Archive for Rodan

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 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

Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , on October 27, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Police Detective Shindo (Yosuke Natsuki) is assigned to guard Princess Selina Salno of Selgina (Akiko Wakabayashi) during the Princess’ visit to Japan, due to a suspected assassination plot. Although Shindo is smitten with Selina’s photograph, her plane never makes it to Japan, as it is destroyed by a bomb en route. At exactly the same time a meteorite shower draws the attention of Professor Murai (Hiroshi Koizumi), who along with his team of scientists strikes out into the wilderness to examine the largest of the meteors, which has strange magnetic properties.

To Shindo’s surprise, the supposedly deceased Selina turns up in Japan, without her royal garb (including the golden bracelet which proves she is heir to the throne of Selgina), claiming to be from the planet Mars, and preaching to skeptical crowds of forthcoming disaster. To their surprise however, her prophecies begin coming true. First she predicts Rodan, thought dead in the eruption of Mt. Aso, will emerge from Aso’s crater. Subsequently, none other than Godzilla will arise from the sea and destroy a ship. Both of these events transpire.

In the meantime, Selina’s uncle (Shin Otomo), who was behind the assassination attempt, learns of her survival and sends his best assassin Malness (Hisaya Ito) to Japan to dispatch the Princess and steal the golden bracelet. Malness and his henchmen are stopped by Shindo, who was warned of their attempt by the Shobijin (Emi and Yumi Ito), who were in Japan appearing on a television show. The Shobijin had been scheduled to return to Infant Island aboard the ship sunk by Godzilla, but opted not to go after overhearing Selina’s prophecy. A further attempt by the assassins is thwarted when both Godzilla and Rodan attack the city and engage in battle, forcing everyone to flee.

Convinced that Selina is insane, Shindo takes the Princess to see a renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Tsukamoto (Takashi Shimura), in the hopes of curing her. However Tsukamoto can find nothing wrong with her, mentally or physically. He concludes she must therefore truly be possessed by a Venusian as she claims. As if emboldened by the doctor’s diagnosis, Selina reveals her final prophecy—that Venus’ once thriving civilization was destroyed by an evil, golden three-headed dragon named King Ghidorah, and furthermore that Ghidorah himself has already arrived on Earth. No sooner has she revealed this than Professor Murai and his colleagues at the meteor crash site receive a nasty surprise—the “meteor” is actually an egg, which hatches into the fearsome King Ghidorah. Ghidorah begins razing the countryside.

To combat the combined threats of the three monsters, the Japanese government enlists the aide of the Shobijin to summon Mothra. Upon arriving on the Japanese mainland, Mothra attempts to persuade the quarreling Godzilla and Rodan to team up against the evil alien (which is translated to the humans by the shobijin) but both refuse, with Godzilla stating they have no reason to save mankind as both he and Rodan “have always had trouble with men and men hate them” which Rodan agrees to. Despite Mothra stating that Earth belongs to them as well and that it is their duty to defend it, Godzilla and Rodan still refuse (with Godzilla apparently swearing at Mothra) and the pair refuse to forgive each other, wanting to continue their fight. Unable to convince them and despite being vastly overpowered, Mothra calls the pair of them “bullheaded” and resolves to fight Ghidorah by herself. Mothra engages Ghidorah and is continually blasted by his gravity beams. Luckily for Mothra, Godzilla and Rodan; impressed by her courage and selflessness; arrive to help and a titanic battle against Ghidorah begins. Meanwhile, Shindo and Dr. Tsukamoto are forced to protect Princess Selina as Malmess and his men converge on Tsukamoto’s clinic; they fend the killers off and escape into the mountains as the dueling monsters draw closer, so they can watch the battle from a safe distance.

The assassins attempt to follow, but a stray blast from Ghidorah buries their car in an avalanche. Only Malness remains uninjured enough to continue. He attempts to snipe the Princess from an elevated position, but only injures her. In her pain she regains her memory and is no longer possessed by the Venusian. Before Malness can take another shot, another stray blast from Ghidorah buries the assassin under a second avalanche. With the heroes thus saved from the human menace, they gather at a safe distance to watch the battle between earth’s monsters and Ghidorah. After not gaining a clear advantage over Ghidorah, the three monsters co-ordinate their attack; Godzilla grabs hold of Ghidorah’s tails while Mothra (riding on Rodan’s back) sprays the three headed dragon with her silk. Finally Godzilla throws the alien beast off the cliff and the battered dragon flies off, back into outer space.

As Mothra and the Shobijin return to Infant Island while Godzilla and Rodan go their separate ways. Selina, having retained the memories of her time with Shindo, bids farewell to her guardian as she meets her bodyguards at the airport to return home.

REVIEW:

 This film introduces us to Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. Ghidorah will go on to challenge Godzilla on many occasion, with new powers each time. With the help of Rodan and Mothra, we are privy to an epic monster battle that really makes this film.

As with any entry into the Godzilla franchise, the film moves along at a snail-like pace, with more unnecessary human plot that, no matter how much they want to deny it, no one cares about it. Seriously, if you’re going to watch a film like this or say, Transformers, are you really concerned about the humans, or would you just rather hurry and get to that which the film is named for (and you paid your money to see)?

Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster is the next entry in the Godzilla franchise, following Godzilla vs. Mothra. I can say that this film offers more action, it still is too bogged down with useless human stuff. These films would be awesome, if not for the humans. They are only good for getting squashed, if you ask me.

The special effects are on par with the norm for this era. Godzilla and Rodan still seem like they are guys in sits, especially in the scene where they are “talking”. As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, Rodan reminded me of those old Chuck E. Cheese animatronics( that they don’t have anymore.)

Other than some minor issues, this is one of the best entries into this franchise. I look forward to watching it again, as well as seeing the sequels, and suggest you do the same.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars