on August 17, 2004
This double sided DVD collects two 1990s Godzilla films, "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah" and "Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth."
"Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah" has been praised as one of the best of the unofficial 'Heisi' era of Godzilla movies. Watching it again, it's actually pretty bad. The space alien plot is goofy at best, the dialogue is ridiculous, and the characters are uninteresting. Still, there's plenty of rubber suited monster action in the last third to keep fans interested. (Some fans, by the way, are bothered by the scene where a Godzilla prototype attacks American troupes in the second world war).
"Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth" is also a pretty stupid movie (with unineteresting characters, unrealistic sets, and goofy dialogue), but I found it to be the more fun of the two. There are some pretty good monster fights between Mothra, Godzilla, and 'Battra' near the end, and the Mothra lullaby song sung by the two 'cosmos' (from the original 1960s "Godzilla vs. Mothra") has still not come out of my head.
The DVD is unfortunately, not in widescreen (unlike the companian double feature, "Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla"/"Godzilla vs. Destroyah"). The 1.33:1 image looks similar to a video tape (especially in the opening shots of "King Ghidorah"), but it's acceptable enough. The only audio is the english dub (apparently at the request of Toho studios), but it really doesn't matter in movies like these. Happily (and unlike most Japanese monster DVDs), the original Japanese theatrical trailers are included. I liked watching them, if only for the shameless toy ads that are tacked on the end. Some servicable liner notes round out the package.
on May 2, 2004
The release contains 2 films on one disc - on Side A 1991's "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah", and on Side B 1992's "Godzilla vs. Mothra" (stupidly re-titled "Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth"). Side A looks very good, with a very sharp image, nice vivid colours and not much print damage, and the same goes for Side B. In some of the darker scenes there can be a bit of grain, but it's generally very high quality, with no noticeable artifacting, rainbows or other transfer issues Of course you're probably thinking this is too good to be true - two films on one disc is superb condition, and of course you're right; the films were modified from widescreen to pan and scan, with is a real blow to the otherwise lovely print.
Both sides only have one option, and in both cases they are Toho's international English dubs presented in Dolby Surround 2.0. The actual quality is good, with no distortion or fuzzing (granted they're reasonably new tracks in any case), however they both sound quite weak, especially for those with home sound systems.
Side A and Side B both contain the same - theatrical trailers for the two feature films. They are presented in widescreen and are subtitled in English; it's pretty depressing when a trailer is in better condition than the film itself.
Pretty much a barebones release overall. Sony claim to have modified the films ratios especially for the DVD release. Why they would purposely change existing widescreen prints into full screen is beyond me. It's truly a shame, because the actual image quality is better than Toho's very own domestic Region-2 releases of these films. The standard 2.0 audio only featuring Toho's poorly acted international dub doesn't help much either, and the only features on the disc are two (good condition) trailers. It's a good release if you simply "want them on DVD", but if you want more you should probably look elsewhere.
on April 1, 2004
After Godzilla 1984 (aka The Return of Godzilla) and Godzilla Vs Biollante, Toho resurrected two of its mightiest Godzilla series co-stars.
Godzilla Vs King Ghidorah was the first out at bat and quite 'controversial' for its supposed Anti-American stance (i.e. the bad boys from the future are predominantly western in appearance). The story is a time travel paradox laden hoot (Godzilla's existence is erased, yet everybody still knows about him?) and the final smackdown between the all new MECHA-King Ghidorah is a series classic. It's silly fun for fans.
Godzilla Versus Queen Mothra: Battle for the Earth was the biggest smash for the new series, and it is easy to see why. The fourth updated Godzilla movie is a colorful affair filled with something for every fantasy movie buff. The opening nod to the classic beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, not to mention the bridge gag clearly meant as a homage to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom's bridge scene, will either have you grinning or sneering. Godzilla's stomping out of the molten lava pouring from an erupting Mt. Fuji is a classic Godzilla moment.
Fans of "The Big G" need no urging to put this in their collections. Too bad they aren't widescreen transfers, though. Recommended.
on March 12, 2004
GODZILLA VS KING GHIDORA: I remember loving this film, and thinking it was one of the best Godzilla movies I'd ever seen. So, I saw the VHS for ten bucks at Suncoast, and decided to pick it up and see if I still liked it as much. I didn't. Not by a long shot. Oh, where to begin . . . . . the battles: lackluster all the way. All Godzilla and King Ghidora do is stand in the same spot and shoot their energy beam fire breaths at eachother. This is a flaw that existed in all the Heisei series films following this one (i.e. the lack of actual physical fighting). Furthermore, the human story is pretty lame, too. I mainly mean the time travel part, which just doesn't make any sense. Okay, Godzilla was supposed to be erased from history, right? Well, everybody . . . . not just the people who went back in time, but EVERYBODY . . . . . talks about the Big G like he still existed the whole forty years that passed. It seems like no thought was put into it at all. Yeah, I know, this is a Kaiju-eiga, and the only real point (except for a select few) is seeing the giant monsters duke it out. Well, there are hardly any to be seen in this movie, and like I said, what is there is isn't very good at all. Heck, even the music by master Akira Ifukube was disappointing! And that says a lot, right there. In addition, I didn't like how they went back and saw Godzilla's origins. It was much, much better left unseen, as a mystery. Aside from the actual film, I just have to comment on the quality of the VHS. It was absolutely horrendous. I have VHS that're at least ten years old, and are of much better than this tape. Picture is blurry beyond belief, as is the sound. It resembles a taped-off-TV version. Maybe if I see it in a much better condition (like a remastered DVD edition or something), and in the original Japanese audio ('cause the dubbing sucks, by the way), I'd like it more. But not for now.
GODZILLA & MOTHRA: THE BATTLE FOR EARTH: This is the Heisei series film I grew up with. The plot is great, creating a new backstory for Mothra, and even adding in another great monster to boot: Battra, a.k.a. the Black Mothra. The special effects are also great, as is the Ifukube music. The presence of Mothra and the Cosmos allows Ifukube to explore certain territories yet uncharted in Godzilla films. His haunting rendition of the Mothra song, as well as the music playing when Mothra both forms and breaks out of her cocoon, are perfect examples. And of course, I have to mention the battle scenes: awesome. Godzilla's first clash with the Mothra and Battra larvae, is both exciting and humorous. In short, this is a great Godzilla flick, and one of my personal favorites. If I have one complaint to make, it's about the dubbing (of course). Now, this is obviously a major viewing problem for all American releases of Godzilla movies, but this one is made all the worse by two things: 1) The dubbing for the Cosmos, which does not work at all, and 2) The dubbing of the little girl. I don't know why, but whenever they try to dub children in these movies it always comes out really weird, sounding as if it's just some adult straining his/her voice really hard. But that aside, GODZILLA & MOTHRA is definitely one to see.
Obviously, I'm writing reviews for the VHS editions, and have not tried out this DVD. But I hear that it's not really a big improvement over the VHS. This is my great dream: that with the 50th Anniversary theatrical release of the original GODZILLA, uncut, undubbed & restored/remastered, they will continue to re-release all the Godzilla movies on DVD with the same clean-up jobs. Now, THAT would be heaven . . . . . . . . .
on February 13, 2004
Sony/TriStar needs to revist the two Godzilla films in this package and re-do them correctly. They are both worthwhile films in the long-running giant monster series, and they deserve better treatment than the shabby presentation they receive here.
The company has just made available three of the recent Godzilla films in widescreen editions with 5.1 sound and a choice of English dub or Japanese with subtitles: "Godzilla vs. Megaguirus," "Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack," and "Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla." Unfortunately, everything right about those discs is wrong about this one. The films are pan-and-scan (ugh!), dubbed only (ick!), and in mono (ack!). And each one of these is done badly! The transfers are ugly, the dubbing is the usual poor job that Toho commissions on their own from Hong Kong (basically, whatever English-speakers they could nab, regardless of acting ability), and the mono wrecks the awesome Akria Ifukube score. On top of all this, the DVD producers also hack off the end credits, cutting off the brilliant end-title music before it gets going!
Both films are pretty much wrecked by their DVD presentations, and considering Sony's sudden new approach to Godzilla DVDs, I would bet they are planning to eventually release "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah" and "Godzilla and Mothra: Battle for Earth" in single disc packages with Japanese language options, widescreen transfers, and stereo soundtracks. I recommend skipping this lesser package and waiting for Sony to get out better editions.
Both films, when seen properly, are awesome examples of the 1990s "Heisei" Godzilla series (the name for the second series of G-films). "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah" is one of the best, involving the Big-G in a scheme by evil time-travelers to destroy Japan. It's an interesting approach to a Godzilla film, mixing in elements of "The Terminator" and "Jurassic Park" (the scenes in WWII are a unique departure from the typical giant monster formula, with an "average sized dinosaur" monster instead). The titanic battle between Godzilla and the three-headed golden dragon (with robotic implements) King Ghidorah in downtown Japan for the finale is among the four or five best monster battles in history. The whole film is a heck of a ride.
"Godzilla and Mothra: Battle for Earth" is a gentler film meant to appeal to a wider audience (which it did; it was a huge hit in Japan). Godzilla ravages the country once again, while the appointed Guardians of Life and Earth, Mothra and his dark twin Battra, battle it out between each other. The story is simple and metaphysical, and Godzilla is really the supporting character here, but the film is still a lot of fun. The final fight is a tussle between Godzilla and the two flying foes in an amusement park in Yokohama, and it's another show-stopper.
Good as the films are, I can't recommend this DVD set. Chances are, you'll soon have the opportunity to nab both in better packages.
on April 23, 2001
Actually, the best G flicks started at Godzilla 1985. Every one after that was great and entertaining to watch, even in late, late teens! I grew up with godzilla and was excited to see that the 'final' batch of movies made it here. Godzilla vs. King Ghidora was the worst of these 90's flicks though. The lame, confusing plot(as if all G movies aren't like that, this one just takes the cake) undoes every previous Godzilla movie before it. For some reason, they decided to give Godzilla a brand new origin, instead of the original origin as represented in Godzilla Raids Again, the first sequel waaaay back when. In this movie, which is VERY politically motivated, a band of american soldiers land on an island inhabited by JApanese soldiers during WWII. A 'Godzillasaurus' lives on this island, and is promptly dispatched by those 'filthy americans',with a terribly ear-piercing punchline by one of the american naval officers: 'Take that you dinosaur!' . Then it gets up again, and kills all the of the soldiers. Very anti-American, this movie was made during a trade dispute in the early 90's. Aside from the 'Kill Whitey' sub-plot, Godzilla is 're-created' when we americans launch a nuclear bomb onto that island (but i thought it was dropped on Hiroshima.....but ok). And thus, Godzilla is born. So, every movie is undone, because the Godzilla monster is then 'transported' into the future. Which would mean Godzilla never attacked Japan ever. And when he shows up, everyone immediately knows 'GODZILLA!'. Major plot hole. But hey, it's Godzilla, what the hell do you expect? Still a great flick and the introduction of Mecha-Ghidora. Godzilla really kicks Ghidorah's arse in this film, something he was never able to do by himself before. The movies that followed became quite interesting and entertaining. The 90's godzilla surely was the best. After the franchise was handed over to America and we butchered it, it was then brought back to Toho, and here we have Godzilla 2000, which i have yet to see. Can't wait!
on April 10, 2001
I'm not a hard-core Godzilla fan, but i find them entertaining, so i picked up this DVD. Upon watching it, the one thing that really annoyed me was the lack of the widescreen option. I always like to have the original scope of the film. That is a main reason why i didn't give it 5 stars. The japanese soundtrack isn't available as an option. I prefer the english dubbing anyway, for comic effect at least. For those people who prefer the english subtitles that option should have been presented as well as the widescreen option. But I do really like the fact that you get two movies on this DVD, while costing the same as one normally does. And anyway these are two of my favorite Godzilla movies and they look good on this DVD. These two movies are both really cool: Mothra: Battle for Earth is really my favorite, the tiny twin women are fantastic! King Ghidora is very entertaining but not nearly as cool as Mothra. It's worth the money if you're a casual Godzilla fan like me, and don't mind the missing japanese soundtrack and widescreen options...
on May 22, 2000
The Dvd offer crisp images that reflect a top notch transfer.
Enough of the good, let's talk about the content. Ever since I heard that Toho was continuing to make Godzilla movies, I wondered what they did to move Godzilla into the 90's. Sadly with these offerings they didn't... they yanked him to the 50's. And with this comes two pointless remakes in the "Heisei series" Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, and Godzilla vs. Mothra.
Whereas the 64 version of G vs. M was fast paced and had decent effects for its time, this new version moves in a plodding style, with FX that have dated badly. Put simply, nothing good was brought up that they hadn't already done in 64.
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah serves as a pinnacle of what's wrong with the Heisei series. A screenplay inspired from a "writing contest" giving the movie logistic holes that could blot out the sun. The angle of time travel is pointless since the movie make every effort to ensure that changes in the past have virtually no consequence on present or future events, which only serves to convolute the plot further. Another angle is that they increase the size of Godzilla yet he looks no bigger on camera than before, but results in smaller less detailed miniatures which makes the FX look worse that thier 60's counterparts, especially the appearance of Bandai-Ghidora at the end. But the biggest problem was that this is the start of Godzilla getting less physical with his duels and relying on his atomic beam, which will reduce the series to light show antics.
on April 4, 2002
These movies are packed with action and adventure and have never ending turns and twists!
Godzilla vs. Mothra,Battle For Earth is about three explorers travel to an island,near with a meator landed.They then discover a giant egg and two girls smaller then a flower!But the egg hatches and forms the worm Mothra,while the metor hatches into the worm Batra!But when then two worms turn into giant flying super insects,there is a fight for surival ...P>Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is about three time travelers from the 23rd century who come to warn that Godzilla will destroy Japan. The timetravelers take a writer and a team of scientists to the time of the dinosaur,Godzilla before it was exposed to nuecelar energy.But when the beast,King Ghidorah takes Godzilla`s place,the scientist`s only choice is to reive Godzilla!
on November 14, 1999
What can I say? Having not seen the "new" Godzilla and just remembering the silly rubber suited wrestlers of the 60's, these Japanese imports from the 90's are very welcome. I wished the DVD had 5.1 surround sound and more features but the included theatrical trailers are not dubbed and are a hoot. I love how at the end of the trailers, they try to hawk Godzilla toys. Now I understand how Pokemon is so damn well marketed. A welcome addition to any Godzilla-philes's collection. Maybe in the future other Godzilla DVDs will be available with subtitles and actual Japanese dubbing that can be toggled on or off.(for us "purists")