Film Review: “Godzilla vs Kong”

  •  Starring:  Godzilla, King Kong, Alexander Skarsgard
  • Directed by:  Adam Wingard
  • Rated:  PG 13
  • Running time:  1 hr 53 mins
  • Warner Bros.

It’s March.  Do you have your brackets ready?  Who are you picking?  Rodan?  Mothra?  Typhon?  How about King Ghidorah?  With a name like that, how can he lose?  Quite easily it turns out.

Off the coast of Florida an unusual creature emerges from the ocean.  It’s our old pal Godzilla and he’s pretty pissed.  As CNN reports the news, they question what turned this once “friendly” monster into a…well…MONSTER?

Meanwhile, on Skull Island, King Kong is just minding his own business when he suddenly finds himself captured and flat on his back on a barge on the ocean.  Destination?  I’m not telling.

Short on story but HUGE on special effects, “Godzilla vs Kong” is a perfect example of the mindless entertainment we need right now.  Sure, Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler – who must really enjoying working with Mr. Kong since he also starred in Peter Jackson’s epic 2005 King Kong” – emote in all the right ways but come on, you came for the Titans!!

As the two title characters make their way towards the inevitable battle, they have some fun along the way, destroying cities and battling other badies.  Millions (conservative estimate) of innocent people are killed as entire city blocks full of apartment buildings are knocked over like dominoes.  But you don’t care about them – you cheer every punch and laser=breath blast, clearly taking sides in the Fight of the Century!

The film is well paced and the visual effects are amazing.  I just watched the original 1933 “King Kong” the other night and the effects here make the early stop-motion effects used in that film look like…well…early stop- motion effects.  The effects come courtesy of Peter Jackson’s WETA shop and are so clean you can count every hair on Kong’s back as the wind blows through it and every scale on Godzilla’s rather large body.

Sure, you could stay home this weekend and watch the basketball Final Four, or you can treat yourself to the Ultimate March Madness and see “Godzilla vs Kong!” 

Film Review: “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”

Starring: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga and Millie Bobby Brown
Directed by: Michael Dougherty
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 131 minutes
Warner Bros. Pictures

On a scale of Roland Emmerich’s “Godzilla” to the classic 1956 “Godzilla,” where does “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” stand? It’s difficult to say because I haven’t seen all of the kaiju films, so I can’t properly gauge where this one lies. Even if I had watched half of the movies in the Godzilla franchise, I think it’d be inappropriate to rank this one on a fan scale because at the end of the day, I just like watching monsters punch each other. However, I do know this; it’s a definite step down from the 2014 film that rejuvenated the franchise for Americans.

Just like in real-life, “King of the Monsters” begins five years after the events of the first film. The Monarch group, which tracks Godzilla and other titans, continues to track and monitor all the skyscraper sized creatures around our world. The U.S. government, in a throwaway plotline, wants to eradicate the kaiju so that humans can comfortably go about their day without the fear of another city destroying battle. The true human aspect of this story involves divorced couple, Dr. Mark Russell (Chandler) and Dr. Emma Russell (Farmiga), and their teenage daughter, Madison (Brown). The key to the fractured marriage and parental distrust lies within a family death and a device called Orca, which can potentially control the titans.

While only about 10 minutes longer than its predecessor, “King of Monsters” feels longer. That’s because the film jams in so much plot and monsters into the beginning, that when it’s finally time to have those ideas pay off, it jumbles the one-two punch. It also suffers from over explaining what we already know, while barely explaining things that we don’t. It’s actually a bit of an understatement to say there’s a lot going on. The caveat is that none of it is interesting for several reasons that are spoilers that I don’t want to spoil, but also because the film has all these subsidiary characters that it just expects us to remember or already be familiar with. The assumption that we already know everyone’s history is a mistake on the movie’s end, especially since it’s been half a decade since we were acquainted with any of these people, while introducing a dozen new characters. It sometimes even expects us to know the nuances of the monsters.

“King of Monsters” starts off strong, but peters out before the finale. The beginning provides us with a basis for conflict amongst the human players, but instead of delivering on all these interesting promises, it instead treats audience members like unintelligent toddlers. That’s because it throws out all this nonsensical “we’ll explain later” exposition while also bashing viewers across the face with monologues on how destructive humanity is. We get it, we’re terrible people and we’re destroying the planet.

Hopefully 2020’s “Godzilla vs. Kong” is more fun because honestly, no one showed up for a “Godzilla” movie for such an elementary and overbearing eco-message. We showed up to watch monsters beat up other monsters and destroy cities, and at least the film delivers on that end. So is this a good movie? No. Is it a passable, yet forgettable monster battle royale? Yes. The film tries to be too serious when it shouldn’t, and doesn’t lean into the schlock when it should. It’s popcorn fun that’ll leave you with a tummy ache.

Al Sapienza talks about roles in “Taken 3” and “Godzilla”

You may not know Al Sapienza by name but you surely know his face. Probably best known as Mikey Palmice on “The Sopranos,” Sapienza has appeared in over 200 films and television programs. On the big screen he’s been seen in films like “Pretty Woman,” “Free Willy 2” and “Lethal Weapon 4” while on television he’s co-starred on such programs as “Law and Order,” “NYPD Blue” and “Blue Bloods.” He has also appeared in both the 1998 and 2014 versions of “Godzilla” This week Mr. Sapienza can be seen alongside Liam Neeson in “Taken 3.” To help promote this appearance Mr. Sapienza took time out to talk to me about what he does and why he does it.

Al Sapienza: Where are you calling from?
Mike Smith: Kansas City.
AS: Kansas City? I love Kansas City. I played the Uptown Theater there. I had some great times in Kansas City.

MS: You wouldn’t want to be here today…it’s three below zero! So what attracted you to do “Taken 3?”
AS: I’m one of those actors who loves to work. I love to work. And I don’t look at work as “work.” I honestly don’t. When I’m working I’m not working. I’m working when I’m not working! It’s fun being creative…being around creative people. Even though I’ve been an actor for 30 years I’m also a fan. I love it. I love movies…I love TV…I love the theater. Before I went on the audition I watched the original “Taken.” To be honest I hadn’t seen it but since I had the audition for “Taken 3” I watched it and I really liked it. Then I watched “Taken 2.” I’m a tremendous fan of Liam Neeson. I think he’s incredible in everything he does. He throws himself into every part he does. And now I finally have the chance to work with him. And it turns out that he’s just a real regular and good guy. Plus it’s a big movie…it’s a big franchise with a big following.

MS: You’ve appeared in other sequels. Is it difficult going into a project like that…one that might have an already established cast and crew?
AS: It’s funny. It’s all the same. If you’re acting correctly…if your just totally in the moment…if you’ve created this fake reality in your imagination and in your mind and just be real yourself…on the acting standpoint it doesn’t matter if it’s a sequel or a one shot deal. You shoot to do a great job all the time. And to me, that’s what is cool about acting!

MS: You’ve done a lot of both film and television. Do you have a preference?
AS: Good question. The only difference to me is that it’s a longer process on a film. You have more time to be creative…they have more time to shoot. Sometimes for a movie that’s an hour and a half you shoot for seven weeks where on a television show that’s an hour long you shoot for eight days. TV really gets your adrenaline going…it really makes you feel good about yourself. When you get to the set and six in the morning you better know your lines…and everybody else’s lines. TV is really more demanding, because you have to be ready to just knock it out where on a film you have more time. What I’m really excited about is cable television. I think that the movies are moving towards being corporate franchises…Batman, Spider-man, Transformers. They keep trying to do this multi-million dollar franchises with all of the marketing and promotions. I think cable television is going to continue to be cutting edge.

MS: Speaking of multi-million dollar movies, you have the rare distinction of having appeared in both 1998’s “Godzilla” as well as this past year’s version. Do you have a favorite?
AS: That’s a tough one. The director of this past “Godzilla” (Gareth Edwards) had done a great film called “Monsters.” He did it on an incredibly small budget, doing all of the special effects himself on his laptop. I really enjoyed working with him, he was such a special guy. I also enjoyed the earlier one, working with Roland Emerich and Dean Devlin. But I think I enjoy Gareth’s film better because I think he tried to be more like the old, classic films…more about science and science fiction.

MS: Normally I’d ask what your next project would be, but if the Internet Movie Data Base is to be believed you have no less than 22 projects between now and next year. So I guess I’ll ask what you do in your spare time?
AS: (laughs) Spare time? I’m an actor, I don’t need spare time. I like to play football on Saturday mornings. There is a long running game played in New York that has been going on since 1964. They play every week, be it snow or rain. As for what is next, I’m very excited about a mini-series running now called “Ascension,” which will be shown on the SyFy Channel. It’s a very, very interesting show with a very, very interesting concept. That’s what I’m really excited about at the moment.

Blu-ray Review “Godzilla (2014)”

Actors: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins
Directors: Gareth Edwards
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Running Time: 123 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Godzilla” was easily one of my most anticipated films of the entire year of 2014. After seeing the film, I was literally blown away. Director Gareth Edwards finally delivered a US reboot that is required to give respect to the Godzilla series. After watching the film again, I have to admit, I was slightly less impressed…only slightly though. Maybe it was the lack of 3D, since we were only given a 2D Blu-ray to review. I felt that the human cast in the film was bothering me a bit more this time but when you see that first glimpse of Godzilla through the smoke you can’t help but get goosebumps! I can’t wait for Edwards to get behind the camera again for “Godzilla 2”, even though we have to wait till 2018, it is going to be epic!

The story starts off in 1999 in the Philippines, where two scientists (Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins) find an uncovered tomb containing a fossil of a very large creature with two preserved pods…though one was broken opened and whatever was there was now missing. We then head to Japan where we meet Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston), a nuclear physicist/engineer and his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche), a nuclear regulations consultant at the Janjira nuclear plant. As they are investigating an emergency at the plant, whatever was awoken from its sleep in the Philippines made its way to their plant to feed off the nuclear energy leading to the destruction of the plant. Though no proof was every gathered of the creature, the city was quickly evacuated and we flash forward 15 years to the present where Joe is still on the hunt for answers and calls to his son for help, Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who is fresh out of the military. He also happens to be a explosive ordnance disposal technician (as you can imagine that becomes important later). As we find that the M.U.T.O. creature is looking for its spouse to reproduce, enter Godzilla who (like always never explained why) comes in to save us against these giant monsters. An all out battle is waged that spans from Japan to Hawaii to Las Vegas and California.

“Godzilla” heads to our homes with a combo pack including a Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Digital HD copy. Even though, I definitely do prefer the film in 3D, Warner Bros still delivered us a wonderful 1080p that looks stunning. This film is a visual masterpiece. The design for Godzilla is just perfect. I would love to know what the original creator of the 1954 “Godzilla” thinks about this film. This character has been through it all and he has never looked better than in this film. If the video isn’t enough the Blu-ray includes an outstanding DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track. This track is unbelievable and really is perfect for this film. From ever battle scene to epic Godzilla roar, my walls were shaking and I loved ever minute. Blu-ray score would be 5/5 stars if this was the 3D Blu-ray release.

I would love to say that the special features are out of this world but I am not 100% sold here. I would have loved to see a commentary track included especially from Gareth Edwards since he was the mastermind behind this. What we get are basically two extras. The first is “MONARCH: Declassified” dives into new evidence not contained in the film that unravels the massive cover-up to keep Godzilla’s existence a secret. There are three featurettes under this including “Operation: Lucky Dragon”, “MONARCH: The M.U.T.O. File” and”The Godzilla Revelation”. These are a nice companion to the film. “The Legendary Godzilla” takes us behind-the-scenes with filmmakers and cast with the following featurettes “Godzilla: Force of Nature”, “A Whole New Level Of Destruction”, “Into The Void: The H.A.L.O. Jump” and “Ancient Enemy: The M.U.T.O.s”. Not saying that these aren’t great. There is a ton of great content, I was just hoping for a little more.

Own “GODZILLA” on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, 2-Disc DVD Special Edition and Digital HD on 9/16

In this gritty, realistic sci-fi action epic, the Godzilla franchise returns to its roots as one of the world’s most recognized monsters. Directed by Gareth Edwards and featuring an all-star international cast, this spectacular adventure pits Godzilla against malevolent creatures that, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

Blu-ray Reviews “The Toho Godzilla Collection, Vol. 2”

Director: Okihiro Yoneda, Kunio Miyoshi, Shûsuke Kaneko, Masaaki Tezuka, Takao Okawara
Rated: Not rated / PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Run Time: 306 / 193 / 107 minutes

Rebirth of Mothra I-III: 3 out of stars
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack: 4 out of stars
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla: 3.5 out of stars
Godzilla 2000: 4 out of stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

With the new reboot of “Godzilla” streeting on Blu-ray this month, we are getting a second bunch of Blu-ray in the “The Toho Godzilla Collection”. This next set including “Rebirth of Mothra”, “Rebirth of Mothra II”, “Rebirth of Mothra III”, “Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack”, “Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla” and “Godzilla 2000”. Being a hardcore Godzilla fan, I couldn’t be happier to be receiving this latest bunch. I remember rushing out to the theater opening day first show to catch “Godzilla 2000”.

There are 28 films in “”The Toho Godzilla Collection”, even though The Mothra films really aren’t included in that number. After this patch of films that leaves us with only nine films that haven’t been released on Blu-ray including “Godzilla Raids Again”, “Mothra vs. Godzilla”, “Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster”, “Invasion of Astro-Monster”, “Son of Godzilla”, “All Monsters Attack”, “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla”, “Terror of Mechagodzilla” and “Godzilla 1985”. Here’s hoping that Sony or anyone else has the rights to release these…it would be great to see the complete collection available to fans.

“Rebirth of Mothra I-III” make up the first Blu-ray. I know the Mothra films are super cheesy but they are just plain fun. But Mothra can still kick some major ass for sure. “Rebirth of Mothra II” has a bit of an environmental agenda but still a decent film. It definitely has a certain kid-version of “Indiana Jones” going on as well here, or at least I always thought it did. Same goes for “Rebirth of Mothra III”, which continues its focus towards kids. It is definitely still a decent film and packs a serious battle as well in the trilogy.

“Rebirth of Mothra” Official Premise: Mothra, one of Godzilla’s longtime allies (and sometimes foe) gets her very own movie series in this, the first of a trilogy. When the three-headed Death Ghidorah, an even fiercer cousin of King Ghidorah, begins to destroy the forests of Japan, Mothra leaves her island paradise to help save them. “Rebirth of Mothra II” Official Premise: Two young kids inadvertently unleash a giant sea creature which is somehow strengthened from the abundance of modern-day pollution. Mothra’s keepers, the tiny twins Moll and Lora, quickly rouse the gentle giant in order to combat this latest threat to peace. “Rebirth of Mothra III” Official Premise: In the final film in the new ‘Mothra’ trilogy, King Ghidorah, the most destructive of all the monsters, returns to destroy the Earth. In the end, Mothra is indeed triumphant and takes her place among the greatest of all monsters.

Each of these films actually delivered pretty unexpectedly great 1080p transfers. I was not expecting to see such a clean and impressive transfers. There are two DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 surround tracks for each film, the original Japanese and an English dub. I am going to stick with the Japanese track each of these films since they generally end up feeling much more natural and an overall a slightly better track, no question. The only special features includes for each film are three teasers (“Rebirth of Mothra III” only has two teasers) and a theatrical trailer included.

Next up is “Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack”, which easily wins the longest title in Godzilla history and “Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla”. “Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah” was made to basically reboot the series since it only pays attention to the original 1954 film and the (terrible) 1998 remake. The film packs a big budget compared to past installments. It is far from perfect but is a fun entry for sure. “Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla” is a bit cheesy but still fun and has some solid battle scenes.  Plus I am a big sucker for anything Mechagodzilla.

“Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack” Official Premise: Fifty years ago, the Japanese Defense Forces killed Godzilla or so they thought. When a series of terrifying natural disasters begin to plague Japan, including the inexplicable offshore sinking of a U.S. submarine, a mystic old man warns his nation that Godzilla has come back to destroy Japan as revenge for all the souls lost in the Pacific War. When mere military might cannot squash the monster, the mystic man awakens the Holy Beasts of Yamato — King Ghidorah, Mothra and Baragon, sleeping giants that protected Japan in ancient times. These untamed mammoth beasts take on Godzilla with frightening supernatural brute power that has been 2,000 years in the making. Tradition and technology collide in this chilling high-tech, cutting-edge fable.

“Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla” Official Premise: After four years of scrupulous preparation under the prime minister, a new invincible robot, Mechagodzilla, has now reached completion, armed with various weapons, including the most powerful gun in history that can destroy anything in the world. Akane Yashiro is transferred to join the Mechagodzilla team as an operator who controls the mechanical monster. As soon as Mechagodzilla starts on its test run, the huge shadow of Godzilla begins to rise from the depths of the ocean…The battle of the century is going to take place between Godzilla and Mechagodzilla.

“Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack” delivers yet another solid presentation on Blu-ray.  The 1080p is sharp with its colors and very clean of any grain. Same again goes for “Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla”, which is slightly less impressive but still quite solid. The same does not go for the audio track though, “Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack” includes the original Japanese track and an English dub. They are both actually good entries and just depends on your preference. “Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla” has the same specs but the English dub is not listenable since it is so poorly acted. The Japanese cut is the only way to go here. Both films only contain their film’s Original Trailers as a bonus feature.

Lastly but not least is “Godzilla 2000”, one of my favorites. It is a not a perfect film like many of the “Godzilla” films but is a blast to watch. This Blu-ray also  contains two versions of the film. The 107 minute Japanese cut has never been released in the US before this, so fans should be going crazy over this one. The shorter 99 minutes English dub cut is also included as well. So even though you are not getting a real double feature here like the others or triple in terms of “Mothra”, but we are getting 1.5 movies for the price of one here.

“Godzilla 2000” Official Premise: Get ready to crumble! The king of all monsters is back and bigger than ever! The action heats up when a UFO reveals itself as a massive alien monster with awesome destructive powers. The alien monster heads straight for the behemoth GODZILLA(r) who’s just crushed the entire city for the battle of the millennium. But Godzilla’s furious heat beam may not be enough to destroy the death-dealing alien, and the future of humankind is in jeopardy. Now, it’s a bang-up, threeway, no-holds-barred brawl as Godzilla, the alien monster and the courageous citizens of Japan fight an unprecedented battle for survival in this earth-shattering new sci-fi action adventure that will blow you away.

“Godzilla 2000” Blu-ray presentation is surprising the least impressive out of this new batch of releases. It is not horrible but doesn’t have that clarity that the “Mothra” films pack. The film does have really great DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks. both original Japanese and English dub. This Blu-ray actually has some special features included unlike the rest. There is an audio commentary with Writer/Producer Michael Schlesinger, Editor Mike Mahoney, and Supervising Sound Editor Darren Paskal on the English version only. There is a very short “Behind the Scenes” featurette and of course, lastly there is an Original Trailer included.

Even though the special features on these three releases aren’t great. They do all include an Ultraviolet HD digital copy code, which is a worth the purchase of the disc alone. These films maybe not be perfect and some cheesy but Sony defintely still delivered good Blu-rays here. Like I said, I hope to see more of these in next year for sure. We have nine more films in the series and I hope that we can complete out the collection! Keep them coming Sony!

Book Review “Godzilla: The Art of Destruction”

Author: Mark Cotta Vaz
Hardcover: 156 pages
Publisher: Insight Editions
Release Date: May 13, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“Godzilla” is no question on my my most anticipated films of the year. I made sure to completely stay away from any spoilers from the film even including the design of the character himself. I wanted it all to be a big surprise for me when I saw it for the first time in theaters. I love the character and the films since I was a little kid in the 80’s. So for a film like “Godzilla”, I know there has to be an amazing book focusing on its creation. Thanks to Insight Editions for releasing “Godzilla: The Art of Destruction”, which is not only an “art of” but but more like a “art and making of” book. Within the first hour of having this book in my hands, I easily went through it twice just staring at the images throughout in total silence (besides the score to “Godzilla” on of course…nerd alert!) As “Godzilla” is my favorite film of the year to date, this is easily my favorite “art of” book to date as well.

Official Premise: Published to coincide with the release of Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla, directed by Gareth Edwards, this visually stunning book presents an extraordinary new vision for the beloved character through a dynamic selection of concept illustrations, sketches, storyboards, and other pre-production materials. Godzilla: The Art of Destruction is the definitive book on one of the most anticipated films of 2014. Featuring interviews with the director and key crew and cast members, the book tells the complete story of the making of Godzilla from concept to final frames. Comprehensive and enthralling, Godzilla: The Art of Destruction is a book that no fan will want to be without.

When I saw the book was just over 150 pages, I was hoping that it wasn’t going to be lacking detail and content but that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. This book is jam packed with not only outstanding artwork but also tons of details on the movie production only with comments and quote from director Gareth Edwards. The writing in the book is easily as interesting as the concept artworks. I loved getting to see the possible different variations of Godzilla and creatures that were taken from the various artists involved on the film. Watching the film I just loved the whole look and feel of it and that is also represented in this book. We get to see various landscapes and visual locations shots from the film. If all that isn’t enough there is also a full fold-out movie poster from the film with the soldiers diving from the sky and Godzilla in the background barely seen. If you love Godzilla, this book is a no brainer purchase.

Film Review “Godzilla (2014)”

Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Bryan Cranston
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Running time: 123 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

In October 2010, I was pushing a very small film called “Monsters”. It was directed by first-time director Gareth Edwards, click here is our interview with him. I had a feeling after watching this film that this guy was going to be HUGE! I just knew it. Well, “Monsters” did quite well worldwide at the box office and even spawned a sequel “Monsters: Dark Continent”, due out later this year. Most importantly what it did though was bring this director into the spotlight. Only a few months later, in January 2011, word was released that Gareth will be rebooting the “Godzilla” franchise. So I couldn’t be happier for this guy and in case you are wonderful, he knocked it out of the park with “Godzilla”. I usually hate going into a film with high expectations but it was impossible for me not to with “Godzilla”. It was easily my most anticipated film of the year, no question. There were moments in the film where I completely forgot to breathe and had my eyes tearing since I was neglecting to blink due to fear of missing anything. Gareth Edwards finally gets “Godzilla” right! A must see this summer!

One thing I loved about this movie was that you could tell that Edwards is truly a fan of the “Godzilla”  franchise. You can just tell that he wanted to make sure to get everything right for the fans. Personally, I have been actively avoiding spoilers and images from the film before seeing it in order to be completely surprised. Let me tell you that Godzilla looks absolutely amazing…and also extremely terrifying. He left me with chills for quite a while after his first body shot. Even though Edwards didn’t do the visual effects like he did on “Monsters”, I can tell that he still has his mark on it here because it really leads you on and then when you just expect it, it does a full reveal and leaves you screaming in your chair. The first time that we get a full view of Godzilla, I think half the theater was clapping and the other half was speechless while shitting their pants (I was the latter). I love the design the character, it is so sharp and captures the essence of the character well. Sure, it isn’t a man in a rubber suit, we all know how classic that look is but this is the NEW Godzilla and he has never looked better. Everything was done absolutely perfect down from his roar to his trademark atomic breath. Yes, the atomic breath…holy cow, I literally almost got up and cheered in my seat.

The story starts off in 1999 in the Philippines, where two scientists (Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins) find an uncovered tomb containing a fossil of a very large creature with two preserved pods…though one was broken opened and whatever was there was now missing. We then head to Japan where we meet Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston), a nuclear physicist/engineer and his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche), a nuclear regulations consultant at the Janjira nuclear plant. As they are investigating an emergency at the plant, whatever was awoken from its sleep in the Philippines made its way to their plant to feed off the nuclear energy leading to the destruction of the plant. Though no proof was every gathered of the creature, the city was quickly evacuated and we flash forward 15 years to the present where Joe is still on the hunt for answers and calls to his son for help, Ford Brody, who is fresh out of the military. He also happens to be a explosive ordnance disposal technician (as you can imagine that becomes important later). As we find that the MUTO creature is looking for its spouse to reproduce, enter Godzilla who (like always never explained why) comes in to save us against these giant monsters. An all out battle is waged that spans from Japan to Hawaii to Las Vegas and California.

The film is nicely paced and runs just over two hours. In fact, Godzilla doesn’t make a full appearance until around the one hour mark but from that point on it is shear madness and shit gets very real. I would have liked to seen more of him, of course, but I feel that it was well calculated and like “Jaws”, it is what you don’t see that is more exciting. Godzilla’s nemesis’ in the film, aka MUTOs, which is short for “Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism” are pretty damn bad-ass and look just as stunning as Godzilla does. Speaking of stunning the film doesn’t just look outstanding it also sounds amazing and is lead so well by Alexandre Desplat’s score. If you see this film, I cannot recommend any higher to see it in IMAX 3D. I literally had my entire body shaking from the intense bass that dished out in the theater. The 3D effects are not overly noticeable, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t amazing. They are just well planned and add some amazing depth, especially to the battle scenes. Whether you are a hardcore Godzilla fan or have never seen a single film, this film can be enjoyed by anyone as it is a great blend of action/disaster/kaiju  film. After the very small budgeted “Monsters”, I am sure we were all concerned if director Gareth Edwards could handle such a large blockbuster but he really blew me away with this film. I urge you do not miss this film in theaters! It is quite the experience.

CD Review “Godzilla: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Composer: Alexandre Desplat
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Tracks 20
Label: WaterTower Music

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

To walk in the footsteps of the giant monster Godzilla, you are going to have to wear some big shoes. Luckily, composer Alexandre Desplat does a great job of filling those big shoes and delivers one of the best scores of year. He is quite familiar with epic score as he handled the last two “Harry Potter” films, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 & 2”. There is something about this score that has me locked in that after listening to for two days now I can’t get enough of it. When you think of an epic action film, you might think about this loud and in your face score but Desplat doesn’t do just that. He delivers some very beautiful music here that is soft and then he also brings the big action feel that is weaved in so well. “Godzilla” is easily one of my most anticipated films of the year and this score just makes me more and more excited to see it.

If you aren’t familiar with the new director Gareth Edwards, that is because he has only directed one film prior to this called “Monsters” in 2010. That film also had one of my favorite scores not just of the year but of all time. He introduced me to one the also first time film composer is Jon Hopkins and now I am a huge fan of his work as well. What I am getting at is that Edwards knows good music and he really picked a winner here teaming up with Desplat. Even though I mentioned this score is quite in parts, there was about a hundred musicians involved with this score and you can really feel the excitement that is generated from their performances on each track. When it comes to the busy summer season, I had a feeling that this score will be number one on my phone for months to come. Just a note, and this doesn’t mean to look down now, be warned that the track listings contain bit of spoilers for the film itself, so I would refrain from checking them out and just enjoy the tunes at least until you have seen the film!

Track Listing:
1. Godzilla!
2. Inside the Mines
3. The Power Plant
4. To Q Zone
5. Back to Janjira
6. Muto Hatch
7. In the Jungle
8. The Wave
9. Airport Attack
10. Missing Spore
11. Vegas Aftermath
12. Ford Rescued
13. Following Godzilla
14. Golden Gate Chaos
15. Let Them Fight
16. Entering the Nest
17. Two Against One
18. Last Shot
19. Godzilla’s Victory
20. Back to the Ocean


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Blu-ray Reviews “Ebirah, Horror of the Deep”, “Godzilla vs. Hedorah” & “Godzilla vs. Gigan”

Directors: Yoshimitsu Banno, Jun Fukuda
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Section 23
DVD Release Date: May 6, 2014
Run Time: 88 / 86 / 90 minutes

“Ebirah, Horror of the Deep”: 3 out of 5 stars
“Godzilla vs. Hedorah”: 3.5 out of 5 stars
“Godzilla vs. Gigan”: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1/2 out of 5 stars

This year is no question, the year of Godzilla. With Warner Bros and Legendary’s reboot hitting theaters on May 16th, everyone is in Godzilla overload. Joining the craze, Kraken Releasing is jumping on the the kaiju (giant monster) love by bringing us the first U.S. Blu-ray release of three classic films featuring the world’s most famous giant reptile. The first is “Ebirah, Horror of the Deep” (1966), which was originally released in the U.S. in 1968 under the title “Godzilla Vs. The Sea Monster”. Next we have “Godzilla vs. Hedorah” (1971), which was released theatrically in the U.S in 1972 as “Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster”. Lastly, we get “Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)”, which was was released theatrically in the U.S in 1977 as “Godzilla on Monster Island”.

“Ebirah, Horror of the Deep” was never really one of my favorite “Godzilla” films. It takes like a solid 45 minutes just to see the giant lizard. Besides the title character and our green friend, Mothra also pops in towards the end as well. For me this is a great one for the collection to be complete but I would much prefer to watch “Godzilla vs. Hedorah”. Even though this one only has one other monster besides Godzilla, Heodrah is quite badass . “Godzilla vs. Gigan” was always one of my favs growing up. When you have monsters like Godzilla, Gigan, King Ghidorah and Anguirus all together, shit is bound to get crazy.

Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)” Official Premise: When Ryota’s brother Yata disappears at sea, the intrepid youth and his friends join forces with a slightly trustworthy bank robber, steal a boat and go after him! Of course, there’s the little problem that Yata may be lost on a mysterious island where the evil terrorist organization Red Bamboo has enslaved natives to make heavy water for nefarious purposes. And that means dealing with the island’s monstrous, 164 feet tall guardian Ebirah, as well as Red Bamboo’s arsenal of super advanced weaponry. On the plus side, help may be at hand in the form of a nubile island girl, two tiny fairies, their giant protector Mothra and the big G himself, the mighty Godzilla. Surviving the results of all that “assistance” may not be guaranteed, but Red Bamboo will never want to tangle with teenagers AND Godzilla at the same time again!

“Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)” Official Premise: Forget about acid rain and global warming! The worst ecological nightmare is actually Hedorah, which starts off small but quickly mutates into a giant flying monster capable of wiping out all life on whatever unfortunate planet it lands on! And since Hedorah grows by consuming the toxic gases and chemicals mankind has spilled into the air and water, in the early 1970s that means that its potential growth is unlimited! Fortunately for the human race, the Earth has an ultimate green defender who doesn’t need to sing protest songs or try to enact new laws to get things done. Because nobody, and nothing, can stop Godzilla when he decides to push an environmental issue, and while Hedorah may be the dirtiest opponent Godzilla has ever faced, his name is going to be mud by the time he’s been stomped into the whole Earth a few dozen times.

“Godzilla Vs. Gigan (1972)” Official Premise: When alien invaders, plans for a children’s theme park and four giant monsters with six heads between them all collide, the result is the inevitable battle for the fate of the Earth. At least, that’s how it is for Godzilla, who teams up with his former spiky foe Anguirus for a tag team match against two of his greatest adversaries: the legendary three headed King Ghidorah and Gigan, the cyborg hench-monster for insidious insect aliens whose plot to wipe out all human life is cleverly disguised as plans for the construction of a new children’s theme park. Unfortunately for the bug’s diabolical designs, their secret monster control codes are accidentally discovered by comic book artist Gengo Kotaka, who broadcasts the master tape and brings Team Godzilla into play. It’s not going to be an easy fight, though, as the odds are four heads to two, and King Ghidorah’s one of Godzilla’s toughest opponents. With his cybernetic weaponry Gigan is equally ruthless, and his alien masters are as hard to kill as the cockroaches they resemble. Will Earth’s biggest defenders finally fall? Or will Godzilla, and insecticide, triumph over all?

When I watched these three films, I was really looking to be quite critical on the transfers but  both Kraken Releasing really hooked these films up with very solid 1080p transfers. The special effects by by Teruyoshi Nakano still look very sharp and the colors are also very vibrant. You can literally even seen the slight blood on Godzilla’s nose when he is getting beaten down, which I thought was amazing. In terms of audio, we get both the English dubbed and original Japanese versions with English subtitles. Of course, depending on your mood, the Japanese takes a serious approach and the English dubs are laughable but still enjoyable. Lastly in terms of special features, the only extra on each of these three Blu-rays are just an original Japanese trailer for each film.

DVD Review “Godzilla: The Complete Animated Series”

Actors: Ian Ziering, Malcom Danare, Rino Romano, Charity James, Brigitte Bako
Number of discs: 4
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
DVD Release Date: April 29, 2014
Run Time: 854 minutes

Series: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Yes…yes, we all know how much the U.S. 1998 remake of “Godzilla” sucked. This animated series was a way to cash in on the Godzilla madness but for those who hated the film didn’t pay any attention to this show. It’s run on TV was ended short airing 38 out of 40 produced episodes. I have to admit, I never watched this during the original airing since I was among those who did quite hate the ’98 film but thanks to Netflix, I decided to give this show a go recently. Yes, it is a cheap 90’s cartoon but I am also a sucker for 90’s cartoons. If you are looking to dumb down your brain and just watch some Godzilla related goodness in animated form, this show isn’t as bad as I would have thought. Plus for the cheap price (you can get it new from Amazon Marketplace for around $5 bucks), it is totally worth it. Also did I mention the star of “Sharknado”, Ian Ziering, also voices the main characer!? Bonus cheese!

Official Premise After helping take down Godzilla, biologist Dr. Nick Tatopoulos (voice of Ian Ziering) stumbles upon his hatchling, who bonds with the scientist as a parental figure. Recruiting his own environmentally-directed research outfit HEAT (Humanitarian Environmental Analysis Team) Nick sets out to study not only this new generation, but also to investigate the increasing reports of monsters of all types and other environmental anomalies menacing the Earth. Each exciting episode is a pulse-pounding monster-hunt driven by Nick’s team accompanied by their 300-foot giant reptile as they travel the globe defending humankind against mutant threats.

Disc 1 includes the following episodes: “New Family – Part 1”; “New Family – Part 2”; “Talkin’ Trash”; “D.O.A”; “The Winter Of Our Discontent”; “Cat And Mouse”; “Leviathan”;, “What Dreams May Come”; “Hive” and “Bird Of Paradise”. Disc 2 includes the following episodes: “Freeze “; “DeadLoch”; “Competition”; “Bug Out”; “Monster War – Part 1”; “Monster War – Part 2”; “Monster War – Part 3”; “An Early Frost”; “What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been” and “Web Site”

Disc 3 includes the following episodes: “Wedding Bells Blew”; “Juggernaut”; “Shafted”; “Trust No One”; “Lizard Season”; “The Ballad Of Gens Du Marias”; “Ring Of Fire”; “Protector”; “Vision”; “Freak Show”. Last but not least disc 4 includes the following episodes: “Metamorphosis”; “Where Is Thy Sting?”; “Underground Movement”; “The Twister”; “S.C.A.L.E.”; “Future Shock”; “End Of The Line”; “Area 51”; “Tourist Trap” and “Cash Of The Titans”. So if you can count these all add up to 40 episodes, so this cheap DVD also includes for the first time ever the 2 unaired episodes and the series available as complete. Calling all hardcore “Godzilla” fans like myself that are in overdrive waiting for this months new film, this is your answer!

Blu-ray Reviews “The Toho Godzilla Collection”

Rated: 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.

“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 control. 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-of-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.

Product Review “Godzilla with Light and Sound”

Paperback: 16 pages
Publisher: Running Press Miniature Editions
Act Nov St edition
Release Date: May 6, 2014

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Godzilla is back and better than ever! Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures are teaming up with the goal to make Godzilla cool again. Eat it Matthew Brodwick! Running Press is getting on the fast track to release some cool new merchandise. This kit includes a figurine of the monster that is not only bad ass but also comes with light and sound. When you press his spine spikes you get the light from his mouth getting ready to unleash his atomic ray and of course you also hear his iconic roar.

Besides the figurine, there is also a small sticker book included with Godzilla illustration. I think Warner Bros, did an awesome design with the new design of Godzilla and the figurine pays a great homage to the character. My only issue is that the roar is not so powerful as it should be. I wish they cranked up the volume a bit. If you are a Godzilla junkie like myself I would recommend picking this up since it is the first in the tons of planned merchandise for this film.

Blu-ray Review “Godzilla vs. Biollante”

Cast: Kunihiko Mitamura, Yoshiko Tanaka, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Emi Kodaka, Masanobu Takashima, Turu Minegishi, Ryunosuke Kaneda, Koji Takahashi
Director: Kazuki Ohmori
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Miramax Echo Bridge
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Run Time: 104 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to ANYTHING Godzilla, I come running.  This 1989 title puts the King of the Monsters, Godzilla up against the even bigger monster Biollante. Thanks to Echo Bridge, this is the first time that “Godzilla vs. Biollante” stomps its way onto Blu-ray.  The film itself hasn’t aged at all and is still as fun as it was back in the 90’s, which was the first time I saw this. I hope that Echo Bridge has some more Godzilla films in its catalog waiting to release. If so count me in for sure!

Official Synopsis: Dr. Shiragami has been genetically engineering a form of indestructible plant life using a rare supply of Godzilla cells. This experiment has brought a strange new form of plant life into existence: Biollante, massive, yet peaceful in every way…until Godzilla returns to wreak havoc upon Japan. It is only then that something within Biollante stirs and the plant must fight to save her creator and the land she loves. It’s the super-beast Battle of the Century when Godzilla and Biollante come face to face in an explosive fight to the finish.

Echo Bridge really delivered a fantastic Blu-ray presentation.  The film is beautifully presented in with a sharp 1080p transfer.  The audio tracks included is a perfect 5.1 DTS Original Japanese Language track and also a 2.0 DTS Japanese Language track.  If you prefer the always “good for a laugh” dubbed track, there is a 1.0 Dolby Digital English Language track.  There are a few decent extras included on this release.  There is a Making of “Godzilla vs. Biollante” featurettes included, as well as a short but nice “Behind the Design” extra.  Godzilla fans should not miss this release, especially due to the sweet price.


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