Tag Archives: Mechagodzilla

Godzilla Week: Minireviews-Biollante, 2000, and Mechagodzilla 1

For the past year, I have been watching Godzilla films that I haven’t seen for over 10 years or for the first time.  Here are three of them that I haven’t seen for awhile and my rating of them based on a Godzilla Scale.

 Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

I have not seen this film for more than 10 years. I wish I could say it was as good now as it was then but unfortunately, it has not hold up well for my adult mind.

I have to wonder how my ADHD infected kid brain was able to sit through most of the film though I now believe I just fast forward through most of it just so I could watch the fight scenes. Most of the story is pretty dull and slow. Some of the scenes could have been flatly cut out.

King Caesar, though he has a great theme, was so hyped up throughout most of the film that it was such a downer when his ass was handed to him by MechaG. However, for a man in a monster suit, he was certainly nimble compared to the average kaiju.

MechaG is always a good foil for Godzilla and he served a good match for him. Having his head ripped off by the Big G was great.

The score is so 70’s cheesy that the film suffers when you have the actual Godzilla theme played with the score.

Pros: MechaG, King Caeasar’s Song, the final fight. SPACETITANIUM?!?
Cons: Slooooooooooooooooooooooow and borrrrrring plot. King Caesar was a let down. Anguirus was nothing more than a punching bag and that made me sad.

Final Rating: 2/5. An okay Godzilla film, though the second Godzilla vs. MechaG I think is a better film. Great songs though.

 godzilla_vs_biollante_poster

Godzilla vs. Biollante

Godzilla vs. Biollante is perhaps one of the more untraditional Godzilla films, particularly for the Hessai Era. For one thing, we see a rather unique monster that was never seen before nor ever seen again in the film franchise. For another, the film harks back to the original idea of Godzilla, mainly, human’s tampering of science can be catastrophic (surprisingly this concept is rarely done in the Godzilla films). Finally, the film’s pacing is also rather unique.

Even so, the film introduced two main concepts that has been repeated many times in the following films. One-a monster who’s DNA was partially made or originated from Godzilla and Two: humans with ESP.

But the film itself has its ups and downs. The special effects of this film are GREAT. This is very typical for films of this era but this movie definitely excels at it. Godzilla’s face has expression and can blink, snarl, look, and etc. which gives him life. The models and explosions for this film are also top notch, great attention to detail gives this film, like Godzilla’s face, life and believability.

However, the movie is slow, and the monster fights are rare, not very long and are somewhat one-sided. My guess for why there are few fights is that their budget was rather limited so they couldn’t spend a whole lot on the fights which is a shame. The moral at the end of the story treats us like we’re idiots and not as intelligent beings. I also don’t care for the characters (except the Corporal) and especially for the scientist who created Biollante. The scientist shows no remorse when creating Biollante and he even seemed thrilled in the idea of this monster. This would actually be a plus for the character if he wasn’t so one-dimensional.

The monster itself, Biollante, is like the film in that it has ups and downs. On the one hand, it’s great they came up with an original idea for a monster, but on the other hand, really? A plant? Plant complaints aside, the monster is very well done. In this modern era, Biollante would have DEFINITELY been in CG but not here. Here, she has so many different parts moving and interacting with its environment. She’s alive and menacing and not stiff or nonthreatening. A big departure from an obvious guy in a monster suit.

Pros: Rad 80s Godzilla theme (and the music in general), special effects, original plot, Erica’s face suddenly appearing as Biollante dies, Biollante.
Cons: Fights are few and far between and are boring, the unsympathetic characters, the moral, Biollante.

Final Rating: 3/5. Go see it for a different Godzilla film and for great effects but only if you feel like it, there are other Godzilla films of the same era that are much better.

g20001

Godzilla Review: Godzilla 2000

The last time I saw Godzilla 2000 was in theatres where it was released internationally in (not surprisingly) 2000. Seeing it when I was ten years old left an impact on me because seeing the big guy on the screen was pretty cool to say the least.

Now, seeing it again almost 14 years later, I have to say that the film stands pretty tall. If you are looking for a good, modern, typical Godzilla film, this is it. It does the job well and it leaves you satisfied.
There are several things in this film that, when combined together, leaves a satisfying Godzilla experience.

For one thing, I liked the humans in this film! They were original, had different personalities, and I genuinely cared for them. I liked the interactions between the two scientists as they were like a couple of kids playing with their new toys. Granted, they didn’t do much to affect the plot of this film but that can be overlooked.

The dubbing in this film works to its advantage. Being deliberately corny gave the film a needed tongue-in-cheek manner. As such, the moral of the film seems in place rather than awkwardly inserted as in Godzilla vs. Biollante.

What’s also different about this film compared to other films is that Godzilla is treated as a natural disaster that strikes every now and then. The people of Japan by now are used to him but not tolerate him. I thought that was interesting especially since this was a reboot for the Godzilla series.

I also liked this film’s Godzilla. He wasn’t good, evil, anti-good, or anti-villain. He was plane neutral with some personality quirks. If you got in his way, he’ll blow you up! Simple as that. This can be seen in his battle against the antagonist as you can see him think through the battle. And when that doesn’t work he’ll just jump right in it without thinking and see what happens (literally)!  Also, is design is very well done, one of the best in the series IMO.  The only Godzilla model I have is based off of the 2000 version.

Finally, the music is top notch, best in the series so far. The best scene in the movie is Godzilla walking slowly through the city, ready to take down the big bad, all the while the music slowly builds to a climax. It’s the same Godzilla theme that we all know and love, but the slight tweaks to it makes it perfect and thoroughly enjoyable. Cut to minute 1:07 at the link and you’ll know what I’m talking about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXq6kIqODuU

Pros: Overall good, typical, Godzilla film that hits all the right notes.  Best ending quote ever in a Godzilla film.
Cons: Nothing extraordinary pushes it to a great Godzilla film.
Final Rating: 4.5/5

“But then why? Why does [Godzilla] keep protecting us?”
“Maybe because…Godzilla is inside each one of us.”

Godzilla Week: The Half-Century War by James Stokoe

Godzilla: The Half-Century War by James Stokoe is a short but stellar comic book series that does the big G justice.  The plot focuses on soldier-turned-“glorified weather watcher” Ota Murakami who documents his run ins with Godzilla since his first attack on Japan in 1954.  As his Godzilla obsession takes control of his life, Ota tries desperately to stop the King while simultaneously thwart Dr. Deverich from destroying mankind with his monster attraction device.

Great read; here are some of my favorite points (warning, some spoilers)

The art is appealing to look at.  James Stokoe enthralls you with his art which is both clean and sharp.  The setting is bathed in an eternal sunset of colors which compliments the dour nature of the comic.  The only bright moments seem to come from Godzilla’s radioactive breath and his glowing dorsal spines.  Also, Godzilla and his monsters look good which is always a bonus.

half century

The nods to the films are appreciated.  Stokoe respects the franchise and references many different things from them without having them seem out of place.  The weapons are one of them; from masers to black hole guns, whatever the Anti-Megalosaurus Force technology division came up with, it more than likely appeared in the films.  These references give the story familiarity without it losing originality.

Mechagodzilla’s design change as the series progressed.  This is one of my favorites.  Mechagodzilla first appeared in Ota’s story in the 1980s and was based off of the MechaGodzilla from the Heisei Era of films.  It then appeared again in 2002 (the same year that Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla came out) and it received an upgrade that was based off of the Millennium Series.  The characters even talk about how bits of the original Godzilla were in the new Mechagodzilla, something that GAM also did.

Japan does not get a royal beating.  Japan gets attacked in the first issue but after that, Ota and Godzilla go global by “visiting” places like Vietnam, India, Ghana, and even Antarctica.  I like, it really drives the point that this is a global catastrophe.  Japan shouldn’t be a magnet of monster attacks, all the other nations should get a beating as well.

amf force

The specialized A.M.F. forces are amusing.  This is also one of my favorites.  When other monsters start popping up, the A.M.F. responded by making specialized forces for each of the monsters.  We only get to see these forces in one issue but they speak volumes.  I like it how the Mothra force are hippies who drive a van that has a psychedelic Mothra painted on it.  I also laughed at the Hedorah forces.  Poor guys, they look like they seen hell.  One of them wears a protective suit while the other one looks like he’s five minutes from meeting his grave.  I want to see adventures with these guys!

Godzilla’s bemused reaction.  I didn’t know it was possible to give Godzilla a facial expression but by God did Stokoe do it.    The look on Godzilla’s face when he realized his atomic breath didn’t work was funny without it being silly.  I like it.

In this end, this is a great series for you to read even if you’re not a Godzilla fan.  There are only five issues so you can easily get through it in a lunch break.  I haven’t read any other Godzilla comics but I doubt they can meet my expectations on a good Godzilla comic after Stokoe had set it so high.  Give it a shot.