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SFA: Commentary - GODZILLA 2000 • Monster Zero x SciFi Japan

SFA: Commentary - GODZILLA 2000

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SFA: Commentary - GODZILLA 2000

Postby Benjamin Haines » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:35 pm




Godzilla 2000 (1999)

Audio Commentary by Mike Schlesinger, US version producer & writer; Mike Mahoney, US version editor; and Darren Paskal, US version supervising sound editor

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Sony DVD - 2000
Sony BRD - 2014


After Sony & TriStar's 1998 Godzilla reboot failed to catch on with audiences, they decided not to proceed with a sequel, so Toho went right to work on their next Godzilla flick. Godzilla 2000 opened in Japan in December 1999 followed by a US theatrical release courtesy of Sony in August 2000.

Sony's edited cut was produced and written by Mike Schlesinger, who spearheads the discussion in this audio commentary. He is accompanied by editor Mike Mahoney, who removed about nine minutes of footage from Toho's cut and rearranged a number of scenes and shots, as well as Darren Paskal, the supervising sound editor who completely overhauled the film's sound effects and created an all-new sound mix.

Schlesinger has the most to say and he talks fast but all three of these guys are clearly enthusiastic about the film and the work they did on it. This is a very unique commentary, because how often do you get to hear the team that edited a Godzilla film for its US release offer their perspectives on the process as the film is playing? They had less than two months to produce the US version from when Sony acquired the film to when it was playing in North American theaters. One interesting tidbit is that Schlesinger didn't write the English-dubbed dialogue by translating it from the original Japanese but by writing a new script in place of the international English-dubbed version, that elusive Hong Kong dub that has never been released because of how much Toho liked Sony's version. That's why Schlesinger refers to the recording process for Godzilla 2000 as looping rather than dubbing, because it involved no translation from a different language.

After I rewatched Godzilla 2000 with this commentary, I found it cool to reread Steve Ryfle's 2014 article on SciFi Japan, "" in which Mike Schlesinger describes his unmade pitch to Columbia to exercise the sequel option that Sony paid for with GINO'98 by instead producing a much cheaper sequel to Godzilla 2000 to be directed by Joe Dante. Schlesinger wrote a complete script titled Godzilla Reborn, envisioning the movie as taking place in Hawaii, starring a mixture of American and Asian actors and featuring traditional suitmation & miniature effects by Toho. The article is a fascinating read and although that sequel to Godzilla 2000 never came to be, the article kind of reads like a follow-up to Schlesinger's audio commentary.
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Re: SFA: Commentary - GODZILLA 2000

Postby lhb412 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:14 pm

I'll always be grateful for this commentary track. It gives a great insight into not just the making of this version but the entire process of adapting a piece of media made in one culture for release in another culture. A lot of times that's done clumsily or without care, but in this case I think it was done so well that this American version is a bit superior to the Japanese - and in the commentary track they run you through every individual change and the thought behind it!

I wish this team could have done similar work to other Godzilla films of the 90s and 00s. Many of them could stand to lose about 10 minutes and have beefed-up sound effects.
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Re: SFA: Commentary - GODZILLA 2000

Postby O.Supreme » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:40 am

Shake a movie and 10 minutes fall out. As much as I love some of the Heisei films. I agree with that sentiment 100%. Of course Final Wars could have been trimmed by 30-40 mins of pointless human dialogue and it would have been vastly improved.
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Re: SFA: Commentary - GODZILLA 2000

Postby XvGojira » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:51 pm

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Re: SFA: Commentary - GODZILLA 2000

Postby Benjamin Haines » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:11 pm

I don't know, when the SciFi Channel debuted Godzilla vs Megaguirus in August 2003, they cut out about 15 minutes of footage and it didn't make the movie any better. They also aired GMK right afterward and they just butchered it.

GxMG and GMMG are already only 90 minutes long. I think the only way to improve those films would have been to write better characters altogether. GFW is just a two-hour bonanza and I wouldn't want to lose any of its madness. I've seen a 90-minute fan edit and I did not enjoy it more. The later Heisei Series entries? Yeah, they could have benefited from cutting out more.

Godzilla 2000 was already a good movie with interesting characters and a fun story. The tighter editing and the more dynamic sound mix just enhanced it and made it better. I do wish that Sony had made another audio mix for their cut with the original Japanese dialogue. I like the English dub and I think it's much better than most other Godzilla dubs but I wish I could also watch Sony's improved cut of the film with the actors' actual voices.
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Re: SFA: Commentary - GODZILLA 2000

Postby H-Man » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:42 pm

変の声謎だよ。
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