Monthly Archives: October 2012

Prometheus Review

I am not a real big fan of the Alien franchise. I own the first three on DVD and the second movie, Aliens, directed by James Cameron, is by far my favorite. I purchased Prometheus the latest sequel, or shall I say marginal prequel, to the franchise. These movies have always been a mixture of horror and science fiction and seeing that it is Halloween I thought it would be fitting to review this movie today. I think this movie really captured the spirit of the original and was a good mixture of both science fiction and horror. The second movie in the franchise, Aliens, leans more toward science fiction than the horror genre which is why I like it the best. However, and this may be blasphemy to some, I actually enjoyed Prometheus a little better than the original.

Here is a basic plot synopsis.

In the movie Prometheus is the ship that is traveling to a distant moon LV-223 that is orbiting a Saturn like gas-giant planet. The ship is aptly named because it is searching for the origins of human life. In Greek mythology Prometheus was a Titan that supposedly created mankind out of clay stole fire and gave it to mankind. On earth in the year 2089 archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway discover a star map in a cave in Scotland that matches others similar stone maps from several unconnected ancient cultures. The Wayland Corporation funds the expedition with Meredith Vickers on board as the companies representatives. Their aim is to follow the star map from the cave and find the “engineers” of humanity. The crew is in stasis as the ship flies to this distant moon arriving in the year 2093.

Once they arrive upon the moon Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway come across other malevolent life forms found inside a cave. Also on board is David and android built by the Wayland Corporation. David finds a secret control room with containers filled with a mysterious dark liquid. The crew comes across dead alien bodies thought to be the engineers they are looking for. They also find a decapitated head of one of the engineers. When a sudden storm pops up the crew is forced to return to the ship, however two crew members were unsuccessful in making it back to the ship. These two are eventually killed by snake like creatures found in the cave.

Back on board the ship Elizabeth Shaw discovers that the DNA of engineers is identical to humans. Shaw also finds herself pregnant with an alien offspring. Using a surgical table she is able to perform her own C-setion to kill the alien. Peter Waylands, the elderly CEO of the Wayland Co. is found in stasis on board. He was thought to have died on earth while Prometheus was traveling to moon LV-223. David leads Wayland and Shaw to a chamber he found that contains the Engineers in stasis. One is revived and becomes violent ripping David’s android head from his body and killing Wayland. Shaw tries to return to the Prometheus as the woken Engineer climbs into his space ship. Shaw radios the Prometheus that the Engineer is heading to earth and must be stopped. With no weapons working Prometheus sacrifices itself and crashes into the Engineer’s space craft. After the two crafts have crashed upon the moons surface Shaw explores the Prometheus to find the Engineer still alive. During a brief fight with Shaw the Engineer is attacked by Shaw’s now fully grown alien offspring that was not killed during the C-Section. This enables Shaw to get away using the Engineers space ship. As Shaw gets away and tells David, whose head is till working, that she is not returning to Earth but is heading out to find the home planet of the Engineer, an alien bursts forth from the chest of the dead Engineer.

Those were the essentials of the plot. The special effects are top notch with some of the effects reminiscent of what we saw in Avatar. The acting is very good also. Although I didn’t mention the character of Meredith Vickers too much in my review, she is played by the beautiful Charlize Theron, and she is a real bitch!! Very good acting. Noomi Rapace plays Elizabeth Shaw and she is the heroine of the movie. She is not portrayed as a tough hard nosed gal but as an average person who has to rise up to the challenge and to survive. Michael Fassbender plays David and his portrayal is very good and you really don’t know if he is a good guy or a bad guy.

I really enjoyed the story and the characters. The story was suspenseful without being too horrific. I think Ridley Scott, who directed the first Alien movie, stuck a good balance between horror and science fiction. I highly recommend this addition to the franchise.

Mockingbird Lane

Last Friday night I watched the rebooted version of The Munsters from the pen of Bryan Fuller creator of series such as Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies. I was and am a big fan of the the original 1960s TV show so I was anxious to see this new take on the classic frightfully funny family.

This next section is from wikipedia and explains the cast and the characters.

Jerry O’Connell as Herman Munster is apparently a made monster, something his father-in-law likes to rub in. His making is helped along by Grandpa. Unlike the previous Herman, this Herman is actually very intelligent but has a sensitive heart, emotionally. He loves all his family and to much lesser extent even his father-in-law. Because he loves his family so much, he has a heart condition.

Portia de Rossi as Lily Munster is the kind, charming, and lovely matriarch of the Munster family. Unlike her father, Lily tries not to attack or manipulate humans. She loves her family very much and only wants them safe.

Charity Wakefield as Marilyn Munster who is the normal looking one of her family. Her family constantly give her a hard time on her decision to look and act normal. Her mother at one point tried to eat her because of her appearance, but Grandpa talked her out of it. She’s somewhat adjusted to her family’s odd ways and tries to keep a happy demeanor.

Mason Cook as Eddie Munster did not know he was a werewolf, until puberty set in and ‘incidents’ started to happen. He is very adjusted to his family’s lifestyle. He’s recently been told what he is and isn’t happy that he’s a werewolf. To make him feel better, his parents got him Spot the dragon, as a pet.

Eddie Izzard as Grandpa (Sam Dracula) who often likes to act like head of the family. He enjoys making wise cracks at Herman’s expense. This version of Grandpa is much darker than his previous incarnation as he doesn’t mind killing in front of his own grandson and plots things behind the family’s back.

Now for my review. I had mixed feelings about the episode. The tone is much darker than the original and the humor is dark humor. Dark humor didn’t bother me but when grandpa, played in a marvelous fashion by Eddie Izzard, is naked and eating a dear he killed disguised as a mountain lion, that was abit too much for my tastes.

My other problem was with the look of the characters. While they are more normal looking than their 1960s counter parts, they have gone too far in the other direction. They look too normal and in the case of Jerry O’Connell portrayal of the Frankenstein like monster, Herman Munster, he acts too normal. Marilyn Munster used to be the more normal one of the bunch but she was even more creepy than Herman was in this episode! If this does get picked up as a series, and so far it has not been picked up, some minor tweaking of the looks and actions of the characters would be good.

The story centers around little Eddie Muntser who had attacked his scout troop at the start of the show after he turned into a werewolf. He has no memory of the incident and does not know what happened. His family is forced to movie. They find a run down mansion once owned by a serial killer. The family moves in to set up house. Meanwhile Herman’s stitched together heart keeps giving out so they must find a permanent replacement heart. Herman doesn’t want a heart that will cause him to feel differently so they pick Eddie’s new scoutmaster, who has a crush on Lily, as the new organ donor…they just have to kill him first. Amidst all of this is Lilly and Herman debating whether or not to tell Eddie of his “condition.” They eventually do and to console him Herman and Lilly give him his very own pet dragon..Spot.

I did enjoy the story a good deal. Despite my minor quibbles about the characters and their make up it really was a good episode. The house looks fantastic and the special effects are very good. When Grandpa is in the form of a demonic vampire with bat-like wings I must say that was some impressive special effects. Also, after almost 50 years of loving this show we finally got to see Spot, the pet dragon that lives under the stairs! All-in-all a good re-imagining of the classic show and I would certainly watch it each week if it gets picked up as a series.

Halloween Movie Recomendations

With Halloween this week I will save the scariest movie of them all for my final recommendation. The Exorcist. This is a movie that I remember when it hit theaters in 1973. I was 10 years old and watched on the news of the reports of people fainting and vomiting and having panic attacks from viewing this movie. Many movie theaters had nurses standing by to help with the upset movie viewer.

Of course it would be years before I finally saw the movie on VHS tape. I did find it very disturbing and scary. The special effects for Linda Blair as the possessed child still stand out today. One of the most frightful aspects of the entire movie is the tone and mood that is set. From the opening frame to the closing credits the cinematography and the music set a mood that is suspenseful, creepy, anxious, forbidding and down right spooky. It never lets up and takes a break so by the time the exorcism begins the audience is on the edge of their seats.

There are really two stories at the heart of this film. First is the story about a young girl who is from a broken home whose mother is an actress working on a film in the Washington DC area who gets possessed by and evil spirit, the devil, after playing a Ouija board. The second story involves Damian a priest and psychologists that has lost his faith and is depressed as his mother is dying. The movie does an excellent job of weaving both story lines together into the final climax of the film.

Although the film has dated well and the special effects are very well done those are no longer the scariest aspects of the film. I think the mood and tone of the movie is what is most frightening. The scenes with Linda Blair being possessed have lost some of their power to frighten because they have been parodied to death (pun intended) in the nearly 40 years since the films release. Those scenes have become somewhat of a novelty. But if you can forget the parodies and get yourself engrossed in the story they can still deliver thrills and chills.

A few years ago an updated DVD was released with added scenes. There was one scene when Reagan’s mom is still wondering what is going on with her daughter when we suddenly see Reagan walking upside down as she descends the staircase. The walking is done so fast and in a staccato like fashion that my wife and I burst out laughing. I do not think that was the emotion the directors was going for. That is the only flaw in the updated version. So if you really want to get yourself in a Halloween mood and want a good old fashioned scare then The Exorcist still has the power to deliver.

Godzilla vs Space Godzilla 1994.


Many fans consider this movie the turkey of the Heisei series films. To some degree it is, yet I don’t think it reached the level of poor quality some of the later 70s movies had reached. This is a movie that has grown on me. When I first read the premise, that cells from Godzilla mutated into form Space Godzilla, with giant crystalline features protruding from his shoulders and down his back, sure sounded silly to me. And it is silly. However, silliness is not a stranger to the Godzilla franchise.

The last time we saw Godzilla was when he and his son, Baby Godzilla now called Little Godzilla, were heading out to see. In this movie we find that they have taken up residence on Birth Island. The UNGCC has built a new mechanical device to beat Godzilla. It is called the Mobile Operation Godzilla Universal Expert Robot Aerotype, MOGUERA for short. The machine can assemble and disassemble into many different parts and can burrow into the ground as well as fly into outer space. There is another program trying a different approach to defeating or gaining control over Godzilla. That project is run by Dr. Okubo and Dr. Gondo and their aim is to implant Godzilla with a psychic receiver in order to control him. They persuade psychic Miki Saegusa to join them.

G-Force sends Sato and Shinto, two lieutenants to Birth Island to prepare for the team that is going to plant the psychic receiver into Godzilla. On Birth Island they come across renegade soldier Major Yuki who is involved in his own private battle with Godzilla. Meanwhile UNGCC has detected something from outer space that is heading to earth. They send MOGUERA to intercept the incoming threat. While in the asteroid belt MOGUERA encounters a giant monster encrusted in crystals. After a short battle it fails to stop this incoming threat.

Godzilla soon arrives on Birth Island and Sato and Shinto are successful in implanting the psychic receiver into Godzilla’s neck. Miki also finds herself successful in being able to control Godzilla. Space Godzilla soon arrives on Birth Island where he places Little Godzilla in a crystalline fortress he created. Godzilla begins to attack Space Godzilla and defend his son but is quickly defeated. As the G-Force team leaves it is discovered that Dr. Okubo is not to be trusted. He helps a special forces team capture Miki and the mind control device which he plans to sell to the highest bidder. Sato and Shinto soon come to Miki’s rescue and free her.

Scientists theorize that Space Godzilla was created when Godzilla’s skin sells were morphed while going through a black hole. Yuki rejoins G-Force and becomes the head pilot of MOGUERA as Space Godzilla begins his unstoppable rampage across Japan. MOGUERA proves that it is not a match for Space Godzilla. When Godzilla shows up once again he is forced to team up with MOGUERA to defeat Space Godzilla. The three fight out an epic which ends in the defeat of Space Godzilla and the rescue of Little Godzilla. In the end Yuki decides to end his personal vendetta against Godzilla.

I don’t think the story is what makes this an uneven movie. I still don’t care for Space Godzilla. It is a corny creature. The special effects in this movie are also very uneven. When MOGUERA flies into the Asteroid belt to meet Space Godzilla the special effects are so laughably bad. MOGUERA looks like a small model and the asteroids look like Styrofoam balls hung in front of a black curtain. When Space Godzilla flies around he suddenly develops this giant shell surrounding him and that is also pretty laughable. MOGUERA looks like a cross between a metallic penguin and a woodpecker. Baby Godzilla had a very dinosaur like look to him. Little Godzilla is all cutesy and bug eyed. Some fans complained about that change and while it didn’t bother me so much I can see their point.

This movie also plays havoc with the continuity of the Heisei Series. In Godzilla vs King Ghodirah the time line is changed so that the events of the previous movies to that film (Return of Godzilla and Godzilla vs Biollante) never happened. However, the scientists explain that Godzilla cells may have leaked into space during his fight with Biollante. In reality those scientists should not know about the fight with Biollante because those events were erased from the timeline! Ah, its fun being a nerd. 

The good points of the movie are that Sato, Shinto and Dr. Gondo are all likable characters. Sometimes Godzilla movies can have bland characters but not in this case. Yuki is a great lovable rebel. The action scenes and the battles scenes are well done and as exciting as usual. This is still an enjoyable movie despite its flaws and while it isn’t the strongest of the Heisei series it is still quite entertaining.

 I rate this movie: C+

 

More Halloween Movie Recommendations!!

Seeing that we are only days away from Halloween I thought I would use today as another opportunity to recommend some Halloween related movies.

1. Monster’s Inc. This movie is not just for kids! I am 49 and just love it! The art and animation is fantastic and the vocal performances from Billy Crystal and John Goodman are spectacular. Sure, it isn’t scary but as I said at the start of this month there are some Halloween movies that are just pure fun and this is one of them. Watch for the tribute to Ray Harryhausen!

2. An American Werewolf in London. This is a classic movie. It has everything from chilling horror to dark humor along with great special effects. The transformation of David Naughton’s character into a werewolf was ground breaking back in the early 80s and it is still a spectacular sight to behold. Speaking of sights to behold this movie also stars the beautiful and ever so cute and sexy Jenny Agutter…in her birthday suit no less! The movie still gives me chills and is scary and creepy. When David Naughton and Griffin Dune are walking the moors and here the cry of the wolves it sends chills down my spine to this day.
3. Bad Moon. This is a rare gem and a movie many might not know about. It stars Mariel Hemingway. The movie is about a man that has been bitten by a werewolf and returns to his sister to reconcile with her as she is his only family he has left before the madness begins. He sets up house in a trailer out deep in the woods in an effort to protect himself and people. He even chains himself to a tree. Despite his best efforts carnage ensues and the only one that knows the truth is the family’s dog, a German Shepherd. The premise may sound a bit silly but this is very well done! I am very picky about my horror movies so trust me and give this one a try.
4. Hollow Man. This movie stars Kevin Bacon…mmmm…bacon..sorry, I got distracted..and Elizabeth Shue. This is a rather unique take on the invisible man theme. Bacon plays a scientists that is working on an invisibility serum for the government. After many successful animal trials Bacon tries the serum himself. The problem with it is he cannot reverse it once it happens and he slowly slips into madness and his coworkers have to try to help him..if they can find him…while he tries to kill them. This movie has great special effects and it also is chilling and frighting and at times disturbing. Don’t watch this movie alone!!!

Henry VIII

I also enjoy historical movies and today I want to review a BBC min-series on the life of King Henry VIII of England. 

The movie I want to review today is Henry VIII. It was not a theatrical movie it was two-part British television serial produced principally by Granada Television for ITV in 2003. The movie chronicles the life of Henry VIII of England from the collapse of his first marriage to his death following a stroke in 1547 and depicts his other marriages. In some ways this seems more like a remake of the 1970s BBC production of the Six Wives of Henry VIII.

The movie and subsequent DVD are divided into two parts. The fist part deals mainly with the ending of Henry’s marriage to Infanta Catherine of Aragon and his marriage to Anne Bolyn. The second part encompasses Henry’s other 4 marriages and for that reason the second part seems a little crammed and rushed. I would have liked to have seen the movie done in three parts with each part addressing two of the six marriages.

The main star of the movie is veteran British actor Ray Winstone as King Henry VIII and Helena Bonham Carter (herself the queen of period pieces) as the ill-fated Anne Boleyn. Part two stars Emily Blunt as Catherine Howard another of Henry VIII’s ill-fated queens. Actually, her pleas not to be executed are pretty heart wrenching.

I have read that there was controversy surrounding the casting and performance of Ray Winstone as the king. He is noted for playing many tough guy roles and people who are thugs and that his portrayal of the king was anything buy kingly and aristocratic. I can have empathy for the critics on that point. Henry does not come across as particularly regal or aristocratic. However, that doesn’t really bother me too much even though I do acknowledge that point of view. What Ray does provide for the role is sense of power, authority and ruthlessness along with strength and selfish ambition. These are all qualities I can envision Henry VIII having.

I do enjoy the series even though it is a bit uneven. Part one being the better of the two if only for the presence Helena Bonham Carter and the chemistry between her and Ray.Carter does a great job of bringing Anne Boleyn to life. She is depicted not only as a person who was grabbing power for herself she is also depicted as a victim of a system that literally killed if one did not produce results. As I mentioned above part two just seems too rushed for my tastes. I do think that Emily Blunt does a very good job depicting the young Catherine Howard but since she seems to be only window dressing around which the plot unfolds she is not given the opportunity to flesh out her character. If they had devoted more time to that marriage I think Emily Blunt would have shined even more.

Despite of those flaws I mentioned I do enjoy the two part movie a great deal. Henry VIII is a great study. I would not say I admire him because I think he was a blood thirsty tyrant in many ways. He is a good study on the abuse of power and the role of monarchy in the 16th century. I will close this review with my disclaimer. Do not get your history lesson from a movie. Let a movie give you the sense of how things looked and felt during the time period, let it come alive through costumes and setting and let the movie be a spring board to searching out and understanding the real events. Sorry, don’t mean to sound too preachy.

Iron Man 3 ~ Teaser Trailer!!!!!

Iron Man was one of the best super hero movies ever…Iron Man 2 was a bit of a let down but not a real bad movie, and from the looks of this trailer Iron Man 3 looks to be spectacular!!!

 

Let Them Die!

“He’s dead Jim.” These are the iconic words by Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy to his stalwart Captain, James Tiberius Kirk of the starship the USS Enterprise that we heard in many episodes. Fans like myself have heard them over and over again…except they were not always true. This post is a bit of rant about franchises that do not kill off major characters, or if they do, only to bring them back at a later date. I will mainly focus on Star Trek but I observe that this happens in many science-fiction and fantasy franchises.

My complaint is that it takes out the drama and the sting of these “deaths.” Take the death of Spock for example. He was killed at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. If you’re a fan who was alive and thriving at that time, this was a very big deal. They undid all of that in the very next movie, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Now I love that movie. It gets a bad rap but it really is a fun exciting movie. However, the spend the entire movie trying to rescue a reanimated Spock and his death in the previous film is now hollow.

Even in the series itself you knew death would not be permanent. In the episode Shore Leave McCoy is seemingly killed by a Lance from a Knight on a horse only to be brought back by the end of the episode. * In the episode The Changeling, Scotty is killed by the probe Nomad only to be resurrected after the next commercial break. In Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) episode, Ethics, Worf dies on the operating table only to be revived when his redundant biological systems (which we just learned he had in that episode) kick into gear. In the first season of TNG in the episode Skin of Evil, Tasha Yar is killed off when actor Denise Crosby wanted out of her contract. Even though the actress left the series she did return twice as Tasha Yar; once in the time travel episode Yesterday’s Enterprise (great episode by the way) only to die again, albeit off screen. Crosby returned to play her character’s half-Romulan half-Human daughter Sela in a few episodes and in the series finale Crosby played Yar once more in scenes depicting the series first episode.

In science fiction nobody dies or at least death may not be forever. One of the things that sparked this blog post is speculation around the new Star Trek movie, Star Trek Into Darkness. JJ Abrams killed of Spock’s mother, Amanda, and he destroyed the Vulcan home world. So it seems like JJ Abrams is not afraid of taking a bold move and with the alleged dark theme of the movie will Abrams kill off a major character? And will he, as kirk said to Spock concerning the Klingons in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,…Let them die?

* This fact, that McCoy did die once, is ignored in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. In the movie Spock tells McCoy that he cannot discuss death with him without a proper frame of reference. McCoy exasperatedly responds that he has to die first to discuss death with Spock!? Evidently the writers forgot that McCoy did die in the episode “Shore Leave.” 

Dracula

Today’s horror movie recommendation is the 1979 film, Dracula, starring Frank Lengella, Sir Lawrence Olivier and Donald Pleasence. The film was directed by John Badham and featured the musical score of the great John Williams. The version had been a play staring Langella and both the play and the movie were based on Bram Stoker’s 19th century Gothic novel.

All film versions of Stokers novel deviates from the source material and this version is no exception. I feel however, that this is one of the more satisfying film adaptations of the story. The movie omits the part where Jonathan Harker travels to Dracula’s estate in Transylvania where he is kept a virtual prisoner of the creepy count. Instead this movie begins with Dracula’s arrival on English soil to take up residence at Carfax Abbey. The horrific scenes of the ship struggling through a storm to get rid of its evil cargo and its ship wreck along the English coast establishes a ominous mood that the movie never relinquishes.

Langella avoided playing Dracula as he was portrayed in film by the legendary Bela Lugosi’s performance of the count and instead played him as a dark mysterious stranger full of raw sexual energy. * With his deep baritone voice Langella’s Dracula was very seductive and this made his portrayal all the more creepy!

The setting was also changed. Instead of Victorian England of the late 19th century this movie takes place about 15-20 years later in 1913. Now to the novice there might not be much difference in costumes and settings within that 20 year period; do most people recognize a difference between the 19th century and early 20th century? I do see a difference but in the end it really is not a distinction that signifies a difference.

I really think the casting of Sir Lawrence Olivier as Abraham Van Helsing was brilliant. I cannot imagine another from that time in that role. He carries an air of authority and strength of character as well as a man who is eventually over his head in the circumstances that he is in.

One of the complaints about the DVD has been about the color. The director originally wanted to film the movie in black and white but Universal Studios would not let him. In 1991 for the laser disk release, and the subsequent DVD releases, the director had almost all the color desaturated from its once vibrant presentation to where everything has a subdued and almost sepia-tone look to the movie with warm golden highlights. I cannot remember the more vibrant colored movie and I wouldn’t mind seeing the movie that way, but I have come to really appreciate the more subdued look, it really enhances the overall tension and spooky atmosphere of the film.

The movie did modestly well at the box office, making $20 million, not bad for a horror movie from that time. With the comedy spoof by Leslie Nielsen, “Dracula, Dead and Loving it!” also coming out that year was the remake of the 1922 German classic, Nosferatu. It seems this well made film was lost in all that vampire hype. So if you want to see a good vampire movie, without the sparkle, then check out the 1979 version of Dracula starring Frank Langella.

* Trivia: Bela Lugosi only played Dracula twice! His first time was in the 1931 classic and then in a comedy/horror film, “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.” He did play a vampire in two other horror movies but was forever typecast as the famous count.

 

Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II 1993

This was the 20th Godzilla film and even though it came out in 1993 it was the film that would celebrate 40 years of Godzilla. In this movie we see the return of classic characters from the Showa era, Rodan and Mechagodzilla. We also find out that Godzilla once again has a new son but this time it isn’t Minya from the Son of Godzilla and other movies, it is a totally new character. Many fans didn’t really care for Minya and it seems they didn’t care for this new character either. Akira Ifukube was on board to provide the music once more. In 1992 Toho Studios wanted to give the directing duties to veteran Godzilla director Ishirō Honda but he died early in 1993. With Honda’s passing the directing duties were given to Takao Okawara.

Although this movie is titled Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II it is not a sequel to the 1973 movie Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla despite the inclusion of the the Roman numeral II. This movie is actually a sequel to the previous film, Godzilla vs Mothra.

The story begins where the previous movie left off. The United Nations creates a task force with the aim of defeating Godzilla, it is called United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center (UNGCC). They take the remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah and build two machines in their effort to beat Godzilla. The first one is called Garuda and the second one is Mechgodzilla. In the Showa series Mechagodzilla had an alien origin but in the Heisei series Mechgodzilla’s origins are strictly Earth bound and human.

The movie flashes forward to a couple of years into the future where a team of Japanese scientists come across a large egg on Adona Island in the Bering Sea. The egg seems to give off strange signals which attracts Rodan an adult giant pteranodon created by the nuclear waste. The scientists think the egg they have found is another baby pteranodon. Suddenly Godzilla rises from the ocean and begins to fight Rodan. During the skirmish the scientists escape with the egg. After they leave, Godzilla is successful in severely wounding Rodan.

The egg is taken to Kyoto and when it hatches out pops a baby Godzillasaur which imprints on a very cute Japanese scientists, Azusa Gojo played by Ryoko Sano. Side note: Toho has had a reputation for hiring very attractive leading ladies over the years and this movie has two of my all time favorites. Soon Godzilla arrives in Kyoto looking for his baby. The Japanese Defense Force sends Mechagodzilla to fight Godzilla but he malfunctions allowing Godzilla to destroy Kyoto uninhibited. Tests are conducted on baby Godzilla and it is discovered that he has two brains. The brain in his midsection controls his movements. Theorizing that Godzilla also has two brains the UNGCC devises a plan to use this device called the “G-Crusher” to stop Godzilla in his tracks. They use Baby Godzilla as bait but the plan fails when a super charged and healed Rodan, now called Fire Rodan, answers the call instead. Rodan destroys the helicopter that is carrying the cargo container holding baby Godzilla and Azusa Gojo.

The UNGCC uses Garuda and a repaired Super-Mechagodzilla to fight Rodan who is trying to get to baby Godzilla. While battling Rodan Godzilla shows up and confronts his metallic alter ego. When Rodan is mortally wounded Garuda and Super-Mechagodzilla team up to fight Godzilla and succeed in paralyzing him. Revived once again by baby Godzilla’s call Rodan tries to flee when Super-Mechagodzilla shoots him down. Rodan falls on top of Godzilla and as he is dying transfers his life force to Godzilla. Godzilla revives and finds baby Godzilla. Little baby Godzilla is frightened of big Godzilla until Miki Saegusa, the young psychic who has been in the previous movies, telepathically communicates to baby that he needn’t be afraid of Godzilla. The two then head off into the ocean.

I really enjoy this film and like it a bit better than the previous Godzilla vs Mothra. The special effects are top notch and the acting is pretty solid. I really liken the inclusion of Rodan since we have not seen him in along long time and really hasn’t had any battles with Godzilla since Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster in 1964. I have always liked Rodan a great deal and feel he has been under used by Toho so I am really happy for his inclusion into the movie. My one complaint about Rodan is the name they call him. In Japan he is actually called Radon and that is what he is called here. This is the English dubbed version that is calling him Radon so you would think that in the dubbed version they would have used the name Rodan which is the familiar name English speaking audiences know him by.

I like this new baby Godzilla, it really cute and even though he is only a plot point rather than a true character he is used well. The action scenes with the monsters are also well filmed and executed. Rodan and Godzilla have never looked better. Speaking of looking good one of the joys for me with this movie is seeing the lovely Shinobu Nakayama as the adorably cute Yuri Katagiri and Ryoko Sano as the equally adorably cute Azusa Gojo. This movie is one of the top movies of Godzilla’s Heisei series.

I rate this movie: A


Shinobu Nakayama


Ryoko Sano