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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:07 pm
by eabaker
Cody Himes wrote:I think both versions feel really disjointed until Godzilla and Kong battle.


I can see "disjointed," but, as I wrote above (albeit many months ago now), a lot of what I like about the movie is the stark contrast in tone between the serious Godzilla sequences and the goofy comedy material, especially that odd thing where instead of a serious movie having comedy relief, what we get is more of a wacky comedy with periodic serious relief.

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:09 pm
by Dr Kain
For me, the worst part of the dub to the movie are these two things:

1. The annoying science with the brain scene
2. They completely threw out Ifukube's score for stock scores that do not even fit with the movie

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:33 pm
by lhb412
^Honestly, the inserted American scenes crack me up more than any of the comedic stuff from the Japanese version.

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:51 pm
by RaymondBurr
"Godzilla has a brain about *this* size..."

So good .... almost as good as the "scientist talk" from Godzilla Raids Again :lol:

I saw King Kong vs. Godzilla for the first time when I was about 5 years old. It completely exploded my brain with it's awesomeness. I knew Kong, of course. And I had recently discovered Godzilla. Both of them together, well... you know the story.

I like both the American and the Japanese versions. I don't understand the hate on the American version. It is a product of its time and it works great on its own terms. You like Ifukube's score better? That's fine, but the American version is a Universal film, and it sounds like one! The score works perfectly. The monkey suit definitely doesn't hold a candle to O'Brien's Kong... but... I can't help but love it. He looks especially good in his night time rampage scenes ;)

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:06 pm
by Dr Kain
But it is not a Universal movie, it is a Toho one. There is nothing Universal about it. In fact, how did Universal even get the rights to Kong to begin with when RKO owned it?

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:34 am
by jellydonut25
I dunno, is there something about the stock score that's inappropriate? Does it fundamentally change something? It really doesn't for me, and in fact, the Creature from the Black Lagoon music will ALWAYS be associated with Kong arising from the water after they blow up the raft.

If you consider the film in a bit of a vacuum, I don't think there's anything wrong with the American tinkering with the score...

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:59 am
by Dr Kain
jellydonut25 wrote:I dunno, is there something about the stock score that's inappropriate? Does it fundamentally change something? It really doesn't for me, and in fact, the Creature from the Black Lagoon music will ALWAYS be associated with Kong arising from the water after they blow up the raft.

If you consider the film in a bit of a vacuum, I don't think there's anything wrong with the American tinkering with the score...


Being that I am huge on music in my movies, yes, it does make a big difference to me. The fight at the end just isn't that good without Ifukube's music.

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:09 am
by jellydonut25
I'm actually not a fan of Ifukube's work on this film. Different strokes.

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:31 pm
by eabaker
Dr Kain wrote:But it is not a Universal movie, it is a Toho one. There is nothing Universal about it. In fact, how did Universal even get the rights to Kong to begin with when RKO owned it?


It was in part a Universal movie, even if they weren't directly involved in the production after licensing the story to Toho. And Universal ended up with the rights because they were the ones who bought the story off of Willis O'Brien.

I prefer the Japanese cut, but the Universal version is not totally invalid, and the changes were made for reasons that made sense in early 60s American distribution terms (and one change, the tightening up of the submarine plot, is widely regarded as an improvement).

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:30 pm
by jellydonut25
So, just got done watching this. American version last night, Japanese version right now. I prefer the American version by a pretty wide margin.

I find the comedic stuff in the Japanese version to fall pretty flat and the American version to have some of the funnier lines and perhaps even more/better unintentional hilarity. The physical comedy in the Japanese version is probably a touch better...the American version feels a bit neutered in that regard.

And the score...I'm sorry but I think Ifukube's score is all wrong at certain times. ALL. WRONG. It doesn't seem to change up based on what's happening on the screen...from the moment Godzilla and King Kong start fighting until when Kong gets struck by lightning the score is the same, whether they are tussling or there's a break in the action, it's all one constant theme. The music itself is not bad, but it doesn't enhance the mood or the action at all.

Sometimes, the score is spectacular: Godzilla vs. the arctic base, the Kong sleep song, and the airlift music are all great and work well with their scenes. Some of the military prepping the traps and things for Godzilla stuff is good too. The rest, I'd prefer to hear the American version's music used.

The pacing in the Japanese version feels kinda off or something to me too...the editing is bizarre. Take the Seahawk sub sequence. It could be argued that the American version lingers a bit too long on it, but IMHO, the Japanese version cuts away at an awkward time. I also prefer how in the American cut he takes time to get to the Arctic base instead of just apparently coming out of the iceberg right on top of the base more or less. This might just be a preference/what I'm used to from 20+ years of the American version before I ever saw the Japanese cut, but it's kinda odd to me how blindingly fast things jump around from Godzilla to Kong in the Japanese version...like the electric fence part, for one specific example. Sometimes this seems to work, as I know one of my gripes with the American version is that there's a fairly lengthy stretch in the middle third or so where Godzilla kinda disappears from the film, but at other times, it just feels like it's not paced as well as it could be.

End of the day, it's a pretty fun movie. The characters are alright, though Sakurai is really the only one who feels fully fleshed out, but at least they are mostly a colorful, fun bunch. But this falls just outside the favorite zone.

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:50 pm
by eabaker
jellydonut25 wrote:The pacing in the Japanese version feels kinda off or something to me too...the editing is bizarre. Take the Seahawk sub sequence. It could be argued that the American version lingers a bit too long on it, but IMHO, the Japanese version cuts away at an awkward time.


While I pretty thoroughly prefer the Japanese cut, I do feel that the Seahawk material plays a lot better in the American version.

Of course, I don't think I've watched the American version since I first got a copy of the Japanese cut, which would be... almost twenty years ago now. While the American cut was the version of my childhood and early teens, I am, at this point, far, far more familiar with the original. One of these days, I'll actually pop in my DVD of the US release. I'm curious what the wife will make of it, as she's only seen the Japanese version, and it's one of her very favorites of the series (probably second only to the original).

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:31 am
by metal_bryan
The US version is one of my favorite Godzilla movies thanks to the hilarious and nostalgic dub. I can quote this movie all day long. I very much enjoyed revisiting it last month as I've been rewatching the series in order. My wife really enjoyed it too.

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:47 am
by jellydonut25
metal_bryan wrote:The US version is one of my favorite Godzilla movies thanks to the hilarious and nostalgic dub. I can quote this movie all day long. I very much enjoyed revisiting it last month as I've been rewatching the series in order. My wife really enjoyed it too.

nnnnnnnnno more!

Find me a monster get me a monster now I want a monster....Send it! SEND IT!

Dumb-bell?!?!

My...corns!

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:48 am
by metal_bryan
My corns never lie!

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:24 am
by Psycho Soldier
Eh, I have to show favour to the Japanese cut. The US cut has its charm (especially in the dubbing, as you guys have noted), but the scenes with the American actors really harm the pacing and entertainment value. There's unintentional humour in them, but mostly I just find them mind-numbing. I appreciate the satirical self-deprecation in the Japanese version, with all the publicity to be reaped from bringing Kong to Japan and having him fight Godzilla. There's a line where someone says they "have bets on the outcome" that really amused me. As someone who places bets on stupidly awesome fights once in a while, it immediately resonated with me. Plus, I find the US version's replacement music more distracting and obtrusive than Ifukube's score. Some of the cues are fitting (e.g. the main titles), but others are just generic B-movie cues that don't quite belong. That's my take on things, anyway.

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:09 pm
by Dr Kain
Yeah, sorry, but the Jp cut will always be superior because that is also how Toho intended it to be seen. The music is so much better than what Universal gave us. And they don't have stupid segments of break the fourth wall scientist to talk about the differences between the two monsters. Oh yeah, and the freaking one liners that do not belong in the dialog. I hate it when movies make up their own jokes when there never was a joke in that spot to begin with.

Now to be fair, I have not watched the US version since 1998 on VHS, which is one of the reasons I am picking up the BD as I'm willing to give it another shot. However, it will NEVER be better than the Jp version, and I will gladly buy Toho's BD whenever they release it.

#3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:04 pm
by Xenorama
There's no breaking of the fourth wall in the US version.

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:21 pm
by metal_bryan
Yeah, the additional footage doesn't look right mixed in with the rest of the movie, but it certainly doesn't break the fourth wall. Misuse of the phrase.

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:20 pm
by eabaker
Right, the newsroom scenes are not addressing the film audience, they are addressing an imaginary television audience within the diegesis.

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:05 am
by Dr Kain
eabaker wrote:Right, the newsroom scenes are not addressing the film audience, they are addressing an imaginary television audience within the diegesis.


Is that it? I always thought he was talking to the movie watcher.

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:14 am
by H-Man
Did anyone actually say the American version was objectively better than the Japanese version? You could probably find a way to argue that, but I think everyone here agrees that the Japanese version is pretty much superior.

The difference is that some of us enjoy watching the American version more. I could go either way on this one depending on my mood, but I generally watch the American cut. The Thomas Montgomery-directed scenes are pretty lame, but they add some unintentional laughs and that's OK with me.

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:07 am
by metal_bryan
I enjoy watching the US version more because it's the one I grew up watching. Nostalgia wins.

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:44 am
by Legion
eabaker wrote:Right, the newsroom scenes are not addressing the film audience...


But they might as well be, since they only really seem to be in the movie to explain things to the viewer.

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:23 pm
by eabaker
Cody Himes wrote:Did anyone actually say the American version was objectively better than the Japanese version? You could probably find a way to argue that, but I think everyone here agrees that the Japanese version is pretty much superior.


We could probably thoroughly parse Jelly's post and debate whether or not it added up to calling the American cut in some sense objectively superior, but I don't wanna. Well, not right now. Catch me on a slow enough day, and that might be exactly the thing I'd want to do. But we can analyze what the Hell is wrong with my sense of "fun" some other time.

You know what's fun? ANY cut of King Kong vs. Godzilla.

Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:27 pm
by Gwangi
RaymondBurr wrote:"Godzilla has a brain about *this* size..."



I recall a thread about our favorite quotes or sayings in a Godzilla movie and on my list, almost half of them came from this movie.

The brain quote. "You're not Tarzan!" "My corns always hurt when they're near a monster!" "Dumbell!" "King Kong can't make a monkey out of us!"

And

"What do you make of that Al?" (come to think of it, we never did hear from Al :mrgreen: ).

Of course, it is always one's preference on which one which version they want to see. But I for one am grateful for the dubs. I don't recall ever seeing any subtitled films on the Million Dollar Movie, Chiller Theater, Family Film Festival or the 3:30 (or any afternoon time) movie. (It was the 3:30 movie on KABC Channel 7, where I first saw this film).