Page 1 of 2

Opinions on Atragon?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:08 pm
by Dogora
I need to know before I buy it...

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:10 pm
by MouthForWar
I love it, but if you are expecting non stop monster action, look elsewhere (Manda is only in it for a few minutes). But if you want a cool sci fi story that is character driven and has a heart and a message, then pick it up!

Honda's direction is fantastic, the acting is great (especially Jun Tazaki who gives the performance of his career), Ifukube's score is loud and powerful, and it has some of Tsuburaya's best SPFX.

And who couldn't love a vehicle like the Gotengo? :wink:

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:13 pm
by planetxleader
Ditto. Don't get it looking for a monster movie, get it looking for an all-out sfx adventure movie. The characters are great; the comic duo from King Kong vs. Godzilla are back, this time as photographers, Jun Tazaki (as Mouth points out) truly does give one of his best performances. Kenji Sahara is also delightfully evil and fun to watch.

The effects are great, there are some quick but awesome destruction sequences, the ship is kept in a secret base on a super-cool tropical island, and the climax of the film (which includes Manda) where the heroes storm the Mu Empire is thrilling. Definitely worth picking up, if you like Honda.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:16 pm
by kiryugoji04
Atragon = <3

:)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:32 pm
by Reddu Kingu
You also get to see the lucious Akemi Kita in a skimpy bikini...yum!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:28 pm
by Dogora
I AM a big Honda(u probably remember my topic rant on TK about If honda had directed all Gfilms, before my banning, MFW) fan, so this will be cool. Or should I get Varan...
Well, Atragon,
Introduces the Gotengo
Introduces Manda
Fiery explosions
Some of Tsuburaya's best effects...

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:01 pm
by MouthForWar
Varan is cool but Atragon is miles better, IMO.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:55 pm
by August
Best underwater Kingdom vs. Super Sub movie, ever! One of Ifukube's best scores! Komatsuzaki's iconic ship design! Captain Jinguji! Love it.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:13 pm
by Dogora
I'll go with Atragon then. Go ahead and lock this.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:40 am
by brianc
It's one of my favorites too and it inspired me to read some of the Mu books by James Churchward. IMO Toho got more right than they got wrong. I'm just not sure if this is the right thread to discuss this.

Any thoughts?



Brian C.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:49 am
by August
I'm game to hear them, Mr. Culver. :)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:01 pm
by JimPV
I hate to be the wet blanket here, but I've never been crazy about Atragon. Toho cranked this out awfully fast, and it kinda shows, I think. Manda's just another Tanaka-mandated kaiju, and isn't very well done (the shot of him slinking back to the cave after being zapped by the Gotengo is particularly poor).

And I've never been crazy about the Gotengo's design, either. It just looks like a cigar with fins on the back and a drill head on the front - pffftt. Just doesn't stack up to other Toho mecha.

True, Jun Tazaki is good in it. But I wish his chance to shine had been in a better movie.

It's not awful, by any means. But compared to other Toho non-kaiju SF flicks like Battle in Outer Space or Gorath, Atragon is my least favorite. Still worth picking up the very nice Media Blasters DVD, however!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:08 pm
by Lord Hastur
One of my absolute favorite Toho Sci-Fi movies.

Blows away alot of Heisei/Millenium Godzilla flicks that's for sure.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 8:06 pm
by Dogora
JimPV wrote:I hate to be the wet blanket here, but I've never been crazy about Atragon. Toho cranked this out awfully fast, and it kinda shows, I think. Manda's just another Tanaka-mandated kaiju, and isn't very well done (the shot of him slinking back to the cave after being zapped by the Gotengo is particularly poor).

And I've never been crazy about the Gotengo's design, either. It just looks like a cigar with fins on the back and a drill head on the front - pffftt. Just doesn't stack up to other Toho mecha.

True, Jun Tazaki is good in it. But I wish his chance to shine had been in a better movie.

It's not awful, by any means. But compared to other Toho non-kaiju SF flicks like Battle in Outer Space or Gorath, Atragon is my least favorite. Still worth picking up the very nice Media Blasters DVD, however!


do u like Varan better?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:25 pm
by August
JimPV wrote:And I've never been crazy about the Gotengo's design, either. It just looks like a cigar with fins on the back and a drill head on the front - pffftt. Just doesn't stack up to other Toho mecha.


Everybody has to like something, but nobody has to like Sara Lee. There are far more fans who love the Goten design, than do not. It was designed with roots in real WW2 technology, so that it would have more credibility with audiences, since the ship was supposedly designed before the end of the war. With that being said, IMHO, it succeeds in spades — if the Goten looked futuristic, it wouldn't have been believable.

(BTW, the "-gou" suffix is simply an indicator to denote that the object is a ship, and is not part of its proper name.)

The film must be acknowledged as a success, since it still tops of lists of many fans in Japan, as well as genre critics and commentators when evaluating these films. The fact that the film turned out so well in such a short amount of time (from script to screen in ninety days) is a testament to that, but the schedule isn't as short as one may imagine.

Most of the Toho visual effects pictures of the time were shot and released within sixty days, once the screenplay was okayed for production. Sometimes the effects schedules ran into more than sixty days, but that was the exception, rather than the rule. Usually, all of the post production had to be done within two weeks to get the films into theaters in time. It was a breakneck time, even for the classics like MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:43 pm
by Legion
JimPV wrote:
And I've never been crazy about the Gotengo's design, either. It just looks like a cigar with fins on the back and a drill head on the front - pffftt. Just doesn't stack up to other Toho mecha.


And what do you prefer? That which-end-up-up...thing from Final Wars?

:lol:

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:24 am
by Andrew Nguyen
This is a very good sfx film. Excellent casting with a superb match of character and actor in dealing with Jun Tazaki and his character. It also has a tour de force music score with one of the best parts being when the Gotengo heads out of its devastated secret base to finally challenge the Mu Empire at last.

I also liked the Gotengo design alot as well although I wonder if they could have also used those main guns that she had as well.


Finally, as August stated, the fact that the film turned out so well when part of the huge flood of excellent Toho films at the time speaks volumes about the skills of everyone involved.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:30 am
by MouthForWar
I heard Honda wanted Toshiro Mifune to play the Captain, but he was unavailable due to his commitment to Kurosawa's Red Beard.

Tazaki is amazing but Mifune would have been something else.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:49 am
by Zack Metoyer
Moguera 1957 wrote:do u like Varan better?


No one likes Varan.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:14 am
by brianc
August wrote:I'm game to hear them, Mr. Culver. :)


OK, here goes…

For those that don’t know, James Churchward was an occult writer who wrote a series of books about Mu between 1926 and 1935 allegedly based on ancient tablets whose existence has never been verified. While his research is considered dodgy in academic circles, the depiction of Mu in Atragon is for the most part faithful to Churchwards’ writings. I read some of the books in the 80’s and the following comments are from memory.

According to Churchward, Mu existed 50,000 years ago and sunk (in a single night) 10-12,000 years ago. The production designs’ mixture of motifs from several ancient cultures (Egyptian, Greek, Polynesian, Mayan, etc.) reflects his assertion that Mu was the origin of life and culture on Earth and that many of those civilizations began as Mu colonies.

There is a picture of Churchwards’ map of Mu at http://www.sacred-texts.com/earth/boe/img/fig043.jpg which is quite similar to the one used in the film. The map in the film shows the continent split up by 3 narrow bodies of water. Churchward says these are mentioned in the tablets but apparently there wasn’t enough information to map them. The map in the film makes an educated guess concerning their location.

Both maps show a narrow strip in the southeast that extends to Easter Island, and an image of that islands’ famous Moai statues is shown in the Mu film. This again is a connection to Churchwards’ work. There are roads on the island that lead into the ocean, the theory being that it is part of the continent which either didn’t sink or was of high enough an altitude to remain above sea level afterward. Most scholars believe these were merely places to launch boats.

The film however did get two things completely wrong, though understandable given production constraints. JC claims that the inhabitants of Mu were Caucasian and that Asians were conspicuously absent there. He also claims that they were sun worshippers, making it unlikely that they would end up calling Manda their god.



Brian C.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:24 am
by Benjamin Haines
Zack Metoyer wrote:
Moguera 1957 wrote:do u like Varan better?


No one likes Varan.


Image

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:27 am
by MouthForWar
I like Varan but its probably one of Honda's weakest films, while Atragon is DEFINITLEY one of his strongest.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:30 am
by planetxleader
Interesting info! I wouldn't be too picky about the religious innacuracy, considering Honda's penchant for inserting random kaiju into his films (I don't think a giant sun god would have worked in this movie. :lol: )

Zack Metoyer wrote:No one likes Varan.


Actually, I think the first half of Varan is supurb; the build-up is tense, Varan's appearance and thrashing of the small village showcases some great miniatures, and the score is amazing. As soon as Varan gets to Tokyo, the film becomes a snooze-fest. Varan was only intended to be a TV movie anyway, so you can't fairly compare it to Toho's other Golden Age theatrical films. If I had directed it, I would have ended the film at the point where Varan sails away from his home, leaving audiences wondering where Varan will wreak havoc in the future.

... but if it's a choice of buying either Varan or Atragon, it's Atragon all the way. It's simply a well-rounded, awesome movie.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:42 am
by Dogora
Thank you.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:16 am
by Andrew Nguyen
MouthForWar wrote:I heard Honda wanted Toshiro Mifune to play the Captain, but he was unavailable due to his commitment to Kurosawa's Red Beard.

Tazaki is amazing but Mifune would have been something else.


If this is true, then would it have done the same thing that Shimura's presence in the original Godzilla movie did for it. :shock: