TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

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 MekaGojira3k » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:31 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:meanwhile i find the human element to be far better here than in any of Tezuka's other films and the monster action possibly the worst (though it's more that it's the worst in concept...in execution that "crown" goes to Megaguirus)


I think I'm coming around to this. I think maybe these characters aren't all that well drawn, but it feels like Tezuka dropped any effort to be put into the cast of S.O.S. (which I'm watching tomorrow..so I'll see how that goes) As for the monster action I think it's better than X Megaguirus. Kiryu's stuff is great, but the biggest problem is still the fact Godzilla barely reacts at all. It's not as noticeable at the end when he's actually fighting Kiryu...

Anyway, this film has risen a bit as far as my personal ranking of the series goes. I have no idea why, I just enjoyed it a little bit more. I always recall liking S.O.S. so much more, but that may not be the case anymore.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:32 am

yeah, i get what they were going for (the idea that Godzilla is "unphased") but it's not an idea that WORKS when put into action...
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:57 am

jellydonut25 wrote:yeah, i get what they were going for (the idea that Godzilla is "unphased") but it's not an idea that WORKS when put into action...


Yeah. I'm just glad they realized that in time for Tokyo S.O.S.
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Postby GFan » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:56 am

I watched GXMG earlier this week after not having seen it for (what seemed like) a few years. The suit design doesn't bother me as much (being a little more streamlined than the G2k/GXM suit), but Godzilla is nowhere as animated as he should be. It always makes me miss the rough-and-tumble 70's Godzilla.


Giganfan wrote:Okay, I'm about to sound blasphemous to some of you, but I think Godzilla X Mechagodzilla is one of the best Godzilla movies of any era of the series. Every time I watch this movie, like GMK, I have to go from start-to-finish because I'm intrigued by what I consider to be a fast-paced, well-constructed science fiction yarn, with all the bells and whistles of what a classic Godzilla story should be, which is fast and loose human drama that is strong enough to stand on its own, but does not function in any other way than to service the monster drama.

Consider a few points, if you will:

a) After the dissmal box-office receipts of Godzilla X Megaguirus, Toho atleast acknowledged that in first-time director Masaaki Tezuka, they had a man with a genuine passion and respect for the Godzilla legacy, who was willing to adhere to the basic formula of that legacy with zest and youthful exhuberance, if not with a totally original concept with which to move the series forward. GXM is imperfect, to be sure, but it still shows promise. Still, Toho had to get the series back on track at the box-office. Enter, Shusuke Kaneko (and Hamutaro, but let's not go there lol!), a well-practiced and renowned filmmaker of Japanese fantasy features who had always wanted to make a Godzilla movie. Giant Monsters All-Out Attack is almost universally regarded as technically one of the better Godzilla movies in the series, and there's no doubt that Tezuka was atleast aware of what he had to compete with, in the event that Toho would call upon him in the future. Anyway, GMK was a hit (or what Toho considers to be a hit), but producer Tomiyama feels that Kaneko's take, while still really good, is just a bit too...not what he was looking for. Enter, Masaaki Tezuka.

b) Over the past two decades, Toho has considered it a tradition to release all of their kaiju eiga every December, in an effort to cash in on the holiday movie season (are the holidays the prime releasing season for movies in Japan?). One movie a year, every year, and have it done by December. Now, that's nothing compared to the Toho of the sixties, where Honda, Tsuburaya and co. were bangin' out 3-4 monster movies a year, but I digress. For the most part, the filmmakers tapped to make Toho's Godzilla films are either talented amateurs (Kazuki Omori), old-school professionals with no mind for newer technologies (Koichi Kawakita) or contract company men, who are only counted on to follow the basic formula, make Godzilla and the other monsters the main attraction, a produce popular entertainment (Takao Okawara). Best case scenario, they all "stick to the script", while still remaining in awe of Godzilla and friends. Worse case scenario, they're all hacks. In any event, Toho's "tradition" of time and budgetary constraints doesn't help them any, and while I still enjoy the Heisei series for what they are, I think all of us here are in agreement that they leave much to be desired.

Now, against that kind of back-drop, I say again, "Enter Masaaki Tezuka". If nothing else, you have to give this guy credit for holding the classics in such holy reverence, because it shows in all three of his Godzilla movies. I think he was really motivated to make one hell of a Godzilla movie, and atleast to me, the proof is in the pudding. The opening prologue is absolutely incredible, and one of the finest showcases for Godzilla that I've ever seen. The homages to Showa movies are all handled affectionately, they're well-integrated into the story and the effects sequences, and if you're not a fan of the series, you wouldn't know the difference anyway. You can tell that Tezuka had a hand in framing the script here, because all of the human drama elements are molded in such a way that you care about these characters and their situations, but before they're allowed to bore the hell out of you, we're on to the next scene. Tezuka gets you in, establishes the basis of their plight, and then gets you out with great economy. This if, afterall a monster movie, and everything works in service of that. I love how this story is framed and paced. To use a quote by film critic, Rudy Belhmer "the thing moves like gang-busters".

The special effects and specifically the cinematography in this movie are, I think, the best in any Godzilla movie. I am by no means a fan of this Godzilla suit, but it photographs really well, and the overall execution is almost second-to-one. The scene were Godzilla is perfectly still while Kiryu fires on him is extemely odd, and doesn't work, I admit. I don't know why Eichi Asada thought that was a good idea, but it's so fleeting, I'm willing to over-look it. Godzilla retreating from his first encounter with Kiryu, however was a HUGE gamble on the part of the filmmakers. The only two explanations I can come with are these: Even though Godzilla is still this destructive force of nature, perhaps they were still trying to convey that he is also, afterall, just an animal that doesn't want to fight all the time (it doesn't gell). Secondly, I think Tezuka was just looking for a way out of that part of the sequence, so he could get to the real point of it, which was Kiryu going on a rampage, which I must say I always get great joy out of seeing. this may not be Teruyoshi Nakano's original bad-ass of a Mechagodzilla, but it's still an inspired creation, and seeing any incarnation of a mechanical Godzilla lay waste to some serious real-estate is a treat, and in this instance, it's capped off by a brilliant shot of Kiryu walking through a building before his energy supply is depleted.

I could go on-and-on about Godzilla X Mechagodzilla, about how in Michiro Ooshima, they finally found a composer who gets it, the way Akira Ifukube did, how some of the more stylized cgi work, such as the "tail-spin" during the final battle is in keeping with one of the most basic traditions of the "tokusatsu" method of effects work (make it believable, but also make it fun to look at) and how even though Godzilla pretty much gets his a** handed to him in two of Tezuka's three outings, I respect his courage in doing so. But unfortunately, I have to get to work. So I'll leave you with this: in Godzilla X Mechagodzilla I see a creative burst of energy from one, Masaaki Tezuka that, even if it doesn't advance the series in any new directions, it atleast reinforces the fact that the films it draws its inspiration from where that much more incredible, and subsequently deserving of the tribute they receive here. This is one that I think would make the founding fathers of Godzilla very proud.

Yeah, I like it THAT much.


Well put! I like the human drama in GXMG far more than G2k, GXM or GTSOS (though I loved seeing Hiroshi Koizumi again), simple as it is. If only Tezuka could have done FINAL WARS...
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Postby MouthForWar » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:53 pm

I think a Tezuka GFW would be just as bad/worse than the one we got.

I'm not a fan of the guy at all, honestly.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:04 pm

I think it'd be worse. It'd be a bunch of boring characters instead of the so bad they're great bunch of weirdos we got in the actual film.
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Postby MouthForWar » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:30 pm

MekaGojira3k wrote:I think it'd be worse. It'd be a bunch of boring characters instead of the so bad they're great bunch of weirdos we got in the actual film.


That's more or less what I was getting at. Kitamura is a decent director, even if GFW doesn't show it at all. And as a decent director, he at least has his own quirks and his style and voice. GFW is by far his worst film, but it definitely has some distinctively Kitamura traits.

Tezuka is a voiceless hack/work for hire, just like Okawara and most of the other post-Showa directors.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:26 pm

Haters be damned, I still really like this movie.

And...those gorgeous bowl-shaped eyes!
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Postby klen7 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:26 pm

Its tied for my favorite millennium film
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Postby jellydonut25 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:17 pm

klen7 wrote:Its tied for my favorite millennium film
it's my fav.

i mean GMK is a decent film, but i find it to be a little bit up it's own arse.

i like this movie, it has some new ideas and for the first time gives us a reason for building a MECHAGODZILLA instead of just a tank, or human-shaped robot or something. And the Absolute Zero Cannon is a cool addition to the MG arsenal.
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Postby DannyBeane » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:19 pm

It's been long enough that I might have to rewatch this just to get a fresh take on it.
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Postby eabaker » Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:55 pm

I re-watched it a couple of months ago for the first time since it first hit DVD, and I still just found it flat (dramatically and visually) and boring.
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Re: TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Postby Inui Takumi » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:21 am

So, I'm still rather new to Godzilla films as a whole. I've seen a handful so far and this is the first time I've seen Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla. And I gotta say that I rather enjoyed it. It may not have the deepest plot ever, but it moved along at a good pace. There weren't many lull points in the movie so it was easier to follow from beat to beat. Most of the characters seemed rather likable, especially Tokumitsu. He was a fun character to watch throughout.

I don't have much knowledge as to the many differences between the Godzilla suits over the years as well as how emotive he can be at times, but I didn't have a problem with the suit in this movie. It was definitely aggressive throughout which I guess is different than some of the other versions I've seen. I'm sure my opinion may change as I see more films, but for right now, I liked the design. And as far as MechaGodzilla goes, I really liked his design. I've seen the first movie and I thought it was cool, but this was definitely a step up for me. Have yet to see the '93 film yet though. That will happen.

But, DEM MINIATURES! There were so many cool shots in this movie. I know its a standard in the franchise but it never ceases to amaze me the amount of detail put into these films. The shot of Mecha just waltzing through a tall building had me in awe of the amount of work that went into that take. Shots like this elevated the movie quite a bit. I'm gonna watch it again just to get a better feel of it, but my first impression is that it was a fun ride. Not the greatest Godzilla movie I've seen so far, but definitely a good one.
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Re: TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:28 am

I've not heard many complaints regarding Godzilla's design in this film...more his execution. There's a static quality to the projectile effects. It was meant to make Godzilla seem invulnerable and immovable, but it comes across as poorly staged.
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Re: TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Postby Gman2887 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:02 am

jellydonut25 wrote:I've not heard many complaints regarding Godzilla's design in this film...more his execution. There's a static quality to the projectile effects. It was meant to make Godzilla seem invulnerable and immovable, but it comes across as poorly staged.


The suit was practically blasted apart by the fandom when the first picture was released. It was a "lazy effort" because of the retool of the G2K design and the prominent name for the suit was "Gonzo nose". Today? Doesn't seem like anyone bats an eye at these complaints.

Seems awfully similar to something else going on around these parts today...
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Re: TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Postby kiryugoji04 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:12 am

Gman2887 wrote:
jellydonut25 wrote:I've not heard many complaints regarding Godzilla's design in this film...more his execution. There's a static quality to the projectile effects. It was meant to make Godzilla seem invulnerable and immovable, but it comes across as poorly staged.


The suit was practically blasted apart by the fandom when the first picture was released. It was a "lazy effort" because of the retool of the G2K design and the prominent name for the suit was "Gonzo nose". Today? Doesn't seem like anyone bats an eye at these complaints.

Seems awfully similar to something else going on around these parts today...


It's basically been my favorite suit ever since I first saw it. Note the username. >>
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Re: TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Postby MekaGojira3k » Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:55 pm

I was never a huge fan of the suit, but I didn't really see any problem with it. Although the silver spines seemed boring in comparison to the original purple ones.
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Re: TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Postby Shin_Edda_Robo!!!!! » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:04 am

Inui Takumi wrote:So, I'm still rather new to Godzilla films as a whole. I've seen a handful so far and this is the first time I've seen Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla. And I gotta say that I rather enjoyed it. It may not have the deepest plot ever, but it moved along at a good pace. There weren't many lull points in the movie so it was easier to follow from beat to beat. Most of the characters seemed rather likable, especially Tokumitsu. He was a fun character to watch throughout.

I don't have much knowledge as to the many differences between the Godzilla suits over the years as well as how emotive he can be at times, but I didn't have a problem with the suit in this movie. It was definitely aggressive throughout which I guess is different than some of the other versions I've seen. I'm sure my opinion may change as I see more films, but for right now, I liked the design. And as far as MechaGodzilla goes, I really liked his design. I've seen the first movie and I thought it was cool, but this was definitely a step up for me. Have yet to see the '93 film yet though. That will happen.

But, DEM MINIATURES! There were so many cool shots in this movie. I know its a standard in the franchise but it never ceases to amaze me the amount of detail put into these films. The shot of Mecha just waltzing through a tall building had me in awe of the amount of work that went into that take. Shots like this elevated the movie quite a bit. I'm gonna watch it again just to get a better feel of it, but my first impression is that it was a fun ride. Not the greatest Godzilla movie I've seen so far, but definitely a good one.


Welcome aboard. I think you'll see that the general consensus is that 93 Mechagodzilla is ranked lowest of the three Mechagodzillas and number 1 is between the Showa MG and Kiryu. The rickety old design just has tons of personality. GxMG is a solid entry in the franchise, and the Godzilla suit is pretty solid. It's my favorite design of the Millennium films, and in the top 5 of the overall designs. The miniatures here are really good. I think the overall effects in this movie are an improvement over GMK's. The miniatures look like movie quality models. Stuff you would never see in Toei's TV tokusatsu.
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Re: TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Postby daikaijusaurus » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:07 pm

I just gave this movie another viewing last night. This is indeed one of my favorites of the millennium films. Here are my pros and cons of this movie:

PROS
1. Mechagodzilla's design is a vast improvement over the hesei version. While the showa version will always be my favorite, this was a good balance between showa and hesei.
2. I agree with everyone that the miniatures are among the best, if not THE best of the millennium films. Godzilla's attack on the village in the intro was absolutely beautiful, the miniatures were so stunning! I loved how during the storm you could even see the trees and electric cables moving as a result of the wind. And also when MG walks through the building, you could actually see the office furniture inside of the building! Wow!
3. I really connected well with the main characters, to me they felt very human. Although I did wish Akane and Dr. Yuhara got together at the end of the movie, they would've made a nice couple LOL.

CONS:
1. My only real complaint with the movie itself is that I wish they did more with Kiryu as a character. Since the thing was made from Godzilla's bones I felt they had a lot of potential to do so much more instead of treating it as just another monster for Godzilla to fight. I loved how Kiryu turned on humanity, I just wish they would've explore that more. Tokyo SOS didn't do much with it either.
2. FInally, I wish they could've come up with a better title than Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla. I realize this is the US title, but I wish they could've been a little more creative. Maybe Godzilla Vs. Kiryu? I mean he's referred to more as Kiryu than Mechagodzilla, so it makes more sense to me.
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Re: TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Postby Gman2887 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:01 pm

daikaijusaurus wrote:2. FInally, I wish they could've come up with a better title than Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla. I realize this is the US title, but I wish they could've been a little more creative. Maybe Godzilla Vs. Kiryu? I mean he's referred to more as Kiryu than Mechagodzilla, so it makes more sense to me.


"MechaGodzilla" puts butts in theater seats. "Kiryu", an unrecognized name, does not.
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Re: TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Postby daikaijusaurus » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:57 pm

Gman2887 wrote:"MechaGodzilla" puts butts in theater seats. "Kiryu", an unrecognized name, does not.


How about:

Godzilla and MechaGodzilla: Heavy Metal War :mrgreen:
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Re: TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Postby Silver Kamen » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:47 pm

Gman2887 wrote:"MechaGodzilla" puts butts in theater seats. "Kiryu", an unrecognized name, does not.


Or... DVDs in hands.
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Re: TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Postby klen7 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:34 pm

i am just picturing the fanboy rage... "Those movies suck!! Kiryu is such a rip off of Mechagodzilla" :shock:
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Re: TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Postby Russzilla » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:05 pm

daikaijusaurus wrote:I just gave this movie another viewing last night. This is indeed one of my favorites of the millennium films. Here are my pros and cons of this movie:

CONS:
1. My only real complaint with the movie itself is that I wish they did more with Kiryu as a character. Since the thing was made from Godzilla's bones I felt they had a lot of potential to do so much more instead of treating it as just another monster for Godzilla to fight. I loved how Kiryu turned on humanity, I just wish they would've explore that more. Tokyo SOS didn't do much with it either.


I agree with you a lot on this point. The part where Kiryu turned on them and went on his mini rampage is probably my favorite part of the movie. (one scene even looked like a re-creation of when Showa Mechagodzilla was blasting Tokyo to bits in TOMG) Definitely had potential.
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Re: TALKBACK #26: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Postby Silver Kamen » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:01 am

klen7 wrote:i am just picturing the fanboy rage... "Those movies suck!! Kiryu is such a rip off of Mechagodzilla" :shock:


Oh I'm sure that the Fandom is more mature than that... :oops:
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