Blu-ray: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (Sony)

Order

Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth


English Blu-ray Title (Region A)

Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth - The Toho Godzilla Collection

Sound:

Japanese (2.0 Stereo), English (2.0 Mono)

Subtitles:
Length:
Release:
Company
:
Discs:
Aspect Ratio:

English, French
103/102 minutes
2014
Sony
2
1.85:1 Anamorphic

Movie:

Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla vs. Mothra

Blu-ray

Extras

  • Menus (English)
  • Chapters (16/16)
  • Trailers: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (4 total), Godzilla vs. Mothra (5 total)
  • Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy

Captures


Review

By: Anthony Romero

Once upon a time, Sony was pushing the envelope with video quality on their DVDs. Presenting the Showa Godzilla titles in amazing video quality, even if lacking in extras. That was almost a decade ago and the company is back to a double feature, budget format for the titles. Fittingly, one of the entries is the very first title they tried this with on DVD back in 1998, featuring Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla vs. Mothra. In terms of value, this is a solid release offering two films, although video and audio presentations are only fare and the extras are minimal.


 Video: Star Rating


Sony titles, with rare exceptions like their Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II DVD, would be pretty dependable for good video presentations. This was back when Sony was more involved in the franchise, having released GODZILLA (1998) and Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999) to theaters. By 2014, the King of the Monsters is now going to stomp into theaters thanks to Legendary Pictures and rival studio Warner Bros., and the lack of enthusiasm from Sony for their library of modern Godzilla titles is evident. While the video quality on both of these titles is fare, neither is exemplary in any particularly area. The colors aren't vibrant, and in the case of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah are sometimes tinted yellow. The black levels aren't as deep as they could be, and details are a little soft at times. While I criticized Kraken Releasing a little recently, their titles like the Godzilla vs. Hedorah Blu-ray are presented much better than these films.

The prints used for the transfer have a story of their own. The one for Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah has the same presentation as the earlier DVD. This means the credits appear during the UFO sequence rather at the beginning with the sub and the end credits have been cut, which is unfortunate. The print used for Godzilla vs. Mothra appears to be new. It has the modern Toho logo that appears at the start and the title card is new. Sadly, despite this, it still places the credits during the egg being revealed and chops off the credits at the end a little. This aspect aside on both, they are in good condition without obvious signs of print damage.

Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and Godzilla vs. Mothra are presented in their original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. This is the first time the two films have been available in this aspect ratio on home video in the US.

 

 Audio: Star Rating


Each movie comes with two audio tracks, which are the original Japanese in stereo DTS-HD MA and the English dub track in mono. This marks the first time both films are available with their original Japanese audio in the United States and is a treat for that reason alone. The Japanese track is pretty solid as well. Its presented in a loseless format and features nice directionality for stereo on both films. There are no audio discrepancies to speak of as well. Both Japanese audio tracks fare well, although Godzilla vs. Mothra takes a slight edge with the sound effects working out the bass a little more.

Sadly, the same praise can't be applied to the English dub track. Presented in a mono format, the track feels claustrophobic. Sound effects and the powerful music by Akira Ifukube feel dwarfed and it pales when you switch back and forth between the English and Japanese options. To be fair, the audio features no discrepancies, but is lacking all the same. At best, its a way to watch the movie in English, although the monaural presentation make it feel like it was recorded in the 1970's.

The two movies contain three subtitle options each, two English (one SDH for the hearing impaired which subtitles sound effects with a black background on text) and one French. The subtitles correspond to the Japanese audio and translating the dialogue... mostly. There are lines that default to the dubbed audio, but the two audio tracks are so close that the intention is consistent through out even when it uses the dubbed dialogue.

 

 Extras: Star Rating


I was expecting no extras from these releases, so was pleasantly surprised when they contained a wealth of trailers for the two films. In total there are 9 trailers, containing all of the teasers and theatrical trailers for both in high definition. While these are only trailers, the Heisei ones were among the better trailers Toho had produced. They often mixed in previous footage from the Showa films for the early teasers to promote them. For example, footage from Mothra (1961), Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965) and more are used and edited against footage of Godzilla from Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989).

Beyond this the disc also contains Digital HD Ultraviolet copy of both films. As just a side note, the copy contains both movies although Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is photographed in the print out.

As a side note, presentation wise this release is a miss. The menu is generic, featuring Godzilla from Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994) for both, and the front cover is horrendous making the productions look like cheap grindhouse films

 

 Overview: Star Rating


This release offers a lot of bang for the buck, and its a huge upgrade over the previous Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla & Mothra: The Battle for Earth DVD and also the Madman efforts from Australia. While its unfortunate that Sony didn't place more care into the presentation of both the contents on and off the disc, it gives fans the long absent chance to enjoy both titles in their original Japanese and for that alone makes it a worthy addition to any fan's collection.