Originally Posted by Chaz
That is a drag that Classic Media is dead. They did an excellent job with the Godzilla movies. From the commentary track on Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster I learned that Akiko Waakabayashi, who played the Princess, was also Aki in You Only Live Twice. Being in Bond and a Godzilla movie makes her the most accomplished actress ever in my book!
Godzilla vs. Hedorah! First time I've seen a good copy, and the Japanese version. I already knew I liked it, but it's MUCH more watchable then I remembered. I did a liveblog thing, but it's to tedious to post, so some thoughts follow:
The DVD made the night scenes sharp and well defined, whereas I remembered them being to dark and murky.
It's such a huge departure from the traditional Showa-era style, but it's not a bad one. The lighting and special effects are on par, or better then the series best, and Godzilla won't look this good again until Mechagodzilla. There's also no stock footage, big plus there.
What stood out most for me was the Banno seemed to understand that the monster action needed to be connected to people for it to work. So right off the bat, characters are interacting with the smaller Hedorahs, and Hedorah's damaging effects are shown. Once it hits Kaiju size, we're still shown how it's hurting people, with the sludge flying through windows, smother the mahjong players, glooping a kitty (poor kitty!), and then later, dissolving people.
Even in the climax, Hedorah is crushing trucks that are trying to repair the megaweapon, and godzilla is making eye-contact with the main characters.
That may be my favorite scene in the film: Hedorah has been vanquished, Godzilla turns and looks at our heros, and they all have this sphincter-clenching moment where it looks like Godzilla is going to attack them. But then just growls and stomps off. Loved it.
There's much more I want to talk about, and the score, pacing, and paper-thin characters really sink the film, but I was surprised how much I still liked it, and how contemporary the movie looked.
It's especially shocking coming after Godzilla's Revenge, and being followed by Godzilla vs. Gigan.