Both Toho KONG movies, in 16x9, coming from Universal 11/29!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Peter M Fitzgerald, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    English-dubbed anamorphic widescreen editions of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA (1962) and KING KONG ESCAPES (1968) apparently will street on Tues, 11/29/05, MSRP $19.95. Davis DVD just broke the news today, and the double-feature DVD is listed at Universal's website. Woo-hoo!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Link:

    http://homevideo.universalstudios.co...boxSetId=35927

    --While subtitled, Japanese-release versions would be great (as Media-Blaters and Sony/Columbia have been doing lately), this is still pretty cool news (the voice of Paul Frees as "Dr. Who" isn't necessarily a bad thing), and since they're relatively short films, in a double-feature package, I doubt this will be subjected to DVD-18 problems.

    Neither film is a patch on the 1933 KONG (or, for that matter, the 1949 MIGHTY JOE YOUNG), which will probably be the DVD of the year, but this news still fills me with giddy glee. [​IMG]

    All hail the Year of KONG! [​IMG]
     
  2. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    This is the double feature release I've wanted for years already. I'm glad to see Universal has the sense to issue both films to tie in with the new KONG film.

    I hope these English-dubbed versions are the same ones we'd grown up on many years back. Paul Frees as Dr. Who is perfect! Would there be any chance that these were NEW dubs?
     
  3. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    I'm thrilled to hear this news....
     
  4. AndrewWickliffe

    AndrewWickliffe Second Unit

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    Boo! Boo!

    OAR but not the original soundtrack.

    Lovely. Reminds me of the time a Universal rep was all excited about releasing Creature from the Black Lagoon and I asked her if they were doing it 3-D.

    She actually laughed and asked why.
     
  5. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    I own the original japanese version of KK vs GZ. Its a shame the american version replaced the original Akira Ifukube score.
     
  6. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    King of DVD, in 2005!


    Is this dub, the same the theater got, back in the day?
     
  7. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    I would assume so, as these American release versions have been Universal's property all along.
     
  8. Roy Batty

    Roy Batty Second Unit

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    Thanks for breaking out the news about this, Peter, but, what makes you so sure that this will be english-dubbed only? I guess I am missing some information here, maybe Universal does not own these films in their original form.

    Should we forgo all hope of these including the original japanese audio track?
     
  9. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I'd bet that some people who grew up on these films would agree with me that this is a rare case where I'd rather have the U.S. editions. Usually, I'd scoff at the idea of altering the original films, but with KKVG and KKE I really loved the American versions. I even prefer the Americanized version of KING KONG VS GODZILLA, although I own the Japanese film too. Seeing KING KONG ESCAPES without Dr. Who having the voice of Paul Frees would be unacceptable! [​IMG]
     
  10. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    I'd say it's highly unlikely seeing as how the Japanese & English versions are so radically different. It's not a simple as just including the original language/score but whole scenes were cut from the original version and replaced with new scenes for the English version. Even some of the sequences that are the same are rearranged throughout the film.

    Unless of course this is the original Japanese cut with a new dub and they just forgot to mention the original language track. [​IMG] That would make me very very happy. [​IMG]
     
  11. Jeffrey Nelson

    Jeffrey Nelson Screenwriter

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    I agree about the butchered version of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, but the English dub of KING KONG ESCAPES is entirely another matter, as I believe the cut of the film is full-length, and the leads are Americans speaking English on-set (I believe Rhodes Reason gets his own voice while Linda Miller is redubbed). I already have the uncut subbed version of KKVG, but am dying for this lovely letterboxed dubbed version of KING KONG ESCAPES, one of my fondest childhood TV memories. This release is far from worthless.
     
  12. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    You are correct in your assumption; Universal does not own the films in their original, Japanese-release form. They only have the film elements for the dubbed/altered versions. For an un-cut, original-language version of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA to be included, for instance, Universal would have to specially buy it from Toho (which charges higher fees for its Godzilla titles than it does for its other genre films), and it's pretty safe to say that Universal is not going to pony up for a film they already essentially own (even though the version they have is heavily altered). Criterion, Warner, Sony/Columbia, Fox, etc wouldn't, either. It would be a money-loser for them, unfortunately. To Universal, this is a very marginal title, which they have the opportunity to make some extra money on at this particular time, due to the publicity surrounding Peter Jackson's KING KONG remake, than they might otherwise.

    I imagine KING KONG VS. GODZILLA would have to be a critically-lauded and perennially-popular cultural icon in North America (beyond nostalgic memories of CREATURE FEATURE broadcasts, or Thanksgiving vacation KONG-a-thons on NYC tv), like BULLITT or STAR WARS, before Universal (or any other company) would begin to consider paying the fees asked for such an expensive supplemental extra.

    There are ways out there to see the original, un-cut KING KONG VS. GODZILLA in subtitled form on DVD, but those ways are evil and unlawful, and thus, not permitted for discussion at this forum. To do so would be very, very wrong. The Ranger wouldn't like it, Yogi. Also, Toho Video released it legitimately on R2 DVD, though without subtitles.

    I mention this only because, in some ways, the original cut, in widescreen, is present in the world, and accessible to anyone with a DVD player, if they do some detective work. However, this alternate American cut is making its legit widescreen debut on DVD, for the first time anywhere, and thus is cause for celebration. It might not be "pure", but it's the version most of us grew up on, before we knew anything about an un-cut version's existance. It shouldn't be a replacement for the original cut, but it's still a good thing that we have the chance to see/own this version, outside of theaters, in its OAR, for about $10 (or less). [​IMG]

    Since a legit, uncut/subbed DVD edition of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA isn't likely to happen in R1 any time soon, I would view this Universal release news as a "glass is half full" situation. Unfortunately, sometimes reality forces us to settle for something a bit short of the ideal.
     
  13. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    If Memory serves these are the only films which were Universal/Toho Co-productions?

    Also just as an aside along time ago I remember reading an article saying that Sony retromedia was releasing some more toho films like Frankenstein Conquers the World... but I have'nt heard any more about it
     
  14. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Yes this is the version I grew up on, we also grew up watching it Pan & Scan on TV so to get the full nostalgia effect I might as well pick up the Goodtimes P&S version. [​IMG] kidding.

    If people are satisfied with this release or even prefer the English Dub version, then great. I wish I could join the celebration for this but I just can't.
     
  15. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Well, I'm not kidding when I say I DID buy the Goodtimes pan & scam version when it first came to DVD! [​IMG] I'm not a supporter of p&s when it's not the proper AR, but there are a couple of bizarre exceptions for me, based solely on nostalgia. And KKVG is one of those. Fortunately, the kids won't know any different, and I'd bet these will sell well on the heels of the new Peter Jackson film.

    I own the Japanese version of KKVG, and other than the widescreen, I prefer the American verison! I also think the humor works well in it ("when you and the monster meet, be sure to tell him all about your corn problems!") [​IMG]
    As for ESCAPES, I don't recall the original Japanese version being different at all.

    I'm very happy to have the Americanized versions in these two cases, and I would be pretty sure we will get the Toho originals from Sony some day, too. Hell, we all got 'em already anyway! [​IMG]
     
  16. Sean Campbell

    Sean Campbell Second Unit

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    Although I'm a fan of Godzilla movies, I think I'll pass on this. I already have the region 2 release and although it's not subtitled, it features the movie as it was always intended to be seen - 2:35:1 and with the original score intact. Plus, said score ( by the wonderful Akira Ifukube ) is also featured as an isolated audio track.
     
  17. Joe Fisher

    Joe Fisher Screenwriter

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    Sorry, but no Japanese language tracks & no Akira Ifukube score for King Kong vs Godzilla=NO SALE!
     
  18. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    Wasn't some violence near the end of KING KONG ESCAPES edited? Mainly the shot of what happens to DR who longer in the Japanese cut?

    And yes, I like the old U.S dub of some of these, especially KING KONG ESCAPES. I wished Sony included the ORIGINAL U.S language dub of GODZILLA VS SMOG MONSTER, as I missed that wacky english language song SAVE THE EARTH!
     
  19. AndrewWickliffe

    AndrewWickliffe Second Unit

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    Anyone know a good place to get the Toho R2 discs? I thought there was somewhere that had them used, for a lot less than the 6,000 yen. Maybe not a lot less... but a little.
     
  20. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    You could always pay a fortune for the Japanese LBX LD on eBay and make your own DVD. Not so unlawful. But expensive.
     

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