DVD Title
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II
International Title
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II
DVD Length Original Length
106 Minutes 108 Minutes
Company Year of Manufacture
Tristar 2005
Language Subtitles
Japanese, English English
Region Number of Discs
1 1
Aspect Ratio Sound
1.85:1 (Anamorphic) 2.0 Stereo
Extras
.
Menus (English)
.
Chapters (12)
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Trailers: Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (Teaser), Mirror Mask, Steamboy (US), Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, Godzilla Compilation DVD Trailer
Captures
Review
Released simultaneously as Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster, Tristar's DVD of the 1993 film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II is, sadly, far below par the company's other discs released since 2003. Tristar really dropped the ball on this one, to the point where I wouldn't be surprised if this film was readied for DVD back in 2000 and Tristar simply stuck a note on it stating "save for later" and then quickly added a Japanese audio track when the time came. Every aspect of this DVD feels rushed, from a lackluster video and audio presentation to Tristar's "trademark" lack of any significant extras.

 Video:

Tristar, to put it bluntly, got lazy for this release. Granted, the colors on this release are generally vibrant and no discoloring is blatantly noticeable, but that's really one of the few positive marks about this release. The brightness here is too low, although not as bad as Godzilla vs. Gigan, with some details during the night scenes being very hard to distinguish. Surprisingly, this disc also suffers from some digital inconsistencies in the form of artifacting, with pixilation being noticeable, and edge enhancement, with halos being noticeable around fine details.

As for the print used in the transfer, it's the same version Tristar released on VHS in 1999. This means that the English title appears in parentheses below the Japanese title during the film, which is notably better than what Toho does on their International prints for the Millennium films, while the credits at the end have been cut almost entirely, which accounts for the difference in playing time compared to the Japanese version. As for the quality of the print used, it's not horrible, but for the film's age one would expect better. The number of scratches present is minimal; however, the amount of grain present is quite noticeable. The grain, coupled with the added pixilation from the artifacting, accounts for a rather unattractive presentation during some of the more lighted scenes, as seen here. Thankfully, the film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, or widescreen, and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio:
Star Rating

It's unfortunate that Tristar's lack of effort in this release extends to the audio presentation as well. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II is presented here with two audio tracks: one the original Japanese audio presentation and the other Toho's International English dubbed presentation. Both tracks are presented here in stereo, but sadly there is a huge difference in quality among the two. The Japanese audio track, which is the one most will probably be interested in, is handled very poorly. The levels are all over the place, with some sound effects, which should be rather quite, no drowning out the other audio in the scene. It's a very disjointing presentation, especially for those who have seen the film before and have a general idea of what it should sound like. To sum this problem up, it almost sounds like someone quickly converted a 5.1 surround presentation to a 2.0 stereo format, but no care was taken as to which of the channels should be the loudest and quietist. This problem doesn't end here, though, as some sound effects have a noticeable echo to them. This problem is most obvious at the 97 minute mark, where Godzilla's roar clearly starts and then starts again mid-roar.

As for the English dubbed track, beyond being horrible, fares better than the Japanese track. The audio levels are done much better here, although the audio distinction sounds a little weak for a stereo presentation. The problematic "echo effect" is also present here as well, but not nearly as often and in different locations, surprisingly. For example, Godzilla's roar at the 97 minute mark sounds fine on this audio track, while some different sound effects during the first Godzilla vs. Rodan battle seem off.

The disc includes English subtitles to compliment its audio presentation, but sadly the subtitles correspond to the infamous dubbing for the film and not the Japanese audio track. This problem should be noticeable to even English only speakers, as some lines that are spoken in English in the Japanese version were dubbed differently and, as a result, feature different subtitles. Thankfully, Rodan is subtitled as "Rodan", as opposed to "Radon" as spoken in the English dubbed track.


 Extras:
The extra content here is simply the same, exact, trailers found on the Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster DVD. Furthermore, the only notable trailer included is the short teaser trailer for Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., which has made its way onto five Godzilla DVDs already. Sadly, the "Godzilla Compilation Trailer", Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood and Steamboy trailers play automatically when the disc is inserted into a player, so one will have to skip past them, or suffer through them, in order to arrive at the main menu.

 Overview:
Star Rating
Bottom line, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II compares better with the DVDs Tristar released five years ago, such as the Rebirth of Mothra/Rebirth of Mothra II disc, as opposed to any of their recent efforts. My advice is to save this disc for last, after picking up the other Tristar titles, if one is collecting all the Godzilla movies on DVD, or perhaps skip it altogether if one already owns an acceptable version of the film.
-Anthony Romeros
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