TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

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TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Postby lhb412 » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:33 am

I've seen this movie only twice before: I got a bootleg tape the Christmas after its release and a few months later Sony released the DVD and I saw it again, so in Godzilla terms this one still feels a bit new to me.

This was a very interesting rewatch to me because I ended up wrestling with just what the heck my reactions were to it. On two levels there is a significant improvement with this film: 1) the effects are consistant and occasionally pretty darn cool (aside from a few horrible shots of the monsters defying the laws of physics in the final battle - which is only bad because it doesn't jive with the pseudo-realistic tone the movie has) and 2) the story is kept pretty simple, thus steering away from huge plot holes and other defects that have plagued the more recent films - an effect of a story written by commitee.

But though these are improvements the movie itself doesn't bring anything new and fresh to the table. It feels more like a retread than any Godzilla film made before. It's Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 2 with bits of Godzilla vs. Megaguirus in it!

I do like the Godzilla design, though. Taking the Millennium design and making him look more "normal" (in Godzilla terms).

Oh, and do people still call this the "Kiryu Saga?" Does that mean its Icelandic? (little Mighty Boosh reference there)
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Postby Shonokin » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:54 pm

I don't mind any of the Tezuka films. But especially the "Kiryu Saga" I feel is just there. I liken it to Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Though Crystal Skull is not a completely horrible film, it brings nothing new or interesting to the table and really gives the impression there's no real reason for it to exist outside of the fact that they wanted to make more movies in the franchise. As such it just seems like more of the same, and from a fairly inexperienced director who feels more suited to making "made for tv" movies and shows.

I can watch this and Tokyo SOS and be entertained, but not moved or excited in the slightest.

On a positive note, I didn't see this on the big screen but did see Tokyo SOS in a really great movie palace with a large screen. The amount of miniature set detailing you can see at that size is pretty impressive. It really shows that it pays to see movies like this in a theater because even with HD and bluray, I don't know if you catch all the craftsmanship that goes into the sets.
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Postby william newell » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:30 pm

My only complaint with this film(and Tokyo SOS)is the lack of a clear-cut villian. Godzilla's not really the bad guy, neither is Kiryu, so the audience is left without anyone to root for. How much more satisfying it would have been if this movie mainly dealt with Kiryu's rampage and the inability of anyone short of Godzilla to stop it. This is the reason why, story-wise, I prefer Godzilla X Megaguirus of all of Tezuka's G films.
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like it

Postby Xenorama » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:47 pm

I recently watched this again and thought it was pretty fun. not too long, either.

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Postby MouthForWar » Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:00 pm

BOORRRRIIING
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Postby lhb412 » Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:12 pm

Shonokin wrote:On a positive note, I didn't see this on the big screen but did see Tokyo SOS in a really great movie palace with a large screen. The amount of miniature set detailing you can see at that size is pretty impressive. It really shows that it pays to see movies like this in a theater because even with HD and bluray, I don't know if you catch all the craftsmanship that goes into the sets.


Yes! That's something I forgot to mention: great miniatures in this film, along with some spectacular minature smoke, dust, explosion effects.

I recently watched this again and thought it was pretty fun. not too long, either.

David


Another thing! The modern Godzilla films are far to long (though I'd like to mention that Honda and Fukuda's films managed to cram a lot more good stuff in films of the same length as this one).
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Postby TerranigmaFreak » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:41 pm

It's ok, nothing spectacular. The effects are good, but the best scene was the plane trying to dodge the missiles launched by Kiryu. That scene was spectacular.
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Postby Legion » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:47 pm

I don't mind this movie. I like the Godzilla suit (although yes, Godzilla is pretty stiff and uninteresting in this one), Mechagodzilla looks awesome and is probably my favorite thing about the Millennium series (yes, I said it), I LOVE Michiru Oshima's score and at only an hour and a half the movie moves fast enough to not be a freakin' bore.

That said, when I want to watch a Millennium Mechagodzilla film I'll go with the sequel. The effects are better, Godzilla and Mechagodzilla both look even better, I prefer the score, it's got the best Mothra since Tsuburaya's original and the ending is actually pretty good.

So...yeah.
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Postby KaiserGhidorah » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:51 am

GxMG is an ok film. It certainly was a vast improvement over GXM. I loved the score, which was quite booming and very powerful. Among other highlights for me were specific scenes such as the beginning, Kiryu's rampage, and the final battle. However, I do wish Tezuka had his way with the ending scene having Godzilla head out to sea with a trail of blood in his wake.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:25 am

GxMG is fairly enjoyable. Most of my enjoyment comes from how MechaGodzilla has been redone. There's a lot that made me think I'd really like this film, and in the end I just found it to be mediocre. I think a lot of it has to do with how awesome Kiryu is, and how terrible Godzilla was. He just stands there.

Thankfully most of what I found wrong with this film was all remedied in Tokyo S.O.S., but this is about GxMG. Not the best film, but not the worst in this series.
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Postby zekend01 » Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:44 pm

Not bad. Just a regurgitation of so much that's been done before it.

Pretty solid though, and the meatiest and most consistent Tezuka film.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:46 pm

i dont mind this film much.

my biggest complaint on rewatching it has to be that godzilla is stationary most of the time he's being attacked...if that issue were fixed i think i'd actually really like this movie

it doesnt suffer from the fairly poor editing of the fight sequences that it's sequel certainly does...
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Postby Rodanex » Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:17 pm

boring and unoriginal. It was basically GvsMG2 combined with GXM. I liked the idea of MG (or Kiryu....why give the robot two names??) having the bones of the original Godzilla (even though we saw them dissolve, but whatever) but the movie never really went anywhere even remotely interesting with it.
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Postby heroforhirerob » Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:22 am

This one kind of bores me to be honest. So much so I think I've only seen the film twice(once at a G-con and once when I got the DVD). It's just not that interesting a film....and the cyborg idea isn't really used all that well. Now..on the plus side...the new Mecha G design is fine. In short...a fairly typical Millennium film(most of which bored me).
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Postby MouthForWar » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:40 am

Rodanex wrote:boring and unoriginal. It was basically GvsMG2 combined with GXM. I liked the idea of MG (or Kiryu....why give the robot two names??) having the bones of the original Godzilla (even though we saw them dissolve, but whatever) but the movie never really went anywhere even remotely interesting with it.


This
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Postby jellydonut25 » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:25 am

i thought this film at the very least presents probably the only GOOD reason for creating a mecha-Godzilla...

in GvsMG2 why not just make a giant platform with all those weapons on it? it would have had the same personality...

at least here you know that the one doctor creates cyborgs to simulate extinct organisms and the idea is to fight Godzilla with Godzilla and since they already have the framework (even though it's a retcon) why NOT build a mechaG?
plus then it gives a reason behind why the mecha version would actually roar and stuff...

it could have been better but i feel like if there's one consistent 'story' in the Godzilla universe it's that of wasted potential...

EDIT: damn, i gotta stop with the ellipses...
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Postby Rodanex » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:37 pm

We oughta hang out sometime, MouthForWar. 8-)
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:36 pm

I'll probably be stoned to death for saying this, but "Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla" may very well be my favorite entry since the '70s. It does have its share of shortcomings, but I find it to be more solid (and solidly entertaining) than pretty much all of the films of the past 30 years.

When I first saw this one, I was severely underwhelmed, but as time went on, it began to grow on me a great deal. The "life" theme, as expressed through the little girl, is admittedly quite heavy-handed, but it honestly doesn't bother me all that much when taken with the movie as a whole. It helps that the idea is a little more developed than the messages in most of the other recent films (and it segues very nicely into the next film) and is kind of an important factor in the story.

Speaking of the story, I found this one to be sufficiently interesting, though rather derivative of previous films. The pacing assures no dull moments, and the characters that carry it, especially Dr. Yuhara, who may be my favorite character from any of the recent films. He's genuinely funny--the scene where he finally musters the courage to approach Akane and the ensuing awkwardness is pure gold (Sara's glare as she walks by is priceless).

The designs for Godzilla and Kiryu are both terrific, though I do wish they would have just stuck with the name "Mechagodzilla." Though Godzilla is disconcertingly immobile at a few points, the final battle is wonderfully conceived.

The effects work in general is very nicely done, particularly the miniatures, as mentioned by others. Also worth mentioning is Michiru Oshima's musical score, which is top-notch from beginning to end. She really outdoes herself here, providing what I feel is the finest score of the Millennium series.

All-in-all, certainly not a perfect outing, but without doubt the most solid and entertaining since the Showa era in my book.
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Postby Legion » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:00 pm

Tyler E. Martin wrote:Also worth mentioning is Michiru Oshima's musical score, which is top-notch from beginning to end. She really outdoes herself here, providing what I feel is the finest score of the Millennium series.


I personally think she was definitely the best post-Showa/non-Ifukube composer. Worth noting is that this score was played by the Moscow International Symphonic Orchestra and just sounds incredible. Combined with the equal powerful (if not moreso) score to Tokyo SOS, this soundtrack is one of my favorites of the Millennium series. Definitely better than Hattori's boring score for G2K, Otani's fun but (IMHO) somewhat obnoxiously electronic score for GMK and the outright travesty which is the GFW score.
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Postby metal_bryan » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:15 pm

MouthForWar wrote:
Rodanex wrote:boring and unoriginal. It was basically GvsMG2 combined with GXM. I liked the idea of MG (or Kiryu....why give the robot two names??) having the bones of the original Godzilla (even though we saw them dissolve, but whatever) but the movie never really went anywhere even remotely interesting with it.


This


I also agree with this
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Postby Andrew Nguyen » Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:50 am

This film is alright for me although I can understand why about most of the complaints. Also unlike how they did G-Force and the UNGCC, the way they did the organizaiton here was just awful.

Really didn't like the main character at all as well as several of the others.

Finally, what the hell were they thinking with what they did with Mecha-Godzilla. I did not like the design and its weapons seem very weak in comparison to the previous Mecha-Godzilla incarnations.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:02 am

Andrew Nguyen wrote:This film is alright for me although I can understand why about most of the complaints. Also unlike how they did G-Force and the UNGCC, the way they did the organizaiton here was just awful.

Really didn't like the main character at all as well as several of the others.

Finally, what the hell were they thinking with what they did with Mecha-Godzilla. I did not like the design and its weapons seem very weak in comparison to the previous Mecha-Godzilla incarnations.


I'm almost the opposite. I agree that G-Force is vastly superior to any fighting force we've seen since, but for me, the MechaGodzilla update is the only thing worth watching in this film. It doesn't seem so much weaker as it has less projectiles and lasers. It's designed for hand to hand combat rather than blasting things from afar. I also like this design way more than the Heisei MechaGodzilla.
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Postby kent » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:23 am

Like with Megaguirus, I had a lot of problems with this film when I first saw it. Like the scene when Godzilla and Mechagodzilla meet for the first time, Godzilla just stood there and took his ass-kicking and left. WTH?

Not to mention I found it really :kitty:

Thankfully, like with Megaguirus, it's grown on me with time as well. Initially, though, I still thought this was better than Megaguirus and I still believe that today.

I felt Tezuka's films got better each time. Granted, I still believe Okawara should have directed a few more Godzilla films, unless he simply didn't want to do any more after G2K.

It's a decent film with a few slow spots. Nothing fascinating. About middle of the road.

2.7/5
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Postby Nexus » Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:51 am

I did not really like this one all to much I thought it was kinda boring. Godzilla I felt was just kinda there the whole moive he had no soul behinde his proformence. I thinks its kinda sad there is some much you could have done with that plot and it jusr feel short for me.
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Postby Legion » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:27 pm

Watching this one all the way through (I didn't make it further than 15 minutes on G2K) and I'm enjoying this far more than I thought I would considering I haven't seen it in a while. In fact, as a whole I'd say the Kiryu saga easily edges out GMK as my favorite part of the Millennium series. I like the Godzilla suit, I think the new Mechagodzilla has a fantastic design and I can't get enough of Oshima's scores. And I still let out a little internal shout of excitement when Kiyru plows into Godzilla right before he's about the blow up the hospital.

I think my favorite part of GxMG is the jet attack leading up the final battle. I love the jet flying directly into Godzilla's ray with a huge explosion, followed shortly after by a shot at ground level as Godzilla's ray picks of jets one by one. The shot directly after that with a flaming jet falling in front of Godzilla as he faces the camera is fantastic.

These aren't perfect films but they're still a hell of a lot of fun.
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