^ Hey, if a smaller company wants to put it out it's fine by me. Tsuburaya's already commissioned a quality subtitle track and a (pretty good!) dub, so the big things that a distributor could screw up are already taken care of!
I've compared Shin Ultraman to the Wachowskis' Speed Racer in that it takes an entire series from the '60s, boils it down to a concentrate and does essentially the entire series worth of stuff in one 2-hour movie. And both benefit from a rewatch, as on first viewing they seem like multiple episodes edited together, but on closer inspection the way everything links together is clearer. On second watch I marveled at how many beats from those 39 original episodes were included, sometimes in pretty different contexts. In addition, elements of Ultra Q and Ultraseven seep in at the edges, in addition there's the paratext of things fans have talked about for the last 55 years included in the dialog (is Ultraman naked?).
For a jam-packed, breakneck paced film with 5 separate monster battle scenes in it I really admire the economy of the thing. How many shots do we need to establish a plot point? Do we need to actually see this special effect, or can we imply it? How can we frame a shot in a spare space and make it intersting? Within the framework of a film with roughly the same budget as several Toho Godzilla films made in the '90s and '00s that look so flat, that are shot in such a lifeless way, well, it's very impressive. Showing a few shots if people going about their lives getting a haircut or whatever when they've decided not to tell the public that the world is about to end and they can't do anything about it is such a simple, powerful thing to show and having many millions of more dollars to show the scope of that idea would not have helped it's telling at all. Epic, bold, weird, but also incredibly economical. You could've easily made this three hours and I don't think it would've made it better.
Effects were consistent, often inspired, and occasionally a tad awkward. The more organic monsters suffer a bit more, but the alien-ness of the aliens turns their digital nature into an aesthetic. I would have loved more tactile, practical effects. That being said, my favorite effect is the subtle stuff: the birds flying and debris blowing around between Ultraman and the camera. I'd love to see those types of things coupled with practical suitmation on a large scale one of these days. So, mixed but mostly positive on the effects, but the overall design and esthetics? Fantastic.
Also, the theater was half full both times, but because this was for the dub a lot of people brought their kids! Both times folks seemed really jazzed about it, discussing it after and whatnot.
Dub was pretty good, I quite liked the Captain and Zarab's voices. Weird decision to make the Ultra's native accent British. When Ultraman is talking to Zoffy in human form he's retained the American accent of the rest of the film, but when he's Ultraman he and Zoffy are two jolly Brits. I understand it's to get across the difference in formalism between the human and Ultra dialog in Japanese, but I think it's a bit too bold of a choice to spring on an audience. Still, it shows that the translators were thinking deeply about getting across the meaning of the original dialogue and honestly I applaud when translators take bold swings in order to capture the spirit of something that just doesn't translate in the simplified world of just subtitles.