TALKBACK #24: Godzilla vs. Megaguirus

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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Postby Rodanex » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:13 am

At least this film is more entertaining than GXMG.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:20 am

Rodanex wrote:At least this film is more entertaining than GXMG.
disagree.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:56 am

jellydonut25 wrote:
Rodanex wrote:At least this film is more entertaining than GXMG.
disagree.


I agree with his disagreement.
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Postby eabaker » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:09 pm

Rodanex wrote:At least this film is more entertaining than GXMG.


I agree with this. The two Kiryu films may not be as stupid as Megaguiras can be at times, but they're so abominably flat and lifeless as to render them almost completely unwatchable for me. They each literally put me to sleep on first viewing.
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Postby Irish Gfan » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:20 pm

Ggodzilla X Mechagodzilla is the worst of the Millennium films, mainly because the characters, their backstories, and their motivations have almost NOTHING to do with Godzilla. I remember reading a review of the film saying that Godzilla was like a glorified interruption to another movie rather than the star in a film in his on going series, and that is a fair assessment. And some interesting ideas like the spirit of the original Godzilla taking control of Mechagodzilla was not given any kind of payoff so it felt like a major loose end. Also, the open ending really left me hanging and it felt like there was no climax.

Godzilla X Megaguiras has major flaws and lacks focus, but the silly elements like the black hole gun and things of that nature made it a hoot. And I actually liked a lot of the scenes with the Meganula insects. Those were cool. Flawed as all hell, but there was a level of fun to it that made me accept it more than the very dry GXMG two years later.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:22 pm

Irish Gfan wrote:Ggodzilla X Mechagodzilla is the worst of the Millennium films, mainly because the characters, their backstories, and their motivations have almost NOTHING to do with Godzilla. I remember reading a review of the film saying that Godzilla was like a glorified interruption to another movie rather than the star in a film in his on going series, and that is a fair assessment. And some interesting ideas like the spirit of the original Godzilla taking control of Mechagodzilla was not given any kind of payoff so it felt like a major loose end. Also, the open ending really left me hanging and it felt like there was no climax.
I disagree with like 90% of this.

Does the open ending of King Kong vs. Godzilla leave you feeling like there's no climax?
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Postby MouthForWar » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:31 pm

Wait did you miss the part where the central character of GxMG is completely motivated by Godzilla killing her boss? And how her pent up rage is what drives the entire plot of he movie? And how he scientist character is gettin her to be less angsty? ALL that is DIRECTLY related to Godzilla.

I really don't even like that movie but saying the main characters have nothing to do with Godzilla is just innacurate.
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:39 pm

MouthForWar wrote:And how her pent up rage is what drives the entire plot of he movie?


Guilt. Kiriko was more about rage, whereas Akane was motivated by guilt. Maybe it's a minor difference but it's part of why I've always preferred Akane to Kiriko.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:45 pm

kiryugoji04 wrote:
MouthForWar wrote:And how her pent up rage is what drives the entire plot of he movie?


Guilt. Kiriko was more about rage, whereas Akane was motivated by guilt. Maybe it's a minor difference but it's part of why I've always preferred Akane to Kiriko.
I agree...It always seemed pointless to me to be mad at Godzilla. As opposed to feeling guilty over one's actions/inactions in the face of Godzilla.
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Postby MouthForWar » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:18 pm

Regardless. My point is that all of that has A LOT to do with Godzilla so saying the human story has nothing to do with Godzilla is wrong
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Postby jellydonut25 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:20 pm

MouthForWar wrote:Regardless. My point is that all of that has A LOT to do with Godzilla so saying the human story has nothing to do with Godzilla is wrong
truth. i was just responding to the thought, and advocating GxMG over Megaguirus for life.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:24 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:
MouthForWar wrote:Regardless. My point is that all of that has A LOT to do with Godzilla so saying the human story has nothing to do with Godzilla is wrong
truth. i was just responding to the thought, and advocating GxMG over Megaguirus for life.


I'd broaden that to say any of the films over Megaguirus, for life.
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Postby eabaker » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:46 pm

MouthForWar wrote:Regardless. My point is that all of that has A LOT to do with Godzilla so saying the human story has nothing to do with Godzilla is wrong


Yeah, as much as I dislike the movie, it's not because of any failures of the story at the conceptual stage. all the pieces are there for what could have been a really exciting, emotionally charged, even philosophically rich Godzilla movie.

And then nobody bothered trying very hard.
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Postby H-Man » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:59 pm

eabaker wrote:And then nobody bothered trying very hard.


Including Godzilla, who stands there without moving while Akane tries out Kiryu's arsenal on him.
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Postby MouthForWar » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:39 pm

Cody Himes wrote:
eabaker wrote:And then nobody bothered trying very hard.


Including Godzilla, who stands there without moving while Akane tries out Kiryu's arsenal on him.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Besides, since how much do the human characters "have to do with" Godzilla for them to be legit?

I mean... what do the characters in Godzilla vs The Thing have to do with Godzilla? Its just some reporters stuck in the middle of a crazy situation while they're trying to do their jobs... their motivation and character arcs are totally separate from Godzilla himself (and if anything are more tied to Mothra).

Most Godzilla movies follow reporters, scientists or military folks who are doing their every day thing and Godzilla comes out of nowhere like a hurricane. In that regard, GxMG actually has characters that are MORE tied to Godzilla than a lot of the other films in the series.

And I don't even like GxMG...
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Postby jellydonut25 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:37 am

GxMG EXCELSIOR!
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Postby Irish Gfan » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:46 pm

OK, let me explain myself in regards to my stance on the characters from GXMG.

What I meant was that most of what they do and most of what they talk about have anything to do with the threat of Godzilla. Akane, Prof Yahara, and his daughter Sara.

Akane spends most of the movie being a mopey emo saying that nobody cares about her and her life is nothing. You could argue that it stems from guilt over the incident at the start of the film with Godzilla, which would make sense. But she says she's been that way her whole life. So is her story about her atoning for messing up with Godzilla at the start of the film or is it for her to stop being Mopey Mary and learn that her life does matter? If it is the latter, then the start of the film really feels like it has no bearing on anything. The soldier that blames her for his brother's death doesn't even seem to phase her. She just sort of accepts that nobody likes her and that would be the case whether the Godzilla incident happened or not. Even after the crew accepts her, she still acts all sad, lending credence to my feeling that her pessimistic, self loathing attitude goes far beyond the incident with Godzilla at the start of the film and she would be the same person whether that happened or not.

Then we have Yahara and his daughter Sara. This really floored me. So his initial objection to working on Mechagodzilla was not potentially unleashing another terror on the world or playing God when he shouldn't. It was that he was worried about not spending time with his daughter. WHAT?! The major social implications of this project is no concern to you, AT ALL?!?!? And then they go "Oh you can take your daughter with you" and he's like "Oh OK". And then he spends the whole movie hitting on Akane. And then you have little Sara, who starts out as a happy little kid, and then turns into Mopey Mary Jr, not because Godzilla is killing people, and not because of Mechagodzilla's outburst. She feels bad that Mechagodzilla has to fight...and it has something to do with her dead mom and a plant that she thinks is her mom or some crap.

So we have one of Mechagodzilla's engineers worried about stuff that has nothing to do with Godzilla or even Mechagodzilla. We have Mechagodzilla's pilot being all depressed the whole time for reasons that are never explained all that well. She feels worthless and has her whole life, which as I said would be the same whether Godzilla was around or not. And we have a little kid being all sad about her dead mom, a death that had nothing to do with giant monsters or any kind of violence.

The characters feel like they aren't even in a monster movie and this is just a completely different drama of some sort, with Godzilla serving as an interruption from time to time. Even Mechagodzilla's outburst in the middle of the film is never fully explained, no satisfactory resolution is given, and by the end of the film, they just act as if it never happened. It almost feels like the characters don't care that Godzilla is around or are even that worried about it, which is a huge no-no in making a monster movie. Whether the tone is serious and bleak or silly & campy, the attacking monsters should be viewed as dangerous.

I am not saying characters can't have those things like Sara's mother being dead or being a sad sap like Akane, but there was just so much of it that it felt like all of those backstories and dealing with those issues were the focus of the movie and not Godzilla or Mechagodzilla. Like I said, outside of a fantastic opening sequence in harsh weather conditions, Godzilla doesn't feel like much of a threat at all because the characters themselves don't even seem to care all that much about it as they've got other personal issues to worry about.

I also read a comparison in this thread to the characters in Mothra Vs. Godzilla, and that is a ludicrous comparison. The trio of main human characters in that film are arguably the true heroes of the film as they are the ones that have to act as ambassadors to Infant Island on behalf of Japan (and the whole world actually as that is how the Infant Islanders view them). They have to basically deliver what the message of the movie is supposed to be and everything they do revolves around the monsters whether it be trying to get the egg back or begging for Mothra's help against the awesome threat of Godzilla. Even the crooked businessmen that took ownership of the egg serve a purpose as it is there actions that lend the people of Infant Island to distrust humanity as a whole and put Mothra's potential aid of mankind into question, which or forces the main heroes to extend the olive branch. I think it ties in rather well with what goes on with Godzilla & Mothra.

And yes, the ending the of fight left me feeling cheated. Mechagodzilla is damaged but still functions. Godzilla was wounded, but is still very much alive and isn't soundly defeated in anyway. It left me hanging. I read a comparison in this thread to the ending of King Kong Vs. Godzilla and I have a couple of points on that. I didn't like that ending. I feel like if you have the two biggest movie monsters of the time fighting each other than the conclusion of the fight should be more decisive than that, but at least I felt like Kong won. I never questioned who the winner was. It was a cheap ending, sure, but at least at the end of the movie I knew King Kong had defeated Godzilla. In this movie, they even called it a draw in the post credits sequence. It just feels like there was no ending and no conclusive winner. This goes far beyond the typical "Godzilla is beaten but LOOK his eye opened!" or "Oh no! Is that Godzilla's roar" type of ending. Those are done just to leave the door open for a sequel, which is fine. Heck, even Godzilla Vs. Biollante made sure to kill off Biollante and its creator to give us some finality there.

Ultimately, GXMG is made better by the fact that it does have a sequel in Tokyo SOS which ties up all the loose ends and tells an overall better story in the process with some nice monster action to boot. The characters in THAT film like the Fairies & Dr. Chujo do question the method of creating Mechagodzilla as a slap in the face of nature. Sure, Mothra caring about Godzilla's bones being raised seems a bit forced & odd, but at least these are all motivations that tie back into the monsters themselves. The characters on the other side argue against that stating that they need to defend themselves against the great threat of Godzilla. Every character has a motivation or backstory that ties it into the monsters themselves, their potential danger, and everything else that goes along with it, and that makes it a far more acceptable movie.

Now comparing Godzilla X Mechagodzilla to Godzilla X Megaguiras, yes GXM has a lot of flaws. The editing is weird. The pacing is weird. The kid character might be the most pointless "Kenny" in the entire series, and Megaguiras is a pretty unimpressive foe for the Big G (I actually liked the Meganula swarm more). But I appreciate the film for its wackiness. A black hole gun? That might be the most ludicrous weapon ever brought up against Godzilla, and it is hilarious. They could have done more things with it like having Kuriko being so dead set on getting revenge against Godzilla that she doesn't consider the negative impact of such a weapon (enter Megaguiras). Really that was an angle they could have played up with Megaguiras being the result of Kuriko's quest for vengeance and rather than obtaining vengeance against Godzilla, it could have been about her coming to terms with herself and finding peace. But they didn't play up that angle and it just goes into wacky Sci-Fi territory. But the characters in the movie (with the exception of the aforementioned Kenny that disappears half way through the film anyway) somehow have a motivation that circles back to Godzilla & dealing with him whether it be Kuriko, Kudo, or the government officials and their clean energy project. The movie is unfocused & overly simplistic, but it has a wacky vibe to it that at least makes it fun to watch, which is more than I can say about GXMG which is a bit of a drag.

So with all of that, my basic point is, Godzilla X Mechagodzilla is the weakest of the Millennium films and I am sticking to that point. Godzilla X Megaguiras has many obvious flaws, but I find it, overall, to be more entertaining. I'll have no qualms about calling that one the second weakest though.
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Postby DannyBeane » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:30 pm

This movie is just terrible on all fronts. I really don't see any redeeming qualities. Terrible Godzilla suit, terrible villain, terrible cinematography, terrible story, didn't give a damn for any of the characters. Seriously I only watch this movie every few years because i feel I have a duty as a Godzilla fan to watch it. Its always a chore and did I mention that it's terrible? GXM IS TERRIBLE! G2k on the other hand is one of the most ingenious films of the modern age!
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Postby TripMasterMunky » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:36 pm

I love this film along with the rest of the Millennium series. Never understood why some people dislike the series.

It's got a really cool villian, the giant city flood is a really cool/unique idea, main ESDF woman is hot, and there's a black hole gun that STILL can't stop Godzilla. What's not to love?
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:43 pm

TripMasterMunky wrote:I love this film along with the rest of the Millennium series. Never understood why some people hate the series so fun.

It's got a really cool villian, the giant city flood is a really cool/unique idea, main ESDF woman is hot, and there's a black hole gun that STILL can't stop Godzilla. What's not to love?


I like (GxMG, Final Wars, S.O.S.) or Love (G2k, GMK) most of the Millennium Series, but I can't bring myself to like this thing. It's just much too unpleasant.

The problem is that Megaguirus IS a cool villain, who doesn't really get to live up to that potential. The Black hole gun and the city flood are all really cool ideas but the execution (as is the case in all of Tezuka's films) leaves much to be desired.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:42 pm

I like the millenium series MUCH more than the heisei series, though it bears mentioning that my favorite millenium film doesn't hold a candle to Biollante and my least favorite heisei film isn't quite as execrable as Megaguirus, but the millenium series films are either too uneven or fall too short of their potential or too serious-toned to be enjoyed as just goofy fun for me to love rhe run of films unabashedly. I also didn't care for each film feeling the (largely unnecessary) desire to establish a new timeline every time.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:49 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:I also didn't care for each film feeling the (largely unnecessary) desire to establish a new timeline every time.


I get even angrier about this with Tezuka, who did it...twice.

G2k got it right when it just did the "Godzilla exists...let's move on." thing.
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Postby eabaker » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:53 pm

I very much like the approach of each film establishing a new timeline (although I think the G2K characters might actually have been worth exploring across two or three films). There was the opportunity for a diverse selection of filmmakers to explore, to break new ground without being tied to what had come before tonally, stylistically, or narratively. It could have been something really exciting and innovative.

Could have been.

However, while I give a very high rating to GMK (though not as high as the best of the Showa films or Biollante), and consider G2K well above the median for the Heisei era, I find little to draw me back to Megaguirus (most of the time, I kinda forget it exists), and I consider the second half of the Millenium series to be the three worst Godzilla films Toho ever produced (I will gladly take Space Godzilla over any of them without a moment's hesitation).

I consider the Millenium flicks a noble experiment, but not one that achieved anything like its full potential.
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Postby MouthForWar » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:47 pm

I consider myself to have relatively... low standards for a Godzilla movie.

There are two Godzilla movies that I

HONEST

TO

GOD

HATE

This one and Space Godzilla. Everything else I can find SOME kind of value in (from a monster I like or a particular character I enjoy a lot)... not these.

What heinous films.
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Postby Pkmatrix » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:12 am

So, continuing my rewatch of the Millennium movies...

Coming after Godzilla 2000, this one felt...like a step backward, I suppose.

Okay, on the plus side Tezuka seems to be a fan of Alternate History, so as a fan of the genre I really enjoy the first 10 to 15 minutes when the movie lays out the backstory. It's a neat set-up and something that wasn't done before in a Godzilla movie before now.

Unfortunately, the main film isn't nearly as well-done or interesting as the set up.

Sigh.

Whereas I appreciated G2K's return to believability and realism, elements sorely lacking in the '90s movies, this movie is an immediate jump back to lazy fantasy and bland characters. Other than Tsujimori, the only characters even notable are Kudo - the (apparently brilliant) self-taught engineer they recruit; the chief scientist, and an absolutely annoying kid who is at least 75% responsible for everything that goes wrong. Tsujimori could be interesting, but instead she's just brooding and generally silent - we never really get a chance to look into her character, as the film is too busy focusing on the ridiculous black hole gun idea and the Meganula/Megaguirus. Kudo is given a little spotlight and is a bit fun to watch, but even though I suspect we're supposed to view Tsujimori and Kudo as a couple it NEVER happens and is never directly addressed beyond Kudo's apparent crush and one line at the end. Basically, this movie looks and feels a lot like it could have fit anywhere post-Mothra in the Heisei series, just replace the "G-Graspers" with "G-Force" and find a bit part to stick Miki Saegusa in.

On the monster front, things are a bit better. They recycled the suit from G2K, which I'm fine with because this is probably my favorite design. The FX never reach the heights of G2K's opening sequence, but are generally more consistent and never get as bad as G2K's worst. The film shies away from CGI almost entirely, which further reinforces the "pseudo Heisei Godzilla" impression. That being said, the miniatures are decent and about on par with the '90s movies (meaning, not bad but not as good as G2K or Heisei Gamera). Godzilla himself is actually a delight here: G2K introduced us to a new suit actor, Tsutomu Kitagawa, and while he was all right there it's here that he starts to really get comfortable with the character. Godzilla himself is probably the biggest redeeming factor for the movie.

Megaguirus on the other hand is...not quite so good. She looks cool, but she's 100% portrayed by a puppet...in a film made in 2000. She should have been CGI, or at least CGI-enhanced as Gyaos was in 1995/1999 or Mothra in GMK. Her wings are what really distracted me, flapping lazily when they should've been practically buzzing. The only time we get a real CGI effect for her is when she's supposed to be doing some sort of "super flapping" attack...which THEN is CG-enhanced to show her wings flapping at what, to me, seems like a more realistic speed! -_- The fight is a nice long one and has a pretty catchy music theme, but unfortunately isn't really all that memorable. This is probably due to it taking place in what amounted to a big open field - easier and cheaper to shoot, but interesting it is not. Probably the worst offense when it comes to Megaguirus is how pointless she seems. It's not a good sign when you could cut the opponent out of your versus movie and it wouldn't really change a thing. Despite having cool designs for Meganuron and the Meganula fliers, they barely get any screentime. You could have had a whole horror movie-esque subplot involving them killing people in Shibuya and the police/army having to hunt them down (just as in Rodan) but instead they're given one "horror" scene, a scene to establish the swarm, a scene where they attack Godzilla, and then are promptly written out of the movie. -_-

It's disappointing, because I feel a much better movie could have been made just with the elements at play here. Ah well.

Ultimately, I guess I'm Meh on this one. >_>

(Also, I'm going to side with Jelly and MFW: GxMG is a MUCH better movie than this!)
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