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3.0 out of 5 stars G&M: Great Chapter in the Heisei Series. GVsKG: Not., March 12, 2004
This review is from: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla & Mothra: The Battle for Earth (DVD)
GODZILLA VS KING GHIDORA: I remember loving this film, and thinking it was one of the best Godzilla movies I'd ever seen. So, I saw the VHS for ten bucks at Suncoast, and decided to pick it up and see if I still liked it as much. I didn't. Not by a long shot. Oh, where to begin . . . . . the battles: lackluster all the way. All Godzilla and King Ghidora do is stand in the same spot and shoot their energy beam fire breaths at eachother. This is a flaw that existed in all the Heisei series films following this one (i.e. the lack of actual physical fighting). Furthermore, the human story is pretty lame, too. I mainly mean the time travel part, which just doesn't make any sense. Okay, Godzilla was supposed to be erased from history, right? Well, everybody . . . . not just the people who went back in time, but EVERYBODY . . . . . talks about the Big G like he still existed the whole forty years that passed. It seems like no thought was put into it at all. Yeah, I know, this is a Kaiju-eiga, and the only real point (except for a select few) is seeing the giant monsters duke it out. Well, there are hardly any to be seen in this movie, and like I said, what is there is isn't very good at all. Heck, even the music by master Akira Ifukube was disappointing! And that says a lot, right there. In addition, I didn't like how they went back and saw Godzilla's origins. It was much, much better left unseen, as a mystery. Aside from the actual film, I just have to comment on the quality of the VHS. It was absolutely horrendous. I have VHS that're at least ten years old, and are of much better than this tape. Picture is blurry beyond belief, as is the sound. It resembles a taped-off-TV version. Maybe if I see it in a much better condition (like a remastered DVD edition or something), and in the original Japanese audio ('cause the dubbing sucks, by the way), I'd like it more. But not for now.
GODZILLA & MOTHRA: THE BATTLE FOR EARTH: This is the Heisei series film I grew up with. The plot is great, creating a new backstory for Mothra, and even adding in another great monster to boot: Battra, a.k.a. the Black Mothra. The special effects are also great, as is the Ifukube music. The presence of Mothra and the Cosmos allows Ifukube to explore certain territories yet uncharted in Godzilla films. His haunting rendition of the Mothra song, as well as the music playing when Mothra both forms and breaks out of her cocoon, are perfect examples. And of course, I have to mention the battle scenes: awesome. Godzilla's first clash with the Mothra and Battra larvae, is both exciting and humorous. In short, this is a great Godzilla flick, and one of my personal favorites. If I have one complaint to make, it's about the dubbing (of course). Now, this is obviously a major viewing problem for all American releases of Godzilla movies, but this one is made all the worse by two things: 1) The dubbing for the Cosmos, which does not work at all, and 2) The dubbing of the little girl. I don't know why, but whenever they try to dub children in these movies it always comes out really weird, sounding as if it's just some adult straining his/her voice really hard. But that aside, GODZILLA & MOTHRA is definitely one to see.
Obviously, I'm writing reviews for the VHS editions, and have not tried out this DVD. But I hear that it's not really a big improvement over the VHS. This is my great dream: that with the 50th Anniversary theatrical release of the original GODZILLA, uncut, undubbed & restored/remastered, they will continue to re-release all the Godzilla movies on DVD with the same clean-up jobs. Now, THAT would be heaven . . . . . . . . .
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Location: Carmel, CA United States

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