TALKBACK #1: Gojira

Discuss the original series of Godzilla films! From "Terror of Tokyo" to Puppy-faced Super-hero, the Showa Era had something for everyone!

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Postby lhb412 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:06 pm

Well, I decided to skim through the first four films again so I can get back to doing my Talkback threads and fufilling my little dream of watching all these movies in order... so I start watching Gojira and, well, when you start watching it you can't help but watch it all-the-way through.

I teared up a bit at the end, knowing Honda's dream of ending nuclear tests and president Obama's recent statements about outlawing nuclear testing and phasing out nuclear weapons altogether. It was a nice feeling.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:35 pm

Yes! Mr. Honda would undoubtedly be happy, it's still a long way off but it's a least a nice thought. Gojira has actually shaped my life considerably, Mr. Honda's vision was always clear to me and as such I have always been against nuclear weapons because of the influence of this one films. Gojira is absolutely perfect...and for me, it is one of my all time favorite horror films, right up there with The Thing, The Fly, Alien, ect.

Which brings me to the point of...I believe Gojira to be a horror film, not sci-fi like all the films that followed. There are two Godzillas...the one we all fell in love with, that fights aliens and does the shi dance, and then there is this one, the original, the one whose eyes are glazed over in a constant state emotionless destruction. Godzilla in this film reminds me of a soilder that is shell shocked, ultimately they just go through the motions while never really thinking about it, their minds are shut down from the things that have seen and expierienced. Godzilla here is both the victim and the villain, but it doesn't really hit home till the end that he just wants to be left alone. A reason why I prefer the original Kong for instance over the remake is because the original spends the entire length of the film getting you to fear Kong and then at the very end we realize he is a noble savage who only wants a companion. The remake is relentless in trying to make Kong sympathetic and yet it ultimatley fails in this.

Godzilla never asks for our sympathy in the original film, and maybe that's why I find it so easy to give. Everyone in this film is a victim and yet both are monsters as well. Man uses the bomb and then ultimately suffers for it, Godzilla suffers and then seeks retaliation.

Sorry it's hard for me to form coherent sentences when describing this film, I love it that much.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:18 pm

Trying to go through the talkbacks with lhb412 as he makes his rounds watching these flicks and doing his talkbacks and so I watched this little diddy the other day.

I can't say enough good about this film, and though the American version hasn't aged terribly well for me, I think it's in large part due to having the Japanese version finally available. It makes me notice some of the inadiquacies of the American version a bit more.

However, even the American version is amazing, and there's a lot of respect for the source material despite the Americanization...

The only complaint I've ever had with this film is the hand puppet for closeups of Godzilla's head really is pretty terrible, but it's so minor when you consider the entire grandeur of this film...it makes it easy to look past and take this film for what it is...truly one of a kind...the only time Toho would ever again get close to the tone of this film would be THIRTY YEARS LATER...
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Postby godziwolf » Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:46 am

jellydonut25 wrote:I can't say enough good about this film, and though the American version hasn't aged terribly well for me, I think it's in large part due to having the Japanese version finally available. It makes me notice some of the inadiquacies of the American version a bit more.

However, even the American version is amazing, and there's a lot of respect for the source material despite the Americanization...



The difference in the film is that the American version cuts out a lot of the human drama, but at the same time, cuts a lot of the slower sections of the story and a lot of redundancies.

The end effect is that it's a lesser moral tale and a better monster movie.
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Postby StevenScrivello » Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:32 pm

Apologies for diggin out an old topic, but I watched the movie again recently, and made a little observation. I'm sure you all remember the scene is which Serizawa and Ogata wrestle with each other (off screen), and Ogata is seen with a nasty wound. Upon this viewing, I interpreted this as Serizawa (as well as trying to burn his research) taking the opportunity to exact his revenge on Ogata for stealing what he thought was rightfully his: Emiko. Soon afterwards, Serizawa comes to his senses and helps the injured Ogata. This is just the way I've always seen this scene. Anyone agree, or am I just spouting crap?
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Postby Godzilla 2000 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:05 pm

Stuntman Steve wrote:Apologies for diggin out an old topic, but I watched the movie again recently, and made a little observation. I'm sure you all remember the scene is which Serizawa and Ogata wrestle with each other (off screen), and Ogata is seen with a nasty wound. Upon this viewing, I interpreted this as Serizawa (as well as trying to burn his research) taking the opportunity to exact his revenge on Ogata for stealing what he thought was rightfully his: Emiko. Soon afterwards, Serizawa comes to his senses and helps the injured Ogata. This is just the way I've always seen this scene. Anyone agree, or am I just spouting crap?


Wow. I never thought of that! Thats a pretty good observation there.

It is a perfect chance for Serizawa to sort of get back at Ogata. Maybe thats not what was intended by the directors, but thats the thing about movies like Gojira; you can interpret some things for yourself.

I never would have thought of that if you hadnt noticed it, lol.
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Postby Andrew Nguyen » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:48 pm

The one that started it all and still an impressive gamble by any standard. 8-)

In terms of rankings, this is always at the top of the list.


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Postby StevenScrivello » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:54 am

Andrew Nguyen wrote:In terms of rankings, this is always at the top of the list.


I completely agree. Not only in terms of Godzilla films, but cinema itself, nothing even comes close. GOJIRA is unmatched.
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Postby badism » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:59 pm

I like to think of Gorjira and KOTM of two different sides of the same story. When watching Gorjira I imagine Steve Martin is around somewhere doing all the things we saw him do in Godzilla. I don't think there is anything in the original that contradicts KOTM.

After watching Gorjira again for the first time in 3 years I'm amazed at how well it holds up and how much I still love it. It's funny that in many ways the black and white picture makes the special effect appear superior to those of some of the later color films.
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Postby Gabbara Davis, Jr. » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:04 pm

I am going through all the G films again, after many years of neglect. I watched the original again after many, many years.

WOW. It really does hold up well, and for those in contemporary audiences who like "dark" movies (Dark Knight, etc.), GOJIRA is really, really freaking dark. It would be depressing if it didn't have the action sequences to at least bump up the adrenaline level.

It really is an amazing film. Then I look at TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA and wonder WTF?? How did that happen?

I love all the G films, but it is really something to look at bookends like that, and to go back to the source material and see what it was all about originally. Very impressive film, well made, and worthy of a place in cinema history even without the giant monster part.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:39 am

Gabbara Davis, Jr. wrote:I am going through all the G films again, after many years of neglect. I watched the original again after many, many years.

WOW. It really does hold up well, and for those in contemporary audiences who like "dark" movies (Dark Knight, etc.), GOJIRA is really, really freaking dark. It would be depressing if it didn't have the action sequences to at least bump up the adrenaline level.

It really is an amazing film. Then I look at TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA and wonder WTF?? How did that happen?

I love all the G films, but it is really something to look at bookends like that, and to go back to the source material and see what it was all about originally. Very impressive film, well made, and worthy of a place in cinema history even without the giant monster part.


well, i wouldn't say the leap from Gojira to Terror of Mechagodzilla is quite as big as the leap from Gojira to Godzilla vs. Megalon...but i get what your sayin...

kinda like if you picked up Genesis albums from different ends of their spectrum, you wouldn't be able to listen gradually and hear how they evolved their sound over time
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Postby EricDent » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:20 am

When I first saw this version of the movie (had only previously seen the Godzilla King of the Monsters version) I was really amazed at how much difference there is between the 2 versions.

This was the Rialto Pictures limited theater release, in Seattle (used to live there).

I still have both versions on DVD, but vastly prefer the unaltered version.
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Postby mbozzo » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:32 pm

I haven't seen the original version, but I heard rumor that the new movie might be a remake of that first movie. :eek:
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Postby Benjamin Haines » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:18 am

mbozzo wrote:I haven't seen the original version, but I heard rumor that the new movie might be a remake of that first movie. :eek:


The upcoming movie was confirmed to have multiple monsters.
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:05 am

mbozzo wrote:I haven't seen the original version, but I heard rumor that the new movie might be a remake of that first movie. :eek:


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Postby StevenScrivello » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:57 am

mbozzo wrote:I haven't seen the original version, but...


Do yourself a favour - go out, but the new Criterion edition, sit back, enjoy.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:05 pm

StevenScrivello wrote:
mbozzo wrote:I haven't seen the original version, but...


Do yourself a favour - go out, but the new Criterion edition, sit back, enjoy.
i wish i had been aware of the "50% off sale" before it had been over...i'd actually buy this for 50% off...

but for ME PERSONALLY, the Classic Media disc is good enough for the time being, considering the cost to replace it at the moment.
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Postby xyphus42 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:22 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:
StevenScrivello wrote:
mbozzo wrote:I haven't seen the original version, but...


Do yourself a favour - go out, but the new Criterion edition, sit back, enjoy.
i wish i had been aware of the "50% off sale" before it had been over...i'd actually buy this for 50% off...


Don't feel too bad. I tried to purchase it during the 50% off sale, but Godzilla was "Out of Stock" when I tried. Unfortunately, the sale was for "In Stock" items only. Maybe next time... if I can wait that long.
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Postby Irish Gfan » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:34 am

The original Gojira will always be my favorite Kaiju film and probably my favorite monster movie period behind the original King Kong.

Its a great social commentary on the dangers of nuclear weapons, so it actually has a point. Also, that subject matter forced the film makers to be gruesome. Something that many Godzilla movies in the future completely lacked was the sense of destruction & death that these giant monsters create. We see people being killed by the scores. We see children crying over the bodies of their dead parents. Its really quite horrific and its the only Godzilla movie that I would truly label as a horror movie.

I also have to say that Dr. Serasawa is my favorite human character in any Godzilla film. I love the whole debate brought about by the Oxygen Destroyer. It is powerful enough to destroy Godzilla EASILY, but is it right to unleash that on the world? It really does raise a lot of questions, and I don't even know if there is a right answer. Serasawa's sacrifice is also a great moment in the series as its a great selfless and heroic act.

The original Godzilla is a film classic and my personal favorite.
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Postby EricDent » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:30 am

Having a discussion about the Gojira movie on GameFAQs Video & DVD board, since it (and some others) played last night on TCM.

A liitle argument about the name Gojira has sprung up.
Basically the person thinks that Gojira & Godzilla are unrelated somehow.
Also that Gojira is not a "romanji" of Godzilla.

If anybody here is a member of that board, please jump in to help.
The topic title is TCM playing Hausu & other Japanese movies tomorrow night.
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Postby The Real McCoy » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:00 am

Well, it is explained in David Kalat's commentary track on the new Criterion Godzilla Blu-ray that the name "Godzilla" is in fact a direct translation of the name "Gojira." I haven't watched it in a while, but if I'm not mistaken he makes an extra effort to point that out. That's why they put the name "Godzilla" on the box instead of Gojira. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but Classic Media's release used the title "Gojira" as a marketing technique so that people knew that it was in fact the original uncut version.

It's kind of funny; those type of people will not refer to that movie as anything other than Gojira, but for the rest of the movies they use the name Godzilla.

They are indeed the same thing.
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Postby EricDent » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:05 am

Thanks for the clarification, though it would be useful to post that on the topic on that board.
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Postby The Real McCoy » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:10 am

Sorry Eric, but I'm not a member there.

That particular tidbit of info stood out in my mind because I've seen discussions/arguments like that before and it gets tiresome sometimes.

Just think about it: Why must you use the title "Gojira" for the first movie, but for say, Godzilla vs. Gigan, it then becomes "Godzilla" all of a sudden? :dunno:
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Postby SeaHawk » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:27 am

The Criterion edition is called GODZILLA because that's the name of the movie. That has been the international title for the film since the beginning.
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Postby lhb412 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:56 am

Gojira is just to differentiate it, so's you know what film you're talking about.

"Gojira" in English is "Godzilla."
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