So today I had a nice relaxing day at home and I dipped into the DVD library and knocked off a couple of things on my “to watch” list. The highlight of what I watched was this.
Godzilla vs. Megagodzilla 2. This is one of two Godzilla movies to come out on DVD this past week (Godzilla vs.the Sea Monster being the other). I used some of my remaining best buy gift card money from xmas to pick them both up. Between the two, this is the much better, and newer film.
There have been a few Mechagodzilla movies, this one was released in Japan in 1993 but never saw a US release on DVD until now. This, along with the rest of the modern G films (post 1990, and not including that American blasphemous pile of crap from 1997), is a much higher budget, more well-made film. For the time, in most cases, the special effects were very well done, especially with the beam attacks between Godzilla and his mechanical foe.
The story starts out with the G-Force (the anti-Godzilla army) preparing Mechagodzilla. While this is happening, Godzilla suddenly appears out of nowhere and starts laying a beating down on the area. Rodan also appears and the two of them have about a 10 minute matchup that ends in a draw and Rodan flying away. Godzilla proceeds to travel to what is likely Tokyo, seemingly in search of something. That something turns out to be the only negative part of this movie.
Baby Godzilla. Yes, a mini monster that hatched from an egg and is the offspring of big G. It has been proven in history that having the baby Godzilla in the movie is a recipe for disaster. Luckily his involvement in this movie is fairly minimal and doesn’t distract from the overall enjoyemnt of the film, plus he was done a lot better this time than in previous efforts. So now we know what Godzilla is in search of.
Rodan returns and Mechagodzilla takes him out, or so it would seem. Godzilla and Mechagodzilla have the big showdown. It is a real slobberknocker as good ole J.R. would say. There is lots of beam battles, and beat downs. It looks like our hero (Godzilla) is doomed but he gets help from an unlikely source.
I always prefer the Godzilla movies when big green is a heel. When they turned him full-on babyface in a handful of films in the 70s, a couple of them were just downright cheesy (see Godzilla vs. Megalon). In this movie, Godzilla plays the heel, however through some crafty storytelling, he actually almost becomes the sympathetic babyface by the end.
Visually the DVD looks sharp and is in anamorphic widescreen. It has the choice of original Japanese language w/subtitles, or English dubbing. I opted for the dubbing so I woulnd’t be distracted from the action by reading. The dubbing job was for the most part of high quality (unlike the other G film released this week where they used the most annoying voice “actors” you could think of). The sound was just stereo, but sounded good. I would have much prefered a remix to 5.1 sound but what is on there is passable. Aside from a couple trailers for other Godzilla films and a new movie by the guy who did Akira, there is no other extras to speak of.
Good film but you got to see godzilla Vs King ghidorah that’s the best of the godzilla films, it’s not as cheesey as some of the early ones.
I have that one on a DVD that has 2 G movies on one disc. I liked that one, it was quite good.
I realize this was posted over 7 years ago… but I have to say,
You speak about the Godzilla movies being well-made, and you intentionally don’t include the American movie.
umm… that “American blasphemous pile of crap” is MUCH more well-made than ANY film Toho has EVER produced, and everyone’s enormous bias towards it can not change that. And talk about special effects… American Godzilla easily wins there… no competition.
I’m just going to explain why I think the American film is better:
Okay, let’s just pretend that Godzilla is not a long-time series, and pretend t hat it doesn’t have any illogical, biased die-hard fans that will immediately attack any effort to re-do it. Just pretend.
Let’s say Godzilla 2000 was just a random film that wasn’t a sequel to a long-running series, it was just a random film about a giant monster.
The same obviously goes for the American Godzilla.
With all of this in mind: which one do you think would have gotten better reviews? As a matter of fact, if you had no bias, which one would YOU prefer? 9 out of 10 people would prefer the American one. In fact, most of the general public will watch the american incarnation ANY DAY over any Toho film, because it’s a better film. There’s only a small population of die-hard Godzilla fans who will say that they prefer the Toho films.
Another reason why the American one is a better movie is because of the emotion. In the Japanese films, there is none. You don’t feel for Godzilla, you just see a big, mindless zombie that blows things up. Bo-ring.
In the American film, they really make you feel bad for the creature. You can see him get angry when they kill his babies and he tries to wake them up. Also, on the bridge, they do a great job of making a sad death scene. And it’s also not difficult to side totally with Godzilla, because he means no harm, and none of this was his fault. He was just an innocent animal who only attacked when they forced him too, he was just trying to make a living, something we can all relate to. Japanese Godzilla doesn’t even seem like it’s alive.
Like I said before, the Japanese films are boring. I have better things to do than watch Godzilla spend 20 minutes walking out of the water, and then another 20 minutes to get to the place in Tokyo that he wants to get to. The battles are anti-climactic, slow-paced and ALWAYS ridiculously cheesy.
Both movies have great musical scores, though I slightly prefer the American. The opening credits to the 1998 film give chills, as well as his arrival to NYC.
You could argue that the original Godzilla is a tougher monster and even say that you like it better, but that doesn’t mean that the Toho films are more well-made, because they’re not.