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20 October, 2007

DVD Review: GOJIRA NI-SEN MIRENIAMU ~aka~ GODZILLA 2000


Year of Release—Film: 1999

Year of Release—DVD: 2000



DVD Label: Columbia Tri-Star
THE MOVIE

Following Godzilla’s death at the hands of Destoroyah at the end of 1995’s Gojira VS Desutoroia ~aka~ GODZILLA vs. DESTOROYAH, and the end of the Heisei era, Toho announced that it would be several years before they would produce another Godzilla film. This was mainly due to Columbia’s planned American version of GODZILLA, due in 1998.

But Toho had no intention of abandoning the franchise completely, and after the utter failure of the Roland Emmerich-helmed GODZILLA, decided that it was time for the real Godzilla to make his return. The Millennium era began with this movie, as the Big G came back with a vengeance.

The movie opens as GPN, or Godzilla Prediction Network, is going into high gear, anticipating another Goji sighting. Of course, the GPN consists primarily of Prof. Shinoda and his young daughter Io. A reporter named Yuki tags along, anxious to get a close-up photo of Godzilla that she believes would be her big break. The trio succeeds in locating the Big Green Guy, as he rages ashore in full attack mode.

This movie sets up the Millennium series of films very well, laying out the important features that would be common in the series… the Alien involvements; the GPN, which would morph into an Earth Defense Force; and Godzilla’s role as Japan’s defender partially restored. The look of Godzilla, always evolving, was as good here as it got. The Miregoji suit used in this film was one of the best of any series, and is one of my favorites of the Goji-suits, second only to the Fainarugoji suit used in GODZILLA: FINAL WARS.


THE DISC

The disc, from Columbia Tri-Star, is very nicely done, with a crisp, clean print used in the transfer process. Though I had this film on videotape prior to getting the DVD, the audio is very poor, and I was pleased to actually hear the movie this time. The disc is subtitled, in English and French, which is always appreciated, though I wish that Columbia had included the original Japanese language audio tracks. Call it a quirk, but I love to hear a film in its original language, and read the subtitles, rather than hear bad dubbing.



THE SPECIAL FEATURES

There isn’t a load of special features to be found here, but what’s there is nice. The big item is a collection of clips of behind-the-scenes footage. This really allows the viewer to understand just how physically demanding it must be to work in a foam rubber suit weighing upwards of 100 Kg. That’s 220 lbs. to you and me.

The only other special feature of note is the US theatrical trailer for the movie.



IN CONCLUSION

As I believe everyone knows, I’m a huge Kaijû fan, and this is one of the best. It came just at the right time to chase the memories of Emmerich’s GINO (Godzilla-In-Name-Only…) out of the minds of Kaijû fans everywhere, and will always stand in high regard due to that direct comparison. And at a list price of $9.98, who could argue? What, not cheap enough? Well, I’ve seen it on sale at Deep Discount for half that. So what are you waiting for? If you consider yourself a Kaijû-fan, you need this one in your collection.


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