Godzilla 2000 (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
September 4, 2014 by Dennis Amith
“Godzilla 2000” may not be the best Godzilla film ever made, but it was an important film because it was literally a reboot of the long running “Godzilla” series. The film kicked of the Millennium Arc for a new generation of Godzilla fans at the time. While the film has its fair share of campiness, it’s still a lot of fun and the battle between Godzilla vs. Orga is worth watching!
TITLE: Godzilla 2000
TELEFILM RELEASE: 1999
DURATION: 107 Minutes (Japanese version), 99 Minutes (English Version)
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:35:1 and 2:40:1 aspect ratio), Japanese and English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RATED: PG (For Monster Violence and Mild Language)
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Directed by Takao Okawara
Written by Hiroshi Kashiwabara, Wataru Mimura
US Version is written by Michael Schlesinger
Executive Producer: Shogo Tomiyama
Producer (US): Michael Schlesinger
Music by Takayuki Hattori
Cinematography by Katsuhiro Kato
Edited by Yoshiyuki Okuhara
Casting by Tadao Tanaka
Production Design by Takeshi Shimizu
Takehiro Murata as Prof. Yuji Shinoda
Hiroshi Abe as Mitsuo Katagiri
Naomi Nishida as Yuki Ichinose
Mayu Suzuki as Io Shinoda
Shiro Sano as Prof. Shiro Miyasaka
Get ready to crumble! The king of all monsters is back and bigger than ever! The action heats up when a UFO reveals itself as a massive alien monster with awesome destructive powers. The alien monster heads straight for the behemoth GODZILLA(r) who’s just crushed the entire city for the battle of theillennium. But GODZILLA(r)’s furious heat beam may not be enough to destroy the death-dealing alien, and the future of humankind is in jeopardy. Now, it’s a bang-up, threeway, no-holds-barred brawl as GODZILLA(r), the alien monster and the courageous citizens of Japan fight an unprecedented battle for survival in this earth-shattering new sci-fi action adventure that will blow you away.
In 1999, the 23rd Godzilla film “Godzilla 2000” was released in theaters.
Directed by Takao Okawara and written by Hiroshi Kashiwabara and Wataru Mimura, the film is a reboot of the series and a film regarded as the first of the “Millennium” arc.
With three versions of the film released which included a 107-minute Japanese version of the film, a U.S. English dub and a dub created in Hong Kong, with the release of “Godzilla 2000” on Blu-ray, included is both the Japanese and the U.S. English dub version of the film.
“Godzilla 2000” takes place during a time when the Godzilla Prediction Network (GPN) have been trying to study Godzilla and predict when it comes to the land. Meanwhile, scientists of the Crisis Control Intelligence (CCI) are investigating a meteorite in the middle of the ocean.
As CCI are doing their research, the meteorite immediately moves on its own and flies out of the ocean towards the sky.
As GPN founder, Yuji Shinoda (portrayed by Takehiro Murata) and writer Yuki Ichinose (portrayed by Naomi Nishida) go to investigate the UFO, the dangerous threat brings Godzilla back to Japan. But the Japanese Self Defense Forces go on the attack against Godzilla, meanwhile the UFO starts observing Godzilla and begins attacking.
This leads to a battle between Godzilla and the UFO and for Yuji, he feels that he knows how Godzilla can regenerate his powers.
While Yuji does his research, Mitsuo Katagiri of CCI leads an assault on both the UFO and Godzilla. And it is learned that the UFO wants to invade Earth and its purpose is to study and steal Godzilla’s regenerative powers and reform itself to a Millenian but because Earth’s atmosphere is different, it changes to the terrifying monster known as Orga.
Which leads to a major battle between Godzilla vs. Orga.
NOTE: The U.S. English dub version is the same story but shorter by eight minutes and the dialogue utilizes more comedy in its dialogue.
“Godzilla 2000” is presented in 1080p High definition. “Godzilla 2000” does look better than its DVD counterpart and when it focuses on the actual characters, picture quality is good. But when it tries to go into the visual effects, you will notice scenes with more artifacts more, especially with the scene shot inside a viewing room. Of course, the graphics were early CG, so the UFO is not the greatest in quality and is a bit outdated. But fortunately, the majority of the film does look much better than the original DVD.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Godzilla 2000” is presented in Japanese and English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. While the Japanese
Subtitles are in English, English SDH and French.
“Godzilla 2000” comes with the following special features:
- Commentary with Producer/Writer Michael Schlesinger and Crew – Audio commentary for the English version of the film.
- Behind the Scenes – (2:12) Behind the Scenes on the making of the UFO scene, Godzilla scenes and more.
- Original Trailer – (1:15) The original theatrical trailer for “Godzilla 2000”.
“Godzilla 2000” comes with an Ultraviolet code which allows viewing the film in HD on PC’s, tablets and cell phones.
When it comes to Godzilla films, “Godzilla 2000 Millennium” was to be the new beginning of the series and upon release, the film met with mixed results in Japan.
Touted for its special effects and a more serious storyline, the film brought happiness to those who waited for a new Godzilla film, a new suit and a new enemy.
But as farfetched as the enemies of Godzilla has come to be, an enemy created by a UFO that has been stuck in the ocean for millions of years is really a bit much, but as Godzilla has always been about the battles and often a cheesy dialogue, the Japanese version tried to have a serious message and tone.
Meanwhile, for the U.S. English dub, “Godzilla 2000” was about bringing in more humor to the film while trimming down non-essential scenes and make the film flow much better.
For me, I always prefer watching films in their original language but personally, I felt that the editing of the U.S. dubbed version and its humorous storyline took things back as far as the ’70s Godzilla titles. Godzilla kicking butt but its fair share of comedy and drama. It’s what people remember most of the film series, which has since changed since the release of the big budget Hollywood film in 2014.
There is no doubt that “Godzilla” has improved with age and while I’m always going to be biased towards the original film, the truth is that I found myself enjoying “Godzilla” films for what they are…good or bad. What I want to see is Godzilla taking on new enemies and in this case, you see Godzilla being defeated but getting prepared for its final battle vs. Orga.
The new Godzilla suit for the film at that time, looked fantastic and Orga looked like a fascinating enemy for Godzilla and while the battles were fun to watch, especially moreso during that time, the hype surrounded the return of Godzilla. Watching it again many years later and it was more campier than I previously remembered it to be.
The Blu-ray release features very good picture quality most of the time, while there are a few scenes that look very ugly with artifacts but that is a very short scene and this ugliness is not seen that many times at all. You get a fascinating audio commentary on the English dub and a few other special features included on the Blu-ray as well.
But most importantly, you get both Japanese and English dub versions of the film included on one Blu-ray disc!
Overall, “Godzilla 2000” may not be the best Godzilla film ever made, but it was an important film because it was literally a reboot of the long running “Godzilla” series. The film kicked of the Millennium Arc for a new generation of Godzilla fans at the time. While the film has its fair share of campiness, it’s still a lot of fun and the battle between Godzilla vs. Orga is worth watching!
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