TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

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#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby Gman2887 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:34 pm

I'll take that over "vs Mothra" or "vs Mechagodzilla" where the scenes immediately go from night to day within the span of a solitary shot.

It's kinda sad that these days it's impossible to intelligently talk about these films without being called a pretentious nit-picker.


Then be consistent. Ghidorah's editing ignores all sense of time throughout the movie and is often abruptly cut to something with no dramatic impact. There's nothing in Biollante that takes me out of the movie like that.

What's sad is that it's impossible to not be so one-sided and passive aggressive during would-be intelligent conversations about these films.

Sometimes I hate this damn fandom.


Maybe you should have added more condescending "Yeahs" at the beginning of each sentence to prove you're not part of the problem then? The solution is simple: Leave. No one is holding you hostage.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby jellydonut25 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:09 pm

Gman2887 wrote:Some of this nitpicking is just silly at this point. On-the-nose lighting? What about Godzilla's entrance in Terror of MechaGodzilla? Badass as it is, I suppose it should be taken down a few notches because of a giant headlamp that shines on his face after lightening strikes. Oh, different era? All is forgiven.

And this goofy nitpicking at edits in Godzilla vs. Biollante is as pretentious as it gets. Though I suppose we can forgive the fact that Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster magically goes from night, to day, to night again when the Princess is about to be murdered in the hotel/Godzilla rises to the always sunny in Korbe Gorge scene. The editing in that film is amongst the worst in the series, but it's still one hell of a wiz-bang, jackhammer of a film. Biollante is a fun one as well.

Biollante is like a top-3 film for me and I've been SUPREMELY critical of GTTHM in recent years.

And yes, on-the-nose lighting. It's the best terminology I can think of to describe it but in EVERY Heisei film, there's a dramatic night battle and in EVERY one of them there are spotlights all over the place...because it looks 'cool'. And there's no excuse for the ridiculous behind-the-back lighting when MechaKG appears at ALL other than it "looks cool". I contrasted it with something like KG landing amid the monsters in DAM because I know in the Heisei series it would have been punctuated with an epilepsy-inducing light show and more sparks than you can shake a stick at.

There are some "for coolness' sake only" lighting shots used in the Showa series, but aside from the entrance in ToMG, I honestly struggle to think of them. Things were more well-thought-out in the Showa age, but in the Heisei era it was just "what looks cool?". It's a completely fair criticism and it's honestly not unique to the Heisei Godzilla series. The 90s as a whole was FULL of that kind of nonsense.

And the reason these complaints come up more on the Heisei side and are overlooked on the Showa side is because there's something to overlook them FOR on the Showa side. A great performance from an actor, a kaiju with some truly unique and distinct personality, masterful matte shots, spectacular puppetry, etc. In the Heisei series, it's all about looking "cool". Like how Super MechaGodzilla's eye magically is repaired because it looks "cooler" if both eyes are lit up.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby Gman2887 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:35 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:And yes, on-the-nose lighting. It's the best terminology I can think of to describe it but in EVERY Heisei film, there's a dramatic night battle and in EVERY one of them there are spotlights all over the place...because it looks 'cool'. And there's no excuse for the ridiculous behind-the-back lighting when MechaKG appears at ALL other than it "looks cool". I contrasted it with something like KG landing amid the monsters in DAM because I know in the Heisei series it would have been punctuated with an epilepsy-inducing light show and more sparks than you can shake a stick at.


I won't disagree the lighting style in the 90s was flashier, but I don't see the issue with it either. In a film industry as showy as the Japanese it fit both the genre and the style. It was almost a logical progression of the tricks and gimmicks that had come before it. Personal tastes for it aside, Mecha-King Ghidorah's body did have some sort of strange energy pulsing throughout it as it landed. No doubt it was done for dramatic effect, but assuming the creature was charging up its batteries for the battle the backlighting made sense from that standpoint.

And the reason these complaints come up more on the Heisei side and are overlooked on the Showa side is because there's something to overlook them FOR on the Showa side. A great performance from an actor, a kaiju with some truly unique and distinct personality, masterful matte shots, spectacular puppetry, etc. In the Heisei series, it's all about looking "cool". Like how Super MechaGodzilla's eye magically is repaired because it looks "cooler" if both eyes are lit up.


Or how pushing Mecha-Godzilla's head around in a circle destroys it even though we saw it swirl around earlier to create a force field? But hey. It looks cool. Godzilla is struggling to rip off his head and that's the way they wanted it.
I have no illusions that the Showa series is superior, but to believe there wasn't anything to overlook its flaws in favor of is asinine as well. The robotic Godzilla head. The increasingly more lifelike movements of the Godzilla suit-- technical achievements that were foregone for most of the Millennium series. (Save GMK.) The sci-fi tropes new to the series. The dramatic lighting. The increasing since of scale, particularly in the early Heisei films. The intriguing characters, despite being overstuffed.
There's plenty in the Heisei series to walk away with fondly, but we're going to overlook things in the Heisei series that we did in the Showa series they need to be compared accordingly. The bias is truly strong here.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby jellydonut25 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:58 pm

Everything you listed as a positive for the Heisei series was a technical achievement. When there are so many other STRIKING technical negatives, a robotic face isn't gonna win me over.

It's kind of amazing to me that you think that I like the Showa films more only because everyone else does, or because of nostalgia or for whatever silly reason...when the reasons have to do with the films themselves. The 90s films are full of awful. I like almost all of the Millenium films (Megaguirus being the exception), despite lacking the "technical achievements" of the Heisei era. I can't say there's a 90s film that I actually really LIKE. GvsKG comes closest because it has some redeemable parts, and there are actually fairly lengthy runs of time (by comparison to the other 90s films) where I don't want to just go to sleep as an alternative.

And the whole Mechagodzilla's head thing is debatable. Godzilla clearly rips the head off from the side, not just by spinning it around. Also, the head rip isn't what actually DESTROYED Mechagodzilla, it was the magical pipe of mystery.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby Dr Kain » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:36 am

Legion wrote:I don't think it's goofy nit-picking when you're trying to enjoy something as an actual FILM and the editing gives it a schizophrenic feel.


Except I have never had that problem. And if I did, I would point out at how it did the same thing in movies like Son of Godzilla such as the scene where the Kamakirases dig out the egg, Goro and the Prof are looking at it, then it cuts to them in the base, and then a moment later, we see the Kamakirases are still trying to break open the egg, which then conveniently opens up right then and there. Either that egg was super strong or Goro and the Prof teleported to the base to give a report.

It's kinda sad that these days it's impossible to intelligently talk about these films without being called a pretentious nit-picker. Sometimes I hate this damn fandom.


The problem is that people are not discussing the movie for all of its positives and negatives as a movie, but comparing it to the movies from the Showa era. In the reviews I've been doing of my rewatches right now, I am going into full details of what works for me, what does not, what I like, what I do not like, and yet, some people are just flaming me because I either said something positive about a Heisei movie while I said something negative about a Showa movie.

And this is not even in just Godzilla fandom. Just talking about the Star Wars movies brings on a flame war if you say one bad thing about the original trilogy and one good thing about the prequel trilogy.

As for the lighting stuff Jelly, I don't see any problem with it. I mean, Sentai has random explosions occur whenever the rangers do their roll call. Why should I not just accept it as is in a Godzilla movie? For the night battles, yes, they do it because it looks cool, and that works for me. I just think the lighting, suits, effects, and everything else looks better in the dark. That is why I absolutely love the battles in Kamen Rider and Sentai that take place at night the most, they look so much cooler. I'm sorry, but there are times when cooler is better.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:41 am

I think there are TIMES when cooler is better, I agree on that front. I just think...even in this particular film, the Heisei series hadn't QUITE gone down that cliched path of "night is ALWAYS cooler and more dramatic". The two kaiju battles in this film take place during the day and to me, they largely work.
If this were any of the other 90s films, that last battle would have taken place at night, GUARANTEED.

It becomes a bit of a trope, and it's one that continued on through most of the Millenium series as well, though in the Millenium series, there never really seemed to be those odd spotlights that call my attention to just how much 'night for the sake of night' is happening.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby eabaker » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:31 pm

I actually quite like the slightly schizohprenic feel of the editing in Biollante, but it really bothered my wife.

As for the over-the-top stylistic touches in the 90s films, such as the big, unmotivated lighting changes for monster reveals/revivals, I have no inherent objection - I have a thing for expressionistic, over-the-top touches. In the context of GvsKG, I think those things really work for the dramatic impact of the movie. However, in subsequent movies, they felt like they were being wheeled out lazily, with no real motivation in the narrative.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:37 pm

eabaker wrote:I actually quite like the slightly schizohprenic feel of the editing in Biollante, but it really bothered my wife.

As for the over-the-top stylistic touches in the 90s films, such as the big, unmotivated lighting changes for monster reveals/revivals, I have no inherent objection - I have a thing for expressionistic, over-the-top touches. In the context of GvsKG, I think those things really work for the dramatic impact of the movie. However, in subsequent movies, they felt like they were being wheeled out lazily, with no real motivation in the narrative.

kinda where i was heading with my initial criticism. I feel like MechaKG's appearance is kinda the first example of it in the Heisei series and then it only got more and more obvious.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby Pkmatrix » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:38 pm

Dr Kain wrote:
Pkmatrix wrote: lighting,


Sorry dude, I like my lighting better in the Heisei movies as night battles are much cooler than day time ones.


Uh...what? Biollante IS a Heisei movie. Hell, the ONLY fight to take place in the daytime was the first between Godzilla and Super-X2 - everything else was at night!

Now, compare how RoG and GvB lit their nighttime scenes versus how GvKG lit and framed, for instance, Godzilla in Sapporo. Notice a difference?

Legion wrote:I thought the editing was actually terrible in Biollante. It feel like scenes jump back and forth to different locations and times of day without a real feeling of cohesion, and a lot of that has to do with scenes that were removed as well as a general laziness to the scene transitions. I feel like fade outs/ins and creative scene transitions are rare in the Heisei films. Instead, they just cut from one scene to another, sometimes abruptly, and there's no feeling like one scene naturally leads into another. The problem with Biollante also extends to the score, which is just a dozen suites chopped apart and inserted wherever there's room, in addition to the Ostinato Ifukube tracks.

One great example is the beginning of the Lake Ashinoko battle. Godzilla's entrance is completely deleted, so they go from a military mobilization right the battle, with Godzilla just showing up and already in the lake. They cover for this with a terrible, fuzzy wipe, while the music that plays during the military mobilization simply stops dead.


We're going to have to agree to disagree here, then, because I actually LOVE the way Biollante is cut together. I don't get this same "lack of cohesion" sense you do when watching, everything seems to naturally fit together to me.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby Legion » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:00 pm

eabaker wrote:I actually quite like the slightly schizohprenic feel of the editing in Biollante, but it really bothered my wife.


It bothered my wife too, actually.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby Dr Kain » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:21 pm

And yet my gf thinks Biollante is one of the only good movies in the series. She really only cares for the two Kiryu movies and Biollante.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby Jorzilla » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:11 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:
Dr Kain wrote:
Pkmatrix wrote: lighting,


Sorry dude, I like my lighting better in the Heisei movies as night battles are much cooler than day time ones.

Eh...some of the Heisei lighting tropes start to bother me at times. I think of films like GvsMothra and GvsSpaceGodzilla that see to have spotlights and I wonder where those spotlights come from.

Or a film like GvsKing Ghidorah where MechaKG appears and those lights shine behind him and I just can't help but think about how clichéd, and FAR too on-the-nose that is. The Showa series films never needed that unnecessary blast of light from out of nowhere to create any drama. KG's appearance in DAM in unaccompanied by that heavy-handed forced dramatic lighting.
To add on that, compared the the rest of the series the Heisei series feel like they are filmed on a sound stage more than any other films. I was absolutely stunned by how terrible Space Godzilla looked during the Fukuoka fights. The set was literally just a ring of poorly detailed miniatures and an open floor.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby extremedalek » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:32 pm

Absolutely love this one, its one of my favourites (out of the Godzillas I've seen so far!). Sure, the plot is as hokey as hell, and M11 is far from convincing (Mr Data has nothing to worry about), but when a movie is this much fun its hard to care about the flaws. Ghidorah is just awesome, in both his natural and mecha form. In fact, just about any movie would be improved by Ghidorah turning up.

I first saw this one around the time that Godzilla 98 was released. I'd picked up a few VHS tapes to see what this whole Godzilla thing was about (I had this, Son of, Return of, and Terror or Mechagodzilla). Unfortunately, the bug didn't quite catch me at that time :oops: but a year or so ago I decided to see if this one was as good as I'd remembered. It was, and spearheaded my investigations into all things Godzilla, which is still ongoing.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby eabaker » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:16 pm

extremedalek wrote:Absolutely love this one, its one of my favourites (out of the Godzillas I've seen so far!). Sure, the plot is as hokey as hell, and M11 is far from convincing (Mr Data has nothing to worry about), but when a movie is this much fun its hard to care about the flaws. Ghidorah is just awesome, in both his natural and mecha form. In fact, just about any movie would be improved by Ghidorah turning up.

I first saw this one around the time that Godzilla 98 was released. I'd picked up a few VHS tapes to see what this whole Godzilla thing was about (I had this, Son of, Return of, and Terror or Mechagodzilla). Unfortunately, the bug didn't quite catch me at that time :oops: but a year or so ago I decided to see if this one was as good as I'd remembered. It was, and spearheaded my investigations into all things Godzilla, which is still ongoing.


I think I gathered from one of your other posts that you're in the UK, correct? So you were lucky enough to get it letterboxed even back in VHS days, where the US release to this day is still pan and scan.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby extremedalek » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:27 pm

eabaker wrote:
extremedalek wrote:Absolutely love this one, its one of my favourites (out of the Godzillas I've seen so far!). Sure, the plot is as hokey as hell, and M11 is far from convincing (Mr Data has nothing to worry about), but when a movie is this much fun its hard to care about the flaws. Ghidorah is just awesome, in both his natural and mecha form. In fact, just about any movie would be improved by Ghidorah turning up.

I first saw this one around the time that Godzilla 98 was released. I'd picked up a few VHS tapes to see what this whole Godzilla thing was about (I had this, Son of, Return of, and Terror or Mechagodzilla). Unfortunately, the bug didn't quite catch me at that time :oops: but a year or so ago I decided to see if this one was as good as I'd remembered. It was, and spearheaded my investigations into all things Godzilla, which is still ongoing.


I think I gathered from one of your other posts that you're in the UK, correct? So you were lucky enough to get it letterboxed even back in VHS days, where the US release to this day is still pan and scan.


Yeah I'm in the UK. I'm afraid I couldn't confirm if the VHS was widescreen as its done a disappearing act over the years. The DVD I have is the double feature release with Mothra Battle For Earth R1.

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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby eabaker » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:27 pm

So, right now, I'm basically being treated like a complete lunatic over at Toho Kingdom for suggesting that GvsKG draws parallels between the characters of Godzilla and Shindo, and that Shindo's death scene is open to multiple interpretations, one of which is that Shidno sees that he has, in a sense, like Godzilla, become monstrous in the years following the war.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby klen7 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:25 pm

Ohhhhh. Let me get my pitchfork!!! ::rabble rabble::
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby Jorzilla » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:27 pm

eabaker wrote:So, right now, I'm basically being treated like a complete lunatic over at Toho Kingdom for suggesting that GvsKG draws parallels between the characters of Godzilla and Shindo, and that Shindo's death scene is open to multiple interpretations, one of which is that Shidno sees that he has, in a sense, like Godzilla, become monstrous in the years following the war.

Aside from the first movie, I think it's kind of hard to draw a lot of artistic messages from Godzilla films, but maybe that's because I watch these films purely for entertainment. I think you are probably on to something though: At the very least you have a valid interpretation of the film since art is experienced subjectively. I would never criticize someone's interpretation of a film as long as they have evidence to back it up. There's no such thing as "wrong" in this regards.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby eabaker » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:40 pm

Jorzilla wrote:
eabaker wrote:So, right now, I'm basically being treated like a complete lunatic over at Toho Kingdom for suggesting that GvsKG draws parallels between the characters of Godzilla and Shindo, and that Shindo's death scene is open to multiple interpretations, one of which is that Shidno sees that he has, in a sense, like Godzilla, become monstrous in the years following the war.

Aside from the first movie, I think it's kind of hard to draw a lot of artistic messages from Godzilla films, but maybe that's because I watch these films purely for entertainment. I think you are probably on to something though: At the very least you have a valid interpretation of the film since art is experienced subjectively. I would never criticize someone's interpretation of a film as long as they have evidence to back it up. There's no such thing as "wrong" in this regards.


I tend to come from the school of thought that, whether intended or not, all art and storytelling reflects something of the creator's worldview. In the case of Oomori's Godzilla screenplays, though, I think there's a lot of thematic material that he's very intentionally weaving in, albeit in sometimes a pretty jumbled form.

Here's how I ended up summarizing my point of view in that discussion:

I see both characters as being presented as honorable in the WWII sequences, and subsequently both becoming extremely powerful (with the literal ability to transform landscapes) - specifically powerful in ways informed by American influence; both being directly associated with nuclear power; and both being things that the Futurians come back in time to stop. Basically, the two faces of Japan's post-war economic growth.

I've always leaned towards a reading of the movie as about the dangers of unchecked nationalism and capitalism, with Japan itself presented as a kind of tragic monster, wielding (economic) power which it cannot itself keep in check. Thus, while neither Shindo nor Godzilla is evil, they both represent aspects of post-war Japanese culture that the movie is critiquing.


In retrospect, I cannot believe I used "unchecked" and "keep in check" in the same sentence. Maybe I am crazy... Over on TK, I just edited to change "unchecked" to "unmitigated," but I'll leave the original wording here, for archival purposes. :wink:
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby Benjamin Haines » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:39 pm

^ I agree with your take on it. I also think that, like Shindo, Godzilla himself recognizes that he has become monstrous compared to what he used to be. When he's rampaging through Tokyo and he sees Shindo through the window, both characters have a personal flashback to when they encountered each other on Lagos Island in 1944. Godzilla remembers that he used to be a simple dinosaur who once (inadvertently) protected a squad of Japanese soldiers who subsequently regarded him with honor and gratitude. Although he is momentarily pacified by that memory, he eventually returns to the understanding that he isn't that dinosaur anymore and he can never go back to that time again, which is why he ultimately reverts to his monstrous nature and vaporizes Shindo.

By that same token, Shindo realized that his own illicit harboring of nuclear power was what made it possible for Godzilla to presently tear Tokyo apart before his eyes. He felt just as responsible for the destruction happening around him as the monster himself, which is why he chose to atone for his sin by remaining in the tower and facing Godzilla directly.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby eabaker » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:58 pm

Benjamin Haines wrote:^ I agree with your take on it. I also think that, like Shindo, Godzilla himself recognizes that he has become monstrous compared to what he used to be. When he's rampaging through Tokyo and he sees Shindo through the window, both characters have a personal flashback to when they encountered each other on Lagos Island in 1944. Godzilla remembers that he used to be a simple dinosaur who once (inadvertently) protected a squad of Japanese soldiers who subsequently regarded him with honor and gratitude. Although he is momentarily pacified by that memory, he eventually returns to the understanding that he isn't that dinosaur anymore and he can never go back to that time again, which is why he ultimately reverts to his monstrous nature and vaporizes Shindo.

By that same token, Shindo realized that his own illicit harboring of nuclear power was what made it possible for Godzilla to presently tear Tokyo apart before his eyes. He felt just as responsible for the destruction happening around him as the monster himself, which is why he chose to atone for his sin by remaining in the tower and facing Godzilla directly.


Yeah, that's pretty much how I saw it.

Good lord I love Shindo's death scene. It's probably my single favorite moment of any post-Showa Godzilla movie.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby Gwangi » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:57 am

eabaker wrote:Good lord I love Shindo's death scene. It's probably my single favorite moment of any post-Showa Godzilla movie.



I don’t know Eabaker. I guess this is my curmudgeoness talking, but while I thought that scene was wonderfully played by the great Yoshio Tsuchiya, I felt it was a little forced, or rather, there was no element of surprise. I could see it coming a mile away. And I blame of all of that on Kazuki Ohmori.

G fans of late have been complaining about a lot of things - lack of trailer, gills, feet, no Japanese version on DVD release (and yes no AIP version – guilty of that! :oops: ). However, if one day it is announced that Kazuki Ohmori is coming back to write and direct another Godzilla movie, THEN I would think all complaints to be quite legitimate!
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby Jorzilla » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:21 pm

There's no doubt that this movie is obviously about the rise of Japan in the modern world after WWII. I think it's interesting that the first place King Ghidorah attacks is Hiroshima.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby Legacy_Of_Gamera99 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:32 pm

Dr Kain wrote: I still have no idea why the Futurians needed to go back to 1992 just to go back to 1944, but what we do get is a fairly entertaining movie with some great monster battles in it..

I always thought it was because 1992 was the turning point of Japan becoming a super nation and they were replacing the weakened Godzilla with King Ghidorah - which is why he only appears once they return back to 1992.
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Re: TALKBACK#18: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Postby Jorzilla » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:54 pm

Legacy_Of_Gamera99 wrote:
Dr Kain wrote: I still have no idea why the Futurians needed to go back to 1992 just to go back to 1944, but what we do get is a fairly entertaining movie with some great monster battles in it..

I always thought it was because 1992 was the turning point of Japan becoming a super nation and they were replacing the weakened Godzilla with King Ghidorah - which is why he only appears once they return back to 1992.

That might be the point in the movie, but there's no reason not to go directly to 1944 by themselves. The plot isn't very good at expressing why it's necessary to go back to 1992.
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