Blu-ray Reviews “The Toho Godzilla Collection”

godzilla1Rated: PG / PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: May 6, 2014
Run Time: Approx 215 minutes per combo pack

“Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla vs. Mothra”: 4 out of 5 stars
“Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II / Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla”: 4 out of 5 stars
“Godzilla vs. Destoroyah / Godzilla vs. Megaguirus”: 3.5 out of stars
“Godzilla: Tokyo SOS / Godzilla: Final Wars: 5 out of 5 stars

With the release of Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures reboot of “Godzilla” on the horizon for a May 16th theatrical release, this brand has never been hotter right now. Luckily Sony (and other studios as well) are taking advantage of this and release a 8 of the 28 Japanese made Godzilla films in the series on Blu-ray for the first time ever. If you are a Godzilla film and are going crazy trying to get as much merch as you can, then these are no brainer purchases, especially for the low price of under $15 for each double-feature Blu-ray release. The upcoming releases will be part of The Toho Godzilla Collection. Included films are “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla vs. Mothra” in the first double feature set, “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II / Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla” in the second, “Godzilla vs. Destoroyah / Godzilla vs. Megaguirus” in the third and “Godzilla: Tokyo SOS / Godzilla: Final Wars” in last. These Godzilla films range from 1991-2004 and let’s hope that Sony has more of these double-features planned this year!

One thing that I have always loved about these films besides Godzilla himself are the monsters that he is fighting. These Blu-ray’s show each of additional monsters included in each film and I think that is mega cool. For “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah”, the creatures we get are listed right in the title. “Godzilla vs. Mothra” includes those two and also Battra.  “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II” kicks it up a notch with four additional characters along with the title ones including Baby Godzilla, Rodan, Fire Rodan and Super Mechagodzilla. With “Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla”, we get the two listed and alos Fairy Mothra, Little Godzilla and Moguera. “Godzilla vs. Destoroyah” also gives us Godzilla Junior. Along with “Godzilla vs. Megaguirus”, we also meet Meganulon. “Godzilla: Tokyo SOS” meets the King of Monsters up against Megagodzilla, Mothra and Kamoebas. “Godzilla: Final Wars” is the the last and ultimate monster feature. Including Godzilla, there are a total of 15 monster like Gigan, King Caesar, Anguirus, Kumonga, Kamacuras, Ebriah, Manda, Hedorah, Rodan, Minilla, Mothra, Monster X I & II and Zilla. Whew!

These films on each of these four releases have all been remastered in high definition. Having seen some of these earlier film as a kid like “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah” and “Godzilla vs. Mothra” on either Saturday afternoon TV or VHS, let’s just say these films looks spectacular. Each of the 1080p transfers on these films look simply fantastic. I was very impressed with each transfer. Sticking with those two films, they are presented in their original aspect ratio: 1.85:1. Both come with Japanese and English audio boasting a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 on each. Now if you are a fan of Godzilla films then you know that the English dubs are easily just as much fun as the Japanese original tracks. They are almost laughable but add a lot to the film, so I  actually watched each of these two one with each track and it really felt like two different experiences.

godzilla3

“Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)” Official Premise: When a mysterious U.F.O. is seen flying over Tokyo, tension mounts, until the craft’s occupants reveal themselves to be friendly aliens from the 23rd century who have come to warn mankind that Godzilla will soon awaken and wreak havoc upon the earth unless he is destroyed. Meanwhile, a double threat arrives in the form of King Ghidorah, Godzilla’s flying three-headed archrival and an evil and all-powerful android. The suspense builds to terrifying levels as the alien’s sinister mission on Earth is gradually revealed and Godzilla must wage a solo battle against these evil forces who want to destroy mankind.

“Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992)” Official Premise: After a series of earthquakes unearth a gigantic orb, a trio of Japanese explorers are dispatched to the mysterious Infant Island to investigate. There they discover the island’s sole inhabitants, miniature twin women whose duty is to protect the mammoth ball, the egg of Mothra! When the explorers attempt to bring the egg back to the mainland, a furious Godzilla awakens from the depths and attacks the party, causing the egg to hatch and forcing its newborn larvae to fend off the gigantic monster. The humongous worm holds its own until help arrives in the form of Battra. When Mothra and Battra metamorphose into flying monster moths, the battle rages on land and in the sky. With two powerful foes to reckon with, has Godzilla finally met his match?

Next up is “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II / Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla” deliver slightly different specs with their release. “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II” comes in it’s original aspect ratio: 1.85:1 but with this release the Japanese track gets a boost with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and the English track gets a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. Both represent the film well but I would have to do with the Japanese track here for sure. With “Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla”, we get the same original aspect ratio: 1.85:1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks on both the Japanese and English tracks.

“Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)” Official Premise: Built with the utmost in 20th-century technology, Mechagodzilla is the ultimate in Godzilla-busting weaponry. Fueled by a nuclear reactor and sheathed in a synthetic diamond shield, the mammoth metal robot is Japan’s greatest hope for ending Godzilla’s reign of terror. Meanwhile, on a remote island polluted by nuclear waste, a team of scientists discover a giant egg in a Pteranodon nest, and bring it home for study. When BabyGodzilla hatches, both Rodan and Godzilla return to claim the cuddly infant as their own. Will their monstrous maternal instincts cause a custody battle capable of destroying Mother Earth? Or will Mechagodzilla prove an effective eradicator, leaving BabyGodzilla an orphan for life?

“Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)” Official Premise: The powers of telepathy enter the ranks of high technology in this supernatural, super-powered Godzilla adventure! The military minds behind Japan’s special Counter G Bureau enter the New Age with Project T, in which a telepathic amplifier is implanted in Godzilla’s brain in order to bring the giant monster under godzilla2control. And just in time! In a faraway galaxy, the mutant SpaceGodzilla turns its evil eyes toward earth, planning to terminate Godzilla and conquer the planet for its own. With the Japanese Mafia infiltrating Counter G, the Bureau needs all the help it can get. Will Japan’s greatest enemy Godzilla become its closest ally?

Switching it up again, in terms of specs, “Godzilla vs. Destoroyah / Godzilla vs. Megaguirus” delivers another impressive A/V experience. “Godzilla vs. Destoroyah” comes in original aspect ratio: 1.85:1 like the four films. We also take a slight step back though with both the Japanese and English audio coming loaded with an DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 surround tracks. “Godzilla vs. Megaguirus” expands a little with the original aspect ratio coming with 2.35:1. This film also comes with both the Japanese and English audio roaring with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track.

“Godzilla vs. Destroyah (1995)” Official Premise: With a super-charged blast from his nuclear past, a new Godzilla emerges from his own ashes, radioactive and ready to take on Tokyo! The great monster’s nuclear energy is increasing by the minute, and a monster meltdown threatens to vaporize the planet. But when mutant micro-organisms unleash a plague of destruction, Godzilla is Japan’s only hope to destroy them. This victory creates Godzilla’s deadliest challenge yet: Destoroyah. And with Godzilla Junior pulled into the ring, only the Super XIII can put the deep freeze on this three-way monster melee.

“Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)” Official Premise: Five years after Godzilla terrorized the city of Osaka, Japanese scientists have developed a sure-fire way to finally destroy Japan’s monster nemesis. They have created the world’s first man-made black hole, which will trap Godzilla for eternity! But during a testing of this new Dimension Tide, an insect caught in the hole mutates, producing gargantuan eggs that give birth to a new menace: giant dragonfly monsters called Meganula. Meganula queen, the 50-meter Megaguirus, is also on a hunt for Godzilla, needing to steal his energy to survive. From the sky down to the depths of a city’s underground sewer tunnels, Megaguirus, Godzilla, and humankind battle for supremacy.

“Godzilla: Tokyo SOS / Godzilla: Final Wars” are the last of the set and in fact the last two Japanese produced Godzilla films to date. “Final Wars” came in 2004, so it has been 10 years since we have had a new “guy in a a suit” Godzilla feature film. “Godzilla: Tokyo SOS” comes in its original aspect ratio: 2.40:1, while “Godzilla: Final Wars” comes with its original aspect ratio: 1.85:1. Both of them come stocked with very impressive and wall shaking Japanese and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround tracks. “Final Wars” is quite the epic film and it was a blast to watch this crazy flick on Blu-ray.

“Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)” Official Premise: Mechagodzilla, the superior-armed, state-godzilla4of-the-art, all-robot version of Godzilla, is undergoing repairs after his devastating battle against the world’s monsters. Twin tiny women appear and warn scientists to stop rebuilding Mechagodzilla but their warning goes unheeded. As the great robot nears completion, a series of mysterious incidents rock the world and awaken Godzilla, who unleashes a reign of terror against Tokyo. Mothra joins him and Japan’s desperate Prime Minister has no choice but to launch the unfinished Mechagodzilla against Mothra and Godzilla. But who will fight for whom? And in the end – will the survivor be monster, robot or man?

“Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)” Official Premise: Godzilla’s 50th Anniversary project and costliest adventure to date out of 28 films. Earth has been relatively peaceful since Godzilla was successfully buried deep in ice beneath the South Pole. Then — sometime a few years hence – several of his old nemeses return to wreak havoc on cities worldwide. A huge spaceship suddenly appears and neutralizes all the monsters in a blink. The visitors are “Xiliens,” who take human form and announce they would like to negotiate a peace treaty that would replace the United Nations with a “United Universe.” They are indeed too good to be true, however. It doesn’t take long before their nefarious real purpose is exposed – conquering Earth. Greatly outmatched, Earth officials decide to de-freeze Godzilla as man’s only hope to vanish the invaders.

Going through the special features on these releases are going to be very easy…that is because there is really nothing much included here. On “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla vs. Mothra”, “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II / Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla” and “Godzilla vs. Destoroyah / Godzilla vs. Megaguirus”, the only extras included are Original Trailers for each film. On “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.”, there is an extra featurette called “The Making of Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.” and then the Original Trailer. Same goes for “Godzilla: Final Wars”, there is a featurette “Godzilla: B-Roll to Film” and then the Original Trailer. I would have loved to see more in terms of extras but wasn’t expected too much especially since these are double features. I hope that Sony is planning future double features there are still plenty more Godzilla films left to release on Blu-ray.

Share this article