Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

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Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby HedorahIsBestGirl » Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:46 pm

I don't dislike Godzilla vs. Biollante. I've never particularly liked it either. There was a time where I would have ranked it among my least favorite Godzilla films. I've warmed on it somewhat over the years, but I still feel like I don't appreciate it as much as I should, given that so many Godzilla fans rank it as one of the greatest films in the series, and one of their personal favorites. So I just want to ask, why do you love it?

To be clear, my main problems regard the ending, which is an anti-climactic mess as far as I'm concerned. Let's break it down:
-Godzilla and Biollante are fighting. Suddenly, Godzilla staggers into the ocean and passes out. Apparently, the ANEB has finally taken effect. Is this a delayed reaction from the TC system or from Biollante's radioactive sap? We don't know.
-Biollante dissolves into a cloud of glowing spores and Dr. Shiragami sees Erika in the cloud (WTF?). Just then, the Saradian randomly shows up and shoots him dead.
-A totally unnecessary car chase ensues. The Saradian gets vaporized by the TC system because somehow Major Kuroki knew exactly where he was. How did he know he wasn't vaporizing the boring main character whose name I've forgotten? We don't know.
-Boring main guy and his equally boring love interest reunite and are strangely giddy given Dr. Shiragami just got murdered in front of them. Suddenly, Godzilla wakes up. Apparently the ocean cooled him off. But instead of trashing everyone, he just swims away. Why?
-We end on Biollante, in the form of a giant rose, orbiting Earth. Okay...

So do other people like the ending alot more than I do? Or do you just love this movie so much you're willing to forgive a sloppy finish? Please tell me, because I'd honestly like to appreciate Biollante more than I do.
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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby Terasawa » Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:56 pm

The final act is definitely the most flawed part of the film. One thing you didn't mention that's always bothered me: Biollante shows up solely so we can have the monsters fight. There's no narrative reason why she should show up suddenly during the JSDF operation.

But beyond that, this is one of the more inventive later-day Godzilla films, especially visually. It's also one of the most thematically rich.
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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby Orichalcum » Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:02 pm

The soundtrack and cinematography is beyond stellar.

Best Godzilla suit of the Heisei era.

Biollante is the best realized kaiju of the entire franchise.

Great tone, besides G84, best of the Heisei series.

Did I mention the cinematography? I did, well it needs to be mentioned twice.

Great 1st fight choreography.
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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby szmigiel » Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:31 am

For me it is one of the top movies because it is more of a sci-fi take on Godzilla, continuing what was started in 'Return of Godzilla". I am not saying mixing the DNA of Godzilla, a rose, and the soul of a dead girl is realistic, or even the ESPers. But I like that the film is firmly grounded in the events of the previous film, probably the one of the most faithful direct sequel in franchise. The opening showing that governments and corporations are interested in studying Godzilla cell is nice world building. Then there is the rebuilt parts of Shinjuku that have plaques showing Godzilla previous rampage, and the fact that the military is preparing for the possibility of Godzillas escape from the volcanic island.

I can tell from your post that you are not that invested in the human spy and espionage drama that is a major part of the human half of the story. For me this is as good as the Kaiju half. So wrapping up the agents storyline is as important as the fate of Godzilla. When I look at my favorite films in the franchise are the ones where I am heavily invested in the characters story arcs. The ones where I don't care much about the characters fall more towards the bottom.

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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby Orichalcum » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:03 am

Biollante takes its outlandish plotpoints and treats them naturally and serious unlike the rest of the Heisei series save for Destroyah I guess. I'm probably reaching a bit here but I'd go so far to compare its treatment of the character to Godzilla 2014. The creatures and psychics certainly do exist in its world and it handles it without going too over the top with its characters
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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby Smuggers » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:45 am

Do you have any genuine criticism besides "I didn't like the ending, here's a snarky play-by-play"?
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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby HedorahIsBestGirl » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:48 am

Orichalcum wrote:The soundtrack and cinematography is beyond stellar.

Best Godzilla suit of the Heisei era.

Biollante is the best realized kaiju of the entire franchise.

Great tone, besides G84, best of the Heisei series.

Did I mention the cinematography? I did, well it needs to be mentioned twice.

Great 1st fight choreography.


I agree on most of these points. I don't know if I'd say that Biollante is the single best realized kaiju of the entire franchise, but she's certainly up there. In regards to the cinematography, are there any specific shots or sequences which you found particularly impressive? I don't recall any off the top of my head.

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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby Orichalcum » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:54 am

Might I ask, if you don't find the final Biollante's prop the most impressive of the Godzilla franchise, what is?

And to name a few...

The reveals of Biollante in the lake

Rose Biollante's vine shield

Godzilla emerging from the volcano

The shot of Mihara exploding in the background as the characters talk in the forefront

The background shot of Godzilla and final Biollante battling at the end

Those are just the ones at the very top of my head, I know I'm leaving out a lot.

Could someone supply some shots please, it'd be great to show some examples.
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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby HedorahIsBestGirl » Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:00 am

szmigiel wrote:I can tell from your post that you are not that invested in the human spy and espionage drama that is a major part of the human half of the story. For me this is as good as the Kaiju half. So wrapping up the agents storyline is as important as the fate of Godzilla. When I look at my favorite films in the franchise are the ones where I am heavily invested in the characters story arcs. The ones where I don't care much about the characters fall more towards the bottom.


You're right, I don't like the espionage aspect of the story. I cringe watching foreign stereotypes say things like "poop damn, we're the lethal weapon" and "Kiss you guys." I think this sub-plot is one of the worst aspects of the film, along with the ending. The Godzilla series has never handled its non-Japanese characters well, with the lone exception of Astronaut Glenn in Monster Zero. I think Biollante and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah have the worst portrayals of non-Japanese characters in the whole series. And even if I'm to excuse the horrible dialogue, the role of BioMajor and the Saradian in the plot just don't work very well. How the hell did a couple of BioMajor guys plant enough explosives to blow up a volcano without the JSDF taking notice? They basically serve as a shoddy plot point to wake up Godzilla. And after Godzilla wakes up, the Saradian basically disappears until the climax, which makes his sudden return, assassination of the good doctor and death, very jarring. If he had turned up just to kill Shiragami and then slipped away, I wouldn't have minded so much, but to me that last car chase scene felt like a forced and unnecessary second climax (similar to the Fire Dragon in Destroy All Monsters).

I think Dr. Shiragami, Colonel Gondo and Major Kuroki are some of the best human characters in the Godzilla franchise. On the flip side, I think the BioMajor guys and the Saradian are some of the worst. And the male and female leads in this movie are just as bland (if not slightly blander) than the main characters in the average Godzilla film. So I was invested in the story of Dr. Shiragami's attempts to immortalize his daughter's memory and the JSDF's attempts to defeat Godzilla, but the other half of the human storyline falls flat for me.

Added in 14 minutes 57 seconds:
Orichalcum wrote:Might I ask, if you don't find the final Biollante's prop the most impressive of the Godzilla franchise, what is?

And to name a few...

The reveals of Biollante in the lake

Rose Biollante's vine shield

Godzilla emerging from the volcano

The shot of Mihara exploding in the background as the characters talk in the forefront

The background shot of Godzilla and final Biollante battling at the end

Those are just the ones at the very top of my head, I know I'm leaving out a lot.

Could someone supply some shots please, it'd be great to show some examples.


I think I'll have to watch the movie again and pay closer attention to those shots, and the cinematography in general. I last watched Biollante about two months ago, but in total I think I've only seen it five or six times, which is on the low end of average compared to how many times I've watched the other films.

Here's my pros and cons list for Biollante:

Pros:
- Biollante has a fantastically bizarre origin and an awesome design (in both forms).
- The Godzilla suit is debatably the best of the entire series and a big improvement over the sixteen films before it.
- The musical score is (mostly) excellent.
- The world-building is pretty cool, I like the idea of various governments and corporations trying to use Godzilla's DNA for scientific advancement.
- Some of the supporting characters are among the best human characters in the series.

Cons:
- As I've made clear, I hate the last five minutes. I feel like the climax is rushed, forced and badly written.
- The main characters are bland.
-The terrorist/spy sub-plot is not handled well.
- I would have liked to see Biollante factored more into the plot, instead of disappearing between her two fights with Godzilla. As it stands, she plays the smallest role in the plot of any Heisei era Godzilla foe.
- I really hate the Super X2 theme. It's like a bad rendition of the Superman theme.

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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby TitanoGoji16 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:26 pm

HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:I cringe watching foreign stereotypes say things like ... "Kiss you guys."


"Thanks." He says "THANKS." He just killed a bunch of soldiers to steal the Godzilla cells from and gives their dead bodies a sarcastic "Thanks, you guys." As in, thanks for the Godzilla cells. This isn't directed at you personally, HIBG. But I've seen people misquote his line as "kiss you guys" for years and I have no idea how it keeps proliferating. Even in the context of Engrish and bad dubbing, "kiss you guys" makes absolutely no sense, lol.
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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby JAGzilla » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:11 pm

That scene with the psychic kids and the drawings of their dreams deserves a mention.

And I happen to like the Super X2 theme, thank you very much. This movie's score in general is pretty great.

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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby HedorahIsBestGirl » Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:23 pm

TitanoGoji16 wrote:
HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:I cringe watching foreign stereotypes say things like ... "Kiss you guys."


"Thanks." He says "THANKS." He just killed a bunch of soldiers to steal the Godzilla cells from and gives their dead bodies a sarcastic "Thanks, you guys." As in, thanks for the Godzilla cells. This isn't directed at you personally, HIBG. But I've seen people misquote his line as "kiss you guys" for years and I have no idea how it keeps proliferating. Even in the context of Engrish and bad dubbing, "kiss you guys" makes absolutely no sense, lol.


Thanks would make a lot more sense, but I absolutely hear him say "Kiss you guys." Just rewatched the scene, even tried to hear "thanks", but he clearly says "KISS you guys." If he's supposed to be saying thanks, it's the worst pronunciation of a word I've ever heard. My guess is this is a lost-in-translation scenario where the screenwriter or director thought that "kiss you guys" was an English expression. Otherwise, the actor misspoke his line and it was left in. I don't know, but I definitely hear him say "kiss you guys", even though that line makes no sense.

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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby eabaker » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:53 am

JAGzilla wrote:That scene with the psychic kids and the drawings of their dreams deserves a mention.


It deserves a mention at least once per page, on every thread on the site.

Added in 1 minute 24 seconds:
HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:
TitanoGoji16 wrote:
HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:I cringe watching foreign stereotypes say things like ... "Kiss you guys."


"Thanks." He says "THANKS." He just killed a bunch of soldiers to steal the Godzilla cells from and gives their dead bodies a sarcastic "Thanks, you guys." As in, thanks for the Godzilla cells. This isn't directed at you personally, HIBG. But I've seen people misquote his line as "kiss you guys" for years and I have no idea how it keeps proliferating. Even in the context of Engrish and bad dubbing, "kiss you guys" makes absolutely no sense, lol.


Thanks would make a lot more sense, but I absolutely hear him say "Kiss you guys." Just rewatched the scene, even tried to hear "thanks", but he clearly says "KISS you guys." If he's supposed to be saying thanks, it's the worst pronunciation of a word I've ever heard. My guess is this is a lost-in-translation scenario where the screenwriter or director thought that "kiss you guys" was an English expression. Otherwise, the actor misspoke his line and it was left in. I don't know, but I definitely hear him say "kiss you guys", even though that line makes no sense.


Wait, you genuinely hear it as "kiss you guys"? I always interpreted that as a running joke within the fandom, not as what anybody actually thought the guy was saying!
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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby Terasawa » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:21 am

I definitely hear "Kiss, you guys," too, but I think the actor probably mangled the line and no one on set knew English well enough to correct him. I also don't think the actor was probably fluent in English, based on the rest of his minimal dialogue.

Anyway, the Japanese subtitle is「いただくぜ」 or "I got it!" That the line was dubbed as "Thanks, you guys!" in the English version is enough evidence for me that that was the line as written.
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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby tyrantgoji » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:38 am

This thread is Goji89 worst enemy :lol:
I do like this film,but it kinda drags along sometimes.
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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby MaxRebo320 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:02 pm

HedorahIsBestGirl wrote:I cringe watching foreign stereotypes say things like "poop damn, we're the lethal weapon" and "Kiss you guys."

That's why you watch the movie dubbed, lol.
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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby goji89 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:46 pm

What the skreeonk is with this thread......?

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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby Omegazilla » Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:58 pm

It is one of my favorites. Having seen unused concepts for this movie though it could have turned out much worse though.

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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby GojiDog » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:10 pm

It is a personal favorite of mine and I am happy to explain why.

1) First of all, the film is a marvelous showcase for practical special effects. For me, Godzilla has never looked better, the fight scenes with the military and the Super X-2 are superb, and Biollante is one of the practical effects I've seen in a movie that left me speechless the first time I saw it. All the tendrils moving all over the place and scary design were all striking images. Also, I distinctly remember thinking when I first saw it that it was going to be a stationary creature ala Jabba the Hutt or Audrey II. Yeah it looked impressive, but no way in hell it is moving...HOLY CRAP it is moving across the set!

2) By extension of the special effects being a treat, the monster battles are pretty great. The first showdown between Godzilla and Biollante's first form was a nice water based battle and the finale was just awesome, a real short but sweet spectacle.

3) The story, on its surface, should be a complete mess. It includes eco-terrorists, fictional countries, genetic splicing, psychics, and all sorts of wacky military weapons like artificial lightning storms, the Super X-2 with its "fire mirrors", and the Anti-Nuclear Bacteria. This thing has no business working as well as it does...but it oddly does work. Godzilla 84 was more of a realistic display of putting the big guy in the middle of the political climate during the Cold War. Here, they went straight for comic book and pulp elements and while it sounds strange on paper, it actually worked out very well in execution. It is kind of like a Kaiju movie mixed in with James Bond, Mission: Impossible, a horror movie, and tons of other things. I mean when Godzilla's opponent is a creature made up of his DNA and a haunted rosebush (okay, a plant spliced with human DNA, but I prefer to call it a haunted rosebush), you know you are in for something over the top.

4) To build off of that, this one kind of set the tone for the elements I generally liked about the Heisei films in the 90s. I already mentioned all the over the top elements like including psychics and genetic splicing (and that list would get weirder and weirder as the films progressed), and in addition, this was the first showcase of the continuity that we would be getting for the remainder of the series. Prior to this, continuity is generally assumed rather that directly stated. In Monster Zero, we know that Godzilla, Rodan, and Ghidorah fought in the past, but specifics of that encounter are not really incorporated into that film's story. In most Showa movies, Godzilla is generally in a place at the start of the movie that kind of fits with where he ended up in the previous film, but there isn't much reliance on connecting the films together beyond broad strokes. Honestly, I think Terror of Mechagodzilla opening with them searching for the Mechagodzilla remains might be the most direct connection between two films in the Godzilla series prior to this entry. (And they even messed that up a bit by looking for the remains in a location from where Godzilla and Mechagodzilla had their climactic battle in the previous film).

With Godzilla Vs. Biollante, we pick up right where G84 left off and find out that the story of that film is still going as we get to see the immediate fall out of those events and how they impact the events of this film five years later. Miki Segusa is introduced and would basically serve as the conduit between man and monster for the rest of the series. And Biollante itself would be used to set up another monster down the road. It was a nice trend that sort of defined the series and set it apart from the Showa series.

5) This movie has some of my favorite moments in the entire series: Godzilla emerging from the volcano, the young Biollante attacking the Bio Major and Sauradian agents, the young psychic kids holding up the drawings of Godzilla (signaling that he was coming), Godzilla's battles with the Super X-2 and Biollante, Miki using her powers to direct Godzilla away...good stuff!

6) I talked about it earlier too, but I love the military and scientific strategies used against Godzilla. This isn't just a "Send the tanks and planes" type of deal as they use creative weapons and strategy against him. The Super X-2 uses "Fire mirrors" (BTW, that is one of my favorite pieces of pseudo science in this films, lol. Right up there the Dimension Tide) which contextually makes sense when dealing with Godzilla. They use Anti Nuclear Bacteria to drain Godzilla's strength, but they have to shoot it into his mouth and so they have to lure him to these buildings where Gondo can get a good shot at him. They use an artificial lightning storm to raise his temperature for the bacteria to take effect, so they have to use the tanks and planes to get him into position. I like it when the military is portrayed as having some clue as to what they are doing rather than just being completely ineffective. It was also one of the things I loved about Mothra Vs. Godzilla, and to a lesser degree Godzilla: King of the Monsters (watching the military charge in with Godzilla was a fist pump moment at least).

7) I like the characters! Gondo is fun. At first he's the head of this neglected unit that is in charge of dealing with Godzilla and finds himself thrown into the boiling pot once Godzilla becomes a factor again and ends up having a hero's death. The Saradian Agent SSS9 is like a death merchant, the closest this series has ever had to having a Boba Fett or Darth Maul like character. Shirigami is one of the best scientist characters in the series with his tragic motivations for making Biollante. Kuroki is believable in his position of authority and being sort of the brave face of the stand against Godzilla. And personally, I like Miki Segusa and her inclusion in all the rest of the Heisei films.

8) Music score is pretty good, one of my more favorite non-Ifukube scores. I love the theme used for Biollante, the strategic inclusion of updated Ifukube themes, the mega heroic theme for the Super X-2, and that jazzy as hell take on the Godzilla theme.

9) I've kind of already gushed all over her, but I can't say enough how much I love Biollante. Such a cool monster for Godzilla to fight and a very imposing enemy in the final battle. It looks great, its presented well, and it fits into the story well...I love it.

Honestly, my only real issue with the film is the broken English that is spoken, which is a similar issue I had with Shin Godzilla. It is kind of a pick your poison scenario. Should I go with the crappy English dub, or the original language track which includes some terribly delivered lines of English?

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Re: Godzilla vs. Biollante: Why So Loved?

Postby Missingno. » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:21 am

Since I suppose this thread is more or less focused on the climax of the film, here's my two cents on that sequence of the movie:

I personally think there is a bit more of the ESP element at play for the final battle than we are let in on, likely due to sloppy writing here. Just as the SDF finalizes preparations for the M6000 T.C. System, Miki is seen drawing an image of Biollante's rose form in orbit, sensing that she [Biollante] is still alive. Earlier in the film, Godzilla is shown to have a particularly strong telepathic signal. What seems to be implied is that Biollante, being a hybrid-clone of Godzilla, was telepathically witnessing the military standoff in some sort of capacity, perhaps even able to sense that his signal was weakening as the ANEB began to take its toll. When she detected that Godzilla had broken through the lines of defense and was about to descend upon the nuclear plant, her time to strike came, and she consciously initiated the final battle at that particular moment to further weaken, if not kill her genetic doppelganger. This effort succeeds, as the bacteria finally drains enough of Godzilla's energy to make him retreat from the battle, falling into the sea. With her job done, Biollante then dissolves once again to return to space, saying "thank you" to the group of characters witnessing the event, as stated by Miki. This includes a vigil of Erika rising with the spores to express that thanks, and indicates that there is a bit of control left in Biollante by Erika's spirit/will, if in a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde sort of way (as she destroyed quite a bit of SDF equipment just before emerging to fight Godzilla). I could be looking into it a bit too much, but that's what I've rationalized as to why Biollante abruptly returns.

The bio-terrorism plot then wraps up next with the assassination of Shiragami by the Saradian agent. Kirishima gives chase in a nearby jeep, leading to a brief struggle which results in SSS-9 getting vaporized by one of the mines. As to how Kuroki was able to tell which mine SSS-9 was standing on, there are two possibilities in my head: either the jeep Kirishima took had some sort of relay to tell the system operators where it was (such as its radio), and by extension where the struggle was taking place; or the agent stepping on it activated a sort of 'pressure plate' which in turn made the mine send out a signal and its respective button lit up on the control board, indicating it needed to be pressed/armed.

Asuka catches up to the scene after the scuffle is over, and when asked by Kirishima about Shiragami, she doesn't respond directly; instead hanging her head low and slightly shaking her head in a 'no' manner. It doesn't have the impact it should, but it serves its purpose: the doctor isn't going to make it. Godzilla is then shown to be alive, with his body temperature apparently lowered by the water he fell into earlier. The wrap-up of the bio-terrorism aspect just before the reveal serves as a lead to this, so Godzilla's revival does not seem too sudden. As to why he doesn't "trash everyone" there, it's simple. His energy reserves are gone, and he heads out to sea to hibernate, as mentioned in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. Cutting back to Asuka and Kirishima, they aren't giddy until it is apparent that everything is over and they can finally rest easy for the time being, with "Godzilla is returning to the sea, and Biollante to the sky," The last we see of the latter is the rose in space.. much like what was indicated by Miki's drawing before the SDF standoff in the T.C. System.

So yeah, those are my observations of the film's climax and the driving factors behind them, at least in my eyes.
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