Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Post by Rodan »

eabaker wrote:I've only watched it once, and found it hugely entertaining, but it helped that the guy I was watching it with was super into it. It's really due for another viewing soon. We'll see how watching it with my wife alters my perceptions.
Maybe I should give it another shot. I just remember the entire setup being incredibly unengaging, and the special effects sequences technically impressive but dully paced. (Which would be fine if it seemed deliberate and other things were keeping me involved.)

I guess I'll try it again next time I watch a vintage Toho film.

Was the person you were watching it with a huge practical effects or classic sci-fi buff? I can see it appealing to particular genre fans, but it wasn't doing a whole lot for me.

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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

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Rodan wrote:Was the person you were watching it with a huge practical effects or classic sci-fi buff?
Not inordinately. I actually have a hard time pinning down what his tastes are. The only other kaiju flicks I remember him really taking to are Kaneko's entries (the Gamera trilogy as well as GMK), and - lord this is weird - Varan.
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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Post by Stevo_1985 »

eabaker wrote:
Rodan wrote:Was the person you were watching it with a huge practical effects or classic sci-fi buff?
Not inordinately. I actually have a hard time pinning down what his tastes are. The only other kaiju flicks I remember him really taking to are Kaneko's entries (the Gamera trilogy as well as GMK), and - lord this is weird - Varan.
So you found it very entertaining.. Seems a lot of people are calling it trash or a snoozefest. I think someone likened it to DAM without the monster fights.. now. I enjoy DAM and find it entertaining and not just for the monster fights.. honestly once the final brawl gets underway I start checking out. So maybe I would enjoy this film as well?

Added in 21 hours 42 minutes 54 seconds:
So I just watched this one tonight. I wasn't enthralled with the plot as much as I was with the mysterians. It seemed kind of rushed. I may have to give it another go though. In my attempt to watch it my children were performing their best rendition of Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture with any available blunt object at their disposal..

Anyways the battle scenes were quite entertaining. Next is H-Man.
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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

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After watching This Island Earth last week, I wanted to see a Japanese take on an interplanetary war. The special FX are impressive in both scope and presentation, and easily stand up to the aforementioned Hollywood film. The finale, which has the invaders use an absolute-zero anti-gravity ray on Tokyo, is just plain epic. It's certainly better than TIE, I'll give you that. But the film on the whole is insubstantial, since we really don't get to know any of the characters, unlike Kenji Sahara, Yumi Shirakawa and Akihiko Hirata in The Mysterians. It's just an empty FX-driven spectacular.

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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

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H-Man wrote:But the film on the whole is insubstantial, since we really don't get to know any of the characters, unlike Kenji Sahara, Yumi Shirakawa and Akihiko Hirata in The Mysterians.
Well, I guess we technically know Etsuko Shirashi (Yumi Shirikawa's character in Mysterians) and Dr. Adachi (Shimura's) given that they reappear in Battle in Outer Space, albeit played by different actors. But I agree with you.
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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Post by Ivo-goji »

Imo BIOS works better as a sequel to The Mysterians than as a stand alone film.

It's usually grouped with The Mysterians and Gorath as the Science Fiction Trilogy but it also works as a companion to the Showa Godzilla series, kinda setting up how advanced space travel is prior to Godzilla vs Monster Zero.
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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Post by Gothicserpent »

As someone who liked The Mysterians, is this one recommended?
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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Post by eabaker »

Gothicserpent wrote:As someone who liked The Mysterians, is this one recommended?
Yeah. It doesn't recapture the same aesthetic, but it's a pretty fun little action/sci-fi/disaster romp.
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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Post by Mr_Goji_and_Watch »

It's one of those lower end Honda flicks where you're better off fast forwarding to the effects scenes. Like Dogora and Gorath
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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

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Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:It's one of those lower end Honda flicks where you're better off fast forwarding to the effects scenes. Like Dogora and Gorath
Aw man, Dogora has great interplay between Dunham & Natsuki and Dunham & Wakabayashi. Not a classic but I think it's in the tier above BIOS and Gorath.
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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

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Terasawa wrote:
Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:It's one of those lower end Honda flicks where you're better off fast forwarding to the effects scenes. Like Dogora and Gorath
Aw man, Dogora has great interplay between Dunham & Natsuki and Dunham & Wakabayashi. Not a classic but I think it's in the tier above BIOS and Gorath.
I certainly wouldn't say the same about Gorath, either. I'll admit none of its characters are especially interesting, but the quality of the cast (Ryo Ikebe, Ken Uehara, Kubo, Shimura, Shirikawa, Mizuno, Tazaki, Masanari Nihei, etc.) still makes it worth sitting through all the way, even if some of them don't get a chance to do much. I just hope nobody watches the scenes with the giant walrus and calls it a day.

Varan, on the other hand, has one of, if not the dullest cast of any Toho Kaiju film from the era, and I wouldn't blame anyone for skipping over those scenes (Which is exactly what US distributors did, ironically). Though the monster stuff isn't that much better, either.
Last edited by MaxRebo320 on Fri May 17, 2019 1:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Post by Kaiju-King42 »

eabaker wrote:
Gothicserpent wrote:As someone who liked The Mysterians, is this one recommended?
Yeah. It doesn't recapture the same aesthetic, but it's a pretty fun little action/sci-fi/disaster romp.
No. No no no no no no NO!

You think the Anime Trilogy was a boring, dull mess? The Anime Trilogy has NOTHING on this movie. This is honestly one of the worst movies in the Showa series.

Only watch it if you're a completionist. Otherwise, I'd recommend watching something else.
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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

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MaxRebo320 wrote:
Terasawa wrote:
Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:It's one of those lower end Honda flicks where you're better off fast forwarding to the effects scenes. Like Dogora and Gorath
Aw man, Dogora has great interplay between Dunham & Natsuki and Dunham & Wakabayashi. Not a classic but I think it's in the tier above BIOS and Gorath.
I certainly wouldn't say the same about Gorath, either. I'll admit none of its characters are especially interesting, but the quality of the cast (Ryo Ikebe, Ken Uehara, Kubo, Shimura, Shirikawa, Mizuno, Tazaki, Masanari Nihei, etc.) still makes it worth sitting through all the way, even if some of them don't get a chance to do much. I just hope nobody watches the scenes with the giant walrus and calls it a day.
I'll give you that about Gorath, the cast is great and that's something it very definitely has on BIOS. The SFX are great (some of Tsuburaya's best miniature work) and the score by Kan Ishii is one of the best non-Ifukube genre scores. But I'm not into the story, which I think may be in large part due to the horrible subtitles floating around online and in physical bootlegs for years. For me it's a toss-up between that and BIOS, which has a strong latter half thanks to the Tsuburaya FX orgy.
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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Post by Mr_Goji_and_Watch »

I can't get into BIOS, Gorath, and Dogora. They might have some cool world building, a great selection of cast members, sharp framing and effortless blocking, and cool effects scenes but the drama never got me interested. The scripts let hardly anybody shine, Tsuchiya is the one guy who is entertaining in BIOS, Tazaki has a great yet short role in Gorath, and Wakabayashi is the highlight in Dogora. Ikebe has the acting chops but whether it be Honda's direction and/or the script it feels as if he's just in it for the paycheck in both BIOS and Gorath. A lot of the gunfights in Dogora lack any sense of danger. The films just end up feeling like they were made solely to show off Tsuburaya's work, which they almost certainly were. I don't think The Mysterians is that much better over these, it has it's fair share of odd and boring bits like the kidnapping scene, but it did a finer job at tying together the human element with the spectacle.
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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

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Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:I can't get into BIOS, Gorath, and Dogora. They might have some cool world building, a great selection of cast members, sharp framing and effortless blocking, and cool effects scenes but the drama never got me interested. The scripts let hardly anybody shine, Tsuchiya is the one guy who is entertaining in BIOS, Tazaki has a great yet short role in Gorath, and Wakabayashi is the highlight in Dogora. Ikebe has the acting chops but whether it be Honda's direction and/or the script it feels as if he's just in it for the paycheck in both BIOS and Gorath. A lot of the gunfights in Dogora lack any sense of danger. The films just end up feeling like they were made solely to show off Tsuburaya's work, which they almost certainly were. I don't think The Mysterians is that much better over these, it has it's fair share of odd and boring bits like the kidnapping scene, but it did a finer job at tying together the human element with the spectacle.
Battle in Outer Space kind of loses me, but I've found Gorath and Dogora have a few elements going for them. But I get what you're saying here.

I'm a sucker for The Mysterians, though.
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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

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Kaiju-King42 wrote:You think the Anime Trilogy was a boring, dull mess? The Anime Trilogy has NOTHING on this movie. This is honestly one of the worst movies in the Showa series.
Yeah, no. I'd much rather have a mundane, but still competently-made film that at least has impressive effects work and a stellar score over the pretentious, bloated anime trilogy, which I can't even praise for its mo-cap animation. But even if I disliked BIOS more, I'd still take it over the anime trilogy, since you know, its a single, 90-minute movie as opposed to three 100-minute ones.
Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:Ikebe has the acting chops but whether it be Honda's direction and/or the script it feels as if he's just in it for the paycheck in both BIOS and Gorath.
Oddly enough, of all the "Space Opera" films he was in, I think I like Ikebe best in War in Space. Sure, he's phoning it in, but I guess it kind of fits the "depressed old guy" character of his. But maybe that's because little others are very good in it (Apart from Hiroshi Miyauchi), so one performance that'd usually be deemed just OK gets elevated to a highlight.
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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Post by gojira96 »

I just watched this for the first time last night. I thought it was pretty "meh".

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Re: Talkback:Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Post by Terasawa »

I totally adore this movie's production design. Visually it's among the best Toho genre films, except for the awful paintings towards the beginning of the film that are supposed to represent photos (!) of the various disasters and some of the flimsy FX at the climax.

It also boasts one of Ifukube's strongest genre scores.

Beyond that, obviously it's a very flawed film, but I find myself coming back to it every once in a while.
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