I'll be brief about Godzilla vs. Mothra. I could go on-and-on (as my most recent posts in other threads would dictate) about why this is one of the most poorly-written Godzilla movies of the series (had Omori been allowed to direct, it would have been better), but I won't. Instead, I'll just focus on what I like about it, because judging by the general verdict of Godzilla fandom regarding this movie, it could use a little bit of support.
First off, I really like the special effects in this movie. I think that the one fact that often gets lost on fans is that Japanese "tokusatsu" is a specific method in and of itself. Koichi Kawakita started out and worked under Eiji Tsuburaya in the sixties. The same man who thought that having a puppet horse kicking about in the stable in Frankenstein Conquers The World was better than just throwing in a shot of a real horse because 'it's more interesting or fun to look at'. Of course, I'm paraphrasing, but you get the idea. When I watch Godzilla vs. Mothra, barring a few glarringly obvious exceptions (I'm sure you know the ones), I see in Kawakita's work a confident understanding of the craft that he spent his entire career honing. When Godzilla fights Mothra and Battra and the J.S.D.F, it's just believable enough that you can accept what you're looking at. Sure, there are all kinds of limitations to the "old-school" way of doing things, but that's something you just have to understand going into it. There is a noticeable decline in quality here, from the last two Godzilla movies, to be sure, but on the whole I think Kawakita does a pretty solid job.
There is one scene in this movie that I want to call attention to that is often overlooked, I suspect because it is trapped within what is admittedly a lesser movie. That scene is when Godzilla emerges from Mt. Fuji. This has to be one of the finest entrances that Godzilla has ever made in a movie. I mean, the lighting, the pyrotechnics, the cinematography, the performance by Ken Satsuma, etc. It's a masterpiece. And I don't know about you, but i would not want to hear anything other than Akira Ifukube's vintage theme for this scene. In many ways, Godzilla vs. Mothra doesn't even deserve consideration, if not for the music. Even though it's all "re-orchestrations" (I hate the word "recycle" when talking about Ifukube) of older themes, that doesn't mean it doesn't sound awesome. Mothra's music is beautiful. I love how Ifukube reworked Mothra's theme into a very effective battle march.
One more thing. One of the many critiques about this movie is how Godzilla is kind of elbowed off to the side in a supporting role. There is a great quote about Humphrey Bogart, made by either Howard Hawks or John Huston, I forget which, that goes "The only thing that Bogart had to do to dominate a scene was to walk into it". That's Godzilla, all over!!! Godzilla is not just a monster, or a character in a movie, He is a STAR!!! No matter how elaborate the other monsters may be, or for that matter, how dull the story turns out to be, Godzilla is the main attraction. That's what the Heisei series was all about, and if nothing else, that's the one thing that the makers of these movies got right. And subsequently, That's why I just can't dust them under the rug like they didn't happen, no matter how dated or lacking they may be. Godzilla is still the "King of the Monsters" here....even if he does lose the battle. The next movie, sure as sh*t wasn't going to be called "Mothra vs. Mechagodzilla".
I apologize if I have seemed a bit overly-sentimental over the past couple weeks, The truth is, I haven't watched any of these movies in the past three-to-four years, and recently, I've been on a Godzilla/Toho bender. I had forgotten how much I loved them. We all have to grow up, but as I like to say, hopefully not all the way. Fresher eyes have given me a clearer view of some of these movies, sentiment or not. Godzilla vs. Mothra isn't THAT bad. Just...kinda bad, that's all.
Hell, it's not like it was directed by Roland Emmerich or anything.
"EVERYONE FORGET YOUR TROUBLES! ENJOY YOURSELVES!THERE'S NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!" - Gigantis The Fire Monster
"It was HUGE...It was...IT WAS LIKE A MONSTER!!! Suddenly the rocks rose...ALIVE!" - Godzilla 1985