Okay, I'm going to start over with this, because I watched Tokyo SOS last night, and I've done a complete "about-face" on it. My attitude towards this movie over the years has been akin to that of a jilted Star Wars fan, which really isn't fair. I expected it to be such a great movie and all, and in that regard it fell short in my eyes. I think we can all agree that Masaaki Tezuka is not much of a director, but I still contend that his child-like enthusiasm for kaiju-eiga is the main selling point in his three Godzilla movies. I get the feeling that he's the type who has watched all of Toho's classic fantasy film multiple times, and that passion bleeds through. Tokyo SOS suffers from sloppy editing and a general lack of development of any of its characters and story elements. The one thing I absolutely despise about this movie is the "Sayonara Yoshito" part. Yeah sure, Kiryu is an artificial intelligence being that can develop a sense of emotion for humans, and blah, blah blah. Don't care. That part sucks. At the end of the day however, I watched it from start-to-finish without stopping, and had no real problem. With me, "suspension of disbelief" isn't just about old-school special effects, or the credibility of a story. It's about what faults of a movie you're willing to overlook in order to focus on the parts that appeal to you. In the case of Tokyo SOS, Mothra is absolutely incredible, the effects work is generally very good, it's good to see Hiroshi Koizumi and Michiro Ooshima's score is extremely well-done. She gets it like no other Godzilla composer since Ifukube and Sato. Also, I think Tokyo SOS is ultimately going to hold a special place in my heart, because it will undoubtedly be the last Godzilla movie to maintain the look, feel and smell of a traditional Godzilla, "tokusatsu" movie. I truly feel that for the forseeable future, whoever is making Godzilla movies will be trying to make them more socially acceptable to today's grossly over-cynical and tasteless society. Roger Ebert said it best when he implied that 'you can't make "The Adventures of Robin Hood" today without adding some Fruedian psychology or "deep" sub-text"'. I think people today are so insecure in their own skin, they cannot allow themselves to accept anything different, and simply be entertained by something to culturally different from the norm. If nothing else, I consider Masaaki Tezuka to be the best "keeper of the blue-atomic flame" of the latter generation of Godzilla filmmakers.
Anyway, now that I've gotten off my soap-box, here's my revised ranking of the "Millennium" Godzilla series...
1. Godzilla Mothra King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
2. Godzilla X Mechagodzilla
3. Godzilla X Mothra X Mechagodzilla: Tokyo SOS
4. Godzilla 2000 Millennium
5. Godzilla X Megaguirus: G-Eradication Operation
6. Godzilla Final Wars
"EVERYONE FORGET YOUR TROUBLES! ENJOY YOURSELVES!THERE'S NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!" - Gigantis The Fire Monster
"It was HUGE...It was...IT WAS LIKE A MONSTER!!! Suddenly the rocks rose...ALIVE!" - Godzilla 1985