Archive for Godzilla

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero (Invasion of Astro-Monster)

Posted in Classics, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , on January 16, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In the late 1960s, a two-man spacecraft, crewed by a Japanese and American (Fuji and Glenn), approaches Jupiter’s orbit to explore the newly discovered Planet X. The planet maintains a position directly behind Jupiter, leaving its surface in twilight, with just enough light to make it possible to navigate its surface.

After landing and disembarking, one of the astronauts and the ship vanishes, leaving the other to wonder where they have gone. Suddenly, a flat voice comes over the communications link and instructs the lone astronaut down into subterranean corridors to the office of the Controller of Planet X, where he finds his shipmate.

The spacecraft is safe, the controller assures them and indicates that their location is about to be attacked. The astronauts recognize the attacking monster is King Ghidorah, the three-headed space dragon. The astronauts lose contact with the Controller, but afterwards they are assured that Ghidorah, known to the Xians as Monster Zero, is gone.

The Controller asks for Earth’s help: they want to capture Godzilla and Rodan, known to the Xians as Monster Zero-One and Monster Zero-Two. In return, Planet X will gift humanity with a wonder drug that can cure all diseases. The astronauts agree to return home with the proposal. As they lift off, they say on the radio to the Controller, “We’re glad we found friends on Planet X.”

Meanwhile, Fuji’s sister’s boyfriend, Tetsuo, has invented a personal alarm he thinks women could use if they’re attacked. It creates an extremely loud noise that can be heard for a long distance. Tetsuo wonders, though, why no one is interested in buying it. Eventually, a Miss Namikawa makes an offer to buy the alarm as an educational device, though she keeps putting Tetsuo off on completing the deal. In truth, her boss wants the device and the plans destroyed.

Fuji and Glenn tell their superiors about the offer from Planet X. Scientists begin searching for Godzilla and Rodan. The Controller of Planet X suddenly makes an appearance on Earth, and both Glenn, who is dating Miss Namikawa and Fuji both become suspicious of Planet X. The Controller apologizes for his unannounced presence and offers to help locate the two monsters. Two Planet X spacecraft rapidly deploy to capture the two monsters.

Glenn, Fuji and Dr. Sakurai are invited to accompany the Controller back to Planet X, a trip that takes only a few hours; the Controller says that soon they’ll be able to travel at the speed of light. When they reach Planet X, there is an immediate attack by Ghidorah, and the two monsters from Earth are released to battle him. Ghidorah is driven off and the Controller is extremely happy. He presents the astronauts with a box he says contains the formula for the miracle drug. He also gives the three men duplicate of their spaceship so they can fly home.

Back home the box is taken to a special meeting and in it is found a reel-to-reel tape. It is loaded to play, but when the speakers remain silent for a long period, some wonder if the systems are compatible. Finally, after a beep a voice states, “I am the controller of Planet X. To the people of the Earth. I command that you obey the following orders…” It is an ultimatum to surrender to Planet X or be destroyed by all three monsters.

The Xians soon arrive and destroy the gift spacecraft. They also threaten to release King Ghidorah, Godzilla and Rodan. Overly confident, the Xians show the world how they control the monsters through magnetic waves. The Earth scientists know they can exploit this information and work rapidly to find a way to disrupt the waves. Meanwhile, Earth’s armies fight the three monsters with conventional weapons as they destroy much of Japan.

Tetsuo, is unhappy his device is not being used, and he is unable to get Miss Namikawa to tell him what’s happening. He decides to follow her, but is captured by Planet X soldiers. Glenn eventually discovers Miss Namikawa is from Planet X and all their women are virtually identical. Fearing what he knows, the Xians arrest him and put in the same cell as Tetsuo. However, this proves to be their undoing as he and Tetsuo begin to cooperate. Before she is disintegrated by a soldier, Namikawa gives Glenn a letter in which she told him the weakness of the people of Planet X: the sound from Tetsuo’s alarm. Tetsuo, who still has the prototype, sets it off. It paralyzes the Planet X soldiers, enabling Glenn and Tetsuo to escape.

They reach the space center scientists and explain about the alarm. Arrangements are made to broadcast it on all radio and television stations, but only when the magnetic disruption devices are deployed.

The three monsters are no longer under Planet X control, as their spacecraft explode as their crews try to escape the debilitating alarm noise. The invaders withdraw from the Earth. Meanwhile, Godzilla and Rodan attacks Ghidorah, forcing all three to fall into the sea. Ghidorah emerges and retreats to outer space, but Godzilla and Rodan never resurface, leading the humans to wonder whether King Ghidorah defeated them.

Glenn and Fuji are to be sent to Planet X again as ambassadors to seek peaceful relations

REVIEW:

Last week, I was reading somewhere that they had hired a writer to reboot the Godzilla franchise. Why, oh why, is this necessary? Are studios that devoid of ideas that they have to do such nonsense. At this point, it is nothing more than just a case of laziness. *SIGH* Let’s talk about Godzilla vs. Monster Zero, shall we?

What is this about?

Aliens from the mysterious Planet X, which resides on the dark side of Jupiter, come to Earth asking its people to help them save their world from the dreaded King Ghidrah by letting them “borrow” Godzilla and Rodan. The aliens are actually planning to use the three monsters to take over our planet.

What did I like?

Monsters will be monsters. For the most part, Godzilla, Rodan, and Ghidorah all act as monsters. In other films of this franchise, Godzilla was starting to act more and more human. With the exception of a scene where he and Rodan are stranded on Planet X, the big guy is back to his normal destroy everything self, it seems like.

Plot. Believe it or not, there is an actual plot here that isn’t the usual “Godzilla is coming to Tokyo so we have to nuke the hell out of him to save the city”. Instead, we have a race of intelligent beings from Planet X who appear to be having trouble with a being they call Monster Zero, but we know as Ghiorah. I was also a fan of how they pulled the big double cross and tried to enslave the people of Earth. It just seemed to convenient how they knew where Godzilla and Rodan were on out planet, yet couldn’t come up with a way to stop Ghidorah, despite the fact that they are infinitely more advanced that us.

Pacing. Other films in this franchise, whether it be from lack fo real plot development, or my ADHD kicking in because I don’t care to read the subtitles, seem to drag on for much longer than they need to, which is ironic considering that I think this is the longest of the bunch. Enough cannot be said about a good brisk pace. No one is ever going to confuse a Godzilla flick with Citizen Kane. These films are good sci-fi fun, so when they just get to it, that is when they work the best.

What didn’t work?

Humans. I probably sound like a broken record, as I say this with every Godzilla flick, but there were just too many humans. Yes, this one probably had the best acting (if you can call it that) of the bunch, headlines by Nick Adams. You may recognize him as constant compatriot of Dean Martin and Elvis in their films, or perhaps you could know hims from No Time for Sergeants. At any rate, I realize that there needs to be some human element here, but it just seems as if they were being too cheap to focus on the monsters, as well as maintaining their stubbornness/delusion that people care about the humans. I have the same problem with the Transformers movies, if you will recall.

Godzilla Ali. I don’t know if he does it in any of the other films, but this Godzilla had some moves like a boxer. I kid you not, in the final battle with Ghidorah he is literally boxing the three-headed beast. This may come off as cute to some, I wasn’t a fan, especially after he had done some weird kind of dance on Planet X after beating Ghidorah.

Women. In all of the previous films, the women have been nothing more than eye candy. This is no exception but, in a weird turn of events, the females that we have been seeing are in fact from Planet X. I wish I could say more about this, but it just seems to me as if this was a way to give the women something to do, as  they don’t serve much purpose otherwise.

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero should be noted for the fact that it actually has a plot, something that the others didn’t seem be lucky enough to have, with the exception of the Mechagodzilla flicks. Now, does that mean this is a good film? Well, I really want to say yes, I really, really do, but I can’t. This is a film made for its target audience. Everyone else will scoff at it. As a film, it is average at best, which pains me to say, but it is still enjoyable. Check it out sometime! You may have to look under one of the many other titles it is known by, though, such as The Great Monster War, Invasion of Astro-Monster, Monster Zero, etc.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Godzilla’s Revenge

Posted in Classics, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , on June 22, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Ichiro is a highly imaginative but lonely latchkey kid growing up in urban (and at that time, polluted) Tokyo. Every day he comes home to his family’s empty apartment. His only friends are a toymaker named Shinpei Inami and a young girl named Sachiko. Every day after school, Ichiro is tormented by a gang of bullies led by a child named Sancho, whom Ichiro has nicknamed “Gabara.” To escape his loneliness, Ichiro sleeps and dreams about visiting Monster Island. During his visit he witnesses Godzilla battle three Kamacuras and Ebirah, a giant sea monster. Ichiro is then chased by a rouge Kamacuras and falls into a deep cave, but luckily avoids being caught by Kamacuras. Shortly afterwards, Ichiro is rescued from the cave by Godzilla’s Son, Minilla. Ichiro quickly learns that Minilla has bully problems too, as he is bullied by a monstrous ogre known as Gabara.

Ichiro is then awoken by Shinpei who informs him that his mother must work late, again. Down on his luck Ichiro goes out to play, but is then frightened by the bullies and finds and explores an abandoned factory. After finding some souvenirs (tubes, a headset, and a wallet with someone’s license), Ichiro leaves the factory after hearing some sirens close by. After Ichiro leaves, two Bank Robbers who were hiding out in the factory learn that Ichiro has found one of their drivers licenses and follow him in order to kidnap him.

Later, Ichiro dreams again and reunites with Minilla. Together they both watch as Godzilla fights Ebirah, Kumonga, and some invading Jets. Then in the middle of Godzilla’s fights, Gabara appears and Minilla is forced to battle him, and after a short and one-sided battle Minilla runs away in fear. Godzilla returns to train Minilla how to fight and use his own atomic ray. However, Ichiro is woken up this time by the Bank Robbers and is taken hostage by them for taking their stuff and as a means of protection from the authorities.

Out of fear and being watched by the thieves, Ichiro calls for Minilla’s help and falls asleep again where he witnesses Minilla being beaten up by Gabara again. Finally, Ichiro helps Minilla fight back at Gabara and eventually Minilla wins, catapulting the bully through the air by a seesaw-like log. Godzilla, who was in the area watching comes to congratulate his son for his victory, but is ambushed by a vengeful Gabara. Luckily after a short brawl, Godzilla beats down Gabara and sends the bully into retreat, never to bother Minilla again. Now from his experiences in his dreams, Ichiro learns how to face his fears and fight back, gaining the courage to outwit the thieves just in time for the police to arrive and arrest them. The next day, Ichiro stands up to Sancho and his gang and wins, regaining his pride and confidence in the process.

REVIEW:

What in the blue hell have they done to Godzilla?!?

Godzilla’s Revenge is actually a misnomer, or should I say, an American re-titling. The actual Japanese title of this film is All Monster’s Attack. The problem with that title is it really has no bearing on the plot.

What did I like?

Story. Believe it or not, I actually did like the story. How often do you hear the word cute associated with a Godzilla flick? It is my understanding, though, that this is aimed more for kids than the usual sci-fi crowd. Don’t ask me why this is, considering how Godzilla is supposedly such a threat. I mean, there aren’t any kiddie Ghidoroh, Mothra, or King Kong flicks out there. Well, I guess you can make the case that Donkey Kong is a kiddie version of King Kong, but he doesn’t have any movies.

Friendship and imagination. One thing that cannot be said about this flick is that it lacks imagination. How else is it possible for this little boy to not only find himself on Monster Island, but also befriending Minya (Minilla in the Japanese versions), son of Godzilla.

What didn’t I like?

Speech. I realize that they needed to make at least one of the monsters audience accessible, but there was just something unsettling about him talking. On top of that, his voice didn’t work for me. I don’t know if it was that bad in the Japanese version, but the American version could sure use some work.

Epic fail. Godzilla has a big fight near the end with a couple of one-off monsters. It is pretty good, but tame by Godzilla standards. If this is supposedly Godzilla’s revenge, as the title states, shouldn’t be laying some major smackage down? I was highly disappointed in this.

Little boy, go home. I found the little boy endearing at first, but as the film went on, he became a bit of a nuisance, for lack of a better word. I believe this was more to do with how this film was aimed, though.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. As with every other Godzilla film, the dubbing is atrocious, but I guess that comes with the territory of bringing a Japanese film over here to America, right?

Costume design. Holy hell these are some horrible monster costumes, especially Godzilla and Minya. Not only are the costumes horrible, but it seems as if the director forgot how big these monsters actually are. WTF?!? How is it that Godzilla appears to be no bigger than a full size adult male and Minya is barely taller than the little boy, yet in every other flick Godzilla is about 80 ft tall (don’t quote me on that) and his son was about the height of a house!

If you’re in the market for a good Godzilla flick, then this isn’t the one for you. There is no way around that fact. However, if you want a Godzilla flick that you can feel good about watching with your kids, then pop in Godzilla’s Revenge. While I don’t highly recommend this to any sane person, as a Saturday or Sunday afternoon flick, this would probably work out pretty good.

3 out of 5 stars

Terror of Mechagodzilla

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , on April 4, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Continuing after the end of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, Interpol agents, led by Inspector Kusaka, search for the wreck of Mechagodzilla at the bottom of the Okinawan Sea in the submarine, Akatsuki, to gather information on its builders, the simian alien. But, the Akatsuki is suddenly attacked by a giant aquatic dinosaur called Titanosaurus, and the crew is apparently lost.

In response to the incident, Interpol begins to investigate. With the help of marine biologist Akira Ichinose, they trace the incident and Titanosaurus to a reclusive, mad scientist named Shinzô Mafune, who was forced to leave the institute, and now wants to destroy them as well as all of mankind. When visiting his old house in the seaside forest of Manazuru, they meet Mafune’s lone daughter Katsura, who tells them that not only is her father dead, but she also burned all of his notes on the giant dinosaur (at her father’s request). But unbeknownst to them, Mafune himself is alive and well, visited by his scientist friend Tsuda, who turns out to be an aide to the new simian alien leader Mugal, who is leading the project to quickly rebuild Mechagodzilla. Mugal offers their services to Mafune, so that his Titanosaurus and their Mechagodzilla 2 will be the ultimate weapons. The ultimate goal of this new wave of black hole aliens is to wipe out mankind and rebuild cities around the world as a high-tech dystopia.

But things are complicated for both factions when Ichinose falls in love with Katsura, and unwittingly gives her Interpol’s secret information against Titanosaurus, the new Mechagodzilla, and the aliens. We also find that Katsura is actually a cyborg, and Mugal may have use for her. Meanwhile, Mafune is desperate to unleash Titanosaurus without the aliens’ permission, so he releases it on Yokosuka one night. By then, Interpol discovers Titanosaurus’ weakness: supersonic waves. But when they construct a supersonic wave oscillator, Katsura sabotages the machine, prompting Interpol to hastily repair it; Godzilla arrives to fight off Titanosaurus.

Later, Ichinose goes to visit Katsura, but is captured by the aliens. Tied to a chair, Ichinose can only watch as Mafune and the aliens unleash Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus on Yokosuka, while Interpol struggles to repair their machine and the Japanese armed forces struggle to keep the two monsters at bay. Katsura, whose machine core is being fully manipulated by Mugal, ignores Ichinose and controls both the dinosaur and the robot as they destroy the city.

Godzilla comes to the rescue, though he is outmatched by the two titans. While Interpol distracts Titanosaurus with the supersonic wave oscillator, Godzilla is able to focus on attacking Mechagodzilla. Interpol agents infiltrate the aliens’ hideout, rescue Ichinose, and then kill Mafune and much of the aliens. The remaining aliens attempt to escape, but Godzilla shoots them down. Katsura, while being embraced by Ichinose, shoots herself to destroy Mechagodzilla. Godzilla, with the help of the oscillator, kills Titanosaurus and heads off back to sea

REVIEW:

I must apologize for the briefness of this review, but I need have a couple of things that need to be done here in a few minutes.

If you’ve seen any of the Godzilla films, excluding the 1998 version, then you know what to expect…bad English dubbing, some sort of plot that no one cares about, giant monsters that appear early on and then aren’t seen again until the end, and of course the final conflict. Yes, these films are very formulaic, but this one does have the added plot of the rebuilding Mechagodzilla and this alien race. Still, it isn’t enough to make you want to see anything about this flick other than the conflict between Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, and Titanosaurus.

The creatures still aren’t convincing. They look like guys in suits, but that’s part of the charm these films have. When you go and try to make then look real, it just ruins everything, at least in my opinion.

As far as films in this franchise go, this isn’t necessarily one of the strongest or weakest, nor does it have anything to make it memorable. It is just one of those that you watch to complete the collection. I can’t really recommend it, but at the same time, it is far from being one of the flicks that is horrible. It is just average.

3 out of 5 stars

Godzilla Raids Again

Posted in Classics, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , on October 5, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Pilots Shoichi Tsukioka and Koji Kobayashi are hunting for schools of fish for a tuna cannery company in Osaka. Kobayashi’s plane malfunctions and is forced to land near Iwato Island, an uninhabited strip of rocks formed by volcanic eruptions. Tsukioka then looks for Kobayashi and finds him safe, with only a wrist sprain. While talking, the two men hear strange sounds and find two kaiju fighting. Tsukioka immediately recognizes one of the monsters to be Godzilla. The two monsters then fall off a cliff, into the ocean.

Tsukioka and Kobayashi report to the authorities in Osaka, and find out that the other monster Godzilla was fighting is Anguirus. A group of scientists with the two pilots research Anguirus in a book written by a Polish scientist. Godzilla and Anguirus lived around the same time millions of years ago. Anguirus hated Godzilla, which explains the intense rivalry between the two monsters.

Dr. Kyohei Yamane, who experienced Godzilla’s attack in 1954, was also present at the meeting, and shows a film of Godzilla attacking Tokyo. Yamane states that there is no way to kill Godzilla, and that Dr. Daisuke Serizawa, the inventor of the Oxygen Destroyer, had died and burned the formula. Yamane, though, suggests that the military should use flares on Godzilla to attract the monster away from the shore. Godzilla becomes angry when he sees lights because the hydrogen bomb’s bright explosion had awakened and mutated him.

One day, Godzilla appears on shore of Osaka. Jets are sent to shoot flares from their planes to lead Godzilla away from the shore. Godzilla sees the flames, and starts to walk away.

Meanwhile, a prison truck transports dangerous criminals to another part of the country. All of the criminals, using body language, decided that this would be a great opportunity to escape from prison. The prisoners beat up the two policemen guarding the back door of the truck, and run away. A few of them use a gasoline truck. The truck crashes into an industrial building and starts a massive fire.

The fire attracts Godzilla to the shore of Osaka again. A few minutes later, Anguirus swims to shore and attacks Godzilla. The two monsters fight an intense battle, while destroying several buildings, including the tuna cannery that Tsukioka and Kobayashi work for. Godzilla bites Anguirus’s neck, and throws him on a moat near Osaka Castle. Godzilla then fires his atomic breath and burns Anguirus to death. While this saves Japan from Anguirus it also lights a large amount of structures on fire.

Tsukioka and Kobayashi are transferred to a Hokkaido plant. During a company party, the two are notified that Godzilla destroyed one of the company fishing boats. The military, and Tsukioka begin a massive search for Godzilla. Tsukioka spots Godzilla swimming to the shore of a small icy island. He notifies the cannery, and Kobayashi takes off in his plane to switch shifts with Tsukioka.

Kobayashi dives his plane towards Godzilla to distract him from walking back into the ocean. Tsukioka then transferred to the air force, travels on a jet with an old college friend. They drop bombs on Godzilla but are unsuccessful. Godzilla then wades towards shore. Kobayashi dies when he swoops down towards Godzilla, but Godzilla counterattacks with his ray, knocking Kobayashi off course and crashlanding on an icy mountain.

Tsukioka grieves but then notices that the military can shoot missiles at the mountain, and bury Godzilla in an avalanche. The jets fire the missiles, and bury Godzilla in snow to his waist.

The jets return to base to reload, and Tsukioka is authorized to fly in his own jet. The jets return to the icy island, and shoot missiles at the mountain, burying Godzilla to his neck. Tsukioka then shoots his missiles and defeats Godzilla by burying the monster completely

REVIEW:

As a fan of the Godzilla franchise, I have always been fascinated with all of the films. As with many series’, there are those that are better than others. This is the case with Godzilla Raids Again.

The biggest problem I have with this film is the low quality of the film. I’m not talking about the bad English dubbing, that’s just as much a part of these movies as Godzilla’s atomic breath, but instead the look of the film is very cheap, even for this era, and was more of a distraction than the subpar plot.

Now, I will say that the scenes with Godzilla were pretty good. They were on par with other films in this series, and the battle with Anguirus was entertaining, but once again, they focused way too much on the humans, who we don’t really care about. On top of that, somehow the film shifted to colder climates. I may have missed something there, but it just seemed a bit too random…even for my taste.

I’m not going to say I didn’t like this film, because I did, but it wasn’t the best entry into the proud Godzilla franchise. There are better films than this and there are worse ones. Should you see it? Well, it wouldn’t hurt, just don’t expect too much.

3 out of 5 stars

Gojira

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , on April 19, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

When a Japanese fishing boat is attacked by a flash of light near Odo Island, two rescue boats are sent, but they too are destroyed, with only a few surviving. On Odo Island, a village elder blames their poor fishing on Godzilla and recalls that in earlier times native girls were sacrificed to appease the giant sea monster. Word gets out and a helicopter arrives on the island with curious, but skeptical, reporters. Frightened natives perform a nighttime ceremony to keep the monster away. However, that night, while the natives sleep, a storm arrives and Godzilla comes with it. Death and destruction ensue.

The next day, witnesses arrive in Tokyo. Archeologist Dr. Kyohei Yamane (Takashi Shimura) suggests that investigators be sent to the island. On arrival, Yamane finds giant radioactive footprints, and a trilobite. When an alarm sounds, the villagers arm themselves with sticks and run to the hills, only to find Godzilla is more than they can fight. After a quick skirmish, the villagers run for safety and Godzilla heads to the ocean.

Dr. Yamane returns to Tokyo to present his findings and concludes that Godzilla was created by a nuclear explosion. Some want to conceal that fact, fearing international repercussions. Others say the truth must be revealed. They prevail and Godzilla’s origins are announced to the public. Ships are sent with depth charges to kill the monster. When they fail, Godzilla appears again, causing nationwide panic. Officials appeal to Dr. Yamane for some way to kill the monster, but Yamane wants him kept alive and studied.

Meanwhile, Emiko, Yamane’s daughter, decides to break off her engagement to Yamane’s colleague, Dr. Daisuke Serizawa (Akihiko Hirata), because of her love for Hideto Ogata (Akira Takarada), a salvage ship captain. Before she can do that, Serizawa tells her about his invention, the Oxygen Destroyer, which can kill all life in the sea. He gives a small demonstration, using a fish tank in the lab. She is sworn to secrecy and never gets a chance to break off the engagement.

That night Godzilla climbs from Tokyo Bay and attacks the city. Though the attack is over quickly, there is much death and destruction.

The next morning the army constructs a line of 40-meter electrical towers along the coast of Tokyo that will send 50,000 volts of electricity through Godzilla, should he appear again. Civilians are evacuated from the city and put into bomb shelters.

That night Godzilla does indeed attack again. He easily breaks through the electric fence, melting the wires with his atomic breath. A bombardment of shells from the army tanks has no effect. Godzilla continues his rampage until much of the city is destroyed and thousands of civilians are dead or wounded. Godzilla descends unscathed into Tokyo Bay, despite a squadron of fighter jets’ last-ditch attack.

The next morning finds Tokyo in ruins. Hospitals overflow with victims, including some with radiation poisoning. Emiko witnesses the devastation and tells Ogata about Serizawa’s secret Oxygen Destroyer. She hopes together they can persuade Serizawa to use it to stop Godzilla. When Serizawa refuses, Ogata and Serizawa fight and Ogata receives a minor head wound. As Emiko treats Ogata’s wound, Serizawa apologizes, but he refuses to use the weapon on Godzilla, citing the public bedlam his weapon could cause. Then a newscast shows the devastation Godzilla has caused. Choirs of children are shown singing a hymn. Moved, Serizawa decides he will use the weapon only one time and then its secret must be destroyed for the good of humanity. He then burns all his papers and research. Emiko breaks down and cries when she sees this, as she understands that Serizawa is sacrificing his life’s work to stop Godzilla.

A navy ship takes Ogata and Serizawa to plant the device in Tokyo Bay. They don diving gear and descend into the water, where they find Godzilla at rest. Ogata returns to the surface as Serizawa activates the device. Serizawa watches as Godzilla dies then cuts his own oxygen cord, sacrificing himself so his knowledge of the device cannot be used to harm mankind. A dying Godzilla surfaces, lets out a final roar, and sinks to the bottom, disintegrating.

Although the monster is gone, those aboard ship are still grim. They don’t know if the death of Godzilla is the end or the beginning of an apocalyptic era. Godzilla’s death has come at a terrible price and Dr. Yamane believes that if mankind continues to develop weapons of mass destruction, Godzilla may return

REVIEW:

No, this isn’t some random foreign film that you’ve never heard of. Gojira, in case you couldn’t tell, is actually the way Godzilla is said in Japanese.

When I first read the synopsis of this film, I thought it seemed similar to a Godzilla flick I had watched not too long ago. It turns out that I was right.

American audiences were treated to a slightly edited version of this exact film when Godzilla: King of the Monsters was released over here in 1956. Having said that, let it be known that Gojira is the film that introduced the world to Godzilla.

If you’ve seen one Godzilla film, then you pretty much know the basic plot. Godzilla suddenly appears/awakes in the harbor and heads toward Tokyo. The military and scientists all struggle to figure out a way to stop him, or at least slow him down. There’s the pretty girl, usually the daughter of the compassionate scientist who is eye candy, of course. The film climaxes with a showdown between Godzilla and the military.

There really isn’t anything spectacular about this particular entry into the Godzilla franchise, but then again, it is the first one, so it set the bar for many films that followed. Sure the effects are cheesy, but this is 1954, after all.

Godzilla himself, actually looks more real than he does in later films. It isn’t so obvious that he’s a guy in a suit. So, what happened after this one that caused them to make the King of Monsters look so fake, I wonder.

I have to take issue with the way the military seems to trigger happy to destroy Godzilla, rather than even bother to spare his life. Of course, this is something that is prevalent in all the films, so I should be used to it by now, one would think.

As a stand alone film, Gojira is ok, but nothing to write home about. However, when you factor in that this is the start of one of cinemas great franchises, then it makes it seem alot better than it actually is. My honest opinion of this film, though, is that it is good, but not great. Should you see this film, though? Sure! I mean, this is the original Godzilla!!! Why wouldn’t you?

3 out of 5 stars

Godzilla vs. Destoroyah

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , on February 26, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 1996, after the death of SpaceGodzilla, Birth Island is found destroyed. Godzilla’s adopted son, Little Godzilla, is presumed dead at first but later reveals himself as a larger and more powerful sub-adult due to the excess radiation and is re-named Godzilla Junior. Godzilla, covered in glowing lava-like rashes, enters Hong Kong and destroys most of the city. G-Force representatives hire college student Kenichi Yamane, the grandson of Dr. Kyohei Yamane, to come work at the center in an attempt to unravel the mystery of Godzilla’s condition.

Yamane suspects that Godzilla has absorbed too much atomic energy and is having a nuclear heart attack. His death would result in triggering an atmospheric chain reaction which will take Japan, and the entire Earth with him. G-Force deploys a flying combat vehicle outfitted with anti-nuclear cold weapons to forestall this; the Super X III. Strange life forms appear where the original Godzilla died, and a host of deadly creatures called Destoroyah begin wreaking havoc. Soil samples reveal that Destoroyah is connected to the Oxygen Destroyer used against the first Godzilla in 1954, which mutated Precambrian era life forms. After several deadly skirmishes with the Japan Self-Defense Forces, the Destoroyah evolve beyond the J.S.D.F.’s containment abilities and psychic Miki Saegusa must use her failing powers to lure Junior to the area in an attempt to combat Destoroyah in Tokyo. Godzilla, who is searching for his son, follows Junior, but complications arise. Due to his encounter with the Super X III, Godzilla will meltdown once his body reaches 1,200 degrees Celsius and the Earth will be destroyed.

During Junior’s first battle, he is wounded. Godzilla and Junior meet in Narita, but Destoroyah returns in his final form. Destoroyah knocks down Godzilla and kidnaps Junior, dropping him from an extreme altitude that brings the child monster close to death. Godzilla, enraged, attacks Destoroyah and a battle ensues that destroys Tokyo. Born from the only weapon to ever kill a Godzilla, Destoroyah shows an advantage, but Godzilla’s radioactivity has increased his own power. Destoroyah’s body decomposes into many smaller Destoroyah which attempt to swarm Godzilla from all sides, but Godzilla uses his nuclear pulse to incinerate the miniature Destoroyahs.

Alone at last Godzilla tries to revive Junior but, he fails. Overcome by grief, Godzilla’s heart continues to fail. Suddenly, Destoroyah returns for one last attack. Godzilla’s demise begins, resulting in his power increasing once again significantly. In a fury of rage, Godzilla begins reigniting Destoroyah with his powerful atomic rays, severely burning and injuring the beast. Destoroyah then attempts to escape, but the military shoots and blows off his wings. Destoroyah falls out of the air but Godzilla doesn’t move. When Destoroyah hits the ground, because of the extreme change in temeperatures from the ice rays and Godzilla superheating the ground, Destoroyah explodes. As Godzilla reaches meltdown, and begins to die, the Super X III freezes him with ice beams to stop him from the destroying the planet and are successful. Godzilla’s final moments of life are long, and strenuous as he is overcome with immense pain, with his flesh and body slowly melting away. The King of the Monsters gives one last faint roar before he becomes nothing more than a pile of melted flesh and ashes. But in his final moments, he transfers his last supply of energy over to the fallen Junior.

The victory is a costly one however, for the radiation has made Tokyo an uninhabitable city. Suddenly, radiation levels begin to drop, and from within the thinning smoke, is a revived and full grown Godzilla Junior, the new King of the Monsters.

REVIEW:

 Like many movie fans out there, I knew there were a ton of Godzilla movies, but had only seen a handful, most recently Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II. Usually, on Saturday afternoons, in case you hadn’t noticed, I watch westerns, but I decided to go the sci-fi giant monster route today, and what better classic giant movie monster is there than Godzilla?

Now, this is one of those Godzilla films that reverts him back to his primitive ways, which is fine, but in doing so, they also seem to be trying to get across some sort of preachy message. I wouldn’t have a problem with this if it wasn’t done so in-your-face.

Let’s face it, Godzilla is a monster who was created as a result of nuclear testing, so we can’t rightly expect them to skirt around the nuclear aspect of him, but there is such a thing as beating a dead horse, which is exactly what they seem to be doing.

Now, if you’re familiar with Godzilla movies, you know they almost all involve the giant lizard suddenly appearing in the ocean outside of Tokyo and the rest of the film is spent watching the bad English dubbing over the Japanese acting as they try to figure out how to stop him before he reaches the city.

Well, that is sort of the same plot here, but we throw in the fact that Godzilla looks like some sot of special edition version of himself. Think of He-Man, then there was Thunder Punch He-Man, Battle Armor He-Man, etc. Well, Godzilla looked like he had just been painted red and yellow. Apparently, this all has to do with the face that he’s about to have a nuclear heart attack. Yeah, don’t ask me, it makes no sense other than to let them have a reason to kill off Godzilla and bring in Junior.

Believe it or not, that, nor the preachy tone of the film are my biggest issues with it, but rather the way the military doesn’t seem to care and just adopts a willy-nilly “shoot first, ask questions later” attitude. Who do they think they are, the Americans?

Seriously, though, they came off as so cold and uncaring, except for the two ladies who were mind linked, or whatever, to Junior.

Lost amongst all this seems to be the film’s antagonist, Destoroyah, who seems to be another inadvertent creation of the government and military. The oxygen destroyer that was used in the original Godzilla film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, apparently did something to the soil, and these creatures mutated out of it. Somehow, though, with the exception of the climatic fight with both Godzillas and the attack on the city, the military just seems to ignore these things because they’re more obsessed with killing Godzilla. How one-track minded can you get?

This was made in the mid-late 90s, so one would expect them to take advantage of the technology available, but for some reason, they sets are very reminiscent of the early Godzilla pictures, where they look like they were taken from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. I don’t have a problem with that. I actually, prefer the toy look, but given that Godzilla no longer looks like a man in a suit, they should have upgraded.

When all the dust settles, is Godzilla vs. Destoroyah a decent entry into the Godzilla legend? Well, I won’t go that far, but it is superior to that 1998 blasphemous attempt. This film has its moments, but it just seems like it is trying too hard to pay homage to the original film and at the same time create something new, failing at both tasks. I think that without the monsters, this would have been an unwatchable film. Your best bet is to stay away from this, unless you’re a Godzilla fan and want to see all of his movies.

3 out of 5 stars

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , on December 31, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The Japan Self Defense Forces lift the remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah from the ocean. Using the armor and robotic technology that the Futurians gave them, they create Mechagodzilla, a super weapon that they hope will finally kill Godzilla.

On a mission to an island in the Pacific, a Japanese team comes across a dinosaur egg. They take the egg and attract Godzilla and Rodan after stopping the fight that they are engaged in. The egg is taken back to Japan where it hatches into BabyGodzilla. Godzilla appears in Kyoto to rescue the infant Godzillasaur, but Mechagodzilla battles Godzilla, defeating him. However, Godzilla uses his nuclear pulse, shutting down Mechagodzilla. Godzilla shoves Mechagodzilla and continues searching for BabyGodzilla, though he is hidden by G-Force scientists in a room that blocks off his psychic mind waves. Godzilla gives up and returns to his ocean home, but not before destroying the island.

Tests on BabyGodzilla reveal that he has a second brain in his hips that control his legs and tail. The JSDF assume that the same goes for Godzilla, since Godzilla and BabyGodzilla are both Godzillasaurs. They decide to use BabyGodzilla to bait Godzilla to them and use the G-Crusher, a system designed to destroy Godzilla’s second brain, on the mutant dinosaur. Instead Rodan, now transformed into Fire Rodan, is attracted to the bait as well and fights the JSDF attack aircraft Garuda and defeats it. He turns his attention to Mechagodzilla and attacks, losing horribly, being no match to the super weapon though he does disable Mechagodzilla’s right eye laser cannon. Godzilla then shows up and starts to battle Mechagodzilla. Mechagodzilla combines with Garuda and turns into Super Mechagodzilla and uses the G-Crusher on Godzilla. Godzilla is killed, but is revived when Fire Rodan sacrifices himself and transfers his remaining life energy to Godzilla. Godzilla is enraged by Rodan’s death and uses his newly acquired spiral atomic ray to destroy Super Mechagodzilla as revenge.

Godzilla then adopts BabyGodzilla as his son and they both swim off into the ocean to find a new home.

REVIEW:

 Just to be clear, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II is not really a sequel to Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. Mechagodzilla is mentioned, but for the most part, this film seems to separate itself from the earlier film. I think the fact that this was made in the early 90s, when there was renewed interest in making Godzilla films, may have had something to do with that, though.

When to comes down to it, let’s face the facts, Godzilla flicks aren’t know for being the greatest in terms of storytelling. 99.9% of people who go to see a Godzilla picture, go to see the giant lizard, and could care less about the humans, not to mention what passes fr story.

Unfortunately, filmmakers seem to think that we actually care about the people in these flicks. How delusional can they get?

Different from other Godzilla films, this one doesn’t quite make the big, green lizard seems so much like a bad costume. He, along with the baby, looks like bad rubber balloon versions.

The special effects are what you would expect from this franchise. This is a bit of a letdown, though, when you consider that the first film came out back in the 60s and this was released in 1993. There should be some obvious upgrades there, but that isn’t the case.

For those of us out there that are fans of Godzilla, this is more of a smack in the face, as are all the Godzilla films that were released in the 90s. For the rest of you, this is not the Godzilla film to see. Go check out the REAL films that were released in the 60s and 70s. Those are the ones that showcase Godzilla.

2 out of 5 stars