Ultraman Gaia - The Battle in Hyperspace
Nine-year-old Tsutomu discovers a strange glowing red stone with the power to make wishes come true, but the meanest bully in school uses it to create a gigantic, evil monster. Now Tsutomu can realize his own heart's desire to meet his hero, Agent Gamu of the XIG Team, the human alter ego of the mighty Ultraman Gaia! The skyscraper-sized silver and red superhero takes on a growing army of monsters with the aid of Ultraman Tiga and Ultraman Dyna, pitting this intrepid trio of good guys against the forces of darkness in a blistering battle over the future of Earth! Packed with explosive special effects and exciting action, "Ultraman Gaia: The Battle in Hyperspace" is a dazzling entry in the popular Ultraman saga that raises the bar for spectacular entertainment!
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My understanding is that in Japan, every season brought a new Ultraman with a new human counterpart -- the Ultraman we knew in the USA was 1966's Ultraman Jack (I think) in Japan, just one of many. Hyata or not, this film will satisfy your jones for Ultraman.
The story is not too hard to follow, and there is no shortage of action. The effects, while not exactly Industrial Light & Magic, are definitely an improvement on those I was used to. The main plot focuses on a bunch of kids and their use and abuse of a fantasy-fulfilling red ball, and as usual this kind of story can get tiresome, but the climactic battle -- on land, sea, and in the air -- with Ultramans Dyna and Tiga coming to the aid of Gaia, is quite the treat. It was especially interesting comparing the English-dubbed version's dialogue and story to the English-subtitled version. I highly recommend it.
As a fan of Ultraman, I just hope the superb Ultraman Tiga- The Final Odyssey gets dubbed in English and released on DVD as well as the hilarious (no pun intended) Ultraman Zearth movies, which are gems.
I used to watch the original Ultraman with my dad when I was growing up, along with "Ultraman: Towards The Future". So many years later (when I got to 3rd grade) we found this movie at the mall and it was purchased for me by my parents. I loved it so much and watched it for many years, but when I went to relive it again (then in High school) the tape was so worn that it became tangled in the VCR.
Now here I am as a young man in college watching it again and plan to keep this copy for as long as it works.
The movie is pleasing to the eye, replacing old school special effects techniques with more digital and up-to-date effects that are very well executed in this film. It still has the charm of the original Ultraman from 60's but has the special effects that today's generation of Ultra-fans would like to see. So there is a good medium for fans old and new alike.
The plot itself is also enjoyable, I won't spoil anything but it's a nice slice of life meeting with the imagination of a child while still keeping it serious sci-fi feel. There is loads of action and it's just an overall great time, I recommend this film even if you aren't an Ultraman fan, it's still a good time.
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