TALKBACK #23: Godzilla 2000

Discuss the millennium era of Godzilla films! From Godzilla 2000 Millennium to Godzilla Final Wars, these films comprised a wide variety of styles and topics!

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TALKBACK #23: Godzilla 2000

Postby lhb412 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:17 am

This is more like it. After the early '90s offered up a stream of criminally bland Godzilla flicks here we have a film that's colorful and fun! Who would have thunk a picture about giant monsters fighting should have these qualities?

Let me explain just why this film is such a step up. A main reason is just the change in style. I don't know if the Heisei films were a victim of current filmmaking styles that look really dated today but Godzilla 2000 actually looks, feels, sounds like a modern motion picture. The lighting and texture are fantastic. There are (gasp!) parts of the film which are actually suspenseful! The characters are likeable (or suitably mean) and the actors who play them are too. The plot is bouncy and fun, keeping all the monster rukus to make it retro while still adding a few new twists to keep it fresh.

The first 15 minutes are really wonderful, the best part of the film for sure, with the Godzilla Prediction Network following Godzilla from a safe distance during his rampage accross a suburban area in a manner akin to stormchasers. I kinda wish the entire movie could have been done like this. This also has some of the best special effects in the movie. Godzilla is filmed from wonderful angles here and we are really sold on his size when we see him from miles away at road level. If you were ever near Godzilla this is probably how you'd see him.

There are a few problems: a few special effects fall really flat, but even those are carried out with more flare than in the early '90s films; the comic relief guy is a bit of a sore thumb, and we never (at least in the US version) really get a lot of info about just why CCI is so bad.

And the US version is great! The dubbed voice of Shinoda is François Chau, who was a regular on Lost last season and played The Shredder in Ninja Turtles 2. Yuki and Katagiri's voices were also good, being appropriately fiesty for her and nasty for him.

On a personal note, this film brings back great memories. I discovered this message board before the film's release and I saw it in the theater several times with lots of people. Funny thing: I started collecting ticket stubs around this time and got everyone's tickets to this film so I ended up with dozens of these things floating around. I still find them from time to time hidden around the place.
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well..

Postby Xenorama » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:13 am

I sure enjoyed seeing the movie in the theater, twice, even, but that long middle part with NO Godzilla or even much action was not the smartest move they could have made.

I also think they should have kept the aliens called "Millenians" or whatever there name was, as well as keeping it "organizer G-1".

still, it's a lot more fun than all of the VS (second) series movies, and I'm glad it got released in the theaters.

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Postby Andrew Nguyen » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:19 am

For me, this is one of the really weaker Godzilla films. This is also part of the result of the wreckage that we all got from the American Godzilla movie.

The VS series may have had its problems (and I am not blind to them as well) but well IMHO they pale with the unease I felt with watching this movie.

Many of the special effects in this movie seem really off, Orga is mostly uninspired and I really didn't like the redesign for Godzilla 2000.

I don't know but from what I got of the movie in relation to its director was that Okawara was probably saying that he had it and didn't really want to be part of the project.
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Postby Destroysall » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:37 am

I remember seeing the trailer for G2K in theaters when I was a kid, and my mouth literally dropped! I was like, GODZILLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wanted to go see it so badly! My cousins were going to the theater the premiere night, and I asked them what they were gonna see, and they told me "We are going to see What Lies Beneath and you and your brother are going with us!" I was so disappointed, I didn't care to go. When we got there my cousin bought tickets, when he gave me my ticket, it read GODZILLA 2000! I was filled with excitement, it was such an amazing experience.[/i]
uhh...
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Postby metal_bryan » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:02 am

The only reason I like this movie is because I saw it in theaters and the first 15 minutes are some of the best of all the series. Very well filmed! I don't care much for the dub and most of the storyline, and the new G design was shockingly bad to me... I think it's the purple spines really.

Overall, a lot of the effects really feel like rehashing of stuff that was in the Heisei Gamera films. I don't think it's a coincidence either.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:33 am

metal_bryan wrote:The only reason I like this movie is because I saw it in theaters and the first 15 minutes are some of the best of all the series. Very well filmed! I don't care much for the dub and most of the storyline, and the new G design was shockingly bad to me... I think it's the purple spines really.

Overall, a lot of the effects really feel like rehashing of stuff that was in the Heisei Gamera films. I don't think it's a coincidence either.


Agreed..if only the rest of the film had lived up to the first 15 minutes we may have had the best Godzilla film ever...oh well...

I saw this in Germany and had a blast. Funny thing was, the friends that were with me were under the assumption that it was a sequel to the American Godzilla film...I knew better but didn't feel like correcting them because I didn't want to go to the movies alone.

As the first actual Godzilla movie that I have seen in theaters (only thus far but I plan to change that this year at G Fest) this film will always hold a special radioactive place in my heart.

Plus, I think that final battle kicks a$$...not in an overwhelming way that will make G-Fans out of non- G-Fans but in a way that can appeal to those of us who are already fans
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Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:41 am

Saw it in theaters as well...mega super awesome experience...

i remember when i first saw this film, i thought it was amazing...and i still think it's totally decent

BUT

well, this is one of a very small handful of films where i completely PREFER the american version...(the other couple being Sea Monster, Megalon, and Son of Godzilla with the old dubs that I grew up with simply because i grew up with them)...but the pacing is much better in the american version and the lack of soundtrack in the japanese version really hampers the emotion

also, after watching the movie more over the years, i really get the feeling that Toho saw GINO and just said "nonononono NO! we HAVE to do something about this...let's make a Godzilla movie to show people wha the REAL Godzilla is like" and then one of the other execs said 'good idea, but do you have an actual IDEA for the story?' and then someone else said "eh...let's worry about that LATER" and later never really came

i mean, the movie just kind of meanders around for 90 minutes...and all what we get in the end is a feeling that it was AWESOME because it was probably the best Godzilla movie in 10-15 years...but being the best among the VS films and beating the crap out of GINO is like being the guy who USES drugs...sure, you might not be as bad as the guy who deals or the guy who grows...but you're not a saint, either...
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Postby king_ghidorah » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:46 am

Exactly there are good Godzilla films (which even though this film has its flaws I belive it is a good Godzilla film) and then there are good films...which only a few kaiju films have managed to become.

As much as I like this film I must say that I don't watch it all that often, it's been at least a few years since I've seen this last...like Jelly said, it's just boring at times....

To be fair I don't watch any of the millenium series all that much...think the last one I watched was GxMG a few months ago and that was only for the awesome opening scene as well and then I pretty much lost all intrest in watching the rest of the film
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Postby H-Man » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:11 pm

I saw this twice in theaters (the American version) as a young kid, so I loved it, especially after the disappointment of GINO.

However, my opinion of it keeps going downhill every time I watch it. I agree with everyone who's said that the American version is better. The Japanese version is such a wreck.

For anyone that's interested, I recently reviewed the Japanese version for Toho Kingdom.
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:03 pm

This is a special one for me, since it was the first (and to date only) real Godzilla film I've seen in theaters. It was a wonderful experience to see it on the big screen at age 13. Truly a highlight of my life as a fan.

But while thinking of it brings back fond memories, I honestly find this one kind of dull. Not terrible, but it could have been better. Others have mentioned the wonderfully done opening section, which I enjoy very much, but most of the movie just doesn't "do it" for me. The biggest offender here is the effects work, which, aside from a few nice shots, just feels lazy, much like the Heisei films. Though they manage to pull off a somewhat different kind of look (presumably since we've got Suzuki at the helm instead of Kawakita), it still just falls flat for the most part. Most of the suit work, especially Orga, looks stiff and the CGI is nothing short of wretched.

The original maquette for the Godzilla design is one of the coolest things I've ever seen, but the final suit is tragically disproportionate--the head/neck are HUGE in comparison with the body. The drawbacks of the suit are helped somewhat by a good performance by Mr. Kitagawa. Orga isn't too memorable, either in character or design.

Hattori's score is very uneven, with some tracks working wonderfully with the film and making for great listening, while others are just... :goofy: The big, "epic" choral pieces are ridiculous both in conception and execution. The a cappella piece at the end is beautiful, though the choir ends up more than a little out of tune. J. Peter Robinson's additions for the U.S. version are great and really add a lot to the picture.

We do have a shot at a more original kind of plot, which deserves a little credit, even though it doesn't work out in spots. Possibly the strongest aspect of the movie for me is the characters, who manage to have personality and carry the story competently, even when the story itself fails to impress.

I haven't seen the Japanese version, and from what I've heard I'm not in any great hurry to see it. The dubbing here is hit-and-miss, but it certainly has more character than most other dubs, and the main characters are brought to life rather nicely for the most part.

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Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:40 pm

yeah, i should add that this film has some of the only really MEMORABLE characters in any Godzilla movie...it's just too bad they couldn't think of anything worthwhile to do with
the good characters/actors
a good godzilla design/performance
solid special effects
an audience HUNGRY for some REAL Godzilla action...

instead, it's like a very half-baked type of thing, like i was saying before, it was like a knee-jerk reaction type of thing almost "hey man, we could put Godzilla, the REAL Godzilla up against just some random alien and have a better movie than GINO"
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Postby Legion » Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:25 pm

Second only to Final Wars this is one of my absolute least favorite Godzilla films. I remember seeing this for the first time in theaters on opening day when it was released here and being so utterly bored out of my mind that I was embarrassed to be sitting in the practically empty theater watching it.

I just personally think there was very little thought or effort put into the movie. Hattori's score outright sucks (I'll give the US version points for the score at least), the Godzilla suit is decent, but stiff and insanely overrated, Orga is a complete waste of a monster, the CGI is poor, the composites suck, Godzilla disappears from the movie for far too long and I completely echo Ed Godziszewski's feelings from his review of the film in G-Fan: out of all the Godzilla movies that had gone without a theatrical release since G85, this was the last one I would have picked.

This one seems to be popular simply for having the distinction of being the only recent Godzilla movie to get a widespread theatrical release. People seem to like it just because it was the first (and possibly) only Godzilla movie they saw in theaters. This was my first theatrical Godzilla movie too, but I ain't going easy on it just for that reason.
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Postby king_ghidorah » Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:27 pm

Legion wrote:Second only to Final Wars this is one of my absolute least favorite Godzilla films. I remember seeing this for the first time in theaters on opening day when it was released here and being so utterly bored out of my mind that I was embarrassed to be sitting in the practically empty theater watching it.

I just personally think there was very little thought or effort put into the movie. Hattori's score outright sucks (I'll give the US version points for the score at least), the Godzilla suit is decent, but stiff and insanely overrated, Orga is a complete waste of a monster, the CGI is poor, the composites suck, Godzilla disappears from the movie for far too long and I completely echo Ed Godziszewski's feelings from his review of the film in G-Fan: out of all the Godzilla movies that had gone without a theatrical release since G85, this was the last one I would have picked.

This one seems to be popular simply for having the distinction of being the only recent Godzilla movie to get a widespread theatrical release. People seem to like it just because it was the first (and possibly) only Godzilla movie they saw in theaters. This was my first theatrical Godzilla movie too, but I ain't going easy on it just for that reason.


Did you like the first 15 minutes or so at least?
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Postby Legion » Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:32 pm

King_Ghidorah wrote:Did you like the first 15 minutes or so at least?


The movie has a good start, although I wouldn't go as far as saying I enjoyed that much of the movie. I'd say more along the lines of the first 8-10 minutes. After that pretty much everything goes down the crapper.

The movie just reeked of Toho saying, "You want the real Godzilla? Here, take him! But we're not going to try very hard. As long as the movie makes a profit."
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Postby king_ghidorah » Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:38 pm

Legion wrote:
King_Ghidorah wrote:Did you like the first 15 minutes or so at least?


The movie has a good start, although I wouldn't go as far as saying I enjoyed that much of the movie. I'd say more along the lines of the first 8-10 minutes. After that pretty much everything goes down the crapper.

The movie just reeked of Toho saying, "You want the real Godzilla? Here, take him! But we're not going to try very hard. As long as the movie makes a profit."


I can agree with this...
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Postby canofhumdingers » Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:57 pm

While I can understand (and even sometimes agree with) all the criticism this film is getting, I still like it a lot. I think the negatives have been pointed out well enough already so I'll just point out the things I like.

The new Godzilla suit. One of my top three favorites (the others being '64 & '84) I like the largest fin being waist level as it gives the look of a lower center of gravity, which is appropriate for an animal this tall. I like the bigger more proportionate (imo) head (the pinheads of the later heisei & the kiryu goji's just looks SOOO out of place!). I like the really sharp claws, spines, & skin. & the long tail is nice too. Finally, the face of this godzilla, despite what many people say, just exudes personality! Though I admit that much of this also comes from the wonderful performance of the suit actor.

The atmosphere. This movie is the most atmospheric since '84 & that happens to be my favorite film. I love the creepiness/moodiness here. Myabe not as strong as '84, but it's still there. I also think that, while the complaints about the pace are valid, the pace of the film itself adds to the mood. Also, this film (and maybe the japanese version a little more than the american) just feels like an 80's creature flick. I can't really explain why, but I think the atmosphere has a lot to do with it. & I love the feel of a good atmospheric 80's creature flick.

The effects. Uneven to be sure, but I think they tried some really interesting things and when they work, they REALLY work. The opening sequence as already mentioned. The sequence where Godzilla kills Katagiri. Much of the miniature work in the city sets. This movie made Godzilla actually look & feel BIG moreso than any movie in the last decade or more. I also LOVE the sequence where the spaceship uses all the underground cables like tentacles.

Orga. Not the most original design, but a cool concept nonetheless. Too bad the suit was so stiff. If it just had more movement in the hands, I think it would've sold it.

& finally, I actually like the score. I think the american cut did a good job spicing it up a bit, but I like the original version too. I will admit that when i first saw this film (via a less than reputable source...) i loved the movie, but hated hated hated the score. I was greatly pleased at the american alterations. However, over time the score has grown on me & i quite enjoy it now, even if it does feel a bit out of place at times...

Ultimately, this (much like 1984) is a flawed film that just happens to hit all the right notes for me personally to really really like it.
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Postby lhb412 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:46 pm

Legion wrote:
I just personally think there was very little thought or effort put into the movie. Hattori's score outright sucks (I'll give the US version points for the score at least), the Godzilla suit is decent, but stiff and insanely overrated, Orga is a complete waste of a monster, the CGI is poor, the composites suck, Godzilla disappears from the movie for far too long and I completely echo Ed Godziszewski's feelings from his review of the film in G-Fan: out of all the Godzilla movies that had gone without a theatrical release since G85, this was the last one I would have picked.



Really? The only film IMO better suited for a US theatrical release in that time-frame would be Biollante. Maybe Mothra and King Ghidorah would have been passible if they were released before Jurassic Park redifined audience expecations - but certainly not after (while Bio's effects still hold up).
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Postby walshiam » Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:31 am

The best thing about this film was the battle at the end. There was no slapstick which made the battle choreography totally believable.
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Postby canofhumdingers » Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:38 am

ooh, that reminds me of more things i like about this movie!

The fights, as you mentioned, were quite a nice change of pace. You mean Godzilla can fight with more than just his nuclear breath? he can use his claws & teeth & tail? What a breath of fresh air after the later "vs" films!

And speaking of that nuclear breath, I thought it was great! No, not the new color (that i could take or leave), but the way it's animated. I always prefer the versions of Godzilla's breath that look like a mist or fog or cloud as opposed to the fire or (worse) beam type. After all, it's supposed to be intense radioactivity, right? Here his breath looks like a very forceful shot of radioactive mist or fog. It's perfect. & i like the way he "flings" it out too.
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Postby zekend01 » Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:42 pm

canofhumdingers wrote:ooh, that reminds me of more things i like about this movie!

The fights, as you mentioned, were quite a nice change of pace. You mean Godzilla can fight with more than just his nuclear breath? he can use his claws & teeth & tail? What a breath of fresh air after the later "vs" films!

And speaking of that nuclear breath, I thought it was great! No, not the new color (that i could take or leave), but the way it's animated. I always prefer the versions of Godzilla's breath that look like a mist or fog or cloud as opposed to the fire or (worse) beam type. After all, it's supposed to be intense radioactivity, right? Here his breath looks like a very forceful shot of radioactive mist or fog. It's perfect. & i like the way he "flings" it out too.


Agreed. Good fights.

As others have said, it was a real treat to catch it in the theater. Nevertheless, that stupid damn kid, dumbass comedy relief, sordid dubbing, gay college friend, dull middle, inane “GODZILLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAâ€
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Postby INVINCIBLE HASTUR » Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:47 pm

Hey I love this film. No, I never saw it in the Theaters and I never even saw the U.S. version. I'm into it because it's a good Godzilla movie.
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Postby zekend01 » Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:32 pm

INVINCIBLE HASTUR wrote:Hey I love this film. No, I never saw it in the Theaters and I never even saw the U.S. version. I'm into it because it's a good Godzilla movie.


So you're saying that you have ONLY ever seen the Japanese version?
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Postby INVINCIBLE HASTUR » Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:19 pm

That's correct. I never saw the U.S. version of it and there's no reason to see it. To this day friends of mine make fun of the dubbing and dialogue that was put in that U.S. release. I am content with the Japanese original version. Why would I want to cheapen the film by watching the other one?
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Postby MouthForWar » Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:56 pm

It was great seeing this in theaters. I probably saw it about 10 times. Still, its not a very good movie. Its more fun and more creative than most of the films that followed, but the plot is still a mess (in both the US and Japanese cuts). Also, I think Orga is a pretty boring monster. It gets some points for originality and having a more fun and care free spirit than most of the later movies.
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Postby Rodanex » Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:21 pm

MouthForWar wrote:It was great seeing this in theaters. I probably saw it about 10 times. Still, its not a very good movie. Its more fun and more creative than most of the films that followed, but the plot is still a mess (in both the US and Japanese cuts). Also, I think Orga is a pretty boring monster. It gets some points for originality and having a more fun and care free spirit than most of the later movies.


How was the plot a mess? I mean, I'm not saying it's brilliant, but I wouldn't call it a mess. Then again, I haven't seen this movie in years.
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