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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2008
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I saw GAMERA THE BRAVE with an open mind. From the get-go it appeared I was in for a kiddie film along the lines of Toho's uneven REBIRTH OF MOTHRA series-somewhat forgettable. However, seeing it... Gamera The Brave exheeded expectations. The thing it had against it was how can another Gamera film top Shusuke Kaneko's terrific 90's trilogy of films? Well, it doesn't top it and doesn't need to-you don't have to make comparisons-it's apples and oranges. GAMERA THE BRAVE is it's own little film, that happens yet again, in another timeline, another "Gamera Universe" as it were. The film opens with a terrific "retro" battle, in 1973, with Gamera and several Gyaos flying monsters-witnessed by among others, a young boy(All of the cast here are dressed appropriately in 1970's clothes and have 70's haircuts-a nice detail). Gamera, shown full grown in 1973, is re-imagined and much more of a gnarled-looking giant tortoise. This takes place all during the credits with some fantastic and unique music in the background soundtrack. A massive explosion and Gamera is gone-with the Gyaos. Flash forward to 2006 when a young boy-the son of the young boy we first see in 1973 but all grown up- finds a small egg on what's left of the island Gamera made his last stand on. The egg hatches into a small turtle which keeps on getting bigger. Meanwhile, the Japanese government announces it is disbanding the division of the military who dealt with giant monsters, since none have been seen since 1973. Elsewhere, ships begin disappearing mysteriously...as the small Gamera-named "Toto"- grows ever more...and senses something is not right.

The film has terrific visual effects. Flawless, I'd even say wih regards to matting and working in digital CG work with old-school rubber suits and miniatures. There is also some great character development and, at the end of the film, it adds up to a coherent, memorable and "quiet" giant monster film that leaves you with a good feeling. It entertains adults as much as kids-a rarity. There's also some genuinely funny scenes including an in-joke to the 1960's films.

GAMERA THE BRAVE came out quietly in Japan, never took off at the box office and, failed leading many filmmakers to conclude once and for all, that the Kaiju Eiga genre is dead to audiences there.

It's a terrific film and worthy of any Kaiju-fan's collection of films.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2008
Format: DVD
If you are a fan of the recent Japanese run of Gamera movies, this rendition is a can't miss! They covered all the bases; there was character development, there were cute and cuddly baby turtles, there were giant monster fights with the correspondingly gratuitous eye-candy/collateral damage.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
If you heard of the previous, and fantastic, Gamera Trilogy (Guardian of the Universe, Attack of Legion, and Revenge of Iris) from the 90s... it would appear that this movie actually re-boots the mythology *again* to make a new series. I would disagree with that, however. While it is definitely a different narrative world then the "Heisei" era movies... this one could actually be seen as a direct sequel to the original Showa-era films that ended in the 70s. (In fact, the opening scene takes place in the 70s before flashing forward to modern day)

While Gamera himself (herself?) looks more "cute" then his previous bad-ass incarnations, it works in context because he's essentially a kid. And along with the story, it ties very nicely into the old idea of Gamera being "The Guardian of Children", re-interpreted for a new era, and getting that title more organically then in the original series (which never really explained that part... he just was). And you still get the sense that he will eventually become the bad-ass-looking awesomeness that we fans know he is.

The story might seem a little heavy-handed at times... especially with dealing with all the child actors. You might get the sense that the filmmakers are trying to deliberately and blatantly pull at your heart-strings... such as tearful monologues, and a "relay race" scene that might seem a little much to some. But not to me. Frankly, I think it works... very well, I might add. I really enjoyed this movie, and am pleased to put it alongside my other Gamera DVDs. I hope they continue this series with the same quality story and effects, as I'd love to see this Gamera grow and evolve further.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Growing up a sickly kid I spent alot of time in bed watching movies,my faves were the big monsters and of those Gamera was my absolute faverate this movie is different in that it start you off at the beginning egg and all, but you should shelf your ideas of what Gamera was in all those movies and accept this on it's own merrits.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2009
Format: DVD
Firstly, I know a lot of people talk really highly of the 90s Gamera movies, but I have only seen the first one. I have seen most of the Showa entries.

Now, with all that said, this was a very solid Gamera movie. While I'm partial to Godzilla, I really enjoyed this. The child's story is a nice throwback to the older Showa movies were children were at the center of the story. The effects were brilliant and Zedus was an impressive adversary. The climax was great. The children relaying the stone was powerful, though, admittedly, I predicted it. The shot early on where the knife nearly falls on Toto reminded me a little of Guiron, and I think that might have been another shout-out. The movie opened with the aged Gamera fighting Gyaos, which is appropriate, since, next to Gamera, the Gyoas have been in the most films and are the second most popular kaiju of the series. Personally, I would have liked to see Vilas or Zigra make another appearance.

So, the movie's got a lot of retro-charm and some crazy-good special effects, but there's a down side.

Firstly, who the crap is Zedus? The movie doesn't do very much explaining there. The red stone also goes the whole movie without a proper explanation. "Toto came with this red stone," to which I might add, "...so?"

But the child is very believable. The hospitalized little girl reminds me a little of the girl in Gamera: Guardian of the Universe.

So, the downs aren't major. Perhaps I'm just missing something. Wouldn't be the first time. It's a great movie. I proudly own it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Great movie I have watched it 5 million times now although if I NEVER hear the name Toto again it will be too soon. If only the new Godzilla movies had these effects!! More like these please!!

Honestly I like the first 45 minutes better than the monster fights in the last half

Update: Ok I have now watched this every weekend since I got it. It has now exceeded Terminator, A Christmas Story , Funny Farm and Iron Man 2 for the most viewed films I have. A true classic!

Also the soundtrack to this is AWE SUM-None better music to a Japanese monster flick since Mothra

PLEASE put this director on the next Godzilla film...I beg of you
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2013
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I usually am not a big fan of monster movies, but this one is an exception. "Gamera the brave" offers a better, more complex story than most monster movies, the camera-work is also excellent and the cinemascope-format is well used. For me the star of this movie however is not Gamera, but Ryô Tomioka who plays the boy Toru. He does a wonderful job and it's sad he never made another movie after this one. I love this movie.

From the technical aspects the Blu-ray is not an upgrade in every way: while the picture quality is excellent and is a pleasure even on big screens, the technicians were more than sloppy with the sound. At least my Blu-Ray - marked as featuring Stereo-sound as well as DTS-HD-MA 5.1 in Japanese and English - offers only Stereo, even on the 5.1 track. My playerr recognises the 5.1-Mix, but the surround channels carry no sound. This is very regrettable since the previously released DVD offers a true 5.1-mix.
I am quite sure the Blu-Ray was supposed to offer this as well, but somebody goofed.
Regretably Tokyo Shock does not offer a contact on their website. I strongly hope that there will be a corrected version of the Blu-Ray available soon.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2013
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
*note this review is about the DVD itself not the film* The film itself is not one of my favorite Gamera films, but it is passable, and my kids enjoy it. However the BRD itself suffers from audio problems. At some points you can actually hear background audio from other portions of the film in the wrong place. I have attempted to contact MB/TS multiple times requesting a simple replacement with no response. Other fans have noted this defect making me think it may be on a good portion of the manufactured BRD's if not all. It's so sad that a company that brought us so many fine films in the past 10 years has fallen so far. (feel free to Google MB's issues with Toho and Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla vs Megalon, and tax issues in 2012) Just stick with the DVD if you already have it, no reason to upgrade to BRD since it is defective unless MB publicizes a campaign to replace the defective BRD's
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
"Gamera the Brave" is yet another reboot on yet another classic kaiju franchise. Is it good? Well yeah. Is it a massive disappointment considering the quality of the last three films? Very much so. Gamera was always a second-stringer at best. He was created to cash in on the success of Godzilla, but his films became embarrassingly kid-friendly much faster. Oddly enough, a lot of his films were actually more violent then Godzilla's as the big turtle would routinely bleed blue like a hemophiliac even when struck on the shell. But as an adult it's hard not to roll your eyes at a giant monster with such a ridiculously happy theme-song who regularly has to take on-the-fly combat advice from children to win his battles. Friend to all children, they say. Godzilla was never THAT lame. But then director Shusuke Kaneko (who would later have success with the Death Note films) got ahold of the giant turtle and it all changed. His 90's Gamera Trilogy not only easily bested the Godzilla films of the day, but set a new very high bar for the entire kaiju genre. For the first time, Gamera was legitimately cool. Apparently Kadokawa Pictures wasn't particularly impressed and decided to celebrate the Gamera's 40th birthday (and his rival Godzilla's retirement) by taking him back to his roots.

Like Transformers was a story about a boy and his car, "Gamera the Brave" is about a (younger) boy and his pet turtle. We are greeted with a totally sweet flashback featuring a very awesome-looking Gamera battling a flock of Gaos -his most recognizable foe- and losing. The kaiju self-destructs as the bat-like beasts attempt to eat him alive, killing them and saving the people of Japan. This is possibly an attempt to soften the fans' annoyance with the last film's cliffhanger finale, which showed Big Green flying into battle with a swarm of Gaos against impossible odds before ending right then and there. I appreciate the gesture, and indeed this scene is very like the trilogy. I wish the whole film was that good. Unfortunately, what follows is a supercute tale of a chibi turtle and the boy who found him as an egg and loved him. Soon he notices his new pet has a strange growth rate and can fly (apparently using pixie dust). After a ton of kiddie-flick cheese the turtle becomes very large and eventually disappears just in time for a REAL monster to show up. Zedus is his name and gobbling up humans like a bear chows down on grubs is his game. He looks a bit like a cross between between the American kaiju known as GINO (Godzilla In Name Only) and a mythical dragon. Very cool. No complaints there. Well, Zedus is about to chow down on the leads when guess who appears to save the day, lame new upbeat theme music and all.

Even when battling totally menacing gigantic monsters, this Gamera (named Toto by the kid) is cute as a button. I'll admit he has much more expressive features then any other kaiju I've seen and the guy's got spunk, but his "resolve face" makes him look like Bolt. Yes, the CG dog. Despite being extremely overmatched, Gamera uses his head and manages to fend the massive beast off before collapsing due to a neck wound delivered by Zedus's spear-like tongue. Then the movie gets dumb. Zedus eventually gets hungry again, and Gamera is forced to face him in the open city where he gets heat down for a very long time. Meanwhile, every kid in the city is apparently running towards the battle in what must be a weird attempt at mass suicide. And they are carrying some red glowy thing that somehow every kid in the city knows will make Gamera strong again and they all seem to somehow know his name is Toto, and they do this relay for life thing that is just retarded and then the little boy who raised Toto has his dad (worst parent ever) take him up to a partially-demolished building to have a heart-to-heart with the giant turtle and make a nonsuicide pact with him while Zedus stabs him in the side. Christ, is this really the best they could come up with for the return of a kaiju icon?

Stupid kiddie-flick nonsense aside, "Gamera the Brave" is pretty entertaining. I'm cutting it some slack on the rating because it is a children's film (although a violent one) and they are being true to the roots of the character. In most ways, this is a fitting tribute to Gamera's film legacy which, while cheesy as hell today, definitely made my childhood a happier one. But any way you look at it, it's a step waaaaay back from the excellent 90's trilogy. There's not enough fire-breathing, all the kids get on my nerves, Gamera looks like a giant pinwheel when he finally busts his legendary flying-saucer act out, and the final fight could have been better paced. But the movie overall is a good time due to a great-looking adversary and some solid kaiju action. This is better then the dreaded Rebirth of Mothra films, but I'm definitely ready for Godzilla to come back now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Yeah, 5 Stars,.. WHY? way cool villain monster period..not only the design
but that individual inside that suit moved like a real monster,(take some lessons Frog-g-g) like I said way cool..(most youngsters brains are polluted with too much cgi)the rubber suit, when done right(with a pinch of cgi here and there for hard action sequences is fine)will captivate children young and old,..Is it real? they will ask themselves..Gamera is toned down, in this movie..kinda of a big innocent cute pudgeball(I dare not say staypuff man from ghost busters)designed more for younger kids..though I think by doing that, they intelligently made the villain monster even more menacing..the story line is not scarey as were the 90's Gamera tales(see my review on that awsome box set) but geared more for younger children..though adults will love the effects in this movie and not be bored..the amazon.com price is lot cheaper than what I paid for mine(MALL Bought) amazon.com is $7.48 cheaper..(way to go Amazon.com) majority of dvd's I didn't buy from amazon.com I ended up pay $7 to $8 more..sheesh..Dat's my popcorn & soda money.. as promised I will end this review with another cry from the masses..ONE FROM THE FROZEN ARTIC, ANOTHER FROM THE DEEPEST SEA,..BROUGHT TOGETHER AS FOES THEY ALONE ARE THE ONLY HOPE FOR THE UNIVERSE,..against THE DIABOGGS and the Evil GLOGGJIA from THE XZNEGATIVE zone..Theaters will rumble,..the GREAT SLEEPERS have AWOKEN and people will hear the echoeing bellows as to ANCIENT GIANTS COME TOGETHER!!"GODZILLA VS GAMERA" (TOHO&DAIEI)PROTECT THE UNIVERSE,.. this is all fake for now,..we will see if this will ever come true..lets keep our fingers crossed..
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