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Godzilla:King Of The Monst

Raymond Burr , Akihiko Hirata , Terrell O. Morse    Unrated   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 16.51
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The first of the Godzilla movies, and the most somber and serious in tone, Godzilla, King of the Monsters was originally a 98-minute Japanese horror film, until a U.S. company bought the rights and reissued the film at its current 79 minutes, replacing sequences involving a Japanese reporter with new inserts of a dour, pipe-smoking Raymond Burr. True to the fashion of cautionary monster movies, Godzilla has arisen due to nuclear radiation--a 400-foot, fire-breathing dinosaur resurrected in Tokyo Bay--and proceeds to devastate Tokyo. Hardly a bogus building is left unbusted, nary a toy tank unmelted, by the reptilian rogue, until scientists discover another weapon of awesome destruction that just might stop him. The special effects are impressive, with the filming done so as to mask the fact that the monster is just a guy in a rubber suit, working better here than in the sequels, where they seem to have given up any pretense to that fact, in favor of flamboyant effects and battle sequences that more often than not are delightfully, unabashedly juvenile. The DVD includes a wonderful 25-minute documentary on movie monsters, pieced together from old trailers. This DVD offers your choice of Dolby 5.1 Surround or Mono, cropped-screen or letterboxed, and a plethora of other features. It is also available in a boxed set with four more of the best Godzilla flicks by director Inoshiro Honda. --Jim Gay

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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Best...Even WITH Raymond Burr March 27 2004
Format:VHS Tape
For any movie to merit a sequel, or 22 sequels for that matter, it has to be special. "Gojira" stands on the lofty summit with "Dracula"; "Frankenstein"; "Forbidden planet"; "War of the Worlds" and "2001: A Space Odyssey" as one of the great science fiction films of all time. What we have here is a synergy of a monster tale, a moral dilemma, and a powerful anti-war message. Together the film becomes a visionary tale of man trying to survive the fury of the Atom bomb made flesh. It examines the consequences of our sins, and asks directly if we have learned from our mistakes and what we are willing to do to prevent making those same mistakes again. "Gojira" is about the green big one, yes, but it also examines like no other film in the series the consequences of the monster's rampages. "Gojira" was made to be a drama first, a science fiction fantasy second. The film portrays real human suffering because of Godzilla's depredations. This draws the viewer wholeheartedly into the struggle of the Japanese people as they try to survive this catastrophe. As a drama, "Gojira" invests the time to develop characters who we can in turn invest in. Dr. Serizawa's dilemma at using his invention to save Japan at the possible cost of the world is brilliantly acted. As is Emiko Yamane's torment at having to betray her fiancée to a man she really loves in order to save Japan from Godzilla. The film doesn't shy away from messy solutions either. Like most science fiction films, the scientist uses an invention to destroy the monster at the end of the film. Unlike most science fiction films, the scientist chooses to die with his invention rather than let it be used for evil ends. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long live the King June 14 2006
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
The title pretty much says it all. Indeed, Godzilla is king of the monsters. This is in many ways the greatest of the Godzilla movies, particularly those of the original series. This first film was unique; indeed, some may not realize just how serious-minded a movie this was. The theme of this movie can clearly be seen as an indictment of the use of nuclear weapons; the images of a devastated Tokyo bespeak themselves closely of the real-life scenes in Hiroshima and Nagasaki following the atomic bombs dropped on those cities. Coming just over a decade after the end of World War II, the message condemning nuclear proliferation is understandable and easily understood. Nuclear tests gave birth to Godzilla, unleashing a havoc that proved all but impossible to contain. Only a scientific miracle of sorts and a good bit of luck saved Tokyo (and presumably the rest of the world) from the unspeakable horror unleashed by man's experiments with a weapon of mass destruction.

We tend to see Godzilla now in comical terms, due largely to later films starring the big lizard, but the debut of Godzilla must truly have seemed horrific to film audiences in the 1950s. The monster's first appearance, as his head rises up over the crest of a hill, is very well conceived and impressively presented. For the most part, the special effects in this film are excellent. The fact that this movie is in black and white helps a great deal in this regard, I believe. In no way does Godzilla appear as a man wearing a rubber suit; the face and mouth seemed particularly well done and realistic to me, and I was most impressed by the way the creature's eyes seemed to bug out at times.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Release the original "Gojira" on dvd! Dec 26 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
The Simitar two-sided dvd contains a fullscreen version
on one side, and a so-called "theatrical" "letterbox" version on the other.
WARNING: The "letterbox" version is misleading - it's not in true widescreen at all. The top and bottom of the picture was merely chopped off, a fact which becomes painfully obvious when comparing scenes of this version with the "fullscreen". But there are some decent extras on this dvd nonetheless, such as the documentary on movie monsters, and the Godzilla art gallery.
The Sony "Classic Media" dvd release contains the fullscreen version, and virtually no extras, when compared to the Simitar edition. But having found it in a bargain bin for $5, it was an okay deal, with the quality of the movie itself comparable and seemingly slightly better (such as it is, scratches and all) than the Simitar release. Skip the Dolby-Surround sound options on both releases - the Dolby mono is a bit clearer and less distorted.
This classic movie deserves far better treatment on dvd.
C'mon big shot video producers/sellers - if you put the original "Gojira" with English subtitles on dvd,
people will buy it. Maybe pair it up with the second
"Fire Lizard" feature.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Generally Considered the Best, But... Feb. 28 2003
Format:DVD
This is normally considered the best Godzilla movie among fans, but I don't know. Please don't hold it against me if you disagree with me, but I just found the whole enterprise kind of boring. Frankly, a nuclear message movie and a giant monster movie just don't mix. Likewise, it's too somber a movie. It just doesn't have the fun, silly elements that I see a Godzilla movie for. It takes itself too seriously. "Godzilla 2000" is my favorite of the series because it was constantly winking at its audience.
The DVD is about as good as you'd expect. There is a full frame version (1.33:1), and a widescreen version (1.37:1). The letterboxing is so modest it really doesn't matter which version you choose. The picture is about what you'd expect. Night scenes are murky and the picture is sometimes scratchy and sometimes clean. On the special features front, there is a collection of trailers (not the originals, unfortunately), an art gallery, a trivia game, and some hidden film facts and biographies on side one. On side two there is a sci-fi monsters documentary, which is basically a collection of theatrical trailers for movies from "War of the Worlds" and "The Day the Earth Stood Still" to "Robot Monster" and "The Giant Claw." It's not very professional, but it's enjoyable.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars tokyo is burning.
it is very good. but lacks bonus features, i should know because i own three dvds of this movie. i have not seen the original japanese one. Read more
Published on Sept. 23 2010 by geeks`n freeks
4.0 out of 5 stars Let's put it into perspective
I own three DVD versions of this same movie.The Simitar version is the best.I also did widescreen and fullscreen comparisons. Read more
Published on April 14 2004 by JACK LOBO
4.0 out of 5 stars I HATE RAYMOND BURR
The only reason i didnt rate this as a 5 because of Raymond Burr
splice part.First off the reason they put him in there because
they wanto up the sale on godzilla in the... Read more
Published on March 20 2004 by thatboyK
4.0 out of 5 stars See the Legend from the Beginning
There's nothing like seeing one of the most classic monster movies right from the start. I still can't get over Raymond Burr's portrayel of Steve Martin. Read more
Published on Dec 28 2003 by Tom
5.0 out of 5 stars GREATEST ART FILM OF THEM ALL.
Godzilla : King of the monstersGives birth to a generation of campyhorror films.But this gothic is the best.The ending makes me cry. Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2003 by keith kunz
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie lousy presentation...
Godzilla King of the Monsters. The title says it all. Not the first, nor the last, not the biggest but certainly the baddest. Read more
Published on June 3 2003 by David D. Macks
5.0 out of 5 stars Where can I obtain copy of original 1954 Japanese version?
I've read innumerable accounts of the original 1954 Japanese version of Godzilla (originally titled "Gojira" or "Daikaijû no tai Nimon Mairubut"), but have not... Read more
Published on May 8 2003 by C. S. Chatman
5.0 out of 5 stars The adventure begins here!
The sensation began with this awsome movie to even more cool movies! You will enjoy this great movie!
Published on April 22 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cult Classic Rises Up From Tokyo Bay
GODZILLA's chances for American distribution were nil until a savvy Hollywood company snapped up the rights, chopped out a chunk, and replaced the edited footage with new scenes... Read more
Published on Aug. 14 2002 by Gary F. Taylor
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