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TALKBACK #16: The Return of Godzilla • Monster Zero x SciFi Japan

TALKBACK #16: The Return of Godzilla

Discuss the 2nd Godzilla film era here! Beam fights, revised versions of classic kaiju, the Heisei era was a mixed bag of fun and controversy!

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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby Gohi » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:39 pm

This film's biggest problem for me is the lack of any personality in the characters. I'm also used to bad acting in Godzilla movies, but I've never seen someone so unable to convey any emotion whatsoever like this film's main actress.

I enjoy a few scenes (Godzilla's first appearance, the scene where Godzilla is revived is haunting and beautiful all at once) but mostly, like you guys have mentioned, I find the film a bit boring. The stakes doen't feel nearly as high as they should and this has to be one of my least favorite Godzilla suits. He looks bored nearly the whole time.

That ending though... no matter what, it always makes me feel so sorry for Godzilla. Poor little guy.
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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby Dr Kain » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:38 pm

There are a lot of memories surrounding this movie as the US version, Godzilla 1985, was the first Godzilla movie I had ever seen. It peaked my interest in the series a lot, but it was a movie I did not share any warm feelings for. In fact, as a child, I found it to be out right boring. Even to this day I still do not give this movie the credit it deserves. Until now.

This movie is extremely well done. It has some truly outstanding effects, great miniatures, and an excellent array of film techniques used to make it feel bigger than everything is. I am not sure what it was before I was missing about this movie, but there is so much here to love. First off, it does something unique at the time by erasing the previous Godzilla movies from continuity except for the original, which really helps sell the movie. It brings Godzilla back to his roots, a walking terror and not a super hero, the way he was always meant to be. The Godzilla costume in this movie does an excellent job of stating such. Godzilla’s look is monstrous. It also helps that they made him resemble the original a lot closer than its Showa era sequels did, bringing back the elongated fangs in his front teeth, removing the child-like eyes, and even giving him back his fourth toe on each foot. If there is anything I do have to complain about this costume it is that I feel the snout is a little too short. That aside though, this Godzilla is no joke. I also think the animatronics they used for his face are fantastic.

The story itself is not bad either. It starts off with a really nice build up to bring Godzilla’s presence back from the dead with the Japanese government unsure as to what to do with the notion that the monster is alive and well. In fact, most of the movie is quite enjoyable, but it does have some pacing issues. I cannot help but feel that it stalls a bit in the middle like a Russian missile launch. About five to ten minutes probably could have been shaved from the movie and the plot would not have been effected one bit. The movie does a nice job of showing the mental impact the concept of a nuclear missile touching Japan again can have on someone, and I liked how they brought in other countries to show that the threat of Godzilla is not just Japan’s fear. It is a shame that they make both the Americans and Russians look trigger happy, but that is probably something that would really happen if Godzilla was real. I do have to wonder though, how many of those Russian soldiers were actually Russian, if any of them.

Speaking of people, the characters in this movie are decent. They are not the greatest characters ever, but they get the job done. Maki and Naoko are fine characters despite their bad fashion sense (and Naoko’s lack of emotion). Dr. Hayashida does feel more like he is Yamane 2.0, but I’ll forgive the movie for that. The concept that Godzilla has ADD when it comes to birds is interesting, but feels pointless since it is never touched upon again in any of the sequels to this one. Actually, I think the most interesting character in the movie is the drunken homeless dude. He is just hilarious to watch every time I see this movie. It would have been nice had Godzilla stepped on him, but that is okay.

On the negative, aside from the slowdown I feel the movie encounters, there is one other issue I have this movie, and it is the Super-X. Early on in the movie the government touts this machine as being something amazing. Yet, it is under used and seems to be quite weak. While I can understand it turning out to not be a threat against Godzilla, it would have been nice had this thing been utilized and developed on screen. Instead, it feels more like a cheap way of saying, “Tanks are boring and useless, so we’ll use this vehicle never heard of before to the audience as a way to make them think this is something worth fighting Godzilla.” It also does not help that all it seems to do is fly around in circles and shoot missiles and lasers. The Super-X could have been cool, but instead, it feels like a cheap gimmick to stall the movie. In fact, that is really the point of the movie where I feel it stalls, when the Super-X is on screen through the missile crisis portion.

Overall, I am not sure why it took me years to really see how well this movie is, but I have now done so. I doubt it will still be near the top of my Heisei favorites, but I definitely feel that it has risen much higher on my favorites list as a Godzilla movie in general. I give Godzilla (84) a nice 7/10.
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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby jellydonut25 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:12 pm

Weak? The Super X is literally the first man-made weapon in the entire Godzilla series to take a blast from Godzilla's ray and not explode/melt.
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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby Dr Kain » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:48 am

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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:03 am

Gills.

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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby Jorzilla » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:08 am

The Super X is awesome in this film.


God damn I love this movie. I know some people think it's boring, but whenever I think about it I get all happy on the inside.
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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby MekaGojira3k » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:20 am

Besides...wasn't the Super X developed to deal with nuclear incidents first and foremost? Or am I making that up? I just don't remember it being developed SPECIFICALLY to stop Godzilla, so it not exploding instantly is pretty impressive.
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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby Hybrid Gojira » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:08 am

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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:33 am

The only thing that's weak to me is that the pilots are non-characters. It COULD have been really powerful, had we had some character development on even one of the pilots of the Super-X...but as it is, while the Super-X itself is an impressive weapon, there's little emotional connection for me.

SO, I can ALMOST get to where Dr. Kain is coming from...maybe...
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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby Pkmatrix » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:04 am

I see exactly what you mean, Dr. Kain, although that's only one issue with that whole sequence. I LOVE this movie and I like Super X, but that whole section of the movie is slow...although I blame the fact that the three main characters are trapped in a stairwell doing nothing for what feels like forever. Meanwhile, Super X comes along and takes out Godzilla in no time at all, knocking our title character out of commission and leaving Super X with nothing to do. The section is a little better in the US cut, where they picked up the pacing a bit.

Still, I don't blame Super X. The main fight between Godzilla and Super X is fun to watch, although IMO it would've been better had the filmmakers kept the cadmium missiles in play so there would be a bit more tension. As it stands, it's exciting but as soon as they announce that there are no more cadmium missiles (right before the fight starts) it saps a lot of the tension away and leaves no doubt that Super X has no chance. I thought it was a pretty minor problem, though, and it didn't bother me the last time I watched it.
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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby Hybrid Gojira » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:20 am

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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby briizilla » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:26 pm

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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby Benjamin Haines » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:12 pm

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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:47 pm

Gills.

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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby Pkmatrix » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:15 pm

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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:27 pm

Gills.

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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby H-Man » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:31 pm

SY-3 takes a direct hit from Godzilla.

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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:33 pm

BLIMEY! Well then, Super X is the SECOND manmade vehicle to take a blast of the bad stuff and survive. Or wait...is it actually the first, since DAM is set in 1999?

HUZZAH! I still win!
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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby Dr Kain » Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:37 am

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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby DannyBeane » Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:04 am

I remember watching this movie around christmas when I was 5 years old. Jumping on a couch. Eating fruity pebbles. We rented it from Max's video (which also had GvsGigan, Gvs MG, and Gvs Megalon) All those movies were always rented out by me at that young age, however G85, I only watched it once. At 5 years old, this movie terrified me. Godzilla was the hero in all the other films. Imagine being a kindergarten kid and watching the Christopher Reeve Superman films and then discovering a film where Superman vaporizes everyone and is killed in the end. It was traumatizing. Several years later, when I discovered the other Heisei films at around 11 or 12 I remembered having faint memories of the movie where Godzilla was truly a victim. Since then I've watched this film probably a 100 times. This film, biollante, and GvsGhidorah are my favorites of the Heisei series and the only ones I regularly watch. The things that terrified me as a 5 year old have become my favorite qualities of this film.


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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby Rody » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:34 am

Godzilla 1985 was essentially a "lost" Godzilla film to me as a kid; I was merely aware of its existence. I did see it once (and was excited to realize at the end that this was the film which tied into Biollante), but otherwise the film was something of an enigma.
At some point this year I found out the movie was up on Dailymotion, so I finally got around to watching it this past week.

What did I think of it? Well, I'm not quite sure. I guess I would say that, like he later Godzilla 2000, Godzilla 1985 is a film with plenty of good concepts, visually and story related, but doesn't always meet its own ambition - although in the case of Godzilla 1985, I suspect the American editing is partly to blame.

First off, the opening was neat. It is certainly a different style from anything else in the franchise before or since. I also love Reijiro Koroku's soundtrack - it's one of my favorites in the entire franchise. However, the editing of the music in film left something to be desired. I could clearly hear the music stop and restart in the opening titles, and later on there were several scenes when music cut in abruptly, or two tracks would run into each other. I don't know whether or not this is present in the original version, but it's awkward to listen to.
Generally speaking, the special effects were quite good. I'd like to say they were great, but Dailymotion's video quality wasn't the best. :| Nevertheless, there were some impressive sequences. Godzilla's emergence from the island was very cool, as was his attack on the nuclear plant. The city sets were impressive as well, conveying a proper sense of enormity without diminishing the sense of Godzilla's size (at least so I think). The Super-X was nicely executed as well, and I appreciated that the military was able to consistently hit Godzilla with their fire. :lol: Having seen the 84-Goji suit in action, I think this suit has become one of my favorites. Although it is, unfortunately, not much more mobile than the later 90's suits, it is much better proportioned. Every part of the body appears properly sized with the rest. Godzilla looks greatly massive here without looking ridiculously fat or muscled. If I were to make one criticism, it's that the eyes need work; they're unfocused and fail to convey much intelligence. The cybot had good eyes, but as a whole I don't think it aged well. Every time it's used, its motions look too jerky or shaky.
I have fewer positive comments to give regarding the cast - in fact, I don't have much to say about them at all. They're just - there. None are developed enough for me to get invested in them. At least none of the original cast are particularly dis-likeable, unlike the additional American cast. Raymond Burr does a decent job, but the rest are annoying - especially that ginger-dunderhead. "That's quite some urban renewal project they've got goin'." WHHHAAT?!?! His superior officer should have smacked him for that.
That brings me to biggest point of the story - the atmosphere and pacing. To be honest, I actually thought a lot of the introductory scenes happened slightly too quickly. I almost got the hang of what was happening, but not quite; or I felt information was given too easily. For example, almost right off the bat we see the Japanese officials debating Godzilla, before much news is known at all. Once Godzilla shows up, though (and in this case, the abruptness was very effective), events play out at a satisfactory pace. Just how dark and moody is it really, though? Although the visuals and music lend greatly to the mood, I don't think the film is all that "dark". The political drama is well handled, but Godzilla's attack doesn't come across as disastrous as it should have . The tone is further hampered by the American additions. The dubbing is, well, dubbing; none of the voice actors portray the proper level of emotion, and several times it sounded like they could barely even remember their lines. On top of that, we have the fully new American military scenes, which are barely serious and feel as tacked on as they were.

Overall, Godzilla 1985 was a decent film, but it didn't impress me as much as I had wished. However, I still hope to see the original edit at some point in the near future. I believe this film would benefit from a longer screen time and slower pace (and no dubbing or American idiots). This film had a lot of potential, and I would like to see how much more it met that potential in the original cut.
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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby Snowdenzilla » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:03 am

This is easily my favorite of the Heisei series.

The tone of the film is *SO* unique, the atmosphere is intensely palpable. The score is just sublime as well- it bums me out that the subsequent films in this series didn't carry over the doomy tone of this one. Biollante came pretty close and had a beautiful score in *parts* of the film, but oh--- how I wish it, and the films that followed had kept this grandiose, big event sort of feel that this movie had, despite the Godzilla suit looking silly in spots. It's a shame they couldn't keep the face consistent with the Cybot, which looks phenomenal... see the scene directly after he's been hit with the cadmium and his heart is slowing down- what a great looking monster.
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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby Shin_Edda_Robo!!!!! » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:51 pm

I guess the tone from this movie is what I would like to see in next year's Godzilla movie.

Everything here screams real world consequences and a product of its era. I mean, sure we get some stuff like the Super-X (which I love) and those laser cannons, but the political fallout and everything is pretty well written.

Oh and Teruyushu Nakano's effects are probably the best he has ever done, and shows what he can do when given a good budget.
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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby MekaGojira3k » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:37 pm

"We Can't Stop Here, This is Bat Country!"

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Re: TALKBACK #16: Godzilla 1985

Postby Pkmatrix » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:59 pm

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