TALKBACK #25: GMK

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 Destroysall » Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:43 pm

Legion wrote:What the hell are you guys smoking?


Apparently to them, that good s**t! :lol:

I agree though, its getting pretty X-rated in here. :lol:
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:09 pm

Man, I didn't realize what I was doing when I introduced this monster of a phrase to this forum... :lol:

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Postby Rodanex » Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:14 pm

This thread has taken a turn for the bizarre.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:15 pm

So howsabout that GMK?
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:18 pm

GMK is a potentially very freaking great film ruined by studio tampering and time constraints but saved because the people who worked on it were awesome and really gave a damn. It's deeply flawed in many ways but it's still one of the best and most worthwhile tokusatsu films of the past decade? Could it ever touch the Honda/Tsuburaya team? HELL no! But Kaneko definitely still needs to work on more Tokusatsu stuff one of these days.
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Postby kpa » Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:24 pm

Legion wrote:What the hell are you guys smoking?


I was wondering the same thing! :lol:

I'm a big fan of GMK, and prefer it to (and think it's better made than) any of the Godzilla movies since DESTROY ALL MONSTERS. The movie definitely has its faults, but I really enjoy that the film works on multiple levels like the original GODZILLA.

Many of the Godzilla movies pay lip service to some kind of message, or beat you over the head with it. But GMK's theme is the core of the story, motivating characters and propelling events, but the movie can still be enjoyed by viewers who don't care about the message and just want monster action (again, just like the original GODZILLA). Kaneko also uses the "Japan forgetting their past" idea and dovetails it with Godzilla's fading popularity in Japan... GMK is full of clever touches like that -- for me-- elevate the film beyond the usual Godzilla movie. And for thoses reasons I think GMK deserves all the praise its received over the years.

GMK received better reviews than any of the Heisei or Millennium films. It's the most financially successful of the Millennium films, and the only movie in that series to win a box office award in Japan. In America, it's the most theatrically rented Godzilla repertory title for Sony Pictures.

As I mentioned before, I saw GMK at a screening for Sony executives and again at an American Film Market screening for potential international buyers. The audiences weren't made up of Godzilla fans, yet the movie played very well. The AFM attendees applauded Kaneko's credit at the end of the film (which I haven't seen happen at AFM since) and one woman told the Toho reps the movie surprised her because it made her cry.

People can say it's overrated, but from what I've seen over the years GMK has proven repeatedly how well it works. If that's a failure, may we all fail as well.

Destroysall wrote:I think Anguirus is pretty popular. I don't see what's wrong with him being in the film, I mean, he was Godzilla's first adversary. Varan, I'm not sure how popular or known is he.


Angilas has devoted fans, but he's not nearly as popular as King Ghidorah or Mothra. Toho considers Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, and Mechagodzilla as their "Big Five" based on their star status in the Showa films and their international recognition. Rodan has faded a bit over the years, but these five monsters have appeared in all three Godzilla series and are usually included whenever new toy/product lines are launched... for example, Trendmasters' first wave of Godzilla products focused on those five kaiju.

Angilas has never had that kind of crossover appeal. Shusuke Kaneko said he told friends at his high school reunion that he was making a movie with Angilas and Varan... none of his friends knew who those monsters were.

Destroysall wrote:
MouthForWar wrote:
They should have used Rodan instead of KG. I always figured he was just as popular. Mothra isn't a bad "good guy" monster replacement but King Ghidorah is just a dumb decision. Rodan would have suited the need for a more popular monster AND would have been fitting for the story line.


Rodan would have been better than KG, indeed.

Legion wrote:Then again, considering the fact that both Orga and Megaguirus were both highly unpopular in Japan it's not too big a surprise that Toho insisted on Mothra and King Ghidora for GMK. Who know, perhaps the movie might not have been as financially success as it was if Varan and Angilas were in it, due to the lack of big-time name recognition in the title.


I could see where Orga and Megaguirus not having much popularity. Yet I'm pretty sure Rodan and Anguirus are as popular as King Ghidorah and Mothra.


GODZILLA 2000 underperformed at the box office, and Orga was voted "worst kaiju" in a poll of fans in Japan. MEGAGUIRUS had the lowest attendance of any Godzilla movie since the 1970s. Orga toys sold so poorly that Bandai only sold Megaguirus in a two pack with Godzilla.

Toho was very concerned about the low box office and poor merchandising sales. They almost ended the series with MEGAGUIRUS but decided to make one more movie since they were already in talks with Kaneko. After MEGAGUIRUS, Toho wanted to make sure the next movie did much better ticket sales and merchandising, so they insisted on using their second and third most popular kaiju; Mothra and King Ghidorah.

Rodan is one of my favorites and would have been a great choice, story-wise. But from a sales perspective I understand why Toho chose to go with their most proven sellers. Angilas isn't in that ballpark and would not have been the same kind of draw (though a much better fit for the story).
Last edited by kpa on Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Destroysall » Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:13 pm

kpa wrote:Toho was very concerned about the low box office and poor merchandising sales. They almost ended the series with MEGAGUIRUS but decided to make one more movie since they were already in talks with Kaneko. After MEGAGUIRUS, Toho wanted to make sure the next movie did much better ticket sales and merchandising, so they insisted on using their second and third most popular kaiju; Mothra and King Ghidorah.

Rodan is one of my favorites and would have been a great choice, story-wise. But from a sales perspective I understand why Toho chose to go with their most proven sellers. Angilas isn't in that ballpark and would not have been the same kind of draw (though a much better fit for the story).


I see what you mean there, but still, I would have loved to see those two in the film instead.
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Postby ryuuseipro » Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:39 am

Destroysall wrote:
kpa wrote:Toho was very concerned about the low box office and poor merchandising sales. They almost ended the series with MEGAGUIRUS but decided to make one more movie since they were already in talks with Kaneko. After MEGAGUIRUS, Toho wanted to make sure the next movie did much better ticket sales and merchandising, so they insisted on using their second and third most popular kaiju; Mothra and King Ghidorah.

Rodan is one of my favorites and would have been a great choice, story-wise. But from a sales perspective I understand why Toho chose to go with their most proven sellers. Angilas isn't in that ballpark and would not have been the same kind of draw (though a much better fit for the story).


I see what you mean there, but still, I would have loved to see those two in the film instead.


We all would have.

At least we got to see the monsters as they would've looked! Varan is especially impressive. I would love to have seen how Angilas would've been realized.
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Postby william newell » Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:08 am

I agree with Keith, GMK was the first Godzilla movie in a long time that had a lot to say, and left just enough for personal interpretation. In fact, I still consider this to be the true sequel to Godzilla'54. Both have deep stories that leave you thinking (at least for me)long after the movie's over, and both are essentially anti-war films. I wonder how many here are basing there opinions on Sony's horribly subtitled version? Because, thanks to Sony, much of the social commentary(one example being the Village Chiefs late-night liason with a local concubine, or the Village Chiefs "sudden" change of heart regarding the film crew)was either downplayed or completely wrong. Oh how I wish that either Sony, or better yet, Criterion, would re-release this with accurate subs...
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Postby Norman England » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:02 pm

Yes, it is a shame that Sony / Toho did not choose to release the true subtitles to GMK. I spent a week working on them a month before the premiere at TIFF way back in 2001 and can attest that they are more on the money than the derivative ones seen on the US disc.
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:11 pm

My views on this picture have been expressed already by others, so I won't say much here. Mothra and especially Ghidorah are out of place here, and a longer production schedule and tidier script would have also worked to film's benefit. When I first saw it, I thought it was one of the best Godzilla movies ever, but I've since grown a little less fond of it. I still enjoy an occasional viewing, but consider it just a little above average in terms of overall quality.

And though his role in the film is a little extraneous, I loved seeing Eisei Amamoto take a final bow here. Shiro Sano's character was great, too.
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Postby kpa » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:48 pm

Norman England wrote:Yes, it is a shame that Sony / Toho did not choose to release the true subtitles to GMK. I spent a week working on them a month before the premiere at TIFF way back in 2001 and can attest that they are more on the money than the derivative ones seen on the US disc.


If anyone has seen the subtitled theatrical print of GMK at its various festival and repertory screenings, you've seen the subs Norman worked on and know how superior they are to the awful dubtitles on the Sony DVD.
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Postby Norman England » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:19 pm

Oh really, Keith. I thought they burnt that print and just screened one with subs based on the English overdub dialogue. Good to know.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:58 pm

kpa wrote:
Norman England wrote:Yes, it is a shame that Sony / Toho did not choose to release the true subtitles to GMK. I spent a week working on them a month before the premiere at TIFF way back in 2001 and can attest that they are more on the money than the derivative ones seen on the US disc.


If anyone has seen the subtitled theatrical print of GMK at its various festival and repertory screenings, you've seen the subs Norman worked on and know how superior they are to the awful dubtitles on the Sony DVD.


Hell yes to this, that's why it's so horrible that most english speakers will only get to see the dubtitles.
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Postby kpa » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:13 pm

Norman England wrote:Oh really, Keith. I thought they burnt that print and just screened one with subs based on the English overdub dialogue. Good to know.


Yeah, the subtitles on the Sony 35mm print are identical to the print Toho showed at TIFF and AFM (it may even be the exact same print). I didn't see the dubtitles until the Region 1 DVD came out a couple of years later.
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Postby armandv » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:56 pm

kpa wrote:
Norman England wrote:Oh really, Keith. I thought they burnt that print and just screened one with subs based on the English overdub dialogue. Good to know.


Yeah, the subtitles on the Sony 35mm print are identical to the print Toho showed at TIFF and AFM (it may even be the exact same print). I didn't see the dubtitles until the Region 1 DVD came out a couple of years later.


I am fairly sure it is the same print. Notice how beat-up it became over successive screenings?
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Postby TerranigmaFreak » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:50 pm

I'm still wondering how the hell they can get the meaning of a phrase completely backwards! Instead of "damn" or something like that, they translated it to "got him" for the King Ghidorah scene. That doesn't even make sense within the context of the scene!
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Postby MouthForWar » Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:02 pm

Yeah, even after getting the Sony DVD, I still just watch my old bootleg VHS with proper subs instead. In a hackwork like GxM, I don't mind dubtitles because the story is all bullsh*t anyway, but a movie like GMK actually has something called subtext that relies on proper dialogue translation.
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Postby H-Man » Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:13 pm

MouthForWar wrote:Yeah, even after getting the Sony DVD, I still just watch my old bootleg VHS with proper subs instead. In a hackwork like GxM, I don't mind dubtitles because the story is all bullsh*t anyway, but a movie like GMK actually has something called subtext that relies on proper dialogue translation.


This is exactly what I do.

I should catch this one on the big screen sometime to see what's really supposed to be going on.
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Postby zekend01 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:31 pm

Cody Himes wrote:
MouthForWar wrote:Yeah, even after getting the Sony DVD, I still just watch my old bootleg VHS with proper subs instead. In a hackwork like GxM, I don't mind dubtitles because the story is all bullsh*t anyway, but a movie like GMK actually has something called subtext that relies on proper dialogue translation.


This is exactly what I do.

I should catch this one on the big screen sometime to see what's really supposed to be going on.


It's been awhile since I've seen the old VHS boot. What are the major discrepancies? Any come to mind? I love this film and I've been watching the SONY DVD for years. Just want to know what I'm missing. I was surprised about some of the differences in GvsDestroyer, for example.
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Postby KaiserGhidorah » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:33 pm

I made a backup of the Sony disc using Ballard's subtitles which were very helpful. I still do have my old VHS bootleg as well as the HD broadcast of the film. So, including the Sony disc, I have four different copies of the film. The VHS bootleg has subs similar to Ballard's with some minor differences and the Hd broadcast has the dubtitles which the Sony disc has.
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Postby metal_bryan » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:14 pm

I love GMK and that's all I really have to say. It's probably my favorite of the Millenium series.
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Postby Baltan II » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:25 pm

KaiserGhidorah wrote:I made a backup of the Sony disc using Ballard's subtitles which were very helpful.


Are those still floating around? I think one of the reasons I haven't given GMK a watch lately is specifically because the changes to the subs are so glaring that it makes an otherwise entertaining move that much more difficult to watch. Probably wouldn't be able to find that VHS boot even if I wanted it.
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Postby KaiserGhidorah » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:29 pm

Giganzilla wrote:
KaiserGhidorah wrote:I made a backup of the Sony disc using Ballard's subtitles which were very helpful.


Are those still floating around? I think one of the reasons I haven't given GMK a watch lately is specifically because the changes to the subs are so glaring that it makes an otherwise entertaining move that much more difficult to watch. Probably wouldn't be able to find that VHS boot even if I wanted it.


I'm pretty sure they are but you would have to ask Ballard about where you can find them. That same VHS boot now has a DVD version from the same company that everybody probably got the VHS boot from the first place so it's still out there - only in better format.
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Postby kent » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:15 am

I've always liked this film but never thought it was as great, or as bad, as people said it was. I thought it was somewhere in between.

Over the years, I've flip-flopped as to whether or not I feel the mythological origins of the kaiju was really an idea that worked or not. I find it interesting but also find a few problems with it, personally. It kind of works, but doesn't at the same time.

The portrayal of Godzilla is really nice along with the other kaiju. The effects are really some of the best out of the entire series!

Although I've noticed I've grown a bit tiresome of it in recent years. I don't know if it's because I am finding the story and characters to be more bland or what. It seems like, anymore, I am disappointed with the final battle between Godzilla and Ghidorah. I almost want to end the movie right there. I honestly don't know what it is as I've not watched the movie a hundred or so times over the last few years. So I'm not burnt out by it.

It's a fun movie but seems to put me in a boorish mood in some parts. Like I want to fast forward or simply turn it off.

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