Blu-ray: Mothra (Mill Creek Entertainment)

Order

Mothra


English Blu-ray Title (Region A)

Mothra

Sound:

Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (2.0 Mono)

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

English
101 minutes
2019
Mill Creek Entertainment
1
2.35:1 Anamorphic

Movie:

Mothra

Blu-ray

Extras

  • Menus (English)
  • Chapters (14/15)
  • Trailers: Teaser (Columbia), Trailer (Columbia)
  • Audio Commentary with Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski (English)
  • Photo Gallery

Captures


Review

By: Anthony Romero

It's been a long, long time since Mill Creek Entertainment released the Heisei Gamera trilogy to Blu-ray. The company is back in the genre, though, with a release of Ishiro Honda's Mothra to the format. Issued in a tin case, the design and overall presentation heavily evokes the US advertising for the movie upon its initial release in the 1960's. Regardless, though, this set contains both the US and Japanese versions of the movie.

In terms of quality, as likely expected this release borrows heavily from the Icons of Sci-fi: Toho Collection DVD presentation of the movie. This means middle of the road video and audio with a familiar commentary track all packed in a release sold at a good price.


 Video: Star Rating


Two video tracks are present here, one for each version of the film.

Sadly, the video tracks here are plagued with a lot of grain. This is most overt during the first 30 minutes of the film before improving, although is always a thorn in the side of the overall quality. In terms of other damage to the film, there are a lot of scratches during scenes that involve super impositions, which is common thanks to the blue screen work around the Shobijin. There is also very annoying light flickering that happens at around the 99 minute mark as Mothra is flying back to Infant Island, although thankfully seems isolated to this scene. As for the image, it definitely could be sharper as well. On the plus side, the colors look great on this release as they are very vibrant. There are signs of oversaturation, but these are minor and more or less confined to seeing the light blue sky on Infant Island.

As for differences between them, the US edit is notably shorter by about 11 minutes. It also has a different title card and opening credit sequence, in English. Sadly this opening sequence features an unstable frame, as the image bounces up and down which can make it disorienting to try and read. The closing credit card is also unstable, but doesn't shake with anywhere near the amount that the opening titles do. As for the video track as a whole, it feels similar to the Japanese one, although like the brightness has been adjusted slightly at points.

Mothra is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

 

 Audio: Star Rating


Two mono tracks are offered, each attached to their respective version of the movie. Of the two, the Japanese audio track is much better, as the English track lacks the degree of clarity heard in the Japanese version. This is particularly overt during the opening title sequence, which is also easiest to compare by switching between the two versions. Sadly, both show their age and sound rough at moments, such as when the volume swells.

As for subtitles or captions, there are options for both the Japanese version and the US edit. The option for the Japanese audio is a good translation of the original dialogue, as opposed to "dubtitles". In contrast, the US edit features the English dialogue transcribed to act as closed captions on this.

 

 Extras: Star Rating


There are a few extras to be found on this release, which vary greatly in terms of quality.

First up one finds an audio commentary track by authors Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski. This is the same commentary track that was found on the earlier Icons of Sci-fi: Toho Collection DVD collection by Sony and is attached to the US version of the movie rather than the Japanese one. As before, this is an excellent commentary track, covering a wealth of knowledge around Japanese cinema. It also devotes a decent time to examining edits made to the US cut and also changes to the film versus the original story of Mothra.

Next up bonus wise are two trailers, one a teaser and the other a "normal" trailer. Both of these are for the US, Columbia version of the movie. Sadly, the quality of these is very lacking. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they were found online and added to the disc. It's the type of thing you wouldn't expect to see on a Toho licensed product... but looking at the back there is only references to Sony. So it's likely Sony, being the middleman, might have given these the green light.

Now the final extra on this disc is an image gallery. This contains 50 images, 35 of these are black and white US stills, 1 black and white production still, 4 US posters, 7 lobby cards and 3 recolored production stills.

 

 Overview: Star Rating


This is the definitive way to watch Mothra in the US, being a slight but clear upgrade over what was available on DVD. The price point, at $14-15, is also a good deal. While it would have been nice had the image quality been better, and took more advantage of what the format was capable of, this is at least another fine addition to the slowly growing collection of Toho kaiju eiga on Blu-ray.