Question for Godzilla fans...

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Dane Marvin, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

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    Can someone give me the names of the best 2 or 3 Godzilla DVDs out there? I've always wanted to seriously watch them. I'm most interested in the best of the best, in terms of the film itself and the DVD quality (extra features are always a plus). Thanks in advance for any recommendations!
     
  2. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    The first, entitled GODZILLA in the States but GOJIRA in Japan, is by far and away the best. It was the first in the series, filmed in black and white in 1954, and had some serious anti-nuclear undertones (at least in the 98-minute Japanese version). The monster was still a guy in a suit, but the atmosphere was genuinely creepy and had an effective music score. If you can find a version of the original (probably you would have to do without English subs), it will be well worth your while. After this and RODAN came out, the Godzilla series became more of a joke and a "family" monster fest.

    Edit: Oh, and you wanted to know about DVD quality. Simitar has a very inexpensive DVD of the American 80-minute version available, in both full screen (the proper ratio) and a bogus 1.66:1 version. The picture quality is acceptable. Extras are negligible... the trailers included are faked, not original.
     
  3. Blu

    Blu Screenwriter

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    Speaking of which, Rodan.
    Is it OAR and a quality disk?
     
  4. StephenC

    StephenC Stunt Coordinator

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    The Godzilla Simitar discs all had widescreen transfers except Godzilla:King of Monsters and Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla(1974?).The best transfer out of that bunch,IMHO,would be Godzilla vs Mothra(The Thing).

    On Jan.27,Sony will be releasing GMK:All Monsters Attack(2001) and Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla(2002) with origanal Japanese soundtracks and proper OAR.
     
  5. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

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    Yes and no. Rodan was fimed in academy ratio, so there's no problem there. Alas, the picture on the recent Sony disc is not great. Still, for $5.88 in the cheap bin at Wal-Mart, it's definitely worth picking up.
     
  6. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Re: RODAN: The picture quality on the Sony disc, as Jim indicated, isn't great, but it's ENORMOUSLY better than any previous video release. Colors are truer and more saturated, sound is a tad better. You might not see any improvement for a long while, so I'd recommend it - it's, what, ten bucks or so?
     
  7. Joseph Goodman

    Joseph Goodman Stunt Coordinator

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    The Classic Media/Sony Music "Godzilla, King Of The Monsters" is the same composite transfer as the OAR side on the Simitar disc, but with VASTLY better encoding and conversion to component. The encoding on the Simitar DVD's was DREADFUL, with "Godzilla Vs. The Thing" being so badly done that the MPEG artifacting even shows up in the letterbox bars.


    The Classic Media/Sony Music "Rodan" is the same video master that's been used since about 1984, but again with good encoding and conversion to component.


    The new GxM and GMK discs from Sony look fantastic (GMK moreso than GxM), are 2.35:1 letterboxed & 16x9 enhanced (both films were shot Super35), have 5.1 Japanese and English tracks with great directionality, but sadly the English subtitles are "dubtitles", i.e. captions of the English tracks.
     
  8. John Sparks

    John Sparks Screenwriter

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    The DVD of "Rodan" is a port over of the LD(it's identical)...it also looks like it was copied from a TV screen(kinescope) in my opinion. [​IMG]
     
  9. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

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    I definitely know what you mean. It looks like it's being projected onto a material with a heavy weave.
     
  10. Joseph Goodman

    Joseph Goodman Stunt Coordinator

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    The sad thing is that I only have a 27' TV, and it's still noticable.





    By the way, you can contact Classic Media and actually get a real human to respond to you through their web contact form:

    http://www.classicmedia.tv/cm-form.html

    I suggest a polite but firm request for OAR editions of the current pan & scan discs and any future releases!
     
  11. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    Does anyone know if there's a Region 1 version of Gojira available? I've never seen the original Japanese version but I would love to.

    I completely agree that, at least from what I have seen in the American version, that it's NOTHING like the sequals. Godzilla here is a menacing, dark destroyer and the director and cinematographer did an excellent job of not making it appear as though it's a man in a rubber suit. This is a movie with a multi-layered message about environmentalism, pacifism, personal responsibility, and Japan coming to terms with being a theater for nuclear war. I truly believe it's a rare glimpse into Japan expressing its own feelings about Hiroshima/Nagasaki without coming out and saying so directly (a prominent Japanese cultural trait). But I can't get the full meaning without the original version.

    Many thanks!
     
  12. Joe Fisher

    Joe Fisher Screenwriter

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    No. But it is being released to theaters later this year. Check this link for any updates. Gojira

    So hopefully we could see a Criterion release later on.....I hope.

    Joe
     
  13. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    Just saw this tidbit over at DVD Drive-in:

    Classic Media has acquired the DVD rights to a number of films from the UPA library, including some classic Toho monster flicks. Steve Vincent (Director, Operations, Home Video, Classic Media, Inc.) told DVD Drive-In, "...we are indeed looking at home video releases of our UPA-library Toho features to happen soon. We were successful in our 2002 release of 'The Ultimate Godzilla Collection'and hope to put the remaining titles together for release this year." Titles that Classic Media is working on include FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD, WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS, GODZILLA VS. MONSTER ZERO, THE LAST DAYS OF PLANET EARTH, ISLAND OF THE BURNING DOOMED, EVIL OF DRACULA, LAKE OF DRACULA, BATTLE OF THE WORLDS and ATOM AGE VAMPIRE. No specific release dates or other specifics yet-details to follow.

    I would like to know what the quality & OAR is of the films in 'The Ultimate Godzilla Collection'. If anyone can supply me with any info it would be much appreciated.
     
  14. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    Though I don't have any of the "Ultimate Godzilla Collection" DVDs that Classic Media put out a year and a half ago, I do know that the only titles close to their OAR were RODAN and GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS (that is, 1:33:1 Academy Ratio).

    The other releases, like GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA (1964), were the usual Pan & Scan atrocities of 2:35:1 TohoScope filmmaking that we've been putting up with for decades (excluding the out-of-print Simitar DVDs and ADV's widescreen DESTROY ALL MONSTERS). From what I recall from reviews of Classic Media's DVDs, the picture quality was the same as Paramount's LD versions (and what has been shown on cable TV in recent years).
     
  15. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    I grabbed Terror ot Mechagodzilla thinking it might be letterboxed (tha package doesn't say), as Simitar's was not. It was definitely the same dull full frame crud I've seen on the tube a dozen times. The Rodan disc looks much better: it's the exact same print as on my old Vestron VHS.
     
  16. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the info.

    There goes my hope that the new collection will be OAR.
     

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