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Revisiting Godzilla vs. Mothra '92 - Live Tweets

Revisiting Godzilla vs. Mothra '92 - Live Tweets

G. H. (Gman)

Sep-06-2018 6:33 AM

Last night I decided to revisit one of the more maligned, but perhaps underrated films in the Heisei series. I've always enjoyed it for the character work and a few good shots. I tweeted about it live on my Twitter account as I watched it--Here are some observations made about the film I hope you guys find interesting/didn't know before:

Surprise. Pulling out a random one here. Let's see if this is a mistake. Live tweeting about Takao Okawara's #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92.

Watching the Sony Blu-ray here--This is clearly based on their own print of the movie released on DVD in the late 1990s. Except, surprise! It's actually in widescreen. Was it really that hard Sony? #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

The CG meteor was initially not going to be the only CG in the film. Special effects director Koichi Kawakita was going to use CG for #Mothra's wings when she came out of her cocoon. It looked awful though. So it was cut. #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

The film opens with #Godzilla roaring underwater. I'll have to check, but I suspect this exact same shot is used in Godzilla vs. #SpaceGodzilla since it opens the exact same way... Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Ah, the bad English actors in this movie--Reminds me of the weak "gaijin" in #Gamera 2's opening. Listen guys, finding foreign actors in Japan is a nightmare. Most of them aren't even actors, just foreigners picked since they look the part. Even Shin #Godzilla has this issue.

"Directed by Takao Okawara" This was Okawara's first #Godzilla movie, but his second film ever. His 1991 debut film, Reiko, the Psyche Resurrected, was so well liked that producer Shogo Tomiyama lobbied hard for him to direct #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92.

Which is sort of a shame since @shusukekaneko, who would later direct the Gamera trilogy, #Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah & #Ultraman Max episodes lobbied to direct this movie. But Okawara was the safer and... more controllable choice.

The tables turned a decade later when Tomiyama asked Kaneko to direct, GMK. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92.

We're introduced to the protagonist of the film played by Tetsuya Bessho: Nagasaki Jones! #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92.

Jokes. The character's name is Takuya Fujita--But Okawara doesn't even bother hiding the screenplays painful "homage" to Indiana Jones. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Tetsuya Bessho won a Japanese Academy Award the prior year for "Best Newcomer". Over 10 years after this film he would play the main character in @tsuburayaprod's #Ultraman: The Next. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

The two actors who visit Fujita in jail are Akiji Kobayashi and Takehiro Murata. Kobayashi played the same character in #Godzilla vs. #KingGhidorah the previous year. But he's best known as Capt Muramatsu from the original #Ultraman. Lots of Ultraman here. Godzilla vs. #Mothra 92

Murata played Shinoda in #Godzilla 2000 and had a brief cameo in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. The Japanese Academy nominated him for Best Supporting Actor in this film. Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

I really do appreciate Besso's nuance in this movie. Trying to look at the satellite photo with two hands, but grimaces at the guard his cuffed with when he can't. Rolling his head around when being fed stuff about the environment, etc. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

The best part of the movie is his bickering with his ex-wife Masako, played by Satomi Kobayashi. The screenplay never sticks the landing with these characters, but the chemistry works. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

And BOOM! Back for the first time since #Godzilla vs. The sea Monster is Akira Takarada! He's completely wasted on this film, but it's good to see him. Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

This same scene introduces him with Prof. Fukazawa played by Saburo Shinoda. He reprises the character in #Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, but is best known for being the lead in 1973's #Ultraman Taro. Again... LOTS of Ultraman. Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Very cool that we have actors who were at the beginning of #Godzilla, #Ultraman and Ultraman Taro in the same shot. Lots of vets in this movie that are wasted. Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Oh look! Miki Saegusa's back in her third movie to do... Er... Why are you here? #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Battra's entrance is a bit abrupt. Ice caps melt and out he comes! Might have been more suspenseful to not show what was causing it, but Kawakita more or less checked out by this movie. Filming action through a water tank? 1992 ladies and germs. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Infant Island is quite green in lush in this version. Cinematographer Masahiro Kishimoto is usually not very creative unless you put him outdoors. (See: #SpaceGodzilla) He captures the island's beauty and damage very nicely. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

The bridge scene. This time we're paying "homage" to The Temple of Doom instead of Raiders of the Lost Ark--Both to lesser success. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Fujita doesn't notice his ex and Andoh (Murata) pour water out of their shoes for a comedic beat. Okawara wasn't a fan of how serious The Return of #Godzilla was, so his films had a lighter touch with his characters. Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

I'm guessing the alarm clock was also supposed to be a comedic beat, but I'm not laughing so it's hard to tell... #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Instead of happening across native islanders, hyroglyphics tell the story of this new incarnation of #Mothra--Because dancing natives are out at this point. And expensive... #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

All things considered, #Mothra's origin is still much truer to the original than #KingGhidorah's from the prior film. At least she's not a fusion of three Beanie Babies. #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

Instead of the native Shobijin in their torn, dirty, makeshift clothes, we have the Cosmos in their tidy, bright skirts. I wonder if they have a tiny washers and dryers behind that flower? #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

The arc between #Mothra and Battra is of course revisited between #Gigan and Mothra in #Godzilla: Final Wars. Somehow. Some way. The concept is explored no better. Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

The Cosmos are played by Keiko Imamura and Sayaka Osawa. Osawa would later play a minor part in #Godzilla vs. #MechaGodzilla '93 and Miki's American psychic friend, Meru Ozawa, in Godzilla vs. #Destoroyah. Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Makoto Otake is introduced as Takeshi Tomokane the President of the Marutomo Company supposedly destroying the environment. Really he's just a knockoff of Kenji Sahara's superior villain in the original #Mothra vs. #Godzilla.

Both Tomokane's Marutomo Company and Torahata's Happy Enterprises (Sahara) buy #Mothra's egg, but only the latter gets to exploit it in the original film. Sahara's Torahata was just a superior antagonist in the 1964 movie. #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

We actually watch Torahata exploit others and take advantage of specific situations. We're only told what Tomokane does which, by comparison, isn't half as cruel in the new #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92.

"We hope the humans that live on Earth now will not make the same mistakes that destroyed our planet before." Uh... Babes... #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

The airstrike scene against Battra makes the one against #KingGhidorah in the prior movie look like a work of wonder and art. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

I wonder why Kawakita didn't reuse some of the stock fighter jet footage here. He cut it together pretty well in #KingGhidorah. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

The military leader who says, "It's not even hurt!" during the Battra attack is Susumu Kurobe--None other than Hayata: The original #Ultraman.
Trumpy voice: Lots of Ultraman in this movie... Lots... #Godzilla vs. #Mothra

The "missiles" that bounce off the water during the aerial Battra attack make me grateful for Higuchi's CG missiles in #Gamera: Guardian of the Universe. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

I enjoy Battra's urban attack in broad daylight. The larva suit was infinitely more interesting to look at than the adult version. And the attack has a few nice matte shots we don't see again in the Heisei series. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

This thing has both eye lasers AND a horn laser. Because it's the Heisei series and we need more power to the same exact optical effects, Scotty! Shame. Battra plowing through a building looked very brutal and natural. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Battra is a rewritten Bagan from the initial version of this film's script: #Mothra vs. Bagan. He was initially called, Badorah (Bad Mothra), but it was later changed to Battra (Battle Mothra). #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

Kazuki Omori who wrote the screenplay also wrote and directed the last two films, #Godzilla vs. Biollante & Godzilla vs. #KingGhidorah. Tomiyama wanted fresh talent for Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92.

I also suspect Omori had enough of special effects director Kawakita's shenanigans. The two had a history of bad communication and their crews outright refusing to cooperate with one another. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Enter #Godzilla and the new water suit constructed for this movie. Many complain about what a backseat role he has in this movie, but I quite enjoy his pissed-at-everything role. He's the primary plot device that brings #Mothra & Battra together. #GvM '92

Fujita gets in a fight with Andoh over releasing the egg to #Godzilla. Anyone subtly reminded of this same situation in #KingKong vs. Godzilla? Except far less comedic and explosive here. Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

So the deep, guttural roar #Godzilla had in the last three films was changed to something more reminiscent of the Showa era. Apparently Okawara got angry fan mail over this change, but not enough to change it back... Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

How does #Godzilla's beam (now with a more high pitched, laser sound effect) NOT completely sink the barge #Mothra's egg was floating on? It's barely damaged and been shot at three times... #GvM '92

Now Battra's hit it. It's still floating. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Oh! #Godzilla hits it for a fourth time after Battra tried to take it out and it finally went up in smoke. That thing had quite the HP ratio. Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Despite the dull trick of filming through an aquarium, the #Godzilla vs. Larva Battra battle is a highlight. It's also one of the last times we see the 1991 GidoGoji suit in action. The suit was stolen, but eventually found & repaired for this battle. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

So nice to see this suit in battle, even if the bubbles are being used to obscure some of the suit's damage after being stolen. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Kinda weird hearing the higher pitched roar come out of the GidoGoji suit though... #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Very cool final shot of #Godzilla and Battra sinking into the volcano while fighting. Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

When I first watched this movie, the initial shot of Fujita's jacket slung over a chair in the hotel made me think a sexual reunion between him and his ex was being insinuated. Nope. The Cosmos are sleeping in it. Awkward. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

BUT the drink between them in the very next scene is very nice. Probably one of the better and more realistic scenes in the entire movie--If not the entire Heisei series. Fujita looks very uneasy as Masako speaks candidly. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

You could read this scene as Fujita simply agreeing with her just so he can win her trust and con her later. He talks a big game about changing, but goes right back to his thief roots soon enough. Well played, Omori. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Tomokane now has the Cosmos and plans to use them for publicity. But once again--This wasn't his idea and he didn't order anyone to do it. Andoh just felt bad for losing the egg. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Fujita sees his daughter at the airport and can't face her. He runs away. For anyone who feels like they've portrayed or are undeserving of their kid(s) this is... pretty accurate. Maybe a little cliche, but it works. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

This is the great pitfall for Fujita's Act 2. Being around Masako and getting used to her again was working, but facing his child? Now he reverts back to what he did best instead of facing an unknown future. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

This is huge. Fujita is used to robbing the past, none of which benefits anyone's future. So his character retreating back to his "past" tendencies is even more glaring. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Enter a very gorgeous rendition of the #Mothra Song--The song was not originally written by Ifukube, but he orchestrates it here. #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

Ifukube's score for this film was nominated for a Japanese Academy Award. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Bessho's English when he's trying to sell the Cosmos? Not terrible. Nor is the western "actor" he's trying to sell them to--I mean... We've seen worse... #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Oh good... An aerial/naval attack on #Mothra. The firecrackers have never been more obvious. Ever... #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

Starting with this movie, Kawakita was becoming more and more enthralled with these wide aerial shots, which are never flattering for giant creatures portrayed by puppets and miniatures. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

The #Mothra Larva prop lacks the motion and bobbing of a creature slinking its way through town. Sort of just looks like its rolling by... At least it's actually plowing through structures instead of shooting lasers at them. #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I like the attention to detail when #Mothra plows over the street lights and... ugh... they SPARK. Hey, it's appropriate for those structures. #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

Fujita's caught red handed by his daughter. Now he has no choice but to face the unknown he's been running from--His future. "The Undiscovered Country." (Well said, Chancellor.) #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

"Daddy I don't want you to be a thief."

"I didn't tell her. She just knows."

Ouch. Honestly... His daughter being mature enough to figure it out on her own is a better segue to his development than I remember. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

"I'd like to be with the two of you."

"If you sell the Cosmos it won't be possible. I won't allow it."

"And if I don't?"

"I believe we can work something out."

Not bad, Omori. WAY too early in the movie for this to happen. But not bad. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Really, the thing that makes this movie work for me is the conflict Fujita has with his past and his desire to reconcile with his family. In interviews, Omori felt Fujita's development was the "emotional core" of the story. He's dead on. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

The problem is Fujita's arc comes full circle before the final act. I've heard rumors a frustrated Omori didn't even bother finishing the script, which makes me wonder if the final act was tacked on by someone else. But I have nothing to substantiate it. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Once again, the Diet gets trashed. This time by the "Queen of the Monsters." #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Andoh finally grows a spine and tells his boss Tomokane that the Earth is getting its revenge. Because the environmental message hasn't been rammed down our throats enough just yet. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Note that unlike Torahata in the 1964 clash, Tomokane supposedly survives this whole ordeal. Granted, he wasn't nearly as mean enough to deserve being crushed by #Godzilla, but his final scene leaves a lot to be desired. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

And now we come to the final scene in the series with the 1991 GhidoGoji #Godzilla suit. Godzilla's march out of Mt. Fuji. Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

This scene gets a lot of praise and I agree the lighting and smoke effects are incredible & appropriate. They also obscure the suit's damage without being obvious. But how many volcanoes do you see looking like sparklers? #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

As #Godzilla walks through some high tension towers, we transition to the 1992 BatoGoji suit. Differences include a more ribbed neck, stockier profile, yellow irises and a smaller chest. Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Kind of funny we wait this long in the movie to see the BatoGoji suit in action. We see it again in #Godzilla vs. #MechaGodzilla '93 when he fights #Rodan. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

#Mothra breaks from her cocoon. Initially the wings were to be CG, but Kawakita wisely went with a more practical version. #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

And Battra also transforms into his less impressive adult version. I've aid before, it might have been more interesting to NOT see him transform and he simply erupts from the ocean in his new form. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

As is, Battra's metamorphosis leaves us with more questions than it answers. If it was that quick, why didn't he do it before? Does he have to wait for some form of energy reserves? #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

It might've been best to just reveal him as an adult and leave us wondering how long it really took him to achieve that form. And how... #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Smiling extras have never been more evident as they are in this movie. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Wow. Battra's movement is really terrible. Legs that long and pronounced, yet static as a... well... model. At least #Mothra's legs are small enough to get away with the lack of motion. #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

Thank God, #Godzilla's made it... No more Moth-ships firing phasers at each other... Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Meanwhile, the main characters, having completed their arc way too early are reverted to #Mothra cheerleaders on a nearby building. Who let them up there and why aren't they afraid of being blasted to hell? #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

It's a shame, characters this interesting were reduced to spectators in the third act. Imagine if Fujita had to make the crucial decision in the heat of the battle? It really would have broken up the fight a bit. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Hello massive wire holding up #Mothra at 1:26:30 in the highest grossing Japanese film from 1992... #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

Not sure which is more irksome, #Godzilla's pew-pew, laser sound when he fires his beam or the fact #Rodan's roar is being used for the second movie in a row to represent another monster. Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

"What weapon will #Mothra pull out next?"

"Glitter."

#Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

Admittedly, Battra's heroic save for #Mothra was well shot. Love the dramatic pan upward. Solid, if obvious reveal. #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

And now the Cosmos have to narrate that #Mothra and Battra are teaming up, because I can't tell by watching. #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

Critics in both Japan and outside the country had condemned Japanese pictures of this period as stifling in creativity and "starving for good scripts". The third act here certainly represents that despite the box office accolades. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

With every character either watching the battle on a giant screen or on top of a building, it's clear either Omori (or someone) gave up on any palatable drama outside the monster fight--Which is kinda boring. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Regardless, #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92 racked in 4.2 million in attendance--The highest since 1966 and a record that wouldn't be broken until 2016's Shin #Godzilla. The amount of women & children who were drawn by the film are attributed to its success.

Interesting that the Cosmos seemingly "fuse" with #Mothra by the film's end. As if they are merely an extension of Mothra and have literally been the Guardian Monster the entire time. #Godzilla vs. Mothra '92

Lip service: We have to take care of the Earth--But why are all the other environmental problems introduced in the film no longer a narrative concern? #Godzilla vs. #Mothra

Although Ifukube and Murata did not win at the Japanese Academy Awards, the Cosmos, Keiko Imamura & Sayaka Osawa, both won the Newcomer of the Year Award. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

And as we all know, it assured "#Godzilla 5". Okawara taking the director's chair for the next movie was also an obvious choice. Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Although I don't think it's a particularly good movie, there's a lot about it I enjoy more than the next three--Specifically Fujita. Bessho's performance is just stellar and I appreciated his rather grounded, internal conflict among the mysticism. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra 92

None of the next three #Godzilla chapters have anything close to the humanity found in Fujita's arc, which lowers the stakes and makes them difficult to enjoy. Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

Additionally, there are some really enjoyable shots sprinkled throughout the film by Kawakita. The battle with Battra is particularly fun and the volcano scene is quite pretty. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

I get why this film gets a bad wrap and I don't particularly think the film doesn't deserve the criticism. But for all its carelessness and overt, heavy handedness, it has some really nice visual and character moments. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

This wasn't quite the revisit I wanted, but it made for an interesting night. Hope everyone enjoyed the live tweet. I'm out. #Godzilla vs. #Mothra '92

5 Responses to Revisiting Godzilla vs. Mothra '92 - Live Tweets

Tubby

Sep-06-2018 2:28 PM

I recall seeing the movie and I overall enjoyed it, mostly the music. I loved the moment when Mothra emerged from her cocoon. But I disliked that Battra transformed so abruptly and didn't have a unique sound effect. Nice job with the commentary!

MinecraftDinoKaiju

Sep-06-2018 7:01 PM

What sucked about this film for me was that it made no mention to the movie prior to this one (Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah), so when I watched it, I thought it wasn't canon to the Heisei Era. If they made at least one mention of what happened in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah instead of saving it for the following film, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, it would have probably been more note-worthy and would have made more sense than that one cameo in Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla. But other than that and Battra's quick introduction transformation, and death, this movie was okay, but it felt like filler. Sorry, but that's just me.

G. H. (Gman)

Sep-06-2018 7:21 PM

I don't think any mention of a prior film would have improved the overall story. In fact most connections the Heisei films make to prior movies don't really effect the overall story. Most could be left out.

Im Durp

Sep-07-2018 10:45 AM

I think I had similar sentiments when I wrote a review for this a few years ago. I know it has faults and definitely isn't one of the best, but I put it in the upper middle.

Chris

Sep-15-2018 1:40 PM

Great topic, these live tweet watch-a-alongs are great. We should organize more of these and see how many more fans we can get involved!

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