Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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Ivo-goji wrote:
DaruniaDancing wrote:This is probably a dumb complaint considering how silly the premise of the movie is ("giant turtle crashing through Tokoyo"), but what's the deal with Gamera having rocket boosters on his legs? I wasn't really a fan. Didn't really seem natural/biological. I would rather have him just be able to fly without the rockets.

P.S. This was my first Gamera film.
It's the plot of this movie that's he's a genetically engineered super weapon created by an ancient civilization. His body was manufactured more along the lines of a machine than an animal.
Oh shoot, I remember that part now. Sorry.

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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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I'm finally giving the trilogy another run-through, having not watched them all together in a couple of years...

I must say, I'm a bit disappointed by this installment. G:GotU is a good example of a film that certainly has creative ideas and intentions somewhere in it, but is bogged down by so many technical problems that said concepts are almost entirely too neutered to appreciate. It's not a terrible movie, by any means; but I strongly disagree with the common thought of it, in itself, beating the entirety of Godzilla's Heisei era.

In immediate terms - the film has far too much in it's hands for it's own good, carrying full-on world building, attempts at character-based storytelling, and various form of societal critiques. These aren't impossible thematic tasks; and, when done well, can have very compelling results, as seen in films such as Return of Godzilla or (this very film's spiritual successor) GMK. When done poorly, it leads to none of the wholes amounting to something genuinely entertaining.

The story itself feels very bumpy and indirect (which is in no way aided by the very poor editing throughout). Characters are given almost literally no time to develop, with, surprisingly, too much time being delved to our Kaiju cast. Traces of a distant father-daughter relationship, an environmental message, or an argument on the Government's poor policies are littered about, but are never given time to grow beyond odd one-off scenes that throw off the tone significantly. The cast's time to grow is limited very quickly after Gamera appears, with the story transitioning from watching our characters unveil, to tracing Gamera's footsteps; his existence influencing theirs, instead of the more palpable reversed situation. Without time delved to characters, well-meaning ones such as our female lead come off very strongly as a Mary Sue archetype, with her voice almost always voicing the correct opinions.

Characters such as the daughter or the (oddly) determined scientist have no reason to exist beyond further complicating the plot, both of which could have easily - and logically - been replaced by the nervous policeman and our female lead, respectively. Major plotlines such as why Gamera is connected to the daughter are hardly answered at all; that is, if there is a direct answer, which I'm not entirely sure there is.

Even the visual effects haven't aged well at all. Though Gyaos looked nicer as the movie went on, most puppets and props were very jerky and 'dead'. Gamera had a nice design, but, much like Gyaos, felt consistently fake, especially when flying or simply standing idle. The fights were all dragging and relatively short, as well, never feeling as tense and exciting as they ought to.

Credit where credit is due; there is absolutely a solid film within G:GotU somewhere, but it isn't immediately visible. The monsters, if not underwhelming and lacking of significant storytelling 'weight', are nicely done, and the plot is generally enjoyable, at the very least. And, though they are underdeveloped and as two-dimensional as paper, the cast is absolutely memorable, and work well with the plot.

The monsters are very 'believable', in a sense, and match well with the 'mystic' tone throughout the entire movie; giving both Kaiju a solid, connected origin gives them a fairly more realistic feel.

I can also see how the argument of 'a Showa film done with modern stylizations' could apply here, and thus make some of my arguments irrelevant; however, I feel points such as character and plot issues hold water, as good Showa flicks kept both firmly in grasp.

Despite it's flaws, the film certainly isn't bad - I'd still argue it as a nicely done flick - just very, very rickety. I can't help but wonder if it was rushed in favor of catching GvD's hype.

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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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Listening to the soundtrack right now, and I honestly think this Gamera has one of the best themes of any kaiju.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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Dr. Professor wrote:Listening to the soundtrack right now, and I honestly think this Gamera has one of the best themes of any kaiju.
No doubt. Second only to Godzilla
SpaceG92 wrote:
<=25% joke. >=75% topic. Even then - that's pushing it.

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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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Godzilla21 wrote:
Dr. Professor wrote:Listening to the soundtrack right now, and I honestly think this Gamera has one of the best themes of any kaiju.
No doubt. Second only to Godzilla
The score for this film is just all around wonderful. It's a shame Ko Otani went completely electronic for GMK. It could've sounded much better than it did.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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Dr. Professor wrote:It's a shame Ko Otani went completely electronic for GMK. It could've sounded much better than it did.
I've heard that Otani wanted GMK to recall Goblin's film scores. But also keep in mind that I heard that a long time ago from another Godzilla fan who couldn't or wouldn't acknowledge the source.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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Terasawa wrote:
Dr. Professor wrote:It's a shame Ko Otani went completely electronic for GMK. It could've sounded much better than it did.
I've heard that Otani wanted GMK to recall Goblin's film scores. But also keep in mind that I heard that a long time ago from another Godzilla fan who couldn't or wouldn't acknowledge the source.
That's interesting, but if true I think he fell well short of his goal.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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eabaker wrote:
Terasawa wrote:
Dr. Professor wrote:It's a shame Ko Otani went completely electronic for GMK. It could've sounded much better than it did.
I've heard that Otani wanted GMK to recall Goblin's film scores. But also keep in mind that I heard that a long time ago from another Godzilla fan who couldn't or wouldn't acknowledge the source.
That's interesting, but if true I think he fell well short of his goal.
That's why I think it's a tall tale! There are some pieces in the GMK score that sound vaguely Goblin-esque but there aren't enough of them for me to think he intended an homage.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Post by Dr. Professor »

Terasawa wrote:
eabaker wrote:
Terasawa wrote:
I've heard that Otani wanted GMK to recall Goblin's film scores. But also keep in mind that I heard that a long time ago from another Godzilla fan who couldn't or wouldn't acknowledge the source.
That's interesting, but if true I think he fell well short of his goal.
That's why I think it's a tall tale! There are some pieces in the GMK score that sound vaguely Goblin-esque but there aren't enough of them for me to think he intended an homage.
I'm not sure what/who Goblin is.
Last edited by Dr. Professor on Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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Dr. Professor wrote:
Terasawa wrote:
eabaker wrote:
That's interesting, but if true I think he fell well short of his goal.
That's why I think it's a tall tale! There are some pieces in the GMK score that sound vaguely Goblin-esque but there aren't enough of them for me to think he intended an homage.
I'm not sure what/who Goblin is.
Prog rock band who did music for many 70s and 80s (mostly Italian) flicks, most notably horror movies such as Dawn of the Dead (though that was heavily intersperse with library tracks), Deep Red and Suspiria.

The sequel to Suspiria, the inferior but still entertaining Inferno, was scored by Keith Emerson, who would of course go on to score Final Wars.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Post by GodzillaFan1990's »

I watched this movie once again. What more can be said. Easily IMO the best kaiju film alongside the other two and what Godzilla (2014) should had been. All three gets better each and every time I watch them.

Gonna be watching the other two soon enough again as well.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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eabaker wrote:
The sequel to Suspiria, the inferior but still entertaining Inferno, was scored by Keith Emerson, who would of course go on to score Final Wars.
whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, W H O A

What? Hold the goddamn phone. How did I NOT know this?!
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Post by Godzillian »

I think that in this they made Gyaos the perfect kaiju villain. She really is the standard to me what an antagonist kaiju should be. Shame Toho didn't take notes.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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Maritonic wrote:
eabaker wrote:
The sequel to Suspiria, the inferior but still entertaining Inferno, was scored by Keith Emerson, who would of course go on to score Final Wars.
whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, W H O A

What? Hold the goddamn phone. How did I NOT know this?!
Y'know, it took me years before my brain made the connection.

Maybe I just didn't want to know it, though. ;)

I do now want to listen to "Taxi Ride - Rome."
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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It is interesting to me.

How did Gyoas get to be the one that became Gamera's archenemy? Of all the classic foes, he is the only one to make return appearances (which is something I respect the series for TBH as they almost always tried to give Gamera new things to fight in each entry). I mean Showa Gyoas was really cool and one of my more favorites of Gamera's original foes (my #1 fav was Guiron) but there was nothing about him that put him on a King Ghidorah like level that would make him the ultimate foe of the franchise lead.

Maybe its because he came back in a space version of himself in Gamera Vs. Guiron, or maybe its because his film really set the tone and pace for the rest of the series, but Gyoas becoming the main foe kind of surprised me.

It was a pleasant surprise as the updated Gyoas in the 90s trilogy was awesome and now I can't picture Gamera without Gyoas.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:GOTU is absolutely a better film lol
Heavily disagree.

It has some good visuals and shots but there's practically nothing to the characters beyond exposition and forced connections. I don't think G14 triumphs any better regarding characters but I think Edwards' direction and composition for G14 is much more visually interesting compared to GOTU. It's the worst of the Gamera trilogy, not a terrible film but not really worth standing alongside movies like G2.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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Since it was brought up in the other thread I think GOTU isn't as good as 2014 BUT it def is in the same league and the case can def be made for one being superior to the other
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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Any character will always be better then Ford or more like Bord (Get it? Bored?).
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Post by Mr_Goji_and_Watch »

UltramanGoji wrote: It has some good visuals and shots but there's practically nothing to the characters beyond exposition and forced connections. I don't think G14 triumphs any better regarding characters but I think Edwards' direction and composition for G14 is much more visually interesting compared to GOTU. It's the worst of the Gamera trilogy, not a terrible film but not really worth standing alongside movies like G2.
GOTU has it's fair share of flaws like Nagamine's supposed mourning of that professor and the forced romance, but Asagi's link to Gamera is much more fulfilling than anything in G14. The characters have a stronger human element to them. It's little things like Yonemori's desperation to join the expedition, Nagamine's steadfast attitude, Asagi's geekiness and her father visiting her room in the middle of the night that fleshes them out. They spout a lot of exposition but's a tightly paced film with plenty of beats in spite of that. It's ends up making things such as the charge of the Gyaos towards Nagamine, the bridge rescue scene, Gamera at the base of Mount Fuji, or the final western-esque duel tense and grounded with the characters. Those and various other little beats like the Gyaos being seen through the train window, the sunset and Tokyo Tower, the pan up with the birds towards a falling Gamera hold their own with Edwards's set pieces. The ensemble cast heighten the effects and plotting, Ford and his dad have a good streak going but once Joe dies there's no strong enough connection between him and the other leads like Serizawa or Ellie to give weight to the huge spectacle. I care way more when the final battle in GOTU cuts to the characters and the injuries Asagi sustains, rather than in G14 where you have these spectacularly blocked fight scenes interspersed between shots of disposable soldiers plus the lifeless lead carrying the nuke.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Post by GodzillaFan1990's »

Heisei Gamera Trilogy is flawless.

And no one is changing my mind.
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