Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby JAGzilla » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:28 pm

I watched this one for the first time a few hours ago. Well, I'd seen the second half on TV, but so long ago that it hardly counts. Anyway, I felt that it actually lived up to the hype. Solid effects, kickass monster action, likable characters that actually did things, a decent story with a message, good if rather forgettable music. I'd definitely put it on the same level as Godzilla's better movies.

The Gyaos were excellent villains. They felt like an actual threat, and the movie did a good job of making them 'scary.' But not to an over-the-top, Destoroyah-esque extent; they were just animals. Vicious, intelligent, and unnatural animals capable of bringing about the apocalypse, but animals all the same. 'Believable', more or less. It worked quite well. I liked their abilities, too. The sonic cutting beams are a very different and effective weapon, and that distortion effect while they charge was a nice touch. I also love that the Hyper Gyaos actually used the claws on its wings to slash and swipe at Gamera. That did a lot to set it apart from other flying kaiju like Rodan.

Gamera himself was handled well, too. He wasn't Godzilla, but he was still a badass, easy-to-root-for protagonist monster. I liked his personality. He's a guardian monster trying to save humanity, yes, but he's not a full-blown hero. He'll protect individual humans if it's convenient, but if not, oh, well. If there's a city between him and the enemy, it sucks to be the city. The mission comes first. Abilities: the explosive fireballs were cooler than I'd expected, and packed a punch. It was interesting that headbutting is his main form of melee combat, too; I can't think of many other monsters that do that.

Flaws: Some of the characters could've been fleshed out a little more. I also would've liked more detail on Akagi's connection to Gamera, too. It was a good idea, and I liked what was there, but some explanation would have been nice. Why exactly does he need a human? Was he drawing strength from her, or what? Or was it intentionally left vague and mysterious? Not a major problem, at any rate. The movie was still top-notch, and I'm very much looking forward to the sequels.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby Tohosaurus » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:25 am

Good assessment, JAGzilla. The thing with this, like the others in the Kaneko trilogy, are just good sci-fi movies. Good action, decent characters, agreeable effects work. All of it blends together well. That said, I do prefer the other two for taking what's good about Guardian and improving some of it.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby Space Hunter M » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:22 am

The UK dub of this is skreeonking hilarious. Am I still in the minority by preferring this and G2 to the overdramatic, pretentious third film?
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby MiddleFin » Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:28 pm

This is one of my favorite movies. One of the best scenes in movie is where Gamera pulls out his elbow bone and slashes Gyaos. I love the way he looks in this movie. Gives the impression he is younger and growing in G2 and G3 he is hardened.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby Rodan » Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:57 pm

Space Hunter M wrote:The UK dub of this is skreeonking hilarious. Am I still in the minority by preferring this and G2 to the overdramatic, pretentious third film?

I think you're slowly coming to be in the majority, at least around here.

This is my second favorite film in the trilogy, narrowly falling behind Gamera III. This is just such a solid film all around. It's my go-to for a fun, competent modern kaiju movie. There's absolutely nothing going on under the surface, but the characters are good, the practical effects are great, and it's just a great ride overall.

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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby Godzilla21 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:55 pm

Space Hunter M wrote:The UK dub of this is skreeonking hilarious. Am I still in the minority by preferring this and G2 to the overdramatic, pretentious third film?


You are not alone SHM. I find GOTU to be the superior Gamera film of the 3. It is a FUN movie (unlike G3), has a great heroic theme, and has enough old school monster fun mixed with good special effects (although some of the Gyaos effects are bad and the Gamera suit is a little goofy).
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby Kaiser » Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:28 pm

Space Hunter M wrote:The UK dub of this is skreeonking hilarious. Am I still in the minority by preferring this and G2 to the overdramatic, pretentious third film?


No, I feel pretty much exactly the same way. Revenge of Iris is honestly quite slow moving and unmemorable outside of a few scenes. It's the Destroy All Monsters of the Heisei series.

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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby Mechagigan » Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:08 pm

Opinions have changed! New review coming sooner or later.
Last edited by Mechagigan on Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby three » Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:33 pm

i liked this movie a whole lot, and that's saying something because i am not really a Gamera fan. one thing i missed was the near invincibility of Gayos, but they made up for this by adding another what? two or three of the little suckers. they're badass -- reminiscent of the JP raptors in terms of threat factor and sheer brutal ability to get things done as they want them to be done.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby Godzillian » Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:33 pm

My personal favorite Gamera film. It really is one of those rare perfect kaiju films.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby edgaguirus » Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:22 pm

Agreed. The acting was spot on; The monsters looked good, especially the Gyaos; The climactic fight was thrilling, and the story was good.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby 20th Century Boy » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:59 pm

This is basically THE stereotypical kaiju film; only it's made so well. I'd love to write an analysis on this movie when I have the time.

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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby Omegazilla » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:56 pm

I loved this film almost as much as the second entry in the trilogy. Gamera's redesign and origin is fantastic as well as Gyaos'. They both needed the modern update and the movie did a splendid job at it.

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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby EmperorGhidorah » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:35 am

While the first and second movie had the better overall story, the ending in G3 puts to shame any other scene in the entire trilogy.

I did however like GOTU. I liked the complexity of gyaos and felt it was an awesome redesign.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby three » Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:02 am

Godzilla The King wrote:To revive this old thread, does anyone agree that this is the best in the trilogy? I mean there are aspects of the of the other films but this film felt more consistently good. It might be bias, it might be the fact that I honestly prefer this Gamera suit to others.
I also for some reason felt the story was better than the others.



This movie is the best so far I've seen. Still waiting on stupid legion to be discovered (not redneck). Anyway, I saw the first and last, and this movie is well above the third in terms of story. It feels like there's something more than a monster movie. The third one is kind of like a big trope play; where a kid befriends the monster and the monster ultimately turns on the kid. It's been done before.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby tymon » Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:31 am

I prefer this film to its two sequels by far. It's just such a fun, well-paced ride of a monster flick, and I actually like these characters, unlike the bland ones in G2 or the "omfg dark n gritty" characters of the third film...
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby Godzilla21 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:32 am

tymon wrote:I prefer this film to its two sequels by far. It's just such a fun, well-paced ride of a monster flick, and I actually like these characters, unlike the bland ones in G2 or the "omfg dark n gritty" characters of the third film...


This 100%.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby 20th Century Boy » Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:19 am

I would have liked this movie more if it was more original. Sometimes it just feels like a typical '60s kaiju film done in the '90s. Done very well, I'll give you that, but I feel like I've already seen everything before in Frankenstein vs. Baragon, Mothra, King Kong vs. Godzilla, etc. I prefer the second and third movies in the trilogy for more originality.

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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby EmperorGhidorah » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:07 am

20th Century Boy wrote:I would have liked this movie more if it was more original. Sometimes it just feels like a typical '60s kaiju film done in the '90s. Done very well, I'll give you that, but I feel like I've already seen everything before in Frankenstein vs. Baragon, Mothra, King Kong vs. Godzilla, etc. I prefer the second and third movies in the trilogy for more originality.


The plot was original, the characters were original, the monsters were original, the monster fights were original, the music was original. I don't see how it's a typical "60s kaiju film done in the 90s". It's so much different from the movies you listed its not even funny.
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Re: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Postby 20th Century Boy » Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:19 am

EmperorGhidorah wrote:
20th Century Boy wrote:I would have liked this movie more if it was more original. Sometimes it just feels like a typical '60s kaiju film done in the '90s. Done very well, I'll give you that, but I feel like I've already seen everything before in Frankenstein vs. Baragon, Mothra, King Kong vs. Godzilla, etc. I prefer the second and third movies in the trilogy for more originality.


The plot was original, the characters were original, the monsters were original, the monster fights were original, the music was original. I don't see how it's a typical "60s kaiju film done in the 90s". It's so much different from the movies you listed its not even funny.


Plot - Exactly the same as Frankenstein vs. Baragon.

Characters - It was nice seeing a female lead, but it still had your typical comedic sidekick and grumpy figure of authority who wants the good monster dead.

Monsters - Gamera and Gyaos had many appearances before this.

Music - Well duh. Of course a movie's going to have an original score. That wasn't even one of my points of complaint.

The movie is clearly meant to be a tribute to kaiju movies of the '60s because Kaneko and staff were fans. My problem is that it goes just a little too far with that.


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