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Takao Okawara's Godzilla films • Monster Zero x SciFi Japan

Takao Okawara's Godzilla films

Discuss items of general interests about all the Godzilla films--actors, favorite G suits. etc.

Moderator: Controllers

Pick 2!

Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)
1
3%
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1993)
7
18%
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)
15
39%
Godzilla 2000 (1999)
15
39%
 
Total votes : 38

Takao Okawara's Godzilla films

Postby tbeasley » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:09 pm

Takao Okawara directed 3 out of the 7 Heisei Godzilla films, killing off the Monster King in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995) only to resurrect him with a new, jagged look for Godzilla 2000 (1999). He's the only series director so far involved in more than one era of the franchise's history.
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Re: Takao Okawara's Godzilla films

Postby lhb412 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:45 pm

Not one of my favorite directors for the franchise, but I like Mechagodzilla II and G2K well enough. I'll give the edge to G2K because I like the cast of characters and really dig the opening sequence showing our heroes as 'Godzilla chasers' in the vein of 'storm chasers' (I wonder if Twister was an influence?). The US version really improves the movie by trimming the fat off the runtime and beefing up the music and sound effects.
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Re: Takao Okawara's Godzilla films

Postby Benjamin Haines » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:58 pm

Godzilla 2000 is one of my favorite Godzilla movies in either version and it's definitely my favorite of the Millennium Series. I love Godzilla vs. Destroyer and I've come to enjoy Godzilla vs. Mothra a lot more over the years, both in spite of their obvious flaws, but Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1993) is one of my least favorites in the entire series.

David Milner's interviews with Takao Okawara (translated by Yoshihiko Shibata) are worth reading: - -
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Re: Takao Okawara's Godzilla films

Postby O.Supreme » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:32 am

Wow, these films are all so different, I had no idea they had the same director. In the recently watched movies thread, I just talked about watching G2000 with a friend who had never seen it. Unfortunately IMHO it has not aged well, it is pretty boring for the most part, and has cringe worthy CG. I'd take MG and Destoroyah as my two favorites from this list.
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Re: Takao Okawara's Godzilla films

Postby jellydonut25 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:05 am

G2K is awesome sauce.

The rest of those can go away from me.
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Re: Takao Okawara's Godzilla films

Postby MekaGojira3k » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:47 pm

Okawara's stuff is either incredibly underwhelming (vs. MG93/vs. D) or it's terrible (GvsM/Yamato Takeru)
I do like G2k and it showed he could helm a decent film with the right set of accompanying elements.
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Re: Takao Okawara's Godzilla films

Postby TerranigmaFreak » Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:55 am

Wait, we like G2K now?

I thought I was the only one who liked it. It was very flawed, but interesting movie. Also seems to have some of the worst special effects in the franchise history. Some of those shots were horrible. I enjoyed G2K for what it was.
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Re: Takao Okawara's Godzilla films

Postby jellydonut25 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:26 pm

I don't know if "special effects" is the right way to say it...the CGI is BAD, but it's also early-era, low-budget, early-JAPAN-era CGI, so it's kinda forgivable. The only really bad stuff that hurts the movie for me is the poor compositing like when Godzilla makes landfall. The practical effects work is all good though, imho.
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Re: Takao Okawara's Godzilla films

Postby Benjamin Haines » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:49 pm

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Re: Takao Okawara's Godzilla films

Postby lhb412 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:14 pm

This retrospective of Okawara on Toho Kingdom's blog is a great read:

https://www.tohokingdom.com/articles/20 ... ctive.html

This manages to sum up a lot of things about these movies that's always been hard for me personally because at their worst these movies are just dull. The article goes a in-depth and also covers some of his non-kaiju work. I don't agree with all of the writer's opinions, but I do on a lot of them.
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Re: Takao Okawara's Godzilla films

Postby lhb412 » Sun May 06, 2018 6:42 pm

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Re: Takao Okawara's Godzilla films

Postby Giganfan » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:57 am

"The Godzilla Hack", as I like to call him, Takao Okawara was never much of a director, but he was a seasoned-enough professional of the business that he at least knew how to make a Godzilla movie, or two, provided of course that it's other key-contributing factors (effects, score, cast, etc.) were up-to-snuff. He directed four, which is more than Tezuka, and less than Honda or Fukuda, and at least two of the them, I think, are good. Godzilla vs. Mechagodilla had the most straight-forward, "not-much-meat-on-the-bones" screenplay that understands the monsters are the main attractions, and with Kawakita's exceptional effects-work, and Ifukube's masterful score, I consider it to be the "Destroy All Monsters" of the Heisei series. Godzilla vs. Mothra, I believe, is somewhat underrated, though I understand why that is. The human drama here is dull-as-ditch-water, and some of Kawakita's effects show a lack of enthusiasm. With Godzilla 2000, I think they were really trying to bring the Big G back in-style, but though it does have it's strong points, as I watch it today, I find it to be underwhelming, from Hattori's awful score, to the uneven effects work and, well, Okawara's (by the time) passe', formulaic approach. And Godzilla vs. Destroyah? Well, Toho certainly got as much mileage out of the "Godzilla Dies!" promotion tactic as they could, but once all of the exposition has been introduced, it is promptly discarded, "The Destroyer" (which, by the way, is a lazy-a-name for a Toho kaiju as "Monster-X"; the same goes for "De-su-to-ro-yah", which is nothing more than the Japanese pronunciation of "The Destroyer") falls out of the sky, and disappears "POOF!" into a puff of smoke, and cue the "Requiem". I mean, the film was a hit at the Japanese box-office, but watching it now, 13 years later, is extremely laborious for me.

So no, Takao Okawara may not deserve the same kudos as Ishiro Honda or Jun Fukuda, nor does he possess the same kind of enthusiasm for the Godzilla legacy as Masaaki Tezuka, but he still managed to deliver "on-time, and under-budget", while never forgetting that the only reason people came to see Godzilla movies, was that the "monster-drama" was all they really cared about.

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