TALKBACK #19: Godzilla and Mothra, The Battle for Earth

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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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:48 am

briizilla wrote:Are you freaking insane?


Yes. That's why he's here.

Look at the fight in the '62 movie between the two.


'64. :P
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Postby MouthForWar » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:21 am

briizilla wrote:
Dr Kain wrote:
MekaGojira3k wrote:Yeah, Battra is cool looking and is a decent addition to Mothra's mythology, but the movie he appears in is just terrible. I will say, aside from the terrible places it went I did like some of the stuff they did early on with Battra in the Kingdom of Monster comic.


It is still far better than the majority of the Showa stuff. Sorry, but there are only a handful of Showa movies that can contend with the entire Heisei series. The effects (both visual and audio), the monsters, and designs are just vastly superior.



Are you freaking insane?

The Showa Mothra marionette is infinitely better than the stiff one used in this movie. She also didn't need to fire beams from every orifice to contend with Godzilla. Look at the fight in the '62 movie between the two. It's physical and well done and blows the doors off any of the battles in the heisei version. Battra looks totally fake and plastic. You're honestly going to tell me the story for this movie is in any way shape or form better than kk vs g,the original Mothra and g vs Mothra, 3 films it shamelessly rips off? The Indiana jones ripoff guy is a better written character than any of the main characters from those movies? The score is better?

If you honestly think any of that is true you either feel like you need to take a contrary opinion on whatever is popular to get attention or you have appallingly bad taste.


This.
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Postby RaymondBurr » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:36 am

MouthForWar wrote:
briizilla wrote:
Dr Kain wrote:
MekaGojira3k wrote:Yeah, Battra is cool looking and is a decent addition to Mothra's mythology, but the movie he appears in is just terrible. I will say, aside from the terrible places it went I did like some of the stuff they did early on with Battra in the Kingdom of Monster comic.


It is still far better than the majority of the Showa stuff. Sorry, but there are only a handful of Showa movies that can contend with the entire Heisei series. The effects (both visual and audio), the monsters, and designs are just vastly superior.



Are you freaking insane?

The Showa Mothra marionette is infinitely better than the stiff one used in this movie. She also didn't need to fire beams from every orifice to contend with Godzilla. Look at the fight in the '62 movie between the two. It's physical and well done and blows the doors off any of the battles in the heisei version. Battra looks totally fake and plastic. You're honestly going to tell me the story for this movie is in any way shape or form better than kk vs g,the original Mothra and g vs Mothra, 3 films it shamelessly rips off? The Indiana jones ripoff guy is a better written character than any of the main characters from those movies? The score is better?

If you honestly think any of that is true you either feel like you need to take a contrary opinion on whatever is popular to get attention or you have appallingly bad taste.


This.


Some people like pickles better than cucumbers.

Can't argue with that. :wink:
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Postby jellydonut25 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:43 pm

Some people? Try all people. Anybody who says they like cucumbers better has just never had a good pickle.
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Postby The Real McCoy » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:48 am

You have to know how to properly prepare cucumbers. :lol:

I actually watched this last night after reading the last few pages. Bleh. Thanks a lot, guys. :x

Just kidding. Anyway, I don't think this movie is completely hopeless, but it's pretty close. The whole thing just felt recycled to me. You can see several elements lifted from previous films, and it seems to drag it down at times. Mothra with beams...sorry charlie, it just doesn't click with me. Ifukube's music felt a little too repetitive to me. The environmentalist theme is annoying; it's like every sentence had to have a message of earth preservation, and it felt incredibly forced. The few good points I can think of don't really help the movie much; I liked the Godzilla suit for some reason, Battra was cool, and the two main characters bickering was funny at times. But that's about it.

In regards to the characters: I may be biased, since he is one of my favorite actors, but it was a crime to have such a talented man in Akira Takarada play such an insignificant role. He was just kind of "there." I suppose some of these people don't mind playing supporting roles, but it felt wrong.

Final diagnosis: Not a complete turd, but not a pile of roses either. It'll be a while before this one goes back in my player again.
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Postby Reaper G » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:00 pm

Kain, was "Godfather Part 3" your favorite in the trilogy?
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Postby Giganfan » Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:05 am

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.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:56 am

I think it only becomes THAT bad, because it's probably the worst film of the 91-95 batch of Heisei films. SpaceGodzilla is poorly put together, and may edge it out, but there's enough stuff in there (regardless of whether it's well executed or not) to entertain me more than Godzilla vs. Mothra. The movie fails in a number of ways, sure, but the biggest offense is that it has nothing mildly interesting going on in it. It's SUCH a regurgitation of past efforts and so inferior that it doesn't leave much to like or care about.

I do appreciate Battra as a welcome addition to the Mothra lore...but that's about it.
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Postby RaymondBurr » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:51 am

Giganfan wrote: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.


I completely agree! Godzilla's re-emergence from the volcano is truly awesome. And the following night time attack of the maser jets is quite good as well. Night battles are always a treat, and it is also nice to see the "evolution" of JSDF military hardware from G84 to Biollante to Mothra.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:58 am

I think the score in the volcano emergence punches up the drama of it.

One thing I'm gonna throw out there as absolutely HATING that it seems like nobody ever really mentions (and why should they? it's an absolute throwaway moment) is Battra's transformation.

What a complete ripoff! No coccoon, no pupal stage, no dramatic sprouting of wings, just some red light and POOF! Adult Battra. Smacks of laziness, and budget and time constraints.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:00 am

I used to think it was lame...now I don't really care, but it does smack of laziness.

I think a cocoon wouldn't have fit for Battra either. Maybe instead the larva stage just stops movie and splits down the back revealing the flying form? I guess the reason nobody brings this complaint up is because we're too busy with the rest of this. :lol:
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Postby Giganfan » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:55 am

This movie only has room for one cocoon stage anyway. You're right, it does play as kind of an after-thought though.

The thing that really sinks this movie for me is the environmental pollution angle, and the corrupt beaurucrat, Tomokane, who I guess is supposed to be a riff on Kenji Sahara's brilliant portrayal of Torahata. This guy, along with the identical character in Godzilla X Megaguirus easily ranks as one of the least interesting and overall dull "baddies" to ever appear in a Godzilla movie. Any line of dialogue that deals with "the Earth's life-force" and humans polluting the environment is so preachy and heavy-handed, it comes off as embarassingly bad writing on the part of Kazuki Omori. That's why I feel that if he had directed, instead of Takao Okawara (who I still feel does a good job here), atleast he would have been able to better flesh out that aspect of the story. As it sits however, if they had just stuck to the monster stuff, like Wataru mimura would do with the next movie, I think Godzilla vs. Mothra would have been much better.

There is one scene in this damn thing that once I got to it, I had to shut the movie off and get back to it at a later date, because it down-right infuriates me. The part where the Cosmos essentially tell Mothra to "cool it", while technically there's nothing wrong with it, the fact that it exists is just a collosal pain in the a** for me. It's like the Fairies are shaming their pet shi-tzu for being a bad dog or something. In Ghidrah The Three-Headed Monster, my favorite Godzilla movie, when the monsters talk to each other, and the Peanuts translate, there is a twinkle in the eyes of the filmmakers, as if to say "yeah, we know this is ridiculous, but just try to have some fun with it". The motive behind that scene is that it plays as comedic-relief, and is not meant to be taken seriously. The whole point of Godzilla's Revenge is that Minya is teaching Ichiro how to be brave and stand up for himself, and depending on what is your particular poison, it comes off as a great travesty for Godzilla's image, or harmless kid-stuff (I prefer the latter). In Godzilla vs. Mothra, we're expected to believe that this is some serious drama going on, and it just doesn't work. That's exactly the reason why I absolutely despise the moment in Tokyo SOS, where Kiryu basically says "Sayonara" to Yoshito, or whatever his name is. Monsters and humans should never interact verbally in the Toho universe UNLESS it's played for fun.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:42 pm

Of all the things wrong with this movie, I've never had a problem with that.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:47 pm

MekaGojira3k wrote:Of all the things wrong with this movie, I've never had a problem with that.
yeah...i mean, it could have been better executed (ie, instead of "Mothra, please do not attack anymore" or whatever nonsense they spew forth, they could have said, "We are going to meld our minds with Mothra and ask her to stop" or sung some sort of song, a la The Peanuts in Mothra vs. Godzilla when they sing and then say, "Yeah, Mothra will help you." but at the end of the day, the idea isn't so bad.

The worst thing about the movie, EASILY, is the ham-fisted environmental message that makes ZERO sense.

Every event in the movie that is blamed on mankind harming nature can be directly attributed to either an asteroid or one of the monsters...and in the case of every monster except for Godzilla, what the hell does that have to do with environmentalism?
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:51 pm

Yeah :lol:
I think I prefer GvsMechaG's "Oh yeah, we need a moral..um life against artificial life?" Which is pretty bad to the terrible and clumsy attempt at a message we see in Godzilla vs. Mothra.
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Postby Goji 84 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:51 pm

Giganfan wrote: That's exactly the reason why I absolutely despise the moment in Tokyo SOS, where Kiryu basically says "Sayonara" to Yoshito, or whatever his name is.


So it's not just me. :lol: I seriously can't stand that either. I think it's incredibly stupid, and it makes me cringe every time.

jellydonut25 wrote:
The worst thing about the movie, EASILY, is the ham-fisted environmental message that makes ZERO sense.

Every event in the movie that is blamed on mankind harming nature can be directly attributed to either an asteroid or one of the monsters...and in the case of every monster except for Godzilla, what the hell does that have to do with environmentalism?


I couldn't agree more.

In HEDORAH, the message is jammed down your throat, but here, it doesn't even apply.

It's pretty amazing how poorly written this movie is.
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Postby MouthForWar » Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:57 pm

This movie is simply one that hasn't held up for me very well at all. I've admitted before that some of my enjoyment for the Heisei films comes from nostalgia, but this and Space Godzilla (which didn't even mean much to me as a kid), don't hold up even under that pretense. I actually think the first act (despite awful Indiana Jones riffs) is pretty solid. Its during the middle and when they really get into the environmentalist subplot that it just gets boring, and really doesn't do all that much to make things exciting again, at least until Battra and Mothra start to work together.

Still, I find this movie worth watching every now and again for one very big reason: Battra. I simply love Battra and that's the one Heisei monster I wish we got to see more of in future films... I mean, I like Biollante and Destroyah, but they were good for their films. But the idea of an evil Mothra is awesome and Battra is just a bad ass.
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Postby Thomas » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:05 pm

Battra is AWESOME!! The larval stage is the best looking but imago is also so very cool. Battra's personality just seems to be so "Go right into it!!" I guarantee Don Frye used Battra as an influence for his character in Final Wars.

Well, maybe not guarantee.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:24 pm

I love Battra, and was one of the few people, I think, okay with his Kingdom of Monsters treatment. Really, there's a lot of Heisei concepts (outside of Biollante) that really deserve a second try.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:25 am

not a fan of Battra.

i personally always found the idea of an evil Mothra to be kinda cliche, i was incredibly disappointed by Battra's roar when i first heard it, and his lack of a coccoon stage of some sort is pretty lame (for me, personally).

add in his only feature film sucking big time and battra winds up in my lower-tier of godzilla foes.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:30 am

I always felt Battra shouldn't have a cocoon, nor should he do what he did in the movie. I think he should sort of just stop moving, and split down the back and have the Imago form crawl out of the larva.
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Postby Flame of Udin » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:37 pm

MekaGojira3k wrote:I always felt Battra shouldn't have a cocoon, nor should he do what he did in the movie. I think he should sort of just stop moving, and split down the back and have the Imago form crawl out of the larva.


Im sure it Toho had the budget that is exactly what we would have seen (ala GXM), but also from an editorial standpoint it would have stopped the film dead in its tracks. Which would not have worked.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:55 pm

Plus, as a kid I always interpreted Battra and Mothra's difference as effectively Battra protects the earth itself, whereas Mothra sort of exists to protect life in general.

That's probably a mix of fanon and misinterpretation, but it's part of why I think Battra has potential.
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Postby Flame of Udin » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:10 pm

MekaGojira3k wrote:I always felt Battra shouldn't have a cocoon, nor should he do what he did in the movie. I think he should sort of just stop moving, and split down the back and have the Imago form crawl out of the larva.


Im sure it Toho had the budget that is exactly what we would have seen (ala GXM), but also from an editorial standpoint it would have stopped the film dead in its tracks. Which would not have worked.
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Postby metal_bryan » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:08 am

Flame of Udin wrote:
MekaGojira3k wrote:I always felt Battra shouldn't have a cocoon, nor should he do what he did in the movie. I think he should sort of just stop moving, and split down the back and have the Imago form crawl out of the larva.


Im sure it Toho had the budget that is exactly what we would have seen (ala GXM), but also from an editorial standpoint it would have stopped the film dead in its tracks. Which would not have worked.


There are plenty of ways they could have cut budget with this horrible movie and spent the money elsewhere. It's water under the bridge at this point to suggest that they were doing their best. Their best obviously wasn't good enough. :wink:
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