maranatha!

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Re: Talkback: Rebirth of Mothra (1996)

Postby LamangoKaijura » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:31 pm

Eh, the three films just remind me of OVA anime trilogies.
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