Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II / Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla Bluray Review

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Written by G. H. (Gman)8,562 Reads0 Comments2014-08-28 00:21:45

Admittedly, this next batch was not one of my favorites. Still, it had been some time since I had viewed the movies so I took the time to compare not only the new Blu-ray discs, but the DVDs that came before them. I confess to not getting all the way through each DVD, but I can confirm this set is an upgrade from the prior Sony releases. If only marginally so in some cases.

Packaging:

It's the standard, double-disc Blu-ray case used with all the other Sony Godzilla releases. And as before the cover is reversible for a fuller version of the poster art used for each movie.

 

GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II

*

There was a time when this film was hailed as one of the best in the series, but age hasn't been kind to Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II. The film is a rather cumbersome effort by director Takeo Okawara, though there is merit. Screenwriter Wataru Mimura's characters aren't as interesting as Kazuki Omori's, yet he at least utilizes them all the way through. No matter; the monsters save this movie from being utterly boring. Motivation runs deeper in Godzilla and Rodan than it does in Kazuki Aoki or the MechaGodzilla pilots. As a result the movie is void of a clear antagonist, but that's one of its more interesting attributes.

Picture/Credits:

The picture quality isn't nearly as obscured as Sony's DVD edition, but it still ranks as one of their lesser efforts. Despite some decent definition, grain runs deep throughout the effects shots and colors are muddy. Live action scenes don't bode much better.

The night effects shots are largely superior-- In some cases they look like they're from a completely different movie. Part of the issue is the visual inconsistency with the film. More grain is used for daytime effects shots to obscure shortcomings.

Dirt is bigger problem here than other titles, particularly the day scenes during Godzilla's attack.

The opening title card is free of a title overlay and the end credits, montage included, is intact.

Sound:

Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II marks the beginning of some really inconsistent sound design work for the Heisei series. As a result, it's sometimes hard to separate the flaws of the DTS-HD 5.1 audio from that of the audio design. Overall, it's a fine representation of the film. Bass effects are notably louder, but again that could be a design flaw.

As usual the Japanese audio balances sound effects and dialogue better than the English dub.

Subtitles:

Dubtitles plague this release just as it did the DVD release. From what I can tell it's identical to the DVD edition. I wouldn't come to this disc expecting any sort of overhaul.

Extras:

Three teaser trailers and one theatrical trailer round off the extras. As always the trailer subtitles don't match the film's dubtitles. Decent quality for how little you'll be watching them.

Menu:

The menu is the same, standard, red tinted city with the 1994 Godzilla in the foreground.

Consensus:

The movie is no great example of the series, but it appears to have a strong following. However, mixed picture and audio makes this one of Sony's most inconsistent, if not weakest Blu-ray discs. Extras are no stronger than the other discs and although this is Sony's most perfect title presentation it skimps on picture quality. This isn't all entirely Sony's fault since Toho rushed the provided HD masters. Sony could have done a one over themselves before throwing it on Blu-ray.

GODZILLA VS. SPACEGODZILLA

*

It just doesn't get much worse. The fact that Kensho Yamashita never sat in another director's chair after this debacle speaks volumes. Although many fans are inclined to label Godzilla vs. Megalon as the series' worst, I'd argue its consistency trumps this. With clashing story variables and subplots that go nowhere, Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla provides embarrassing attempts at story writing and visuals. If you stay awake long enough to get through the tedious, final battle rest assured you fought much harder than the M.O.G.U.E.R.A. pilots.

Picture/Credits:

The picture quality is more impressive than the film it's paired with. Part of the reason is that the movie has a more appealing color pallet. The definition is clear with black levels that fluctuate less than the previous films.

Grain is fairly regular throughout the effects shots, particularly the matt effects. It's to be expected, but vs. SpaceGodzilla tends to have more than most of the films. Occasional dirt is found, but it isn't too serious.

The opening credits are maimed with an english title overlay-- The first I've seen since I reviewed Godzilla vs. Destoroyah / Godzilla vs. Megaguirus. It's unfortunate, but at least the end credits are intact.

Sound:

Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla suffers from more sound design issues than Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II. Because the sound design is so pitiful, however, it's easier to discern the audio mix from the design imperfections. When the sound design goes right everything is fairly clear. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 has few issues and uses surround very well. The balance between the dubbed track and Japanese track are a little better than previous films' transitions. Nothing to write home about, but there's a stronger sense of unison between the two tracks.

Subtitles:

Like I mentioned with the Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah / Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth set, it's hard for me to say with 100% certainty that parts of the dubbed script weren't used here. But there's a lesser sense of dubtitle intrusion than before. Thankfully, the subtitled script manages to remember dialog that wasn't even delivered in the dubbed version. For those watching the film in Japanese for the first time, you may be privy to some lines you hadn't expected before.

Extras:

Two teasers and a theatrical trailer accompany the disc. For those with less fondness for the movie than I, rest assured the teasers are more thrilling.

Menu:

It utilizes the same menu as the other 90s Godzilla titles. It might be worth noting that the Godzilla suit used for the menu is finally matched with the film it's from.

Consensus:

I have very little love for this movie. With the character Akira Yuki being the only redeeming quality, the film suffers from trying to please too many demographs and failing to bring much of the story full circle. The disc itself, on the other hand, is one of the better Sony efforts. It looks and sounds better than Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II. Compared to other Sony Godzilla titles, Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla's presentation is par for the course.

---

Follow GMAN on Twitter @GMANonScified

*Images are not representative of disc video quality.

 

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