on January 7, 2006
The 'Millenium' series, the third Godzilla film series, began in 1999 with "Godzilla 2000: Millenium". It was followed by this film - "Godzilla vs. Megaguirus". The premise involves a seemingly crazy idea: launch a black hole on to Godzilla, absorbing and containing him so he can't stomp on Japan anymore. The idea turns out to be not so crazy after all, and so a test firing is done. Unfortunately, while the test seems successful, it creates a wormhole, mutating a dragonfly and creating a horde of vicious, large dragonflies.
"Godzilla 2000", while fun, was not a spectacular movie. "Megaguirus" is a considerable improvement. Although it has its share of hokey moments (not the least of which is Godzilla leaping four-hundred feet into the air), it features an interesting storyline and a good script, not to mention a terrific score (by Michiru Oshima). The highlight of the film is the opening sequence, in which the story of the original 1954 Godzilla film is re-created using the new suit.
While "Godzilla vs. Megaguirus" can't compare to some later entries in the 'Millennium' series - namely "Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah" - it's a fine Godzilla movie that should please fans. Be sure to stick around after the credits ...
on February 2, 2004
REJOICE! TriStar is finally releasing Godzilla films in JAPANESE with ENGLISH SUBTITLES-the way they should be seen. (There's a dubbed version on this disc as well if you still want that childhood feeling of watching a monster movie on Saturday morning). Not only do we get the original Japanese, we also get 5.1 stereo and enhanced widescreen (which is VERY important with a subtitled film when you watch it on a widescreen TV).
As for the film itself: well, chances are you haven't seen this entry in the series. This is the first time it's been available in the U.S. It immediately follows up "Godzilla 2000," although it isn't really a direct sequel (the history of Godzilla is played around with a bit.) It improves immensely on "Godzilla 2000," offering more Godzilla, more science-fiction gadgets and super-weapons, more wacky science, more monster fights, and pretty much all the rubber-suited butt-kicking you could ever want in a Godzilla film. This one has it all, and the effects are clever and fun. The music is also some of the best to thunder through a G-movie since the sixties.
New Godzilla director Masaaki Tezuka is a huge fan of the series, and it shows. This is a fast, fun, fan-pleasing film. And Godzilla is at his best here; a force of lethal destruction, an accidental hero, and someone you do not want to mess with! Godzilla shows more personality here than he has in the last couple of films. You'll root for him and cheer him on during his knock-down drag-out fantastic battle with the baddie monster: a giant insectoid creature called Megaguirus (a spawn from a black hole!).
There are some problems: a few effects just don't work, Godzilla engages in a moment of incredibly silly behavior, and the logic behind much of the science is pretty darn ludicrous. But the action sequences make up for it, and there's so much enjoy here: The "James Bond" style action opening with foot-soldiers trying to take on Godzilla from city block to city block. The heroine actually hanging off of Godzilla's spines. The massive meganuron swarm attack. The flying super-weapon facing-off with Godzilla. And-It bears repeating-that final fight brings down the house! (And about twenty city blocks on the waterfront as well.)
Godzilla fans: grab it now. Casual fans: you don't know what you've been missing, and I envy your first viewing of this exciting, big-lizard-city-smashing-laser-gun-toting-monster-insect-bazookas-blazing-smack-down! ROAR ON, GODZILLA!
(And make sure you also buy the now-available: "Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack," the next film in the series.)
on May 1, 2005
Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus 5 Stars
Over the past fifty years, Japan has suffered untold destruction at the hands of Godzilla, but now Japan may have the weapon to stop him: The Dimension Tide. Unfortunately, the Dimension Tide itself has created a new threat: the monstrous insect Megaguirus, a creature that even Godzilla may not be able to kill. While the fate of the world lies in the hands of a beautiful young military officer and a brash young scientist, the battle for survival begins between the Queen Bug and the King of the Monsters.
Have you ever noticed how divisive G-fans are? No two can ever agree about the same plot point or the same special effects shot. This is both good and bad. It's good to know that they all have their own viewpoints about Godzilla and are not afraid to say so. It's bad though that sometimes these G-fans just seem to hate a Godzilla movie just because it's different and refuse to acknowledge that even a Godzilla film they hate, might still be enjoyed by someone else.
I personally have enjoyed every Godzilla film I have seen to date and refuse to dismiss any of them out of hand.
Now back to the point: Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus rocks!
Yes the movie is silly and illogical, but that's because it ISN'T REALITY! Why anyone would go to see a Godzilla to see reality is beyond me. I take each Godzilla movie by their rules and leave it at that.
I've got to start talking about Godzilla because this review is beginning to sound self-righteous. . . .
The human characters and plots are interesting and logical, nothing that dominates or contributes to the screen over the monsters (as usual).
Now to what's important: the Monsters!!!!
Like many people, I didn't appreciate the G-2000 suit at first, it was just so different and alien compared to the Heisei Godzilla suit we'd lived with for the past decade. However, the suit grew on me, with it's pure bad@$$ look and it's now my favorite design. In this movie, you really see this suit go to town (as the saying goes). Godzilla here does everything you can ever see him do and more: destroying cities, fighting monsters, swimming in the ocean (probably the best we've ever seen), even appearing in Black and White! Others have said this and I'll repeat it for those who hate this design: this Godzilla looks almost alive with this design! None of the recent Godzilla faces have been terribly expressive, if at all, but with the minimum amount of expression, Godzilla shows impressive range: you see him angered, confused, determined, in pain and see him stare a hole straight through our female lead. Godzilla's ray is made very impressive as his crystalline plates glow, the air crackling with the intense heat and energy, even water boiling! Then it explodes with incredible force! This is also the only suit yet that has made Godzilla look good at being green (a new color for him you know) on screen. My ONLY complaint about this costume is the same one I've had for all the newer costumes: they lack mobility. I miss when Godzilla was slim and fast and practically moved like a boxer! Now he moves like a sumo wrestler! He also fights like one most of the time and it's simply not an impressive way to see giant creatures fight (no offense intended to the sport of sumo wrestling).
While at first Megaguirus looks like a rehashed Battra, the creature is definitely a new animal! Faster and more maneuverable than any flying monster before it, Megaguirus is a difficult creature to catch. At close range the monster isn't anything to sneeze at either: pincers, tooth-filled jaws(?) and a stinger make it dangerous in close-quarters. With Magnetic energy powers as well, Megaguirus is a worthy challenge, albeit a one shot one though, not a nemesis. While obviously the science behind the Megaguirus is ludicrous, the creature itself is a welcome addition to the family.
Mechanically, Megaguirus (in all it's forms) is another in an impressive line of insect marionettes. It moves and reacts in as lifelike a manner as possible, even showing some emotions in amusing ways! It's Magenura and Meganula forms are also very well done using marionettes and CGI (although the effects sometimes look poor by American standards). The only false notes are when the Megaguirus first appears at night and you can see the wires for pretty much the whole sequence. The only time this has ever happened in a Godzilla movie how could they not have noticed! In previous years they'd trick the camera into not seeing the wires or digitally remove the wires in post-production. How they managed to screw up this time I can't figure out, but it's useless to argue with something that's done and irreparable.
As a whole they're better than the cheap American direct-to-video all CGI monster movies around. In fact some digital shots, like Godzilla's ray, the shots of 'what's-her-name' clinging to Godzilla's plates are very impressive, especially because they're in a Godzilla movie! I don't know how they made Tokyo appear flooded in some of those shots, but the effect is incredible. A few effects look tacky, like the miniature trash cans that get knocked over as Godzilla walks past a miniature alley.
The Battle Sequences
The initial attack by the G-Grasper's on Godzilla is ridiculous from a logic standpoint, although rather exciting.
The initial attack on Godzilla by swarms of Meganula is one of those things you'll wonder why it's never been seen before: Godzilla being attacked by thousands of insects that he has to squash like bugs (in some ways this sequence is better than the similar one in Gamera Vs. Legion).
The battle between Godzilla and Megaguirus is one of the best fights throughout the set of recent G-movies. With several twists and turns, and massive destruction. Godzilla's strength and ray are useless so he'll have to outsmart the diabolical bug. It's good to see Godzilla fight in a unique and original way, the fights in other Godzilla movies have been rather bland, but here Godzilla proves how dangerous he is with just his cunning.
It's pretty much the same as any other Godzilla movie. Although I think the angle of the military officer's thirst for revenge against Godzilla is interesting, but nothing else here is very original.
Conclusion (SPOILER WARNING END)
Another great Godzilla movie, definitely one of the best of the Millennium series. My personal favorite Godzilla costume, great special effects, good opponent, fair human story, some great personality moments for Godzilla and a wonderful after credits ending!!!
on February 7, 2004
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (aka Godzilla x Megaguirus) is a spectacular film in its own right. As a homage to the classic showa (1954-1975) Godzilla films, "GxM", as its known in the kaiju fandom, excells in almost every respect. The action-packed plot and pacing coupled with great special effects (most of the time) and believable actors makes for a great godzilla film for the 20th century. As an obsessive Godzilla enthusiast, I enjoyed the film a great deal, and recommend it to all kaiju fans.
Movie Rating: 9 out of 10
As for the DVD itself, the picture quality is astonishing. The widescreen video is sharp and clean. Perfect! The 5.1 dobly digital sound is astoundingly pounding and equally perfect. 28 chapter stops are included as well. But the addition of the original Japanese audio track is what really shines in this release. Unfortunately, the english subtitles for the track are not subtitles at all, but rather "dubtitles" taken almost directly from the dubbed english track of the film. This means that the subtitles are not always completely faithful to the original script. But this doesn't pose too much of a problem as the dub is faithful enough as it is. The only other extras on the DVD are trailers for other Sony DVD releases.
DVD rating: 9 out of 10 (one point deducted for dubtitles)
on April 28, 2014
It kinda comes off as more of a chore to get bragging rights about seeing all Godzilla movies than it does as a source of entertainment. I know they're not the best actors ever, but this particular crew came off as EXTREMELY effortful without any practice at all. I definitely dare say the acting was better in a high school play I saw a couple years ago. It was even worse than anything in the heisei era. I'd say about as annoying as what's-her-face that pilots Kiryu.
Aside that, this movie had a pretty good sense of "get on with it!" until Godzilla's first conflict. Most Godzilla films are like that, but this one was particularly annoying. The fight at the end was in broad daylight, unlike most Godzilla movies, and I was pretty fond of that, despite how greatly it reduced the sense of severity. The worst part in it was definitely the constantly-changing framerate. It was such a burden to watch it go from shots at 60 fps to 4 fps. I actually replayed it a few times, and on a couple different devices, to make sure it wasn't just the device messing up.
The concepts and the way the story goes is very casual and amusing, though, with the exciting spark of the G-Annihilation Strategy (Project? I don't remember if the word was "Strategy" or something else..?). It's kinda your typical scenario where humans cause something bad to happen while trying to get rid of Godzilla, and it ultimately ends up fighting him. I think it's fair to say, though, that Godzilla wins this fight. Has he ever lost? No spoilers here.
on January 22, 2004
This review applies to both of the Columbia-Tristar releases of "Godzilla vs. Megaguirus" and "Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack". I may not have a fancy 5.1 home theater or widescreen tv, but I'll review this to the best of my ability. The first thing you're obviously going to notice about the DVDs are the covers. The box art has a bit to be desired, and it appears they were fashioned from the poster art. The back covers even use the little 'logos' you find on most US-released Godzilla merchandise that correspond with each kaiju. The dvds themselves have basic, still menu screens; the main screens are mostly just the cover art, flipped over. The only extras offered are a few trailers for various Columbia-Tristar movies, including the 1998 'Godzilla'. There are 28 chapter selections for each dvd. Now for the good stuff: The films are in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, and though I do not have such a tv to take advantage of this feature, the picture still seemed excellent, despite a few areas with a bit of speckles on the film itself. The audio is Dolby Digital 5.1, with both Japanese and English audio (the default seems to be Japanese). It sounds excellent, even if you don't have a 5.1 system. This also marks the first-ever stateside release of a Godzilla DVD with Japanese audio! These are the entire, uncut versions, unlike the Sci-Fi channel airings, although they do have the awful (in my opinion) superimposed titles at the first (it only really looks bad in GMK). The earlier releases were better when it came to the title screens; the movies' titles were captioned at the bottom of the screen. The end credits are in English but are all there, unlike the previous Tristar releases, where pretty much the entire credit sequence was replaced by a bit of copyright info. Subtitles are both English and French. The English subtitles tend to say exactly what is being said in the dub, but have differences in some areas. I'll just assume they ARE mostly based on the original Japanese, though. Also worthy of noting are the silver "50th Anniversary Of Godzilla" stickers on the dvd wrappers, and the backs of the Scene Selection inserts advertise all of their Godzilla dvd releases, past and present. Overall, I give these dvds a big thumbs up, despite the lack of any real extras. They were worth the wait. Our local Blockbuster Video will be recieving the movies for rental, lets hope the semi-snazzy box art will warrant lots of rentals from curious customers. 'Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla', which is being released to DVD in March, boasts the same specs as these discs, so hopefully it will be of the same quality, or possibly even better. I've seen the cover though, and it looks much better. A great beginning to the American celebration of Godzilla's 50th anniversary!
on July 8, 2014
it's Godzilla, what's not to like? Any Godzilla fan will like this one too. The human element once again is just annoying but the monster fight makes up for it. the human cast is as always not that great but can someone please tell me where they dind these actresses? Lately they have been having women as the "heroes" I'm fine with that but the actresses are simply the worst. this one, not sure of her name, is awful and makes the most distracting faces all the time. Thank God for Godzilla.
on June 6, 2014
I won't tell you how though! Godzilla fight a giant insect in this movie. The plot is actually pretty good for a monster movie. Though, the cgi is bad and the practical effect are off as well as you can see wirework more in this film than the 60's Godzilla films. There is a pretty good scene, though misplaced in this movie, where a couple of drunken teen meet their fate to one of the monster antagonists. The fights are alright. This is an alright movie and not just in Godzilla standards. Though, it's not one of the better films in the series.
on November 3, 2004
...when you got Godzilla to radioactively melt and stomp them away? I have been a G fan since the early 1970's and am blessed to have the opportunity to watch some of the old and newer G flicks. This movie, henceforth referred to as GvMeg, turned out to be better than I had expected: the use of plasma to create a black-hole weapon is fascinating; there is fair balance between character development and hard core action; the use of 12-frames per second (?) shots on the epic fight scene between Godzilla and Megaguirus is unique; the city and land models have very cool details and the wide angle shots are believeable, especially in scenes showing Godzilla's approach to Tokyo.
Many of Godzilla's films (that I have seen recently) are filled with hard core action at the expense of character development, but I think this is a weakness rather than a strength. I like GvMeg because it attempts to balance the two elements.
The other G films that I have seen directed by Masaaki Tezuka are Godzilla against Mechagodzilla (2002) and, recently, Godzilla Tokyo SOS (2003). I prefer GvMeg over Godzilla againt Mechagodzilla, despite the many complaints of the special effects in GvMeg. BTW, the worst special effects scene in GvMeg must be chapter 20 on the DVD, the night scene when we first see Megaguirus. The effects shots were too "crisp." It needed less lighting and more smoke effects to hide the mobility wires of the Megaguirus model. Other than this one scene, I thought the SFX were pretty cool! The picture and sound quality are very good, and the inclusion of the Japanese audio track was an excellent decision by Sony Pictures. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 and include it on my top 5 favorite G films.
on September 28, 2013
The Tristar releases of the Millennium Godzilla series, after Godzilla 2000, are all the original films in Japanese with English and French subtitles available. It also has the international English Dub that Toho has done for international release, which is a more of a direct translation so the dialogue is a little clunky. So it is not an American release like Godzilla 2000 was, where they recut the movie to quicken the pace, added pumped up sound effects, and then added American English dubs for a more natural sounding dialog and less confusion on things that don't translate well. This is because the rest of the Millenium series did not receive an American release in theaters.
This movie ignores Godzilla 2000, and only references the original Godzilla retconned to the new suit by cgi and Godzilla's death by the oxygen destroyer. The American Godzilla movie is referenced too, so that is apparently part of this 3 movie universe. I love seeing Meganulon returning and getting to see what they would turn into had Rodan not gobbled them up in his first movie. I wished they had showed more people getting gobbled up by the Meganulon, instead of just hinting at it after showing a couple getting munched. Overall a fun Godzilla romp.