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50th Anniversary - Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. - terror comes in threes - Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, Mothra

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

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movie review of  Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.  is a sequel to  Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla. One year later,  Mechagodzilla is being repaired after the damage inflicted it by Godzilla.   Losing consistency from the previous film, a different crew is manning the Mechagodzilla. That’s a robotic Godzilla, built over the skeleton of the original Godzilla, that died at the end of the original  Godzilla movie in 1954.   The central character in this film is Yoshito Chûjô. He’s the son of Dr. Shin’ichi Chûjô, the star of the original Mothra movie.   Yoshito is the chief technician on the “Mecha G” project. He’s trying to get Mechagodzilla repaired in the event of Godzilla’s eventual next rampage.   However,  Mothra has something to say …

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Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

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Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) Starring Yumiko Shaku, Shin Takuma

What is the measure of success for a movie? When the audience gets so wrapped up in the movie, that you start rooting for the protagonist. That’s exactly what happened during my first viewing of Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla. The basic plot has Godzilla attacking Tokyo … For the first time since 1954. A monster that the Japanese Defense Forces cannot stop. During the attack, Akane Yashiro (played by Yumiko Shaku) freezes. She blames herself for the deaths of her squad. Then, the Prime Minister of Japan initiates a risky plan. He authorizes and funds a plan to build a cybernetic robot. Mechagodzilla, built around the skeleton of the original Godzilla. The team is led by Tokumitsu Yuhara (played by Shin Takuma). He’s a widower. His young daughter is still trying to deal with the loss of her mother.

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King Kong vs Godzilla

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King Kong vs Godzilla, 1962

No one will mistake  King Kong vs Godzilla for high art …. And that’s fine; it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than enjoyable silliness. It’s two men in rubber suits, fighting in choreographed style — shades of professional wrestling. The movie has a comically foolish executive decide to use King Kong for advertising.  And he decides to bring the real deal to Tokyo. At roughly the same time, Godzilla is released from an icy tomb. He heads back to Tokyo for the inevitable slugfest.

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Godzilla Final Wars

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Godzilla Final Wars (2004)

Godzilla Final Wars has been described as a remake of the classic Godzilla film, Destroy All Monsters — and to a degree, this is correct. However, my first impression is that it’s more along the lines of Power Rangers meet Godzilla. Godzilla appears in a flashback during the first few minutes of the film, in a fight with the human combat ship Gotengo, burying him in ice at the South Pole decades before the time of the movie — and he then isn’t seen for the next hour of the movie.

Instead, we see the Earth Defense Force fighting a mostly losing battle against various giant monsters seen in previous movies, including:

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Godzilla (1998) starring Matthew Broderick

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movie review of  Godzilla  (1998) starring Matthew Broderick

Matthew Broderick stars in  Godzilla (1998), which was originally supposed to be the first of a trilogy of films.   However,  film critics were merciless in their criticism of the film. And the American movie public didn’t disagree.   The movie cost 130 million dollars to produce and promote. It made 138 million in its’ U.S.A. release. Not a flop, but not a large success, either.   So what, if anything, is wrong with the film?

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Gorjia, aka Godzilla

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Gojira (1954) starring  Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi, Akihiko Hirata

Synopsis of Gojira

The ocean’s surface begins to boil white-hot. A Japanese freighter vanishes into the Pacific. And the superstitious villagers of Odo Island fear an ancient legend has come true …. The legend of Gojira! Awakened from an eons-long sleep by an atomic bomb explosion. The behemoth turns Tokyo into a wasteland of atomic fire and rubble.  Who, or what, can stop it?

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Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah

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Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack  (2001)

Synopsis of  Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

Godzilla has returned, for the first time since 1954.  Admiral Taizô Tachibana remembers first-hand his first attack, and tries to prepare the Japan Self-Defense Force for his return. Meanwhile, his daughter tries to capture the monster’s rampage on video as a reporter. However, Godzilla is more vicious than ever.  Only the legendary Guardian Monsters (Mothra, Baragon and King Ghidora) stand between him and the destruction of Japan …  They, and a few brave human beings.

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Godzilla 2000

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Godzilla 2000 (1999)

In a very real sense,  Godzilla 2000  is the movie that the American  Godzilla movie (starring Matthew Broderick) should have been.   The movie begins with a semi-independent researcher taking a reporter (along with his young daughter) to a  potential Godzilla sighting. Where they get more than they bargained for. They soon see Godzilla face to face, giving them (and the audience) an  appreciation for just how truly large, and imposing, Godzilla is compared to relatively puny human beings.   The reporter panics and takes several flash photographs of Godzilla. These annoy him and he pursues them through the small tunnel that they’re driving through …. With his massive feet breaking through the ground shortly behind him.

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Godzilla Vs. Space Godzilla

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Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla (1994)

Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla is a campy Godzilla movie, in the style of “two guys in rubber suits pretending that they’re in the WWE”.  I enjoyed it, but that’s the kind of monster movie that I grew up with; if you are in the mood for a more serious movie, I’d suggest  Godzilla 2000,  Godzilla vs. DestoroyahGodzilla Final Wars, or the original Godzilla.   This isn’t that kind of movie–it’s the kind of mindless enjoyment that’s perfect for a rainy, or snowy, Saturday afternoon with a tub of popcorn and your children.

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Godzilla vs. Megaguirus

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Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus is an old-school Godzilla movie …. And I mean that in the best way possible.   It’s not a social commentary or serious film like the original  Godzilla movie.  It’s  the best kind of two monster face-off Godzilla movie that I grew up watching.   Godzilla is portrayed here as a destructive force of nature.  One that has caused incalculable destruction and loss of life to the people in Japan.   In fact, two of the main characters are very strong women, one younger and one older.  Both of them have lost people close to them during Godzilla’s rampages.   Accordingly, the Japanese government has undertaken a  high-tech project, to get rid of Godzilla once and for all.  Dimension Tide, an attempt at creating a controlled, minute black hole to imprison Godzilla inside forever.

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