Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby kamilleblu » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:52 pm

Kaltes-Herzeleid wrote:Also, another thing that really bugged me about this movie...I felt this was where Godzilla started taking too many cues from skreeonking anime, the previous film did too but it wasn't as bad and I could overlook it. This one...not so much.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby jackzilla » Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:09 pm

Kaltes-Herzeleid wrote:One of my least favorite Godzilla movies and a very disappointing sequel to its predecessor. I've only watched it through once or twice and I was bored each time. Hated how all the previous characters were tossed aside for new ones I didn't even remotely care for...and need I talk about the blatant reuse of the Mothra Vs. Godzilla plot?

Also, another thing that really bugged me about this movie...I felt this was where Godzilla started taking too many cues from skreeonking anime, the previous film did too but it wasn't as bad and I could overlook it. This one...not so much.


Glad to see someone else agreeing with me on this one not being very good, I was about to post the same thing myself.

If you like it, if Godzilla Tokyo SOS is one of your favorite Godzilla films, that's fine, but personally, this is one of my LEAST favorites. I dunno, this one is just kinda dull to me. The story was dull, the characters were dull, and the monster fights were just ok. It's not TERRIBLE or anything, but it's just, "Meh."
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby Space Hunter M » Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:57 pm

Kaltes-Herzeleid wrote:Hated how all the previous characters were tossed aside for new ones I didn't even remotely care for...

Yeah, it was a bummer. They built up a fairly okay, G2K-esque dynamic with Akane, Sara, and the Professor in the predecessor. If you're gonna bother with doing a sequel in an otherwise anthological string of titles, why not do something further with characters you originally introduced in the first place?

For this entry's dullness overall, I blame Masaaki Tezuka himself less now that I've actually heard his own words, I guess.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby kamilleblu » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:50 am

Space Hunter M wrote:
Kaltes-Herzeleid wrote:Hated how all the previous characters were tossed aside for new ones I didn't even remotely care for...

Yeah, it was a bummer. They built up a fairly okay, G2K-esque dynamic with Akane, Sara, and the Professor in the predecessor. If you're gonna bother with doing a sequel in an otherwise anthological string of titles, why not do something further with characters you originally introduced in the first place?

For this entry's dullness overall, I blame Masaaki Tezuka himself less now that I've actually heard his own words, I guess.

Whatever else we would have got in its place would have been worse. So we have that to be thankful for.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby Dracosaurian » Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:38 pm

It's an alright Godzilla film. It probably would've been more interesting if Godzilla and Mothra teamed up against MechaGodzilla/Kiryu

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby eabaker » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:27 pm

I really don't want to dislike any Godzilla movie, but, as I've said before, this one has always bored me to the point that I sometimes fall asleep mid-way through, and have never been able to actually pay attention beyond the first half.

So, I thought I'd try an experiment: rather than try to watch it in one sitting, I'd watch the first half, then give myself a few days and return for the second half.

Yesterday, I watched the first half (basically up to the point that they launch Kiryu). Considering that I've seen the movie several times, and this is the part I've always been awake for, I was surprised by how little of it I remembered. The opening sequence, with Mothra in Japanese airspace, feels like it should be a resonant, maybe even iconic sequence, but... it falls totally flat (and I seriously didn't remember ever seeing it before); there's no tension, to surprise, it serves no narrative purpose, and for some reason they decided to give Mothra two big reveals, so the second one just feels redundant.

And then we get... 45 minutes of meandering. There's no narrative through-line, no stakes, no progression of plot or characterization. We're bluntly told about some character relationships/conflicts, but they're not built up, they have no relevance to anything else that's happening, and what little growth/transformation we're given must happen off-screen, because dynamics shift with no discernible motivation.

We'll see how I take to the remaining 45 minutes, although, as best I can recall, that's just one big, hollow kaiju fight.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby Ivo-goji » Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:30 pm

This film being ranked so high with Japanese audiences confuses me. I personally like Godzilla X Mechagodzilla so I can kinda agree with how that one was received, but I don't get this one's popularity. Just association with the previous movie?
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby Mechagigan » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:13 pm

Ivo-goji wrote:This film being ranked so high with Japanese audiences confuses me. I personally like Godzilla X Mechagodzilla so I can kinda agree with how that one was received, but I don't get this one's popularity. Just association with the previous movie?

I'd guess the fact it's a straight-up action movie probably has to do with it. Say what you will about the movie as an actual production, but if you're just looking for wild Kaiju fighting, it delivers. Not very significantly better than an Ultraman episode does, but still.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby g2vd » Tue Jul 12, 2016 2:04 am

Well I watched the movie again last night and found...that it wasn't as good as I remembered it was far from it in fact. perhaps it was the high production values, the effects, the designs or it was the feeling seeing a *New* modern Godzilla movie as I hadn't watched this one in a long, long time.

I mean the biggest mistakes it makes is dumping 99% of the Original Cast leaving only the Prime Minster and that one dude, because the cast they stick in are nowhere even near developed and feel like initial First Draft characters waiting to be expanded upon and developed in following revisions only that never happened. we never learn a thing about these characters at all only that one of them is the Prime Minister's son and that he wanted to pilot the only Giant Robot in the world which he succeeded in doing so...I guess he's the most relatable? I mean who doesn't want to pilot a Giant Robot? and there are some un-intentionally funny moments like "I'm going to repair Mecha G with my tiny bag of equipment!", "Hey this dude is repair MechaG *Mass fist pumps and cheering ensues * The Engineer falling from Mecha G and being picked upo dfskjogisf it was so stupid, Pilot: "I'm going to fire a warning shot at the huge thing" *Directly fires on it*

And the fact it bluntly recycles a entire scene from the first involving a attempt to repair Keeyu, I mean it bluntly does it now the movie does try and hide it by having the character go through a damaged Sub-Way on a Motorcycle, but it's the same thing again that we got in the first movie and the worse part about it is after spending like 7 Minutes on it the movie ends pretty after that so there's no real payoff.

And the fighting actually was rather disappointing especially coming off after "Against MechaGodzilla" all Godzilla ever really does is just stand in place and move his head around, occasionally roars and maybe fires a beam, it's really disappointing and when they engage in physical combat it's even more underwhelming. when they body slam again and try and force each other down like they did in the original, it doesn't feel like there is any force like they managed to do in Against here it feels like they are hugging it doesn't feel like there is any force involved at all.

Still I mean there are some positives. the effects and production value are fantastic the opening in particular being one of my favorite openings to a Godzilla movie yet. and the deeper sets in particular involving the base are great and help it feel more real, and I liked that they went more into the construction and maintaining of Kiryu than before and even Shinagawa which I find particularly great because the last time Godzilla's damage was even remotely acknowledged was in 1989's Godzilla Vs. Biollante.

Anyway, I could go on but It's not needed overall I'll say it's a major drop-off from Against and it's not as fun but it is still a fun Godzilla action movie with some highly impressive values despite it's failings in other areas even if the finial product is really disappointing especially when you think about how it could have turned out.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby Zarm » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:14 am

Tokyo S.O.S. (Save Our... Sity?) commits perhaps the worst offense that a piece of entertainment can, tragically... it is unmemorable. It has probably the weakest character set in the Millennium series- in that they're the only forgettable bunch. And the monster action is, by far and large, formulaic and dull.

It's a definite letdown that the one sequel in the series is such a snore- though I will give it this: the opening with the clouds is pretty cool (though even that, as eabaker points out, kinda botches the reveal in a strange, tension-less way when it should've been a big moment; the sequence leading up to that is just visually striking, 'climaxing' with the pilot hearing music. It's all downhill from there...), and the last half hour works well.

From about the (ultra-depressing) moment of Mothra sacrificing herself for her children, the story picks up tremendously, with Chujo's struggles to reach and repair Kiryu (or 'Mecha-G,' as the dubtitles render it, despite everyone very audibly saying 'Kiryu') and noble self-sacrifice to allow it back into battle... and a particularly thrilling, dazzling effects showcase for his escape. So the film is not without merit, it's just... mostly without merit for 2/3 of its runtime.

The biggest flaw is the tone; gone is the comic-book charm of Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla. While that film seemed to be a step up in maturity from its predecessor, this film seems to try and notch up the maturity again by eliminating some of the silly, over-the-top stunts of its forebearer (such as the repeated mega-throws and high-speed tackles)... but in the process, its too-serious battles have nothing to recommend them, and both the battles and the plot come off as by-the-numbers. Any film featuring a robot the size of a skyscraper built to fight a giant lizard requires some craziness in its universe to make it work, and this film excises it entirely, leading to a tonal mismatch... a crazy, silly, pulp-adventure concept being played straight in a universe far more 'down to Earth' than it belongs in.

Yoshito Chujo as a character isn't a great protagonist in part because the story is so thin; he simply doesn't have that much to DO, and his wavering introspection on whether the warning about Mothra should trump his own pride in his work does not make for compelling viewing. Sure, he becomes noble and engaged in an exciting plot in the last half-hour, but he hasn't been built into a character we care about by then. He's just a cipher, a blank slate, dropped into an interesting situation. But who is he, really? We know almost nothing about his personality- to the point that his self-sacrifice and shocking statement that he's ready to die seem to come out of nowhere; we have no character context from which to view them.

Similar things could be said about Dr. Shinichi Chujo (although I dig the return of a veteran actor as a Showa-era character, just as with Emiko in vs. Destoroyah), and Shun Chujo; we really don't get enough of them to make any impression- except perhaps that the good doctor is a likable, philosophically-musing sort of character that we'd like to know better.

And don't even get me started on Azusa and Kuosuke... really, don't get me started, because I'll have nowhere to go with them. The film certainly doesn't. (Okay, there's a hint of a 'notice me' unrequited romance for Yoshito on Azusa's part, but beyond that singular trait and some nicely enigmatic looks- the actress selling the heck out of a paper-thin part, to her credit- we get almost nothing about her. Also, does the military typically let one of its members lounge around with their shirt off, chatting with a pal, while the rest of the squad drills? Because that didn't strike me as a thing they would do...).

I think the film's approach to characters is summed up by the single brief appearance of Shun's mother, Shinichi's presumed... niece? I think? (I got a little mixed up with familial relations in this film). She just shows up, out of nowhere, with only the context of her concern about Shun to imply her identity, and after delivering three lines or so of exposition, vanishes entirely from the rest of the film. That's it. We have no idea of her personality, her name, the status of her relationship with anyone (her son included, since we never see them together)... she is just there for a scene to fulfill a role in the plot. The same can be said of pretty much anyone in this film; honestly Akane gets about as much development in her cameo as any of these people.

(Honestly, though, I want to see a movie about that girl in tech support who looks exasperated when the boss steals credit for her idea. She looks like a fun, enthusiastic, underdog protagonist that I would totally accept in a center-stage role. And hey, one more compliment to a movie generally lacking them- the whole 'Apollo 13' roll-out the charts, find-a-way-to-make-it-work scene was a lot of fun.)

Beyond that... the Kiryu saga Godzilla may be the weakest Godzilla of the series (or ANY series made by Japan, potentially, though I suppose that's for the Fantasy Matches to decide). I mean, five months and his chest isn't fully healed? Organizer G-1's lying down on the job! His look isn't fantastic (if it's the same as less film, then it is certainly shot far more poorly), his tactics are pathetic, his motivations unclear (he's attracted by Kiryu... only ignores Kiryu as soon as he's down...?)- he is a sham of an uninteresting Godzilla, a walking prop- worse than the last film, and far less forgivable in the context of this plot.

Mothra is... well, second to her portrayal in GMK, this is her second-best appearance for me, in terms of lifelike believably. On the other hand, the Shobijin/Cosmos/Elias- no, wait, they're actually Shobijin again in this film, at least by the dialogue- are perhaps the worst performers for that duo that I've ever seen. Strangely revealing costumes that don't seem to fit the characters (appropriate for tropical environs, I suppose, though strange when shown in context of a clip of 'themselves' from the first film, yet looking so different) and a black hole of charisma- never have tiny twins speaking in unison been so devoid of personality.

(As an aside, it as during this movie that I was finally able to articulate my issue with the continued Mothra vs. Godzilla battles. To my mind, Mothra fighting Godzilla is like a guy with a spear fighting an Abrams tank. No matter how enthusiastic or charming or underdog-y or dedicated he is, he can stab with that spear all day and never make a dent (and indeed, I don't think Mothra has ever defeated Godzilla by herself)- and I don't get why people would want to keep seeing him try. Or to put it in Pokemon terms, to me, Mothra only has Sand Attack and Tail Whip- and you can't actually win a battle with status-changers. You need to damage the HP to defeat Godzilla, and from my perspective, Imago Mothra has never been equipped to do that. (And even added beam weapons barely help; they're not particularly powerful).)

It's nice to see the dual grubs again (though why do we never get to see the resultant dual Mothras?), and though the Mothra clan's story is basically a remake of their original fight with Godzilla, the larva are at least treated with a tenderness and expressiveness that gives them a rare relateability and character. Definitely a high-point for the grubs (maybe they absorbed the Shobijin's charisma in-utero?)

Kiryu is... basically himself, but lamer. The explanation for Absolute Zero's disability is well-handled, but the hyper-maser is a pathetic replacement. Kiru's feats are overall far less impressive, without the comic-booky over-the-top-ness of the last film; about the only improvements are the 'get-up' jets on the chest, and the exploding missile-magazines (which was a nice response to the last film, where I was indeed thinking as Godzilla grappled with it 'if only they could rig that blue thing to explode right now, that could really do some hurting'). Still, for his apparent swan song (even if it was not necessarily meant to be one), it's a pretty sad showing. One nice shoulder-throw, but otherwise... Kiryu just didn't have much going on- like the rest of the film.

The effects, at least, were quite good. Jets in the sky looked better (and less lazy 2D-cutout), the suits looked good, the aforementioned opening and finale spectacles were impressive- this is probably the most consistent FX quality we've had in the Millennium series. It was well-realized... just, sadly, in service to an utterly mediocre plot.

The score is largely unremarkable when it's just reprising themes from the last film or filler battle music, but anything Mothra-related was nicely executed, with a nice mystical theme- and an excellently-creepy slow rendition of the Mothra song underscoring the Shobijin delivering Mothra's threat. (Good plan, sending via an old man that possibly no one will believe, with no corroborating evidence, Shobijin! That's the way to make things happen!)

Maybe I'm being too hard and nitpicky on this film. The production values were solid, after all. But after such a great preceding entry, this one was such a letdown- full of potential, but doing almost nothing with it. The plot in particular was especially thin, with almost no development... the same thing that could be said for the arc-less characters. It is my second-least favorite of the Millennium series after Megaguirus (for those who hate Final Wars, perhaps third place would be more appropriate)- still, perhaps that's too generous. Each of those films, whatever their flaws, at least have claim to an oddball memorability; this one commits the sin of just being dull.[/quote]
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby eabaker » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:07 pm

So, as I posted above, I watched just the first half last time, to see if any of it would work better when I wasn't having to slog through the whole skreeonking thing at once.

Picked up where I left off over the weekend, and was not able to reach the ending. I now have about 20 minutes left. Literally nothing that happened in the 25 minutes I watched this weekend interested or engaged me at all. The birth of the new Mothra larva is a by-the-numbers moment with no emotional impact at all and no real sense that it alters the course of the narrative, Chujo rushing to deal with whatever the skreeonk was happening with Kiryu felt like filler (I totally missed what he even had to go out there for, even though I know I was watching/reading everything, because I just cannot pay attention to this movie), I never feel like Godzilla is presented as a character, just a big special effect... This is literally the most difficult Godzilla movie for me to watch. I'll finish it at some point, and some day I will come back to it again (maybe with booze...), but, God, I just cannot care.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby Tyrant_Lizard_King » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:44 pm

This is the only Godzilla movie I have not yet seen. As much as I dislike Against Mechagodzilla I've been rather hesitant to start watching this.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby Mechagigan » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:01 am

Tyrant_Lizard_King wrote:This is the only Godzilla movie I have not yet seen. As much as I dislike Against Mechagodzilla I've been rather hesitant to start watching this.

If you disliked against, this one's even worse. However, it does have the upside of almost entirely consisting of a fight scene... not the most cinematic trait ever, but that has some entertainment value.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby Living Corpse » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:27 am

I really never understood the hate the Kiryu films get. *shrug*
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby eabaker » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:31 am

Mechagigan wrote: it does have the upside of almost entirely consisting of a fight scene


That's actually one of the major obstacles to my really being able to engage with the movie. It has to rush through its human story in order to set up this incredibly long fight, and so it passes right over the part where it should be making me care about that fight.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby Mechagigan » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:22 pm

eabaker wrote:
Mechagigan wrote: it does have the upside of almost entirely consisting of a fight scene


That's actually one of the major obstacles to my really being able to engage with the movie. It has to rush through its human story in order to set up this incredibly long fight, and so it passes right over the part where it should be making me care about that fight.

Oh, I totally agree. The movie spends less time explaining what's going on and why we should care, and jumps directly to what should be the climax. I just mean, from a broad view, the fact it's one long fight could be fun. I know I used to like it for that trait.

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby LamangoKaijura » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:58 pm

I loved the storyline of the previous kaiju attacks, but not like, stuff that happened in their debut movie. The moon was skreeonking destroyed in Gorath, but in SOS it's totally fine.

And I so wish they did a third film.
    The hint at Biollante
    Giant Mosasaurs, Anguirus and Kamoebas
    Manda, Maguma, Varan, Baragon, Sea Snake, Gorosaurus, Oodako, Rodan, Sanda, Gaira, Dogora, Mothra, Gezora, Kamoebas and Ganimes all happened at one point.
    Art of those kaiju, and randomly, Kumonga, being turned Mechs.
Instead, we got Final Wars. -_-
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby Mechagigan » Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:15 pm

One really must wonder why Final Wars wasn't Kiryu 3... other than that SOS was a financial failure.

They had a pretty large cast of Kaiju, and the universe seemed pretty suited for FW's aliens and various other antics...

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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby eabaker » Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:09 pm

Well, it took me nearly 2 months, but yesterday I finished my trifurcated viewing of Tokyo SOS. All I had to get through was the last 20 minutes or so.

So, there I was, watching the now functional Kiryu fighting Godzilla, and at first I thought, "Okay, this isn't bad. If I just pretend that there was an interesting, engaging movie building up to this, maybe I can enjoy some mindless action." I wasn't really into it, but I wasn't minding it.

And then, not five minutes later, there's Chujo's skreeonking expository voice over about what Kiryu is feeling (because the filmmakers had no idea how to have Kiryu actually convey any of this itself), and then we've got the better part of ten minutes wasted suspense about whether or not Chujo is going to escape in time (hint: of skreeonking course he is) while a webbed-up Godzilla is flown out to sea. Way, way too much of the climax of this GODZILLA movie doesn't allow Godzilla to do anything, nor does it even make his face visible to us.

And then we're supposed to have all kinds of feelings about the three "leads" vaguely emoting as the monsters synch, except none of them are really characters, so I don't actually give the slightest bit of a damn how they feel about the conclusion of this hollow story.

The movie's failure handling Godzilla at the climax then got me thinking about a more fundamental problem I have the with Kiryu movies: neither of them gives Godzilla any kind of characterization whatsoever. At the script level, he's given nothing to do but lumber out of the ocean when the plot needs him to, and then roar at stuff; the direction/choreography don't convey any personality whatsoever; and the KiryuGoji has a totally inexpressive face that just looks like a hunk of plastic.

Anyway, I will watch this movie again someday, and I'll continue experimenting with new approaches.
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Re: Talkback: Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Postby Rodan » Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:19 pm

I heard eabaker loves Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., and finds it a rip-roaring good time.


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