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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Godzilla vs. Destoroyah/Godzilla vs. Megaguirus Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
With a super-charged blast from his nuclear past, a new Godzilla emerges from his own ashes, radioactive and ready to take on Tokyo! The great monster’s nuclear energy is increasing by the minute, and a monster meltdown threatens to vaporize the planet. But when mutant micro-organisms unleash a plague of destruction, Godzilla is Japan’s only hope to destroy them. This victory creates Godzilla’s deadliest challenge yet: Destoroyah. And with Godzilla Junior pulled into the ring, only the Super XIII can put the deep freeze on this three-way monster melee. In Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, it's been five years after Godzilla terrorized the city of Osaka, Japanese scientists have developed a sure-fire way to finally destroy Japan’s monster nemesis. They have created the world’s first man-made black hole, which will trap Godzilla for eternity! But during a testing of this new Dimension Tide, an insect caught in the hole mutates, producing gargantuan eggs that give birth to a new menace: giant dragonfly monsters called Meganula. Meganula queen, the 50-meter Megaguirus, is also on a hunt for Godzilla, needing to steal his energy to survive. From the sky down to the depths of a city’s underground sewer tunnels, Megaguirus, Godzilla, and humankind battle for supremacy. Who will prevail in this high-tech, three-way battle of terror and destruction?

Films (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
I’ve made it to the third of four Blue- ray discs featuring Godzilla battles. I’m sufficiently warmed up for the theatrical release of the latest Godzilla film. After having seen Godzilla in the theater this weekend, I realize that viewing these films was a very good idea. I feel like I had a greater appreciation for many small details paying homage to old school Godzilla. My six year old son was dying to see Godzilla, and I was at the theater for a “test viewing” to determine if it would be wildly inappropriate to bring him next time. The answer is yes, the latest version of Godzilla is too intense and I don’t think he should see it. However, any of these double features would be more than fine and will have to suffice for his Godzilla fix until he is a little older.

Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)
Although declared dead, Godzilla has risen from the ashes.  He is now radioactive and glows red.  Scientists are frantically trying to unravel the mysteries of the creature.  A young expert warns that Godzilla will eventually explode releasing his nuclear energy on the Earth.  The device used against Godzilla in the past, known as an oxygen destroyer offers a solution.  While some warn of the catastrophic effects the device could unleash a new species develops and mankind is in more danger than they realize.

The tone of the Godfather series changes dramatically with Godzilla vs. Destroyah.  You see none of the light moments found in previous films as exes work together and the Japanese Indiana Jones gets into trouble. The creature action is not lost and this is an interesting change of pace.  Although I can see how some of the other films were meant to be, this is the one that is truly thought provoking. This is my favorite of the two films on the disc.

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)
The Japanese are still recovering from the wrath Godzilla unleashed upon them.  Nuclear plants are down and they realize that the nuclear option is not the way to deal with Godzilla.  Instead they have created the first man made black hole.  They plan to trap Godzilla but during a test they create something worse.  An insect is caught inside and mutates producing giant eggs and eventually new monsters.  These dragonfly-like monsters are called Meganula.  Megaguirus, their 50 foot queen seeks out Godzilla to steal his energy. Man now has more foes than it can handle, battling for survival.

Everything about Godzilla vs. Megaguirus feels dramatically different from Godzilla vs Destoroyah.  The latter half of this double feature lacks something I can’t put my finger on. It has a different pace than the others and that may be the tone for the last two films.  I won’t know the answer to that until tomorrow when I watch the last double feature. 
Video (3 out of 5 stars)
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah is comparable to many of the previous films in the set.  Details and skin tones are good and the rubber Godzilla remains rubbery looking, as expected.  Godzilla vs. Megaguirus was surprisingly less of a full visual experience.  There are moments where the lack of definition and detail is inferior to the other releases and is particularly noticeable in the lack of clothing textures.
Audio (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah reverts to the Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 which was surprisingly not that much of an issue for me.  The gunfire and explosions were still immersive and there was enough power to allow you to appreciate the monster battles.  Godzilla vs. Megaguirus offers the Japanese and English (dubbed) DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.  Dialogue, clarity and sound effects are good in either language.
Extras (1 out of 5 stars)
As with the two previous Blue- ray double features, original trailers are the only extras on either movie.  By the third set, I expected more.
Summary (2 out of 5 stars)
The low score for extras brings down the total score. Both these films were fair to good efforts I just had my hopes up after the last set. Having recently seen Godzilla in the theater I feel like I understand more of the origin stories. Big budget Godzilla was definitely for me, but I am glad that I can still appreciate the rubber suit variety.

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