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Talkback #20: Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla '93

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G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Mar-24-2015 4:10 PM

GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA '93

Using the remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah, the newly formed G-Force creates MechaGodzilla to defend Japan from Godzilla's attacks. Pilot Kazuma Aoki befriends Dr. Azusa Kojo who retrieves a Godzillasaurus egg from Rodan's nest. Both Godzilla and Rodan attack Japan in search for the infant, forcing MechaGodzilla into action. When Aoki and the MechaGodzilla crew achieve victory it appears to leave Baby Godzilla forever an orphan-- Then Rodan makes a last ditch effort to revive his enemy, Godzilla.

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--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


16 Responses to Talkback #20: Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla '93

Durp004

Mar-25-2015 4:57 AM

I used to really like this movie, but the more I watched it the worse it seemed to get. I won't say it's bad necessarily, but that's mostly because the monsters. Godzilla, Rodan, and Baby Godzilla make it seem a lot better than it is.

Daikaiju Danielle

Mar-25-2015 4:16 PM

I honestly really love this one. It's my favorite of the Heisei series next to vs. Destroyah. I like the monsters, the designs, the characters, and the music. :)

"Daddy's home- cake every night,"

KoldWarKid62

Mar-25-2015 5:10 PM

Ditto, Double D! It's definitely one of my faves from the Heisei era, if not my fave. Love the music and the fights are pretty cool. I love G barreling through the baseball stadium to get to Mecha G. Reminiscent of Kong tearing through Atami castle to get to Godzilla.

Nothing's standing in my way of me kicking your a**!!

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Mar-25-2015 5:48 PM

My opinion of this one mostly mirrors Durp. Part of it was the hype at the time. At one point this movie was considered one of the greatest Godzilla films of all time. Today I don't understand how anyone could have ever thought such a ludicrous thing. In fact I find Godzilla vs. Mothra '92 more interesting these days.

Part of it is Wataru Mimura writes some of the most bland, akward characters in the series.  Aoki is just a strange guy-- He's got no charisma. He has something to prove, but there's no believable passion behind it. And while I think the fact that the movie has no real antagonist is one of the more interesting aspects about it, I see how it can be a problem.

And how awful does Rodan look?

I'm glad there were only two more Heisei Godzilla movies after this one. Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla made it very, very clear that they were going to recycle the fighter game-esque, finisher, "Spiral Ray" as long as they could. I've never really understood the hype around it unless it's in a video game and it seemed like a pretty bland, Kawakita-typical "upgrade".

I guess I just find Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla dull. Not bad, but very far from exciting. I think fans oversold this one in the early mid-90s.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


Durp004

Mar-26-2015 12:52 AM

I actually really liked Rodan's new design albeit the puppet looked bad in certain instances but that's basically a fault in every puppet from the 90s. I also found Rodan and his connection to the story much, much, much more interesting that any of the human characters. The only one that I really cared even the slightest for was Asuza and that was simply because of her connection with the baby. The human characters are just kind of there to look after the baby until the real stars, Rodan and Godzilla show up.

 

And dear God the psychic plants.. This was an instance when the psychic things in the movie went overboard. Prior to in the only big thing psychic powers had done were push Godzilla away, then afterwards for GvKG and GvM Miki just kind of showed up to be there the psychic powers didnt really come into play. This one of course brought in the ever so questionable psychic plant that has a song it can play in you put it in a cd player the gives power to Baby and Rodan just kind of because.

KoldWarKid62

Mar-26-2015 4:04 AM

That's the fun of it; everyone's gonna have an opinion. There's only one great Godzilla movie as far as I'm concerned. It set a bar that's never quite been reached. Some have come close. This is just a fun movie for me. As far as the Heisei series, yeah this would be it, along with RofG (84) and GvsKG. Heisei overall was not a high point in quality. Again, just an opinion.

As for the Rodan design, I'm with Durp. In fact, the only design of Rodan I love is from the very first movie. As much as I love Ghidorah, and Monster Zero, I hate the re-designed Rodan they went with starting with those two movies and through DAM; a real drop off in aesthetic quality IMO.

At the end of the day, was I entertained? You betcha.

Speaking of recycling old favorites...

I know a lot of people are excited about the news, but I'll go on record here saying I'm not a fan of having Mothra, Rodan and Ghidorah in the Legendary sequel(s). As much as I may not have loved the MUTOs, I did like that they were new, different creatures and was looking forward to seeing other new, original creatures going forward. We'll have to wait and see. Just sayin'.

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Mar-26-2015 7:54 AM

I agree the Heisei series isn't exactly a high point in the series, outside of box office, but that still doesn't excuse some issues. I get bored with this one pretty easily. The characters barely carry it. (Why is it Mimura can finish his characters' story arc, but they're all dull, while Omori writes interesting characters, but he can't finish their plot lines?) The monster battles are par-Heisei wars, nothing we haven't seen before. The execution of the monsters, outside of Baby, is best left unsaid.

Again I don't hate it. I suppose it's passable, but there's nothing about it I find really exciting.

As for Rodan, I suppose the design is okay, but I prefer a burlier version of the monster. I agree his 1960s appearances weren't going to win beauty contests, but at least that Rodan could collide with King Ghidorah head on and they'd both be dazed. Final Wars had the best Rodan since 1956. Wish there were more of him in the movie.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


Durp004

Mar-26-2015 9:49 AM

I mean Rodan was supposed to be bigger but they it wouldn't be good to have Godzilla be the smallest monster in the series so they shrunk him down. I prefer the 93 design to Final Wars. I would have liked Rodan to be bigger but he works being smaller too

The King of the Monsters

Mar-26-2015 10:25 AM

I suppose that I look through rose-colored glasses when I watch and discuss this movie, because it's always been my personal favorite Godzilla movie. That being said, there are a lot of obvious flaws with the film that have already been gone into great detail in this post.

But there are some things I absolutely love about this movie. The Baby Godzilla suit is incredibly lifelike and is executed wonderfully. Hurricane Ryu does a great job bringing personality to Baby and behaving and moving in a believable way. The Godzilla suit is one of my personal favorite suits, but it's not much different with the suits preceding and succeeding it. The Rodan puppet looks great, but is executed horribly, even worse than the Mothra and Battra imago puppets in the previous film. It's an incredibly detailed and lifelike prop, but when it flies it looks like a stiff toy. And then there's Mechagodzilla. The suit gives a great sense of mass and size and moves like a real 400-foot robot would.

Sure, the battles consist of the typical Heisei beam wars, but they actually fit this movie, unlike the ridiculous beam wars in Godzilla vs. Mothra with Mothra and Battra. In the Showa series, Mechagodzilla was characterized by his massive array of weapons and beams and his tendency to spam them rather than fight hand-to-hand. This works especially well for the Heisei Mechagodzilla because Kawakita actually gets to apply his elaborate beam effects for a monster that would actually use them. The beams look great and are just plain cool, also thanks to the sound effects that accompany them.

The human element isn't that special. Azusa's relationship with Baby is probably the best character arc in the film, and their tearful farewell at the end is actually pretty emotional for me. This film also introduces one of my absolute favorite characters in the entire series, G-Force Commander Takaki Aso. Sure, all he does is curse and give orders, but Akira Nakao is just so well suited to the role that he makes the character very memorable.

And there's Akira Ifukube's score. It may be recycled from a lot of his earlier work, but it's still a masterpiece and really helps enhance the action in the film.

So, while this film is my absolute favorite and I can find many more positive aspects than flaws, I understand why many people see this film as average or sub-par. It's not the best in the series, but it's still my favorite.

"When man falls into conflict with nature, monsters are born." - Professor Hayashida, The Return of Godzilla

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Mar-26-2015 5:23 PM

Without bias I think you pretty much nailed all the positive aspects of the movie, King of the Monsters. I've mentioned they're not without them, but I'm not as taken with the movie as you are to really emphasize them.

I agree that Baby Godzilla was really fantastic in both execution and arc. And the monsters are enjoyable for the most part. I can agree that the beam battles work more naturally with MechaGodzilla than it does Mothra and Battra. (Although giving Rodan a beam was eye rolling and smacks of Kawakita spamming the same old trick with every monster under his belt.)

Although I still don't like the suits and execution of Godzilla and Rodan. This suit is probably my least favorite of the Heisei series. It looked too stocky from the profile and I wasnt a huge fan of how the mechanism that made his head look up and down was used. (Or overused.)

I think the animatronic heads used for close-ups of both Godzilla and Rodan were great though. The fact Godzilla could now wrinkle his nose and furrow his brow was incredible. Rodan's close-up head was also well done. But not since 1984 have these animatronic heads clearly not matched the suits. I got a little tired of watching Rodan's beak changing from close-ups to flying shots.

I wonder how Toho felt about the suit. It was only used for one film and a themepark simulator video, but I wonder if it was discarded for the akward head... Notice how they photoshopped the more attractive animatronic Godzilla head onto the suit for the theatrical poster.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


The King of the Monsters

Mar-26-2015 7:45 PM

I agree that the Godzilla suit looks akward. It manages to look really stocky while at the same time being considerably less imposing than the suits before and after it. But I guess I've always liked the suit because it looks relatively benign for a Heisei Godzilla design. Now while that might not seem like a trait to shoot for with a Godzilla design, I think it works for this film. This movie really accentuates just how misunderstood Godzilla is and how G-Force's crusade to kill him might just be misguided. The suit does not look evil or menacing, and in my opinion it helps the audience sympathize with Godzilla rather than see him as the bad guy.

I still like the Rodan puppet's design a lot. The execution was terrible and I cannot deny that, but I liked how Rodan was reinvented to be a small swift predator rather than a monster of Godzilla's stature. I guess it's just personal preference, but I like the design of this Rodan more than any other save for the 1956 one. But unfortunately, the poor execution just makes it look like a cheap stiff toy for the majority of its scenes. And of course, his whole beam attack was a pointless excuse for Kawakita to insert more beam effects. But, at least it prevented some physical combat with the Rodan prop. which most likely would have looked horrible given the stiffness of the prop.

 

"When man falls into conflict with nature, monsters are born." - Professor Hayashida, The Return of Godzilla

KoldWarKid62

Mar-27-2015 7:08 AM

I'd say probably my second favorite Rodan design as well, next to '56. Loved his eyes. Completely agree on all points about execution and articulation of the actual prop, as well as his size. The Final Wars version is cool, but every monster looked like a man in a suit, and maybe that's what they were going for. Rodan, Gigan, Monster X, even Hedorah all looked too "human." Not sure if that makes sense, but the only way I can descride them.

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Mar-27-2015 10:13 AM

I think the Final Wars suits looked that way due to the slimmed down look they were going for. Although Rodan looks that way in promotional shots, I thought they avoided it pretty well in the actual movie. He hadn't flown that well in 48 years. And there's not a single shot of him in Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla that rivals the low angle of him in front of the moon in Final Wars. That thing's just beautiful.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


alextheburger

Mar-27-2015 11:28 AM

my first godzilla movie i like this film especially the score 

KoldWarKid62

Mar-27-2015 12:17 PM

@GMan - Agreed. I think they may have enhanced his flying/movements with CGI and that looks great. Of course, they also had a pretty hefty budget if I'm not mistaken (the most for a G-film?), so some things certainly should look better.

With everything they threw into that movie, and all the money they spent, it's one of my least favorites. I think it's a mess of a movie.

Anyway, I think I've officially beaten the proverbial dead horse! We established GVsMG II is overrated in your eyes and I like it more than you do. That's all I got. Be good.

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Mar-27-2015 2:44 PM

Yeah, the Rodan in Final Wars was either CG or a flying prop most of the time. I think the actual suit was only used for the perching atop New York City shots and a couple of very brief shots during the battle with Godzilla.

Godzilla: Final Wars had the largest budget for a Japanese film at the time. Unfortunately, all of the suits, miniatures and special effects were made on the same budget as Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. The larger amount of money was spent on sets, costumes and action sequences for the actors.

I think it's impressive Wakasa and Asada accomplished as much as they did. They took a visual effects budget intended for five monsters (three were puppets) in Tokyo and used it for an army of monsters stretched over various locations. It didn't always work, but I can give Final Wars that much. Agreed it's no gem though.

Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla's effects probably had a slightly smaller budget to Tokyo S.O.S. and Final Wars, but I wouldn't think by too much-- Mostly due to inflation. I think it comes down to technique and innovation. Kawakita didn't really do anything new after Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and more or less phoned in his same techniques movie after movie.

--
"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)


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