Friday, May 16, 2014

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II and Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla Blu-ray Review

Built with the utmost in 20th-century technology, Mechagodzilla is the ultimate in Godzilla-busting weaponry. Fueled by a nuclear reactor and sheathed in a synthetic diamond shield, the mammoth metal robot is Japan’s greatest hope for ending Godzilla’s reign of terror. Meanwhile, on a remote island polluted by nuclear waste, a team of scientists discover a giant egg in a Pteranodon nest, and bring it home for study. When BabyGodzilla hatches, both Rodan and Godzilla return to claim the cuddly infant as their own. Will their monstrous maternal instincts cause a custody battle capable of destroying Mother Earth? Or will Mechagodzilla prove an effective eradicator, leaving BabyGodzilla an orphan for life? In Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, the powers of telepathy enter the ranks of high technology in this supernatural, super-powered Godzilla adventure! The military minds behind Japan’s special Counter G Bureau enter the New Age with Project T, in which a telepathic amplifier is implanted in Godzilla’s brain in order to bring the giant monster under control. And just in time! In a faraway galaxy, the mutant SpaceGodzilla turns its evil eyes toward earth, planning to terminate Godzilla and conquer the planet for its own.
Films (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II 

Japan’s Godzilla problem has not gone away but the people have a plan. The Japanese have created a robot-lizard protector, Mechagodzilla to ensure their safety.  Relying on other creatures to battle the monster has failed to rid their society of Godzilla.  Now they turn to technology to solve their problem.  Mechagodzilla was built to withstand the worst of Godzilla’s attacks.

What they weren’t prepared for was Rodan and the telekinetic baby-Godzilla. The Rodan and baby-Godzilla storylines get pretty complicated but are well placed within the plot lines. Oraganic Godzilla vs. Robot Godzilla is enough of a story for me but we know from the first film that the filmmakers like complicated. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II is an old school, low budget Pacific Rim – and not in a bad way.  It’s got some good action and monster fighting worth watching.

Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla

After man battled beast using their most advanced technology, Godzilla has returned to the ocean depths.  Realizing that Godzilla is dormant, not gone the Japanese have created Moguera (Mobile Operation Godzilla Universal Expert Robot Aerotype).  Moguera is built to withstand all of Godzilla’s assaults and there is a chance that they have devised a way to be rid of him permanently. Where missiles have failed, monster medicine may prevail in the form of an anticoagulant in a bullet. Unfortunately Godzilla has one soft spot where the bullet could penetrate.  

That’s not the only plan as others attempt to control Godzilla telepathically.  The tiny women known as the Cosmos, contact a psychic and warn that it is Spacegodzilla that poses the threat to humanity. Whether Godzilla is fighting mankind or other monsters, the level of destruction is always high.  What’s different about Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla is that there is now a more emotional component.  The films are created so that you never feel truly bad for the humans being trampled but Godzilla and child make you feel for them.
Video (3 out of 5 stars)
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla’s 1080p video presentation is similar to the previous double feature. The various creature concepts come across well and detail and texture in areas like Godzilla skin and images are more satisfactory overall. Much is the same with Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla. Color and skin tones are accurate and consistent  and black levels and detail are good.
Audio (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The audio on both films is an improvement over the King Ghidorah/Mothra set. The Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track provides a richer experience overall.  The action is still a bit flat but the dialogue is noticeably clearer. There is a significant difference in the English DTS-HD 2.0 track an I’m watching all future movies in Japanese (at least for the first viewing). In Spacegodzilla, in particular that Godzilla roar offers just a little bit extra.
Extras (1 out of 5 stars)
As with the previous set of films, both movies on this blu ray offer only teasers and trailers.
Summary (3 out of 5 stars)
This second of Sony’s Godzilla double features is a little weirder but also a little better than the last.  With names like Mechagodzilla and Space Godzilla in the title, how can you go wrong?When you match up the first set's King Ghidorah/Mothra versus this set's Mecha/Spacegodzilla, the second set is the undisputed winner. Now that I'm no longer expecting anything plausible, I’m fully on board with the idea that Godzilla can be our friend, and our enemy at the same time. There can even be big Godzillas, little Godzillas, robot and space Godzillas. I can’t wait to see what’s next for him and the Japanese people. If by the end of this series we are treated to Godzilla vs. Mr. T, I would not be surprised!

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