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

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

Postby lhb412 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:33 pm

Dontcha' love the unweildy title Sony blessed this film with?

Anyway, this movie hurt more than I expected it would. It is a half-baked rehash of things we've seen before (where it was done better). The '61 and '64 Mothras put the 1990s incarnation to shame. The adult forms of both Battra and Mothra are pretty badly realized, with their stiff legs being the worst parts.

And the script is bad! It's supposed to be about the enviroment but we're never told or shown exactly what humans are doing to the planet. We're just told about it in passing and we have to accept it. Come on guys, do some research!

All of this being said, the underwater fight between Battra and Godzilla is rather well done and definetely the best thing about the film (and one of the best Heisei fights, period).
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Postby Legion » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:46 pm

I said this in the Icon's of Toho DVD but I'll repeat it here:

me wrote:Interesting to note that in their commentary for Mothra Ed and Steve mention that Mothra was originally supposed to climb the Diet Building and then head into outer space at the end of the film. It's hilarious how the vastly inferior Godzilla VS Mothra ended up using story ideas that weren't good enough for a film made over 30 years previous.


I liked this movie a lot when it was brand new but I can barely tolerate it now. I don't even remember the last time I sat through it. Godzilla is barely in it, Mothra isn't brought to life nearly as well as she was almost 30 years previous, the Indian Jones ripoffs are embarrassing, the environmental message is heavy handed and everything about the movie is just soulless. It's amazing this made so much money.

Ifukube's score is good though. I'll give it that. Though the Mothra songs aren't as good as the versions in Mothra and Mothra vs Godzilla.
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Postby Andrew Nguyen » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:57 pm

This is definitely one of the weakest films for me (particularly in the context of the Heisei series of Godzilla films). In fact I believe that this film should not have been produced at all. If the tone of the previous films had been different then I would have no problem having Mothra being in this film but with what we've got, well you get the idea.
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Postby Mac » Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:02 pm

This is one of the worst Godzilla films. It's only marginally better than Destroyah or Spacegodzilla because of it's pacing, which is decent.
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Postby Legion » Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:35 pm

Oh yeah, because I didn't say it yet...I flarkin' hate Sony's title for this one. I understand why they couldn't just call it Godzilla vs Mothra - though with the '64 film now officially called Mothra vs Godzilla they could always ditch the subtitle next time they revisit the film, if ever.

It's like using titles like "All Monsters Attack" and "Invasion of Astro Monster" or names like Anguirus and Desghidora. Not gonna happen as far as I'm concerned.
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Postby DannyBeane » Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:54 pm

The only thing I have to say about this film is it is probably the G film I have watched the least amount of times. Larval Battra looks great but the adult looks stiff and lifeless. As for mothra? I have seen Carnival prizes look more realistic than her.
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Postby H-Man » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:36 pm

Never really cared for this, even when I first saw it in 1998 (after getting back from seeing GINO).

The worst part of the whole movie is that it tries so hard to be Mothra vs. Godzilla, but it fails so hard. Battra is okay, too, but only the larva stage.

By the way, does anyone else think the volcano specialist in this kind of looks like a Japanese Harold Ramis?
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Postby jellydonut25 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:08 pm

This movie SUCKS















oh, you want me to elaborate? okay...what's worse than a remake of Mothra and Mothra vs. Godzilla? a remake of those two movies with absolutely INCOHERENT subplots and horrid special effects that also recycles some scenes from Indiana Jones done with equally horrid special effects...

we have no ability to really root for any one monster more than the others, and god, remember when i said that GvsKG was a bit of an incoherent mess that lacked direction? well, here we have Mothra - the symbolic protector of all life on Earth, Battra - the symbolic avenger of Earth against the life that's destroying it (despite the fact that Battra was awoken by a meteor and not by mankind's badness), and Godzilla - the symbolic embodiment of mankind's willingness to destroy himself --> clearly, everyone thought "OH MAN, THINK OF THE SYMBOLISM!" and yet didn't want to actually make SENSE of it all...

the suits and executions are all pretty universally awful with the small exceptions of Battra in the water and the underwater battle - but Battra still pretty much sucks, especially with his 'im gonna roar just like Rodan'-ness, Mothra in all her forms is a joke and the less said about half-in-water Godzilla and the awful beam sounds, the better

also, the less said about the moronically executed environmental message, the better
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Postby msunz27 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:29 pm

THIS film should have been "Rebirth of Mothra". Instead of Godzilla, Desghidorah should have been the main villian...or somethin' along those lines.

Has some good shots, but feel this film (along with Spacegodzilla) shouldn't have been made. Should have went from vs. KG 91' to vs. Mecha-G 93'. With a year in between. But that's another thread.
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Postby MouthForWar » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:49 pm

Definitely one of the lesser Heisei films. Not the worst, but not really great either. This is when the Godzilla series officially made the transition to "soulless, formulaic cash grab" if you ask me.

Although I think Battra is a fantastic monster. The only post-Showa monster that I've ever wanted to see return in another movie. I just love the idea of an evil Mothra.
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Postby Legion » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:55 pm

I think what happened is that Godzilla vs King Ghidora was an experiment to see if bringing back classic monsters would work or not. It did and the movie did well at the box office. Toho is simple to figure out. After two less-than-successes all it took was for one film to make money and Toho felt they had the right formula (Ifukube and bringing back old monsters) and could let their guard down and coast on that formula without trying as hard as they would have otherwise.
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:49 pm

While I've only seen the dubbed version and would certainly enjoy it more in its original form, there's not much saving this movie from being pretty terrible in just about every arena.

The weak points have already been addressed--lazy writing, crummy effects, and an overall lack of material to hold interest really kill this one for me. And what the heck is with those weird noises for the beams? They have a very "electronic" quality to them, which hurts the already poorly-done attempt at an illusion that the monsters are actual living beings.

Though I, too, like the idea of an evil counterpart for Mothra. I think it's a pretty cool concept, and Battra could have turned out great...too bad he didn't. I do think his larval form was executed reasonably well, and the underwater fight was pretty cool too. And as with every other Heisei movie he scored, I think Akira Ifukube's music makes the film sound a lot better than it actually is. For my money, it's a solid score and a nice listen on its own, separated from the awful story and visuals.

When I first saw this at about age ten, I thought it was one of the coolest things ever, but it hasn't held up too well at all. It's a shame, because it definitely had some potential, but the filmmakers obviously weren't willing to go anywhere with it.
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Postby Legion » Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:57 pm

Tyler's post makes me think a little...without an Ifukube score behind it how much worse would this movie be? Would it have been on Space Godzilla's level? A little better? Worse? We'll never know but it's something to think about.

It's too bad that the Japanese versions of the Heisei films aren't legally available in this country. As it stands the only one we've got in widescreen and with a dual language audio track in Mechagodzilla. Everything else is just dubbed, dubbed and in fullscreen or isn't available at all. Most of the Heisei films aren't fantastic, but they're definitely better in their original language and with the entire picture intact.

I only own the English version of Godzilla vs Mothra just so I can say I own it. Why the hell would I ever want to watch this version of the movie when I own the Japanese version on R2, even if it's not subtitled? The pisspoor dubbing and the fullscreen image makes Godzilla vs Mothra look like an even worse film than it already is.
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:56 pm

Legion wrote:Most of the Heisei films aren't fantastic, but they're definitely better in their original language and with the entire picture intact.


Barely. :|

I bought the R3 of this at GFest this year and seeing it in its original form did very little for it. It was still awful, just like all the other 90s films.
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Postby kent » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:35 pm

I re-watched this about a month ago after having not watched it for a few years. Like most people, I really enjoyed when I first saw it, but am not impressed with as I've gotten older. Although I still believe Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah is inferior to this despite it having a slightly better group of actors.

The actors here aren't really great, the dubbing is okay, and the Mothra and Battra adult forms aren't impressive. When I watched it that fateful day one month ago, I actually found myself enjoying it despite some of the really bad moments. I did, though, notice more strings this time around.

I don't think it's horrible but it's not impressive either. But I do find it, overall, to be entertaining.

2.8 out of 5
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Postby MouthForWar » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:59 pm

Nobody has mentioned that this movie has the biggest waste of Akira Takarada ever.
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:12 pm

kent wrote:...the dubbing is okay...


Are you serious? I find the dubbing for all the '90s films to be awful to the point of being unwatchable/unlistenable. "Hey...I'm rowing..." :goofy: But to each his own, I guess.

mouthforwar wrote:Nobody has mentioned that this movie has the biggest waste of Akira Takarada ever.


That is indeed quite true, though I'd have to say "Final Wars" is a very close second. The man is a genuinely good actor, aside from having been in a lot of the classic films, so to see him thrown away like he is here is kind of painful.
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Postby MouthForWar » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:20 pm

Tyler E. Martin wrote:
mouthforwar wrote:Nobody has mentioned that this movie has the biggest waste of Akira Takarada ever.


That is indeed quite true, though I'd have to say "Final Wars" is a very close second. The man is a genuinely good actor, aside from having been in a lot of the classic films, so to see him thrown away like he is here is kind of painful.


I dunno... in Final Wars, Takarada is obviously having a blast and he's even said that was one of his favorite roles to play. I actually think GFW probably utilized the veteran actors better than any G-movie since Godzilla vs King Ghidorah.

In GvM, Takarada literally just... stands around.
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:53 pm

MouthForWar wrote:I dunno... in Final Wars, Takarada is obviously having a blast and he's even said that was one of his favorite roles to play. I actually think GFW probably utilized the veteran actors better than any G-movie since Godzilla vs King Ghidorah.

In GvM, Takarada literally just... stands around.


Well, I can't argue with the man himself. I just really, really don't like "Final Wars" and felt kind of bad seeing him (and the other veterans) in it, but if he enjoyed doing it, more power to him.

But yeah, in the '90s movies there's really not much for most of the characters to do but stand around and watch. It's sad to see the likes of Takarada put into that situation.
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Postby MouthForWar » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:58 pm

Tyler E. Martin wrote:But yeah, in the '90s movies there's really not much for most of the characters to do but stand around and watch.


And this is one of the things that REALLY sunk the series. When all ANYBODY did was stand around and watch the monsters fight on giant screens. That, along with the movies having WAY too much exposition and over explaining of the monsters is what really made the movies get really boring from the 90s and onward. With a few exceptions (GMK, GFW, G2K, in a way GvDestroyah), every Godzilla movie from 92 onwards felt like the exact same movie repeating the formula established in Godzilla vs Mothra.
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Postby Legion » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:11 pm

MouthForWar wrote:
Tyler E. Martin wrote:But yeah, in the '90s movies there's really not much for most of the characters to do but stand around and watch.


And this is one of the things that REALLY sunk the series. When all ANYBODY did was stand around and watch the monsters fight on giant screens. That, along with the movies having WAY too much exposition and over explaining of the monsters is what really made the movies get really boring from the 90s and onward. With a few exceptions (GMK, GFW, G2K, in a way GvDestroyah), every Godzilla movie from 92 onwards felt like the exact same movie repeating the formula established in Godzilla vs Mothra.


But no one at Toho thinks that way. They all thought, "Well, Godzilla vs Mothra made the most money of any Godzilla movie, so obviously whatever we did, we did right. So lets do the exact same thing over and over again becuase what worked once will work again."

THIS movie is the reason Mothra kept coming back over and over again. If this film tanked, that Mothra trilogy wouldn't have happened and she probably wouldn't have been shoehorned into GMK.
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Postby zekend01 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:36 pm

The music in this film, as it has now been stated OFFICIALLY redundantly, was one of the better aspects. To my memory, it's about the only thing that stands out as being pretty good.

I could recount several of the more rancid aspects at this point, which would also be redundant, but I'll inject a new one with the mind-killing Heisei Mothra Fairies introduced in this flick. Man, I despised those little girls then and now. They make me feel stupid when I watch them. The dub job with doubled tracks of Emi's (from the previous film) English-speaking voice actress makes me bleed from the nose and ears and I feel an overwhelming urge to reach through the telly and snap their little necks with my thumb and fore-finger. :evil:
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Postby Destroysall » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:31 am

zekend01 wrote:The music in this film, as it has now been stated OFFICIALLY redundantly, was one of the better aspects. To my memory, it's about the only thing that stands out as being pretty good.


Yeah, that's all I could pretty much say about this film as well. Though, a scene in the movie I do like is the underwater fight scene with Battra and Godzilla and when Godzilla bites Battra, haha, yellow blood. :lol:
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Postby Benjamin Haines » Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:04 am

I remember liking this one a lot as a kid. A shame it doesn't hold up today.
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Postby zekend01 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:35 am

Destroysall wrote:
zekend01 wrote:The music in this film, as it has now been stated OFFICIALLY redundantly, was one of the better aspects. To my memory, it's about the only thing that stands out as being pretty good.


Yeah, that's all I could pretty much say about this film as well. Though, a scene in the movie I do like is the underwater fight scene with Battra and Godzilla and when Godzilla bites Battra, haha, yellow blood. :lol:


Yeah! And Battra's eyes go out because he's dead and stuff. I guess Mothra got a few more miles out of him using his corpse as a kind of glider before the inevitable drop-'em-off-in-the-ocean-final-move. Sealed with the quasi-Christian Cosmos symbol for good measure even though it doesn't do JACK except look mystical and sparkly! :lol:
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