Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
May 4, 2014 by Dennis Amith
If you are a Godzilla fan, King Ghidorah and Mothra are two kaiju that are iconic in the Godzilla universe. And whether or not you find the Heisei era Godzilla films to be campy or exciting, is subjective. But what you will get is two of the more popular Godzilla films which did very well in the Japanese box office and two films featuring exciting battles!
© 1991 Toho Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved., © 1992 Toho Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth
FILM RELEASE: 1991-1992
DURATION: (Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah) 101 Minutes, (Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth) 102 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: (Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah) 1080p High Definition, 1:85:1, Audio: English, Japanese 2.0 DTS-HD MA, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French / (Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth): 1080p High Definition, 1:85:1 aspect ratio, English and Japanese 2.0 DTS-HD MA, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RATED: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (Not Rated), Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (Not Rated)
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Godzilla vs. King Gidorah
Directed by Kazuki Ohmori
Screenplay by Kazuki Ohmori
Executive Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Producer: Shogo Tomiyama
Music by Akira Ifukube
Cinematography by Yoshinori Sekiguchi
Edited by Michiko Ikeda
Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth
Directed by Takao Okawara
Screenplay by Kazuki Ohmori
Produced by Shogo Tomiyama, Tomoyuki Tanaka
Music by Akira Ifukube
Cinematography by Masahiro Kishimoto
“Godzilla vs. King Gidorah” Starring:
Kosuke Toyohara as Kenichiro Terasawa
Anna Nakagawa as Emmy Kano
Megumi Odaka as Miki Saegusa
Katsuhiko Sasaki as Professor Mazaki
Akiji Kobayashi as Yuzo Tsuchiashi
Tokuma Nishioka as Takehito Fujio
Yoshio Tsuchiya as Busienssman Yasuaki Shindo
“Godzilla vs. Mothra: The Battle for Earth” Starring:
Tetsuya Bessho as Takuya Fujita
Satomi Kobayashi as Masako Tezuka
Takehiro Murata as Kenji Ando
Keiko Imamura and Sayaka Osawa as the cosmos
Saburo Shinoda as Professor Fukazawa
Akiji Kobayashi as Yuzo Tsuchiashi
Megumi Odaka as Miki Saegusa
Akira Takarada as Joji Minamino
When a mysterious U.F.O. is seen flying over Tokyo, tension mounts, until the craft’s occupants reveal themselves to be friendly aliens from the 23rd century who have come to warn mankind that Godzilla® will soon awaken and wreak havoc upon the earth unless he is destroyed. Meanwhile, a double threat arrives in the form of King Ghidorah, Godzilla’s flying three-headed archrival and an evil and all-powerful android. The suspense builds to terrifying levels as the alien’s sinister mission on Earth is gradually revealed and Godzilla® must wage a solo battle against these evil forces who want to destroy mankind. High-tech special effects and awesome action highlight this present-day Godzilla® epic.
After a series of earthquakes unearth a gigantic orb, a trio of Japanese explorers are dispatched to the mysterious Infant Island to investigate. There they discover the island’s sole inhabitants, miniature twin fairies whose duty is to protect the mammoth ball, the egg of Mothra! When the explorers attempt to bring the egg back to the mainland, a furious Godzilla® awakens from the depths and attacks the party, causing the egg to hatch and forcing its newborn larvae to fend off the gigantic reptile. The humongous worm holds its own until help arrives in the form of Battra (a.k.a. Black Mothra). When Mothra and Battra metamorphose into flying monster moths, the battle rages on land and in the sky. With two powerful foes to reckon with, has Godzilla® finally met his match?
As many await the upcoming “Godzilla” film in the U.S., to help celebrate the 60th year since the first film release of the iconic kaiju monster known as “Godzilla”, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will be releasing eight of the Heisei/Millenium “Godzilla” films on Blu-ray in May 2014.
A total of eight “Godzilla” films will be released with a two Blu-ray set containing two films. All films on Blu-ray be remastered in high definition as part of the Toho Godzilla Collection.
The following review is for “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth”, which are the 18th and 19th Heisei films in the Toho “Godzilla” franchise.
For the 18th film and having learned that Godzilla vs. newer monsters didn’t work quite well in the box office with 1989’s “Godzilla vs. Biolante”, Toho brought back Godzilla’s greatest foe, King Ghidorah.
The film revolves around author Kenichiro Terasawa (portrayed by Kosuke Toyohara), an author on psychic phenomena is trying to research more on Godzilla’s true origin. He learns that back in World War II, Japanese soldiers on Lagos Island were saved by Godzillasaurus, which killed a group of American soldiers. Also to learn that in 1954, the Lagos Island was destroyed by a hydrogen bomb test, just several months before Godzilla first attacked Tokyo.
For Yasuaki Shindo (portrayed by Yoshio Tsuchiya), the commander of the Japanese troops on Lagos and now a businessman, still denies being rescued by Godzillasaurus.
But out of nowhere, a UFO comes to Earth and lands on Mt. Fuji. As the army arrives, they are greeted by aliens known as Futurians from the year 2204 which include Wilson (portrayed by Chuck Wilson), Grenchko (portrayed by Richard Berger) and Emmy Kano (portrayed by Anna Nakagawa) and an andoroid named M-11 (portrayed by Robert Scott Field).
They explain that Japan was completely destroyed by Godzilla and must travel back in time to remove Godzillasaurus from Lagos and prevent the creation of Godzilla. To show proof to author Kenichiro Terasawa, they show the Japanese government govt. a copy of Terasawa’s book which surprises them.
So, Terasawa, Professor Mazaki (portrayed by Katsuhiko Sasaki) and psychic Miki Saegusa (portrayed by Megumi Odaka) go back in time to 1944. But have the Futurians told Earth the truth or do they have an ulterior motive?
For the 19th film, “Mothra: The Battle for Earth”, a meteor lands on Earth awakening Godzilla. Meanwhile, an archaelogist named Takuya Fujita is caught for trying to steal an artifact.
He is visited in jail by the Japanese Prime Minister and his ex-wife Masako Tezuka and need his help to explore an island with Masako and Marutomo Corp.’s Kenji Ando to find an artifact. If he doesn’t comply, he will stay in jail for trying to steal an ancient relic.
As the three head to an island, they discover ancient paintings of insects fighting each other and later discover an egg. They hear the voice of Cosmos, two small twin fairies who tell them that the egg belongs to Mothra. And the paintings feature the battle between Mothra vs. Battra. They learn that an ancient, advanced civilization were able to control Earth’s climate and created Battra, but found it to be uncontrollable. As Earths’ protector, Mothra fought against Battra and in the process, civilization was destroyed.
But due to recent disasters, both Mothra and Battra have reawakened to continue their battle and also taking part in the battle is Godzilla.
Will modern civilization survive during the battle of these three great monsters?
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio) in English and Japanese 2.0 DTS-HD MA. While “Mothra: The Battle for Earth” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio) in English and Japanese 2.0 DTS-HD MA.
As for picture quality, both films show improvement over the previous DVD release in terms of clarity and colors, but also showcasing grain. While not pristine, the films do look much better on Blu-ray and its lossless Japanese and English stereo soundtrack is clear and understandable.
Subtitles for both films are in English, English SDH and French.
“Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth” comes with trailers for each film.
As a fan of the “Godzilla” films of the Showa Era (1954-1975) and anything that Ishiro Honda directed, when the Heisei Era (1984-1995) of “Godzilla” films were released, I have to admit that I was dismayed that it ignored the continuity of the Showa films. So, these Heisei films were supposed to be right after the 1954 film, ignoring anything else from 1955-1975.
But like everything else that has been popular in Japan, new versions or alternate versions for a new generation of audiences is quite common in Japanese pop culture and with the Heisei films, ecology and also the biological nature of Godzilla became a major component for these films.
But I have to say that a few of the Heisei films were quite campy and you either loved it or hated these films.
With “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah”, this was one of the better films of the era, doing well in the box office and it brought up one of the greatest enemies of Godzilla, the three headed King Ghidorah. Of course, you also have this storyline that revolves around aliens and time travel which was quite over-the-top but you also get a much taller Godzilla and special effects which were good for its time back in 1991.
But as campy as this film was, it’s still a Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah film and the action is pretty awesome and to see how this battle played out was definitely worth watching.
As for “Mothra: The Battle for Earth”, I don’t want to say I was disappointed when I first watched this film. No doubt, the film was trying to bring an “Indiana Jones” component to the film with its swashbuckling relic hunter and his ex-wife which predictably, manages to get closer to during his adventure.
While not the best Godzilla film, it was fascinating to see Mothra return and also the Cosmos (twin fairies) who is always an integral part of a film featuring the giant kaiju insect. And similar to King Ghidorah, the return of Mothra was another box office success for Toho and despite the weak storyline, the fact that a battle with Mothra is included, is quite significant.
But the film was fascinating that it manages to feature Godzilla vs. Battra vs. Mothra battle, but between these two films, “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah” was the better of the two. But for the Heisei films, the return of King Gidorah and Mothra was a success and more Godzilla films would eventually follow.
Overall, if you are a Godzilla fan, King Ghidorah and Mothra are two kaiju that are iconic in the Godzilla universe. And whether or not you find the Heisei era Godzilla films to be campy or exciting, is subjective. But what you will get is two of the more popular Godzilla films which did very well in the Japanese box office and two films featuring exciting battles!
“Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth” is recommended for Godzilla fans!
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